Most dogs love hot, spicy food. However, the fact is many types of human food are not good for your dog to eat.

Spicy foods are no exception. It’s easy to assume that because you enjoy spices on your food, your dog does too. After all, dogs like certain flavors (such as meat and cheese) just like we do, but they can only handle them in small amounts.

Spices change the way flavor is transmitted to taste buds in our mouth, but some spices can also irritate or inflame the mucus membranes in a dog’s mouth and digestive tract. This means it can actually cause inflammation throughout their body if eaten regularly or even on one occasion.

What kind of spices?

Hot peppers. These include jalapenos, habaneros, and chili peppers of all kinds. Dogs have a much higher sensitivity to capsaicin than people do. Capsaicin is what gives those spices their heat. It may cause them to vomit or have extremely painful diarrhea because it stimulates nerve endings in the lining of their digestive tract. If you ever notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms after eating spicy food, you should seek veterinary care immediately as this can be life-threatening for dogs if not treated right away.

Onion or garlic. While small amounts of either spice are fine for most dogs, this rule only applies to uncooked versions of either one. In fact, cooked onion can be especially dangerous because it contains a chemical that destroys red blood cells. Symptoms of onion poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. The toxic ingredient in garlic is thiosulphate which can cause anemia if a dog eats enough of it. Garlic contains much less thiosulphate than does onion, but ingestion can still result in similar problems.

Unsafe condiments. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, and steak sauce are not safe to feed dogs. These products may contain ingredients that can cause gastrointestinal irritation from mild to severe depending on the product. Ingestion could also lead to obesity because dogs find them quite tasty and they tempt dogs to eat too much at one time.

We know it can be difficult to find the right balance when allowing your dog to enjoy some human food while still ensuring they are not harmed by what they eat. A safe rule of thumb is to consider whether you would consume the same food if you had no teeth. If the answer is ‘no’, then don’t feed it to your pet either!


Although spice doesn’t seem like a health risk at first glance, dogs just do not have the ability to handle them in large amounts. Be sure that all members of your household are aware of this fact so nobody accidentally harms their four-legged family member with something as simple as feeding them an unintended meal full of spice.

What happens if a dog eats spicy food?

If your dog eats spicy food, there is a chance that the spice will irritate the lining of its stomach and cause vomiting. Additionally, spicy foods contain certain oils which can be difficult for dogs to digest. As these oils are digested in their system, it could cause diarrhea or an upset digestive tract. If they eat too much of it, the effects could be much more dangerous.

How dangerous is spicy food to dogs?

Spices are not as bad for dogs as some other human foods, but they can still be dangerous for them if they eat too much of certain types. If you notice symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea after your dog eats spicy foods, contact a veterinarian immediately.

What are the symptoms of spicy food poisoning in dogs?

Symptoms of spicy food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Although mild cases will often resolve themselves within a few hours or days if you notice any signs of gastrointestinal irritation you should seek help from a veterinarian immediately.

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