Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food Safely? What Happens If They Do?

Written by Heather Ross
Updated: October 11, 2022
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Key Points:

  • Spicy food can cause dogs to have upset stomachs, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, and flatulence. Do not feed your dog spicy food.
  • Dogs risk developing canine pancreatitis and even ulcers from consuming large amounts of spicy food.
  • If your dog ingests spicy food, be prepared for it to have an upset stomach and diarrhea. Give your dog lots of water. See your veterinarian if symptoms persist.

If you like to eat spicy food, you may wonder if your four-legged friend can share in the experience. After all, pets seem to have an interest in everything on your plate. But is it a good idea to have your dog eat this kind of food?

Read on to learn the answer to this question and more information about canines and spicy food.

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food?

Many may tell you that it’s perfectly fine to let dogs consume table food. That’s because they can taste many of the same basic flavors humans do.

However, that doesn’t mean that all human foods are safe for dogs.

So, can dogs devour spicy food? The simple answer is no, you shouldn’t give dogs spicy food. 

While they may enjoy the taste, it can cause numerous issues, such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, intense thirst, and flatulence.

Dog with knocked over trash

Feeding your dog spicy food is very harmful to their health.


What Are the Dangers of Spicy Food for Dogs?

Before you go to give your dog spicy food, you should know the risks associated with feeding your pup spicy foods.

1) Unpleasant Sensations in Mouth and Throat

Your furry friends love trying new things — even if they’re not always good for them. This is especially true when it comes to food. Many dogs will beg for a taste of whatever their humans are eating, but they don’t know any better.

One type of food that can be particularly harmful to dogs is spicy food. The capsaicin in chili peppers can cause an unpleasant burning sensation in your dog’s mouth and throat. This can lead to excessive drooling, retching, and vomiting.

In addition, capsaicin can irritate your dog’s skin and eyes, so it’s best to avoid giving them anything spicy. So, next time you’re cooking up a spicy meal, keep your dog away from the kitchen. Otherwise, you might just end up with one miserable pup.

2) Excessive Thirst

Perhaps your dog got into the trash and came away with a half-eaten chili pepper. Then, you may have noticed that they drank a lot more water afterward. That’s because one of the risks of dogs eating spicy food is excessive thirst.

When capsaicin—the compound that makes peppers hot—comes in contact with a dog’s mouth, it can cause irritation and inflammation. In response, the dog’s body will try to flush out the capsaicin by producing more saliva and urine. This can lead to dehydration if the dog cannot replace lost fluids by drinking more water. So, if your dog likes spicy food, be sure to monitor their water intake and ensure they stay hydrated.

3) Gastrointestinal Issues

Dogs love to beg for table scraps. However, before giving in to those pleading eyes, it’s essential to consider what’s on the menu. Spicy food may cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs, leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even cause dehydration and bloody stool. So, if you’re planning on indulging in a spicy meal, it’s best to keep your dog away from the table. Otherwise, you may be in for a messy cleanup or even an expensive trip to the vet.

4) Canine Pancreatitis

Spicy food could cause your dog to suffer from canine pancreatitis. This condition can be both painful and potentially fatal. The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes that help break down food. When it becomes inflamed, these enzymes begin to attack the pancreas itself.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have, seek veterinarian care as soon as possible.

5) Other Risks of Dogs Consuming Spicy Foods

The next time your dog begs for a taste of your dinner, think twice before giving them a bite. That’s because most spicy food recipes include one or more ingredients that can be toxic to dogs.

For example, many chili recipes call for onions or garlic. It is known that these are toxic to dogs and can cause anemia if consumed in large quantities. Unless you want to end up at the vet’s office with a sick pup, keep them away from spicy food.

In addition, the sauce of spicy food can be very rich for dogs and cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. So, the next time your pet pleads for a taste of your food, give them a pass on the spice.

If your dog regularly consumes spicy food, it could even lead to stomach ulcers. These are painful and require medication and sometimes surgery.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Consumes Spicy Food?

Suppose your dog has consumed a chili pepper, a spicy sauce, or any other type of spicy food. Then, it’s critical to act quickly if you notice any unusual symptoms. Here is a list of things that you can do to help alleviate your pup’s discomfort:

1) Give Them an Ample Supply of Water

If your dog has consumed some chili peppers or other spicy ingredients, it’s vital to take action quickly. The first step is to give your dog plenty of fresh water. This will help flush the spices out of your pet’s system and prevent dehydration. Also, you can provide the dog with a spoonful of plain yogurt to soothe the stomach and combat any intestinal distress.

2) Check Out the Exact Ingredients of the Spicy Food Your Dog Ate

If your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, don’t panic. You need to also check the ingredients of the food they ate. If it contains any onions or garlic, call your vet right away. These ingredients can be toxic to dogs and can cause anemia.

If the food only contains spices like chili powder or cumin, your dog will likely be fine. However, they may experience some gastrointestinal upset. You should also keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours. That way, you can ensure your dog doesn’t develop any more severe symptoms. If your dog does, call your vet immediately.

3) Brace for an Upset Stomach

If you’ve accidentally eaten something spicy, you know the discomfort that comes with it. The burning sensation, the sweating, the watery eyes—it’s not a pleasant experience. Now imagine how your dog must feel if they accidentally consume something spicy.

While we can reach for a glass of milk to help cool our mouths, dogs don’t have that option. So, if your dog has consumed some spicy food, it’s best to prepare for an upset stomach and act accordingly. Here are a few things you can do — give them plenty of water to drink and watch for signs of distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Drinking large amounts of water can lead to excessive bloating and tummy pain. The water, though, will ease the burning sensation in their stomachs, eventually leading to relief.

If the symptoms persists, call you veterinarian immediately.

4) Give Them a Bland Diet

It’s also best to give your dog a bland diet for the next few days. This will help to soothe their stomach and prevent any further irritation. Some good options for a bland diet include boiled chicken, rice, and white fish. With a bit of time and care, your dog will return to their usual self in no time.

What Should Your Dog Consume?

Just like their human counterparts, dogs need to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of exercise to maintain good health. When pet parents start feeding their furry friends human food, they often throw off this delicate balance. This can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.

While it may seem like a harmless treat, feeding your dog table scraps can negatively impact their overall wellness. So, don’t be tempted to sneak your pooch a piece of your steak. Remember that you’re better off sticking to their regular dog food. Your four-legged friend will thank you for it!

Make sure you always keep your pup safe and away from things that could potentially harm them. Check out this list of human foods that are detrimental to dogs:


So, can your dog ingest spicy food safely? The definitive answer is no, they cannot. Peppery food may cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs; if they consume enough of it, it can even be toxic. If your dog has eaten something fiery, give them plenty of water and monitor them for signs of distress. If the symptoms persist, call your veterinarian immediately. With a little care and preparation, you can help your dog recover from a spicy mishap.

Up Next…

So, now you know spicy food is a “no no” in your dog’s diet. What other human foods pose a risk to your dog’s health?

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Masarik/

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About the Author

Heather Ross is a secondary English teacher and mother of 2 humans, 2 tuxedo cats, and a golden doodle. In between taking the kids to soccer practice and grading papers, she enjoys reading and writing about all the animals!

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