Can Dogs Safely Eat Bell Peppers? What You Should Know

Written by Rebecca Mathews
Updated: December 9, 2022
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Bell peppers are a healthy snack for humans that are available in an appealing rainbow of colors. You may have been wondering if your dog can eat them too? Good question! Let’s explore if dogs can safely eat bell peppers. Here’s what you should know about this popular veggie scientifically classed as a berry.

Are Bell Peppers Safe For My Dog To Eat?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe for your dog to eat bell peppers. In fact, they are packed with nutrients that boost their health, and many dogs enjoy eating the crunchy vegetable.

What About Colored Bell Peppers?

Peppers are available in green, yellow, orange, and red; all of these colors are safe for dogs to eat.

Red bell peppers have a higher nutritional value than other colors due to having ripened sufficiently and therefore containing more vitamins. Some experts say red peppers have nine times the amount of beta carotene than yellow and green bell peppers, and they are sweeter, too, which some dogs prefer.

What Are Bell Peppers?

Are bell peppers safe for dogs?

Bell peppers are considered a vegetable but they are actually a berry!

© Hirunwiwatwong

Bell peppers (capsicum annuum) have different names depending on where you live. In the USA and Canada, they are called bell peppers, in the UK they’re sweet peppers, and capsicum is their name in India, Australia, and Sri Lanka.

Although technically a berry, bell peppers are usually considered a vegetable. Native to Central America, Mexico, and northern South America, they are grown in many areas since their introduction to Europe by Christopher Columbus. They are frequently eaten raw with dips or added to pizzas and pasta dishes.

Green bell peppers are unripe red peppers. They are not a different species. Bell peppers start out green, then turn yellow, orange, and red as they fully ripen. You’ll often find the in-between colors too. All are suitable for pups!

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Eaten Bell Peppers?

There’s no need to worry if your dog has stolen the BBQ side dish of sliced bell peppers; they are not toxic and won’t cause significant harm.

If they’ve eaten in large quantities, they may develop gastric issues, including stomach aches, bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.

Curing Upset Stomach In Dogs

An upset stomach isn’t pleasant for a dog and may lead to messy accidents. Serve them bland food until the upset has resolved. Good choices are chicken and rice, fish, sweet potato, and small amounts of cottage cheese. A bowl of fresh water is always crucial to prevent dehydration.

Contact your vet if diarrhea lasts more than a few days.

Can Dogs Eat Chili Peppers?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat chili peppers because they contain capsaicin, which isn’t toxic. Still, it’s a stomach irritant that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Spicy foods also cause excessive thirst, and because you can’t explain to your dog why its mouth is burning, it causes distress. Any type of hot and spicy food isn’t suitable for dogs, from chili to curry spices.

What About Raw Bell Peppers?

French bulldog puppy eating bell peppers from a bowl

Good news! It’s perfectly safe for your dog to eat bell peppers.


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Raw or cooked bell peppers make excellent healthy snacks for dogs. Dogs usually enjoy raw crunchy slices but can eat cooked bell peppers, too, as long as they are plain.

Are Bell Peppers Healthy For Dogs?

Yes, bell peppers are as healthy for dogs as they are for humans!

Here are some of the dog-friendly nutrients found in bell peppers.

  • Vitamin A – Great for eye health, healthy skin, and the immune system
  • Vitamin E – boosts the immune system and helps various skin conditions
  • Vitamin B6 – helps convert food into energy
  • Vitamin C – excellent for the immune system, supports iron absorption and repairs muscles
  • Beta carotene – gives peppers their vivid color. It’s an antioxidant that protects cells from damage
  • Lutein – an excellent nutrient for eye health
  • Potassium – supports cell fluid, muscle function, and healthy blood pressure
  • Folate – helps metabolize protein
  • Fiber – fiber-rich peppers soothe and maintain healthy guts

Bell peppers are full of healthy nutrients; they are one of the best veggies you can give to your dog.

How Can My Dog Have Bell Peppers? How Many?

When it comes to feeding your dog bell peppers, they should always be plain, don’t add any flavoring or salt. Salt can lead to hypertension, and some spices are dangerous, especially if they contain xylitol, garlic or onion – more on that later.

Pups, older dogs, and those with health conditions may benefit if you remove the outer skin first. The skin can be tough to chew or digest. A quick steam is usually sufficient to loosen the skin enough to peel it away.

It’s also best to remove any seeds because they can get stuck in a dog’s throat and cause irritation.

Add bell peppers to your dog’s diet slowly because too many at one time can cause an upset stomach and flatulence. Some experts suggest a large dog can eat half a bell pepper each day and small dogs only one quarter.

Start with smaller amounts and build up if they don’t develop a gastric upset.

Foods To Avoid Giving Your Dog

While bell peppers are safe and healthy for dogs, some foods are toxic and fatal. Here’s a list of the foods your dog should never eat.


Avocados seem innocent; they have soft, tasty flesh and are excellent snacks for humans. Surprisingly, their skin, leaves and stones contain persin, a toxic dog compound. Although avocado flesh has less persin, it’s still best to avoid it because it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.


Grapes are another seemingly harmless, easy-to-carry-and-eat fruit that’s toxic for dogs. This fruit contains compounds that dogs can’t digest and can cause kidney failure. All its forms are dangerous, including grape juice, raisins, and wine.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts contain compounds that create almost immediate symptoms in dogs, including weak back legs, diarrhea, and vomiting. Keep an eye out for macadamia nuts in other foods, such as cookies and sweet treats that dogs like to snaffle from the kitchen counter.


Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine that dogs can’t digest. Because they are stimulants, they put so much pressure on organs it can cause multi-organ failure within hours.

Onions and Garlic

Members of the toxic-for-dogs allium family, onions and garlic, contain compounds which dogs can’t digest. These compounds bind to the dog’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia, lethargy, seizures and pale gums. Garlic is more potent than onions, but they are both dangerous for dogs.


This common artificial sweetener is often used in place of sugar. Xylitol is used in jello, cakes, desserts, juice drinks, and other common household foods. It’s toxic to dogs because it significantly drops blood sugar, leading to hypoglycemia.

If your dog eats any of the above, call your vet immediately.

Obesity in dogs is a prevalent problem, significantly reducing their quality of life. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s most recent report suggests that 56% of dogs are obese in the US. Obese dogs suffer joint problems, develop diabetes, and their lifespan is shorter. Dogs should avoid foods with sugar or large amounts of fat.

If you want to treat your dog, stick to crunchy, healthy bell peppers or other tasty treats like cottage cheese or carrots. But remember that the ASPCA recommends treats should make up no more than 10% of their daily food intake.

Bell Peppers Are Healthy Snacks For Dogs

Plain, cooked, or raw bell peppers are great snacks for dogs to enjoy as part of a varied diet. Just be sure they don’t have any salt or flavorings added.

Choosing high-quality dog food is the first step towards keeping your pooch full of zest for life. Then, add small amounts over time if you want to supplement it with small, tasty treats like green beans, baby carrots, and bell peppers.

Red bell peppers have the most nutrients, but all colors are safe doggy snacks – just leave those chili peppers in the store!

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

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About the Author

Rebecca is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on plants and geography. Rebecca has been writing and researching the environment for over 10 years and holds a Master’s Degree from Reading University in Archaeology, which she earned in 2005. A resident of England’s south coast, Rebecca enjoys rehabilitating injured wildlife and visiting Greek islands to support the stray cat population.

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  1. Journal of Food Science, Available here:
  2. ASPCA, Available here:
  3. ASPCA, Available here:
  4. Pet Obesity Prevention, Available here: