Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? What Will Happen to Your Pooch if He Eats?


Some people like spicy food, while others can’t deal with it. Can dogs handle spicy food too? Do they experience the same burning sensation that we feel when we eat spicy foods?

Before you share spicy snacks with your dog, you should first learn how they taste food. Humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds, while dogs have around 1,700. This may seem like a large number, but it is actually low in terms of taste buds.

The taste sensitivity of animals with a large number of taste buds is higher than those with fewer taste buds. Since dogs don’t have a lot of taste buds, they can’t distinguish as many flavors as humans can. Dogs don’t like bitter or sour things, but they do like sweet flavors. Too much sugar, however, is not good for dogs.

When dogs eat spicy food, it takes time for the taste to reach the right taste buds. Although their response to the heat is not the same as ours, they definitely respond to the sour or bitter flavor.

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food?

Giving spicy food to your dog is not worth it. Since they are not as sensitive to flavor as we are, they will not taste any difference in what they are eating. It may just upset their digestive tract and stomach. If you want to introduce variety to your pet’s diet, you have other options aside from human food. For instance, you can give him different flavors of his favorite dog food.

It’s also important consider your pet’s sense of smell. Dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans.  If you don’t like the smell of cumin powder, just think about how strong it would be for your dog. If it can make your eyes water, it will definitely have a bigger impact on your pooch.

You treat your dog like a family member, but you should just let him eat his own food. Don’t give him table scraps or anything that might put his health and well-being at risk.

What are the Effects of Spicy Food on Dogs?

If your dog eats too much spicy food, he might have an upset stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are other possible reactions to spicy food. These foods are not meant for dogs. If your pooch eats too much spicy food, he might suffer from short-term health problems such as stomach pain, intense thirst and flatulence.

Your dog may also suffer from watery stools. Bottled products such as hot sauce contain seasonings such as onion and garlic, which are bad for dogs. Dogs may not taste spices, but it doesn’t mean that their gastrointestinal tract won’t experience the side effects.

Spicy foods are too complex for their stomach to process. Your pooch could get excited a few seconds after eating a few bites of spicy food, but he will most likely have runny stools after that. Save him from the distress by keeping spicy food away from his reach even when he pleads with big eyes. Just give him healthy treats to stop him from begging for foods.

Spicy foods can also cause serious long-term problems like canine pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. This disease can be life-threatening and it’s often caused by consuming fatty foods. Spicy foods may cause canine pancreatitis as well. This disease is particularly common in female canine as well as older and middle-aged dogs.

Symptoms to Watch Out for When Your Dog Has Eaten Spicy Foods

When you consume something spicy, it is actually the nervous system that responds. The pain fibers of the body respond to capsaicin, which causes an intense burning sensation. As such, spiciness is actually more of an experience or feeling. Dogs can also experience this feeling to a certain degree.

Spiciness is not a taste, but spicy foods tend to have a sour or bitter flavor. Dogs are less sensitive to these flavors because they have fewer taste buds than humans. The taste buds that determine sour and bitter tastes for dogs can be found on the back of their tongue.

It may take longer for dogs to distinguish the horrible taste and they probably don’t feel it to the same degree as we do. When dogs experience these tastes and the spiciness that comes with them, they won’t probably like it. Some of the signs to watch out for when your pooch is reacting to spicy food include:

  • pacing
  • lip licking
  • head shaking
  • whining
  • backing away
  • excessive water drinking

Contact the vet if your pooch shows prolonged symptoms of pain, sickness or discomfort.

Can Dogs Develop Tolerance to Spicy Food? 

Humans can develop tolerance to spicy foods. Whether this applies to dogs or not is uncertain, so you shouldn’t attempt it. We are used to eating spicy foods, but dogs are not. Since they have not evolved to consume spicy foods, their senses will most likely alert them to stay away from these food items.

Dogs are different from each other and some may ignore the spiciness of food, especially if they can eat it. However, just because your dog wants to eat spicy food doesn’t mean that it is good for them. You shouldn’t treat their diet in the same way you treat yours because doing so can be dangerous to their well-being and health.

Small amounts of spicy food may not be harmful to dogs and some people even use it in training their canine. For instance, they put a small amount of hot sauce to train dogs not to accept anything from strangers. You can put a few drops of hot sauce on a dog treat and have someone offer it your pet.

When your dog accepts it, you should say no. Through practice, your dog will start associating the unpleasant flavor and the verbal caution with a stranger. He will start to understand the idea. However, you should be careful when using spicy food for training. Use only a small amount of spicy stuff and don’t use it often.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Accidentally Eaten Spicy Food

Eating spicy foods once shouldn’t cause your dog grave health problems. Just wait for him to pass the food out in his stool. You should also have plenty of water available. Keep your pooch away from any spicy food in the future. When your dog looks sick or you have doubts, you should contact the vet.

Just don’t give your dog any table food because it’s not suitable for them. Dogs should have meals that are prepared especially to meet their dietary needs. You can work with his vet to create a healthy meal plan for your dog. Macadamia nuts, chocolate, onions and grapes should not be given to dogs as well. Don’t give your pooch anything unless you’re convinced that it’s safe and good for him.


Can dogs eat spicy food? Yes, but it’s not worth it. Spicy foods may not be toxic to dogs, but they can cause distress and should be avoided. Contact the vet if your pooch shows long-lasting pain, discomfort or disease. You also need to make sure that your pet does not get dehydrated.

Giving him bread or milk may help alleviate the symptoms. Take him to the vet for a check-up if the side effects of eating spicy foods don’t pass or you’re concerned about his health.

Even if your dog shows you those big eyes or loves the smell of food, you should always think twice before giving him spicy snacks. Some dogs are more tolerant of spicy food than others, but you don’t want to take any chances. If you don’t want your dog to suffer from diarrhea or any kind of discomfort, just don’t give him any spicy stuff because their stomach can’t process this kind of food.


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