Can Dogs Have Bell Peppers?

puppy trying to bite stem of red pepper

As a dog owner, you love your furry friend. That means you’re willing to do everything it takes to preserve and cultivate your dog’s health. One primary component of that is your dog’s diet; we want to ensure that they get enough nutrients to keep them strong. However, sometimes we’re unsure what foods are suitable for our pets and which ones may prove toxic. No need to fear! This article will address one of the most commonly asked questions by pet owners: can my dog have a bell pepper?

Further, we will explore other nutritious foods that are good for your dogs’ immune systems and overall health. Finally, we’ll also address some toxic foods that can jeopardize your pet’s safety and explore the ideal canine diet. Let’s get started!

Can Dogs Have Bell Peppers?

Let’s begin with the focal question of this article: can dogs have bell peppers? The short answer is yes. According to Dr. Carly Fox from the New York City’s Animal Medical Center, bell peppers are a “healthy alternative snack to share with your dog.” Many pet owners are wary of feeding their dog human food, not knowing what kind of repercussions it’ll yield. However, bell peppers pack a punch for nutritional value, something we’ll explore more deeply in the next section.

Health Benefits

Now let’s explore why bell peppers are such a nutritional snack for your canine friend. First, bell peppers have various vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient.
  • Vitamin B6. Pyridoxine is the most common type of vitamin B6, a family of nutrients essential for forming red blood cells.
  • Vitamin K1. A form of vitamin K, also known as phylloquinone, K1 is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Potassium. This essential mineral may improve heart health.
  • Folate. Also known as vitamin B9, folate has a variety of functions in your body. Adequate folate intake is essential during pregnancy.
  • Vitamin E. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is essential for healthy nerves and muscles. The best dietary sources of this fat-soluble vitamin are oils, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
  • Vitamin A. Red bell peppers are high in pro-vitamin A (beta carotene), which your body converts into vitamin A.

But what about the different variations?

  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Orange bell peppers
  • Yellow bell pepper

The Pet Gourmet states that “red bell peppers are recommended” to give dogs, mainly because they have the “highest amount of nutrients compared to other bell peppers.” Animal So adds that red bell peppers are “nine times richer in beta-carotene” than other types.

Let’s explore why these nutrients are so beneficial to your dog’s health. First, these vitamins, particularly vitamins C and beta-carotene, are fantastic sources of antioxidants for your dog. Antioxidants are “any compound… that protects against cellular damage” from reactive oxygen species, free radicals, single oxygen atoms, and hydrogen peroxide,” says VCA Hospitals. Vetericyn adds that when your furry friend doesn’t have a diet rich in antioxidants, the “free radicals will have free reign.” It can cause a variety of health issues such as:

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Skin allergies
  • Eye problems such as cataracts and blindness
  • Immunodeficiencies and autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis and joint problems
  • Heart disease

Our dogs are exposed to a far more extensive variety of environmental toxins than we are. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Lying in, rolling around in, playing in, and especially eating grass that may have been treated with lawn chemicals
  • Licking every surface they can find, indoors or out (think: household cleaners, remnants of deicer or commercial cleaners on the blacktop, environmental toxins on the sidewalk, flowers that have pesticides)
  • Toxins that may have settled in their coat or paws after a day outside (remember that these will remain on your dog until you bathe them)
  • Closely breathing in flame-retardant chemicals while lying on the carpet or sofa day after day

Ultimately, your dog reaps various health benefits by consuming bell peppers regularly.

large pile of red pepper

Can My Dog Eat Hot Peppers?

No, it is not advisable to give your dog any variety of hot peppers. It includes any spicy pepper, chili pepper, and cayenne pepper. The active ingredient in chilis is called capsaicin, and it is what gives us that hot, burning sensation when we eat them. That’s because capsaicin is an irritant in mammals, preventing them from eating the plant. For most species, including dogs, this defense mechanism works. Dogs find spicy peppers highly irritating, but it also causes a gastrointestinal upset for them.

Eating a hot pepper can make your dog cough and retch and give them a sore stomach and even diarrhea. Your canine may try and solve this problem by drinking excess amounts of water; this will only cause bloating, which is further life-threatening for your dog.

This notion extends to peppercorns, too, otherwise known as black pepper. Even though black peppers are not technically toxic for your pet, eating a significant amount of them will only cause gastrointestinal upset for your dog.

How Much Bell Pepper Can My Dog Eat?

Since dogs are little omnivores, their daily requirement for plants and vegetables is not exceptionally high. However, they still benefit greatly from the nutrients and immune system boost that certain veggies provide. If your dog regularly consumes processed dog food as their primary dietary choice, bell peppers should only be used as a snack or treat. If you have a large dog, vets advise that they eat less than half a bell pepper each day. Stay around a quarter bell pepper a day for optimal health benefits for smaller dogs.

If your dog overeats bell pepper, they may end up vomiting it up.

Fruits Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat

Now that we’ve taken some time to understand the context around dogs and bell peppers, let’s widen our scope to consider the many other fruits that are out there: which ones can your dog eat? Which ones should they avoid? Let’s dive into that right now.

Apples

Yes, dogs can eat apples. Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C, alongside fiber for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for senior dogs. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core first. Try them frozen for an icy warm weather snack. You can also find it as an ingredient in apple-flavored dog treats.

ridgeback puppy biting an apple from a tree

Cantaloupe

Yes, cantaloupe is safe for dogs. Cantaloupe is rich in nutrients, low in calories, and a fantastic source of water and fiber. It is, however, high in sugar, so be sure to offer it in moderation, especially for dogs who are overweight or have diabetes.

Cherries

No, dogs should not eat cherries. Except for the fleshy part around the seed, cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts cellular oxygen transport, which means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning.

Avocado

No, dogs should not eat avocado. While avocado may be a healthy snack for dog owners, You should not give it to dogs. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much persin as the rest of the plant. It is still too much for dogs to handle.

Bananas

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium but have an exceptionally high sugar content; bananas should be a treat, not part of your dog’s main diet.

Beautiful dog chow chow eating banana from woman's hand

Blueberries

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which, as we mentioned, offer many health benefits to your dog. They’re also packed with fiber and phytochemicals as well.

Cranberries

Yes, cranberries are safe for dogs to eat. Both cranberries and dried cranberries are safe to feed dogs in small quantities. Moderation is essential when feeding cranberries to dogs. As with any treat, too many cranberries can lead to an upset stomach.

Cucumbers

Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers. Cucumbers are especially beneficial for overweight dogs, as the fruit features little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and can even boost energy levels. They’re full of vitamins K, C, and B1 and potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.

Peaches

Yes, peaches are safe for dogs to eat. Small amounts of cut-up fresh or frozen peaches are a great source of fiber and vitamin A and can even help fight infections, but just like cherries, the pit contains cyanide. As long as you completely cut around the hole first, fresh peaches can be a great summer treat. Skip canned peaches, as they usually contain high amounts of sugary syrups.

Samoyed puppy eating peach on the brown plain near picnic basket

Pears

Yes, dogs can eat pears. Pears are a great snack because they’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. Eating the fruit can reduce the risk of stroke by 50 percent. Just cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide. Skip canned pears with sugary syrups.

Grapes

No, dogs should never eat grapes. Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) are extremely toxic for dogs regardless of breed, sex, or age. Grapes are so toxic that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure. Always be mindful of this dangerous fruit for dogs.

Mango

Yes, dogs can eat mangoes. This sweet summer treat has four different vitamins: A, B6, C, and E. They also have potassium and both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Just remember, as with most fruits, remove the hard pit first, as it contains small amounts of cyanide and can become a choking hazard. Mango is high in sugar, so use it as an occasional treat.

Oranges

Yes, dogs can eat oranges. Oranges are fine for dogs to eat, according to veterinarians, but they may not be fans of any strong-smelling citrus. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and in small quantities, the juicy flesh of an orange can be a tasty treat for your dog. Vets recommend tossing the peel and only offering your dog the meat of the orange, minus any seeds. Orange peel is rough on their digestive systems, and the oils may make your dog turn up their sensitive nose.

Raspberries

Yes, dogs can eat raspberries. Raspberries are fine in moderation. They contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help aging joints. However, they do contain small amounts of xylitol, so limit your dog to less than a cup of raspberries at a time.

Jack Russell Terrier eating raspberries out of a basket

Strawberries

Yes, dogs can eat strawberries. Strawberries are full of fiber and vitamin C. They also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as they eat them. They have sugar, so be sure to give them in moderation.

Pineapple

Yes, pineapple is safe for dogs to eat. A few pineapple chunks are a great sweet treat for dogs, as long as the prickly outside peel and crown are removed first. The tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.

Pumpkin

Yes, pure pumpkin is a great choice and a very healthy snack for dogs. In addition to helping with your dog’s skin and coat, it is excellent for digestion and can help remedy both diarrhea and constipation. Remember that you should never feed your dog pumpkin pie mix. If you’re buying canned pumpkin, make sure it’s 100% pumpkin. There are also many pumpkin supplements, and pumpkin dog treats on the market.

Vegetables Dogs Can and Can’t Eat

Brussels Sprouts

Yes, dogs can eat Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts have nutrients and antioxidants that are great for humans and dogs. However, don’t overfeed them to your dog because they can cause lots of gas. Cabbage is also safe for dogs but comes with the same gassy warning!

Carrots

Yes, dogs can eat carrots. Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth (and fun), and it is in many dog foods.

closeup of dog eating a carrot with grass in background

Asparagus

No, dogs should not eat asparagus. While asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, there’s no point in giving it. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down, it’s soft enough for dogs to eat. Asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. Something more beneficial is probably best if you want to share a veggie.

Broccoli

Yes, broccoli is safe for dogs to eat in tiny quantities and is best as an occasional treat. It is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat. However, Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanate, which can cause mild-to-potentially severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, broccoli stalks can obstruct the esophagus.

Conclusion

That’s a brief overview of the various fruits and vegetables your dog can and can’t eat. Bell peppers are a safe snack for your furry friend throughout the day, and you can even add them as a rotational part of their daily diet. They’re rich in various vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins C, B6, K, E, and A, and potassium and folate. Many of these vitamins work as antioxidants in your dog’s body, aiding their immune system and bolstering overall health. As we saw, many fruits and vegetables are safe and healthy for our canine friends to enjoy. However, there are just as many toxic and unsafe, too. That’s why it’s critical to do your research before giving your dog anything new and offer it in small quantities to gauge their reaction.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.