by Amber Drake

Black pepper for dogs: A healthy and safe choice?

Black pepper for dogs: A healthy and safe choice?

Published: July 2021 | Updated: May 2023

Peppercorns have been used as a flavoring and traditional medicine since ancient times, with black pepper being the most traded spice on the planet. 

Black pepper offers a moderate source of Vitamin K, iron, and manganese, as well as a trace amount of dietary fiber. Constipation, sleeplessness, and toothaches have all been treated with it in folk medicine in humans. But, is it safe for our dogs?

What is Black Pepper?

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family that is grown for its peppercorn-like fruit, which is dried and used as a spice and seasoning in many foods.

Can Dogs Eat Black Pepper?

While many natural, whole foods are healthy for your dog, black pepper isn’t one of them. Although there are several benefits, the risks far outweigh them. 

Drawbacks to black pepper for dogs include the following:

1) Burning Sensations in the Stomach

The piperine that gives black pepper its distinctive flavor and aroma can be extremely irritating to a dog's digestive system if consumed in significant amounts. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, all of which indicate that you should take your dog to the vet.

2) Respiratory Problems

Inhaling black pepper causes sneezing and other respiratory issues. In fact, some pet parents use ground black pepper to keep their dogs away from certain areas. This procedure, however, is not recommended because it may irritate your dog's nasal passages and airways.

Inhaling black pepper causes severe irritation in dogs with asthma. This is why you should be cautious not only when feeding black pepper but also in any type of exposure.

3) Hemorrhoids

By irritating the rectal or colonic mucosa, an excessive intake of black pepper through the mouth can cause hemorrhoids in both humans and dogs. It can also cause diarrhea, and severe cases might result in a cycle of hemorrhoids flare-ups. Hemorrhoids are a dangerous condition that may be quite painful.

4) Diarrhea and Gas

Burning sensations in the stomach will occur in a dog that has consumed excessive amounts of black pepper. Even though it isn't a pepper, black pepper contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives pepper its spiciness. This is likely to disrupt your dog's stomach, resulting in diarrhea and gas.

Are All Spices Bad for Dogs?

No, not all spices are bad for dogs. In fact, there are several that are quite beneficial. Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, the following are alternatives that are safe for your dog to consume:

  • Basil: Basil is a fragrant herb with antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that is commonly used as a spice. It can relieve the pain of arthritis, improve mood, and relieve tension and anxiety.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it useful in the fight against diabetes. Cinnamon also aids in the reduction of aflatoxins in store-bought foods. (Aflatoxins are fungi that develop on the crowns of plants and other plants; aflatoxins can be found in most kibble-based dog foods).
  • Ginger: Another delicious ingredient with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities is ginger root. It can help the digestive system and relieve nausea while also improving circulation. Because fresh ginger is fairly potent, you might want to use dried or ground ginger instead.
  • Parsley: Parsley is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are beneficial to your dog's health. It aids in the improvement of organ function, the removal of toxins from the body, and the alleviation of foul breath. It's also easy to grow in most sections of the United States.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric, which is derived from a root (similar to ginger), boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss. It has cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and cognitive health benefits. Turmeric has been used to prevent cancer and anemia, as well as providing some relief from arthritis.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary is a multipurpose herb with numerous health advantages. Fresh from the garden or dried up, it can be put to a dog's meal without losing any vitamins or nutrients. The herb can help enhance blood flow to the brain, resulting in less nervous system damage as the dog becomes older.

Is There Any Type of Pepper My Canine Friend Can Eat?

Bell peppers are edible to dogs. They will consume bell peppers of any color, including green, yellow, orange, and red. They can eat them raw as well as cooked. Remember to remove the stem and seeds from any pepper before feeding it to your dog.

While your dog may enjoy the crunch of raw pepper, it is more difficult for him to digest than pureed or cooked pepper. If you're going to offer your dog cooked peppers, avoid fried or seasoned peppers because they're harmful and might cause GI problems. Peppers cooked with onion or garlic, in particular, should not be given to dogs because they are poisonous to them.

Large dogs should eat less than half a bell pepper every day. Smaller dogs should eat less than a quarter of a cup.

If your dog has never had pepper before, start with a modest quantity to ensure that they enjoy it and that it does not make them sick. You can feed them extra if they enjoy it.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Black Pepper

If your dog ate black pepper, you should keep an eye on him for the next 12 hours. You should take your dog to the vet if she develops any negative symptoms such as drooling, diarrhea, nausea, or lethargy. 

If the problem isn't serious, you can also consult a veterinarian for home remedies. Any harmful effects involving black pepper and dogs can be stopped quickly with an immediate remedy.

Top Tips to Remember

Is black pepper bad for dogs? Black pepper is a spice that is almost entirely unsuitable for inclusion in your dog's diet. It provides little in the way of health advantages and can irritate their nose as well as their stomach. 

When possible, avoid giving black pepper to your dog, and if your dog vomits or has diarrhea after eating black pepper, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you want to spice up your dog's meals, look into different herbs that are safe and beneficial to your dog. The herbs above are among those which are healthy and safe for your dog to consume.

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