Is Spicy Food Bad For Dogs?

You are mistaken if you think your dog tastes spicy food the same as humans.

Your dog averagely has 1700 taste buds on his tongue, and you have over 9000.

Do not fall for the myth that your dog can eat and taste anything like humans.

So, is spicy food bad for dogs?

Yes, spicy food meant for humans is not suitable for dogs.

Most spices contain onion and garlic, which will have adverse health effects on your dog.

There are some natural healthy spices that your dog will enjoy.

This article will look at how your dog reacts to different tastes, unsafe spices, and healthy options.

You will also find information on what to do if your dog accidentally eats spicy human food.

Is Spicy Food Bad For Dogs

How your dog reacts to tastes

In comparison to you, dogs have a heightened sense of smell.

However, since they have fewer taste buds at the back of their tongue, they may take longer to react to a given flavor.

Dog experts have done experiments that reveal how dogs respond to different foods.

  • Salty taste: Your dog has less affinity for salty things. Scientists owe this fact to how they have evolved over the years.
  • Sweet taste: Dogs love sweet foodstuffs. However, give your dog sugary food in moderation as it may present other health problems.
  • Sour-bitter taste: Dogs do not like sour or bitter flavors, so they do not like most spicy foods.
Spicy Food

 5 spices that are unsafe for dogs


You will find garlic in most spicy human food.

It contains organosulfur, a chemical compound that causes harmful effects on dogs.

Organosulfur can damage your dog’s red blood cells.

If this happens, your dog will not have enough oxygen supply.

Damaged red blood cells result in organ failure, anemia, or even death.

If your dog ingests garlic, take him to the vet immediately.

You will know your dog has consumed garlic if you notice some or all of these symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Red urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea


Salt is harmful to dogs as their recommended sodium intake per day is relatively low.

Excessive consumption of salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

You will know that your dog has consumed too much salt if they show the following signs:

  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting seizures
  • Depression


Onion has the same effect garlic does on dogs.

They will damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to organ failure, anemia, or death.

If your dog eats onion, you may observe the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Abdominal pain


Nutmeg is a sweet spice for humans but a dangerous one for dogs.

When ingested in large amounts, it will cause your dog extreme abdominal pain.

The harmful chemical compound in nutmeg will cause adverse effects on your dog within 24 hours.

Some of the symptoms your dog may experience when they eat nutmeg are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Over excitement
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Death in adverse cases

Cocoa powder

Just like chocolate, cocoa powder is hazardous for your dog.

Cocoa powder dramatically increases your dog’s heart rate to dangerous levels.

The increased heart rate can lead to a heart attack or damage your dog’s central nervous system.

Your dog may have ingested cocoa if you notice these symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

5 spices that are healthy for your dog

There are spices that your dog can enjoy and that have health benefits.

These spices are natural and do not contain any artificial preservatives.


You can use this spice for taste and give dogs suffering from arthritis.

Basil has the following health benefits for your dog:

  • It is an antibacterial agent
  • It is an anti-cancer remedy and destroys free radical cells in your dog’s body.
  • It prevents diabetes
  • It has anti-inflammatory components and also protects the liver.


Dogs love coriander.

However, avoid giving coriander to pregnant dogs as it may provoke uterine contractions.

Coriander has the following health benefits for your dog:

  • It alleviates nausea.
  • It stops diarrhea and fights gastrointestinal problems
  • It detoxifies your dog’s body and fights any parasites
  • It increases milk production in lactating dogs


Your dog will love cinnamon, and it will also improve his healthy by:

  • Acting as an anti-inflammatory agent
  • Regulating your dog’s blood sugar
  • Fighting cancer cells
  • Protecting your dog from heart disease


Fennel has unique health benefits to dogs, including:

  • Acting as an anti-oxidizing agent
  • Aiding digestion, curbing intestinal gas and diarrhea
  • Benefiting your dog’s brain function


Dill has various health benefits for your dog, including:

  • Antifungal, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial properties
  • Regulating and maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle
  • Controlling blood sugar levels

 What to do when your dog eats spicy food

If you notice that your dog has accidentally eaten spicy food:

  • Provide him with a lot of drinking water
  • You can give him milk or yogurt as they give a cooling effect, especially after eating spicy hot food.
  • Check the food and find out what spicy ingredients your dog may have consumed.
  • Expect diarrhea, gas, or vomiting, and prepare accordingly by taking him out of the house.
  • For the next few days, feed your dog bland food to allow him some time to regain his normal


Can spicy food kill dogs?

No, spicy food does not kill dogs instantaneously.

However, some spices can cause long-term health problems to your dog that are life-threatening.

Why does my dog seem to love spicy foods?

Your dog eats spicy food because he has a heightened sense of smell.

He may not enjoy the spicy food because their taste buds are not similar to yours.

Should I take my dog to the vet if he eats spicy food?

Yes, you can but first, monitor your dog to see whether any side effects resolve themselves.

However, you can call your vet to seek further advice and for peace of mind.

Final thoughts

Do not give spicy food meant for humans to your dog.

If you want to make your dog’s meal more appealing, consider the healthy options.

Fight the urge to feed your dog on mealtime crumbs.

The risk of feeding your dog spicy human food is not worth his well-being.

Megan Turner

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