Can Dogs Eat Chillies?
Everyone loves chilli chicken - surely dogs do too? Pet owners - if you ever feel the urge to spice up their life - resist! Spicy food and dogs are a definite no.
Certain human foods such as chilli peppers are toxic to dogs and can cause stomach problems such as pain, diarrhoea and gas. Not to mention excessive thirst, which causes vomiting.
Whilst it's known that dogs have fewer taste buds than humans, they often find the heat of chilli to be much more painful than we do. Even mildly spicy foods can cause a great deal of pain, so it is best to avoid feeding them anything spicy altogether.
Depending on the quantity of spice, chilli poisoning in dogs can cause a range of problems.
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme lethargy
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Possible ulceration of the gastrointestinal system
- Respiratory depression
But what causes the heat? A substance called Capsaicin. Whilst we all have slightly different reactions, dogs are extremely sensitive to it. When a dog eats a chilli pepper, its nervous system is what causes the burning sensation in its mouth and throat.
- Bigger dogs can handle large quantities of spice better than smaller dogs.
- Nonetheless, regardless of size, never give your dog spicy food.
If your dog did eat chilli peppers, usually they would vomit immediately, or at least within the first 2 hours. Dog owners should then give supportive care, which would include activated charcoal.
Activated Charcoal - This decreases toxin absorption at a dose of 1g per pound of body weight. Your vet might also give your dog fluids and gastric protectants.
Hydrogen Peroxide - I recommend getting your dog to an emergency clinic or your usual vet if they're available, and they may use products such use hydrogen peroxide to make your dog vomit.
Settling the stomach - Your vet might prescribe Famotidine and Omeprazole. Both will reduce stomach acid and should settle their stomach. It's also worth feeding your dogs a very bland diet, something like boiled eggs or mashed potatoes, for several days.