green jalapenos

Jalapenos are a fruit that just isn’t for everyone. They can be quite spicy, especially if you prefer your meals a little on the mild side. If you keep jalapenos in your house, though, you may have been surprised if your dog started showing interest in this spicy food.

Are jalapenos bad for dogs, though? Is it dangerous to let your dog eat a jalapeno? Here’s what you should do if your dog eats a jalapeno pepper.

Are Jalapenos Bad for Dogs?

While jalapeno peppers are not toxic for dogs, they aren’t good for them to eat either. These spicy peppers are likely to lead to stomach upset, like diarrhea and foul-smelling gas, as well as excessive thirst and dehydration in some cases. There are no health benefits that jalapenos offer that your dog shouldn’t already be getting from their daily food intake, which makes this food an unnecessary offering for your dog.

Why Do Some Dogs Act Interested in Jalapenos?

The majority of dogs will take one sniff of jalapeno and decide against tasting it, but some dogs will pop the whole thing in their mouth before you even know what’s happening. Why is this? In humans, the taste buds that taste spicy foods are the same taste buds that taste bitter foods. Like in humans, these taste buds are located near the back of the tongue in dogs, so it takes a second for the flavor to reach the back of the tongue upon initial taste.

Dogs don’t seem to be able to taste much in the way of spiciness, but they tend not to be big fans of bitter foods. This is why most dogs will leave jalapenos alone. If your dog tastes first and asks questions later, though, they may just go for it. Some dogs might even seem to genuinely enjoy eating jalapenos and other spicy peppers. Your dog enjoying a food doesn’t mean that it’s good for them, though. After all, most dogs will eat chocolate if given the chance, even though chocolate can be a deadly toxin for dogs.

green jalapeños in a wooden basket
Image courtesy of Pixabay

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Jalapeno?

Ideally, the first thing you should do is contact your vet. They will be able to give you guidance. It’s unlikely you’ll need to do anything for your dog once the jalapeno has already been eaten, except wait and keep a close eye on them. If your dog experiences mild stomach upset, there’s little cause for concern. However, if your dog begins having serious vomiting or diarrhea or begins exhibiting excessive thirst and symptoms of dehydration, like tacky gums and tenting of the skin, then you should have your dog seen immediately.

In Conclusion

Jalapenos are not good food for your dog, although some dogs seem to enjoy these peppers. They provide no nutritional value that your dog shouldn’t already be receiving from their food, and jalapenos run the risk of causing some gnarly stomach upset for your dog. If your dog eats a jalapeno, the best thing you can do is to reach out to your vet to make sure there’s nothing they want you to do. If your dog starts showing severe stomach upset, then a vet trip is likely in your near future.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay