Jalapenos are a type of pepper that contains capsaicin, giving jalapenos their spicy flavor. The pepper variety has an estimated 2500 SHU, making them quite spicy. As a pet owner, you want your pet to look healthy and cheerful all the time. And if your dog ate jalapeno, he may likely feel discomfort and appear less playful.
Most human foods, including jalapenos, are incompatible with dogs’ digestive systems. Notably, dogs are carnivores that are best suited to digest meat-based diets. However, pet dogs are always curious about how vegetable-based human food tastes. That is why it is often difficult to keep dogs away from the trash can, dining table, and kitchen counter.
Dogs can accidentally ingest jalapenos in an attempt to kill their curiosity. Fortunately, you need not worry because jalapenos are not toxic to dogs. However, the jalapenos might cause a few problems you can solve by taking a series of measures.
Are Jalapenos Harmful to Dogs?
When you first notice that your dog has ingested one or a couple of jalapenos, you are likely to ask yourself whether they pose any danger to your pet. Well, you can take comfort in the fact that the jalapenos may not kill your dog, but they are likely to initiate a raft of problems for your dog. For example, jalapenos cause abdominal pains in dogs because capsaicin, the active ingredient in pepper, can irritate a dog’s digestive system.
A dog’s stomach is considerably sensitive to unfamiliar, rich, and spicy foods. Some dogs demonstrate higher sensitivity than others. In some instances, pepper-induced irritation in your dog may be subtle, and you might not even notice it at first glance. However, you will start seeing some of the signs and problems associated with jalapeno intake after a while.
It is worth noting that the severity of the issues is contingent upon wide-ranging factors, including the number of jalapenos the dog has eaten and the dog’s sensitivity to peppers. The problems and signs you should look out for include:
- Stomach ulcers.
- Extreme pain and discomfort.
- Lower energy levels.
- Bloody vomit.
- Reduced appetite.
- Bloody stool.
- Awkward postures.
- Dull and depressed appearance.
- Loud stomach noises.
Steps to Take if Your Dog Ate Jalapeno
If you find your dog showing any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, don’t panic. The first thing you should do is determine where your dog could have come across jalapenos. For example, if your dog consumed jalapeno-laced pizzas, processed foods, or raw jalapenos on the kitchen counter, you should first put the foods out of the dog’s reach.
Next, you should take steps aimed at making your pet feel better. First, you should give the dog goat milk to enable him to excrete comfortably and painlessly. It is worth noting that goat milk is preferable to cow milk because it has less sugar which is easier to digest. You can also give the dog water to alleviate the burning sensation in his mouth. Water also curbs the dog’s anxiety and neutralizes capsaicin in their gut.
The second step you should take is to place the dog on a light diet. Ideally, you can give your pet white rice, boneless chicken, or canned pumpkin. Essentially, the foods contain dietary fiber, making it easier for the dog to pass stool and excrete the jalapeno seeds in the gut. After consuming the foods for one or two days, your dog should begin to look more cheerful.
What If Your Dog is Allergic to Jalapeno?
You should also note that some dogs are allergic to capsaicin, the active ingredient in jalapenos. As a result, such dogs may develop symptoms that are challenging to handle. In such instances, you should consult your vet immediately. You should also consider consulting your vet if your dog demonstrates more severe symptoms, including blood in vomit and stool.
The primary cause of blood in stool and vomit is stomach ulcers and other forms of ulcers that affect the digestive system. Taking your dog to the vet in such circumstances is critical because an ulcer can rupture and lead to peritonitis.
Once you visit the animal clinic, the vet will give you a set of instructions to follow once you take your dog home. Ideally, you should follow the instructions to complete the dog’s recovery path. Also, you should ensure that all jalapeno-laced foods and raw jalapenos are out of your dog’s reach.
Can a Dog Eat Jalapeno-Laced Pizzas?
Despite how much your dog likes them, giving your dog jalapeno-laced pizzas is not advisable. Even if your pet shows no significant uneasiness, symptoms, or abnormalities when consuming jalapeno-laced pizzas, it is still not good to feed them with the food. This is because the jalapenos in the pizzas could cause severe symptoms such as ulcers and peritonitis in the long term.
Can a Dog Eat Jalapeno Sausage?
You can give your ordinary dog sausages that are not laced with any form of pepper several times a month to kill their curiosity. Nonetheless, you should avoid giving your pet dog jalapeno sausages at all. Notably, jalapeno can affect your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting.
Can My Dog Act Jalapeno-Laced Cheetos?
Most people find chili-based Cheetos to be very tasty, and it is only normal to feel the need to give them to your favorite pet. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to give your dog jalapeno-laced Cheetos. It is worth noting that dogs have relatively weaker taste buds when compared to humans, and as such, they may not find the Cheetos to be as tasty.
Also, jalapeno-laced Cheetos can irritate your dog’s gut, especially if the dog is sensitive to capsaicin. Cheetos also contain other ingredients, such as onions and garlic, which have a destabilizing effect on the gastrointestinal functions of dogs.
How to Ensure Your Dog Stops Eating Jalapenos
Dogs often have an irresistible urge to search trash cans, utensils, and pantries out of curiosity or hunger. As such, it is incumbent upon you to take various measures to ensure that your dog does not eat jalapenos inadvertently. One such action is keeping jalapenos and jalapeno-laced foods out of your dog’s reach. In addition, ensure that you store raw jalapenos and jalapeno-laced foods in your fridge or drawers where your dog cannot access them easily.
Another action you can take is to train your pet dog not to eat jalapenos or any other spicy jalapenos, for that matter. You can do this by rewarding your dog with meat-based foods every time they fail to eat a jalapeno that is within their reach. However, this approach may not be as practical on dogs that have previously eaten jalapenos on multiple occasions.
The last strategy you can employ to minimize the chances of your dog eating jalapeno is to ensure that you always feed her on time. It is worth noting that some dogs ravage through trash cans because of hunger, and giving your dog food on time can go a long way in solving this problem.
Safe Alternatives to Jalapenos
Pet dogs will almost always want to eat whatever is on your plate. Given that your food may contain jalapeno on occasion, you should consider alternative people foods you can give your pet dog. Dogs are meat lovers, and as such, their primary diet should be meat-based.
It is okay to give your dog a few veggies once in a while to kill their curiosity. Just don’t overdo it. Human-pet interactions also require you to place or throw pieces of food at your dog when having your meal. While giving your dog chunks of human food once in a while is okay, you must always ensure that 90% of the dog’s food intake is the recommended balanced diet for dogs.
Viable alternatives to jalapeno include lettuce and broccoli. However, even though your pet dog may want to eat your lettuce out of curiosity, they may not like it for a second time. Notably, this is also true for all non-meaty foods. Other jalapeno alternatives may include canned pumpkin, white rice, and boiled chicken. In essence, the foods can keep your pet dog full, consequently diminishing their interest in other human foods.
A dog cannot die from consuming raw jalapenos or jalapeno-laced human foods, but the jalapeno can cause wide-ranging problems to your dog. The issues range from vomiting to diarrhea. More severe problems may include stomach ulcers and peritonitis. If you find your dog with any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, you should give him goat milk. You should then give your dog white rice, boneless chicken, or canned pumpkin to reduce the inflammatory effect of the jalapeno on his gut. If you notice that your pet is not feeling any better after these measures, consult your vet. Alternative foods for your pet include white rice, lettuce, canned pumpkin, and broccoli.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.