Since humans love to spice up foods, they may think their dog would appreciate a sprinkle of spice on his dinner too. But is it okay for a dog to eat spicy food? Is it okay to add a little Sriracha or chili powder on your dog's dinner? The answer is simply no. Sharing your food with pets, especially spicy foods, may cause more problems than you may realize. Spicy foods can be toxic for dogs and could cause stomach problems including pain, diarrhea, and gas. Spicy food can also cause excessive thirst, causing your dog to vomit.
Dogs Should Stick to Dog Food
Don't believe anyone who tells you that dogs can eat anything that humans eat, as there are several human foods that dogs absolutely shouldn't have. Dogs and humans may be similar in some ways, but the nutrients their bodies need and how they react to people food can be very different! For example, many people benefit from a diet filled with garlic and onions; however, dogs' red blood cells can actually be destroyed from the smallest amounts, including powdered forms of garlic or onions. So while humans may get a boost for their immune system or reduced inflammation, dogs that get garlic in their system could develop anemia.
The overall health of pets is important. Just like humans, the healthiest dogs eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of exercise. When pet parents start feeding their dog people food, they are often creating an imbalance with their dog's digestive system and overall wellness. This is especially dangerous with young dogs and puppies. One of the biggest dangers to feeding your dog or puppy human food is he may think all human food is up for grabs. Despite your best efforts to only feed your pup snacks on the "safe" human food list, chances are he won't see the difference and may be more likely to try to get into a variety of foods, any one of which could be deadly. This may be a habit that's difficult to break.
Turning Up the Heat on Taste Buds
Another thing to consider is whether or not spice is something dogs will be able to actually taste. Unlike humans, dogs don't have 9,000 different taste buds. In fact, dogs have about 1,700 taste buds, and they are not nearly as sensitive to flavors as humans are, says the American Kennel Club. So, plain and simple, feeding dogs spicy food isn't worth it. They won't taste a difference, and it may upset their stomach and digestive tract. If you are looking to offer variety to your dog's diet, you do have options beyond human food. You can try different flavors of your dog's favorite food if possible, but generally speaking, dogs are perfectly happy eating the same food every day. Also, consider a dog's strong sense of smell. If you're ever got a whiff of cumin powder, you know how strong it can be. Now think about how much stronger your dog's sense of smell is than yours. Something that strong that can make your own eyes water can have an even larger impact on your dog.
Pet parents treat their dogs just like any other member of the family. However, when it comes to what they eat, keep your pup eating his own food, instead of putting his health at risk with human food and spices.
Chrissie Klinger is a pet parent that enjoys sharing her home with her furkids, two of her own children and her husband. Chrissie enjoys spending time with all her family members when she is not teaching, writing or blogging. She strives to write articles that help pet owners live a more active and meaningful life with their pets.