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Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Yes, and Most Will Love Them!

Thinking of feeding your dog a bell peppers for a snack? Read on to find out the best way to give your pup bell peppers and find out how it can benefit them.

Last Updated: July 23, 2020 | 5 min read

Dog Eating Bell Pepper

Can your dog eat bell peppers? The short answer to this question is YES! Absolutely! There are some dogs that may have allergies towards certain types of food, but most pups are totally fine to eat them in moderation without any adverse health issues.  Bell Peppers are nutritious, and contain many different vitamins and nutrients, especially when served fresh.

Bell peppers are not included in dog foods as often as more popular fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes or pineapples.  They can help boost both moisture and fiber content in order to give your pup a boost in regularity. It’s more common in fresh dog foods, and often times added to dry kibbles in order to give your dog a bit of a variety within their diet.

Will They Make My Dog Sick?

Gassy Dog Sick
The majority of dogs won’t get sick by eating them.

Bell peppers shouldn’t make your dog sick.  The only likelihood of your pup getting sick while eating a Bell pepper is if they have an allergic reaction to the plant, or if they have trouble digesting nightshade veggies.  Most dogs will be able to handle bell peppers in their diet relatively regularly. The fiber intake will help ease your pup’s bowels, with the natural fiber that it includes.  This makes it a great alternative to buying a dry kibble that’s had a fiber boost with other ingredients infused into the recipe.

To ensure your dog doesn’t get sick when trying them out for the first time, introduce them very slowly into your pup’s diet.  We recommend trialing a very small amount to make sure that it doesn’t upset your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.  If you proceed too quickly, you are likely to get a gassy pup that smells up your bedroom. If you test slowly, this will help ensure that you don’t need an escalated trip to the vet due to GI issues.

The quantity of bell pepper you feed your pup is going to depend on their size. Smaller dogs should eat less, even as an intro. We recommend starting with just a couple slices, and gradually working your way up to higher amounts.

You’ll want to make sure of that you aren’t feeding them something other than a bell pepper.  Spicy peppers are NOT recommended for dogs, and can wreak havoc on their GI system. You do not want to feed your pup any other peppers, and this includes jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers or other types of less common chili peppers.

Do They Have Vitamins & Nutrients?

Bell Pepper Nutrients
Bell peppers are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients.

Bell peppers are low carb and low-calorie options for your pup.  They are stacked with vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A.  Vitamin C is essential for combating inflammation, which is great if you have an older dog that has joint problems.  They are high in fiber, and also contain folate, pantothenic acid, and potassium. They also contain Vitamin B6 and other compounds like lutein and beta-carotene.

This makes them a great alternative to many other less nutritious veggies (think lettuce) that you can feed your dog.  A proper antioxidant profile is essential to ensuring that your pup remains happy and healthy long term. A good veggie profile is essential to a healthy nervous system, and the beta carotene boost can help combat arthritis which is great for older dogs.

Red, Green, Orange or Yellow?

Orange red green and yellow bell peppers
All peppers carry nutrients, with red, green and orange the most packed.

Not really. All bell peppers are stacked with nutrients. The red peppers are more antioxidant dense, followed closely by the green, then orange and rounding out with yellow.  With that being said, feeding your pup a yellow pepper is going to be better than not eating a pepper at all, especially if you are supplementing other veggies in your dog’s diet.  It’s worth buying a variety pack, and seeing which particular color your pup enjoys the most. 

Preparation & Quantities

Raw Bell Peppers for Dogs
Bell peppers can be fed to your dog raw, cooked, or steamed.

As mentioned, always start with just a very small amount when introducing your furry friend to any type of new food, including bell peppers.  The good news is that they can be served raw, or be fed to your dog cooked as well.  They can be sautéed, or even used as a puree and poured over dry kibble, adding some additional flavor to your dog’s food.

We actually recommend that you start your pup on a cooked bell pepper due to the fact that raw peppers have a tough exterior, making them hard to eat for dogs.  Cooked peppers will be much softer, and easier to both eat and digest.  Peppers can be cooked, sautéed, steamed or otherwise before being fed to your dog.

Are They in Dry Dog Food?

Dry Kibble Without Bell Pepper
Most dry kibbles don’t contain bell peppers, but other veggies like sweet potato.

Bell peppers aren’t often found in dry kibbles.  There are other common fruits and vegetables that you’ll find, but peppers usually aren’t one of them. This is due to cost, and also due to some pups being pickier with their food. Bell peppers have a unique taste, and not every dog will enjoy eating them. Dry kibbles will generally see other veggies as an ingredient, and the most common are peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and other leafy greens.

Can They Cure Constipation or Diarrhea?

Dog Bell Pepper Constipation
Bell pepper can aid constipation, but not generally loose bowels.

It’s common for dogs to have GI issues through the course of their lifetimes. They experience stress and other changes similar to humans, but in different ways. Bell Peppers can aid in digestion due to the fiber and moisture increase. While this won’t “cure” constipation, it can help your pup be more regular when it comes to their bowel movements. They shouldn’t be fed to a dog that’s fighting diarrhea.  This means your pup has loose stools, and the last thing they need is a higher fiber dry kibble.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can dogs eat bell pepper seeds?
A: Both the stem and the seeds should be removed from the bell pepper before feeding them to your dog. Seeds may cause indigestion.

Q: Can dogs eat them when mixed with mushrooms?
A: Store bought mushrooms are generally fine for dogs. Wild mushrooms are not, and may be poisonous. If your dog ingests a wild mushroom, an immediate trip to the vet is recommended.

Q: Can dogs eat them when mixed with onions?
A: Onions are toxic to dogs, so no, you shouldn’t mix peppers and onions together. If your pup ingests onion, we recommend contacting your vet as soon as possible.

Q: Will my dog get gassy if they eat bell peppers?
A: As with all new foods, it’s possible that when you introduce them into your pup’s diet, they may not react well to them.  This means that you may get some gas as your dog adjusts.

Q: Can dogs eat them when mixed with cucumbers?
A: Yes, cucumbers are safe for dogs. We don’t recommend feeding your dog pickles, which are made from cucumbers. Mixing raw cucumbers and bell peppers shouldn’t cause any issues with your dog.

Q: Can dogs eat roasted red pepper hummus?
A: No, you shouldn’t give your dog roasted red pepper hummus. Hummus can be toxic for dogs due to the garlic and lemon content. Both can cause health problems and aren’t recommended. Call your vet if your pup ingests hummus.

Final Thoughts

Bell peppers can be great for your pup, but as with all things, test in moderation. Start off with smaller amounts, and gradually work your way up to higher amounts if you feel your pup enjoys them. If they do, you can have a vegetable that will pair with dry kibbles and other types of food, giving your dog the antioxidant boost they need to live a long and healthy life.

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