Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food?

  • Post category:Dogs
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Can dogs eat spicy food? Dog food and human food should always be different. You may feel you are doing your dog a favor by introducing human foods to its diet. However, you will probably do more harm than good if you introduce human foods to her diet.

The question of can dogs eat spicy food is not difficult to answer. Your dog will struggle to understand the different tastes of human foods, with spicy foods harmful to most dog breeds.


Should I Feed my Dog Spicy Food?

Can dogs eat spicy food? The simple answer is no. The main reason to avoid spicy foods for your dog is her inability to taste the difference. Your dog has the same areas of taste on her tongue as humans. PetMD reports taste is one of the first senses in a puppy.

Your puppy developed her ability to taste before she developed her vision and hearing. Your puppy has areas on her tongue for sweet, spicy, and several other tastes. The difference between a dog’s tongue and a human tongue is the number of tastebuds on each tongue. The American Kennel Club explains humans have 9,000 tastebuds. In contrast, dogs have only 1,700 tastebuds.

The taste bud difference means dogs find it difficult to enjoy various foods. Humans often think pet dogs are bored of the same foods, but a change does not mean much to your pet dog. Spicy foods do not provide the enjoyable change they do for humans.

Spicy Foods are a Problem

In general, the best option is to provide your pet dog with a balanced diet of prepared food. Whether you choose dry or wet foods, these have been scientifically formulated to include the ingredients needed for good health. Changing your dog’s food for human meals can create an imbalance in their digestive system.

Dogs have a salt deficiency that makes it difficult for your pet pooch to enjoy spicy foods. The salt deficiency is based on the high-meat intake dogs have traditionally enjoyed.

Did you Know?

We have written many articles about what dogs can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream?

Spicy foods can result in several digestive issues for your dog, including:

  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Diarrhea

The digestive system of your dog causes these problems. The digestive system has evolved to include a meat-heavy diet that does not withstand change. By introducing big changes to her diet, your dog will be negatively-affected. Your dog will start exhibiting their problems with spicy foods in a few simple ways, including:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting

Spicy Foods and the Sense of Smell

Can dogs eat spicy food? When you lift a spoonful of spicy food to your mouth, the smell of your meal is swept up your nose. Spicy foods are filled with spices and herbs designed to increase the heat on your palate. The smell of cumin in a meal can be strong to a human nose.

Our olfactory receptors control the sense of smell. These bring the smells into our noses and allow our brains to process them. Your puppy has 300 million olfactory receptors in her nose. A human nose has six million olfactory receptors.

When you consider giving your dog spicy foods, you need to consider her sense of smell. Her sense of smell is processed through an area of the brain 40 times larger than human smell receptors. Her sense of smell can put her off spicy foods before she tastes them.


Your puppy will turn her nose up at spicy and bitter foods because their smell overpowers her sensory input. Toys designed to control biting use bitter tastes and smells to put your dog off antisocial behaviors.

Sweet Tastes Are favored By Many Dogs

Can dogs eat spicy food? The spicy and bitter areas of your dog’s palate are not as strong as the sweet area of her tongue. Most dogs favor sweet flavors because this part of their tongue is the most developed. Puppies often choose a bag of cookies to steal or candy during the Holidays. The sugar in sweet treats can be as harmful to your dog as the toxins in spicy foods.