Category: 

Are Jalapenos and their Stems and Leaves Harmful to Dogs?

A dog should have access to plenty of water following the ingestion of a jalapeno pepper.
A dog may begin to sneeze after ingesting a jalapeno pepper.
Article Details
  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Images By: Chalabala, Timothy Swinson
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
In the US, men comprise 81% of lighting strike victims.  more...

October 22 ,  1962 :  US President John F. Kennedy ordered an air and naval blockade in Cuba.  more...

As a general rule, dogs should not be given people food, because it is simply not compatible with their digestive systems. Any dog owner knows, however, that keeping a dog away from the garden, the trashcan, and the kitchen counter during food preparation can be quite a challenge. Pet owners have to be especially cautious of their dogs ingesting something that is potentially dangerous. Though many plants are toxic to dogs, jalapenos are not.

There are a limited number of ways in which a dog could be tempted with jalapenos. A pet owner may be growing the peppers in his garden, he may have ordered pizza delivered with them in the box and threw the box out where the dog can reach it, or he may deliberately feed a jalapeno to the dog. In any case, most dogs shy away from hot peppers altogether, or briefly taste them and spit them out.

If a dog happens to ingest an entire jalapeno pepper, it is likely not in any immediate danger, but it will be affected by its compounds just like a person. The dog might begin to sneeze, desperately lick its chops, and frantically search for water. If a dog has eaten a pepper, its owner should make sure it has plenty of water to drink.

Ad

Depending on the tolerance of the dog’s digestive system, it may vomit after eating a jalapeno. The pet owner may want to keep an eye out to protect his carpet or furniture. Dogs often eat grass if their stomachs are upset, so owners may want to look for that sign as well. They should be sure to continually keep a plentiful supply of water in the dog's dish.

Though jalapenos are not toxic to dogs, these pets should not be encouraged to eat them. Even if a dog seems to enjoy them, peppers are not treats. For the overall health of the dog, an owner should only feed it food and treats specifically made for dogs. Too much people food promotes weight gain that can become unhealthy for the animal’s heart and other organs, and the pancreas can also be affected. For the health of the dog and to increase its longevity as a loyal friend, pet owners should always stick to dog food.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

job
Post 4

mr recapitulate. please explain why is it you think that dogs don’t have neophobia? if you thereby mean it's a common human mechanism and not a specific pathological fear then you're wrong! Dogs are cautious to eat and try new foods and are even more trusted than are humans with their regular meals!

recapitulate
Post 3

I think the reason dogs might be tempted by and therefore have a bad reaction to things like jalapenos is that they do not naturally have something called neophobia, or the fear of something new. This term is often applied to eating habits and describes the way some species in particular do not like to try foods that they have not tried before; this is why rats and mice sometimes do not respond to bait in traps, because they are unfamiliar with the food used, and might only nibble a small amount before running away. This is why things like rat poison are often unsuccessful. The same rodent might eat a tiny bit, walk off, get sick, and if the animal does not die it will likely never try to eat out of any trap again.

Humans, dogs, and cats all have some level of neophobia, but it is not as pronounced as in some species, usually, though it can be learned as well.

FernValley
Post 2

@anon89103, in reality the foods wolves naturally eat are not actually people food. If anything, people's digestive systems cannot handle these things- our bodies are not designed to consume large amounts of protein, let alone a diet whose primary protein source is meat.

anon89103
Post 1

No people food and only dog food because the dogs' digestive system can't support it? Whatever did they eat before Purina first made dry kibble commercially available in the 1950's? Oh right, they either hunted and ate the same food we were eating or they were fed table scraps.

However, because of the depression, people started feeding less meat and more grains and cereals. Dogs' natural diet is that of wolves; raw meat, organs, bones and what their prey had consumed (leafy vegetables, greens etc.). In other words, people food.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email