Pet owners are always finding new and interesting foods to give their dogs. Some are downright surprising, but most happen when your pooch snatches up a morsel that accidentally fell from the plate to the floor. When you see your furry friend scarf down an unexpected treat, it makes you wonder if this is a food you can (or should) feed your pup.
When it comes to bell peppers, if your pup enjoys them, you can feel comfortable giving them to your pet because these veggies pack the same nutritional punch for dogs as they do for humans. Just keep in mind that bell peppers are best fed to your pet as a snack instead of a regular staple of their diet.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?
What Kind Of Peppers Can Dogs Eat?
Go to your local produce section and you'll find red, green, orange, yellow, and purple bell peppers on the shelves. So which is best for your pet? The good news is that you can pick just about any color for your dog to safely enjoy as a snack.
However, if you can't decide which one to pick, red bell peppers are the best choice of the bunch. They contain the highest levels of vitamins and antioxidants among all of the colors you can choose. Don't worry as much about the subtle differences in taste - your dog will be happy no matter which type of bell pepper you serve.
Just be careful NOT to give your pet any hot peppers. Those are definitely not a good choice. Dogs feel heat far more intensely than we do, so any hot pepper that you might find somewhat spicy will be extremely hot to your dog's palate. That could lead to discomfort or even injury to your pet's mouth and tongue.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Bell Peppers?
We include bell peppers in our diet because they contain vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, along with magnesium, manganese, potassium, pantothenic acid, and folate. They're low in sodium and high in antioxidants such as luetin, capsanthin, luteolin, with just a minimal level of fat.
It's a combination that is healthy and provides good nutritional value with a small helping of protein and carbs to boot.
So how do bell peppers benefit your pup? These nutrients support a strong immune system, improve vision, and work towards keeping your dog's skin soft and coat nice and shiny. When your dog eats the right snacks, such as bell peppers, they not only feel good, they look great too!
How To Prepare Bell Peppers For Your Dog
Before you prepare bell peppers for your pooch, be sure you're buying the best. Selecting the ripest bell peppers will ensure the highest possible nutritional content for your pup.
Once you've picked the right peppers, be sure to cook them first when serving them to your dog. This will make it easier for your pet's digestive system to process and break down. When cooking them, steaming is the best option. Cooking them on a stovetop for too long runs the risk of reducing the nutritional content of the vegetable. You may also want to cut out the seeds and stem of the peppers prior to cooking. Your dog won't get much nutritional value from these parts of the vegetable and could have difficulty digesting them.
After cooking your bell peppers, you can then cut them up and add them to your pet's normal wet or dry food.
Do NOT give your dog any cooked bell peppers that have been prepared alongside onions and/or garlic. This includes any type of onion, chives, leek, and so on. These are all highly toxic for dogs to consume and could end up poisoning your pet.
How Much Bell Pepper Can Dogs Eat?
Depending on the size of your dog, you can serve them a couple of small slices to half a pepper, as long as you introduce this new food slowly into your dog's diet. This is a good rule of thumb for any new food introduced into your pet's daily feeding routine. For bell peppers in particular, use caution in your pet's serving sizes as too much can lead to a sick stomach. This can result in diarrhea and/or vomiting, which will only upset you and your pup.
There are many vegetables that are suitable for your dog, but bell peppers are some of the most nutritious and easy to eat. Before you treat your pet to any type of human food, give them a small taste to see how they react. Keep extra treats like vegetables to a maximum of 10% of your dog's nutritional value, as the majority of your pet's nourishment should come from their dog food. But if you’re looking to add a tasty and healthy treat to their diet, a little bell pepper can go a long way.
Looking for more advice on raising your pup? Read more on the Two Tails Blog.