Dogs aren’t just content with the kibble or a nutritious rice and chicken diet you prepare daily. They are more attracted to the mouthwatering food they see on your plate. When was the last time your dog affectionately cuddled onto your lap for a bite from a cheesy burger?
Pampering him with a little bit of what is there on your plate is fine till the time it doesn’t hurt your dog’s health. So, coming to the topic, you have some jalapeno chips or jalapeno sauce on your plate. Your dog’s excitement knows no bounds, and he is ready to grab some. Would you allow him to eat? What if your dog snatches away some jalapeno from your plate? What would you do then? Read on to learn more about what would happen if your dog ate a jalapeno and what to do then.
What is Jalapeno, and What Does it Contain?
Jalapeno needs no introduction. Yet, to describe it in a few words, all that is needed to say is it is a chili pepper of the capsicum family. It is high in nutrients as it contains vitamins A, B, C, and K, potassium, and much more. However, its spiciness and heat come from capsaicin, a chemical compound. It is known for its mild level of spiciness than other peppers. Regarding heat levels, on the Scoville Scale (used for measuring heat), jalapeno measures from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. No wonder one bites into a jalapeno, and you would instantly feel that kick.
Can Dogs Eat Jalapeno and Is It Safe for Them?
No, dogs should not eat jalapenos in any form, not even in moderation. Jalapeno isn’t toxic to them, but it isn’t safe, either.
Jalapenos are milder than most other spices. However, when it comes to your dog, you can’t take the risk. They can’t tolerate the amount of heat you can withstand. So, even a little bit of it could pose harm, particularly if your pooch has a sensitive stomach. If he suffers from chronic gastrointestinal disorders, then the outcome could be a lot more serious than you can even think of. The symptoms could vary from mild to moderate depending on how much jalapeno he eats.
Hence, having said this, our intention is not to scare you but to alert you as pet parents. It would help if you kept a close watch on what your dog eats. However, if your dog has licked a little jalapeno sauce or nibbled onto a small portion of jalapeno chips and he is all okay – then you are lucky. But just because he was fit after eating jalapeno, it doesn’t mean you would allow him to do so always. Who knows, this time, he wouldn’t be lucky.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate Jalapeno?
The first thing you should do is not panic and stay calm. Analyze the situation so that you can arrive at a solution. If you’ve seen him eating jalapeno, it will be easier to understand the problem. But, there is a possibility that a piece of jalapeno chips was lying on the floor. Your dog caught sight of it and immediately ate it. You aren’t aware of the situation but can see that your pet is not behaving as he should. In that case, get him checked immediately and let the vet decide the problem and how to solve it. Read on to know what to do if your dog has eaten jalapeno.
1. Remove the Jalapenos from Your Dog’s Sight
If you spot your dog licking jalapeno sauce, or picking up chips from your plate, immediately remove the source from where he is eating. Take your dog to a safer location so he can’t get more access to jalapenos. Consuming more jalapenos means being at a greater risk of digestive disorders. If your pet shows tantrums upon being taken away from his choicest food, pacify him with his favorite toy. However, don’t yell or shout at him for eating the jalapenos. This may stress him further.
2. Think Carefully. What Else Was Eaten Along with Jalapeno
This one is of immense importance. What did your dog eat? Was it just jalapeno sauce, or did it have other ingredients like garlic, onion, and so on? Did he bite into a big piece of jalapeno sausage that could contain garlic, spices, salt, and other ingredients? In such cases, the harm may not just be caused due to jalapeno but by other ingredients as well. Onions and garlic are highly toxic to dogs and may cause additional complications. So assessing all that he ate along with the jalapeno would help you understand the severity of the problem and address it better.
3. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
If you see your dog panting helplessly after eating jalapenos, the first thing to do is to calm him and relieve him of the stress. What could be better at this time than fresh and cool water? If he is a little better, then it is fine. Else consider giving him a little milk to soothe his stomach.
4. Give Them Some (goat’s) Milk
Giving your dog milk (one or two tablespoons) would work towards soothing their stomach. Goat milk is better than cow milk since it has no proteins and can be digested easily. However, if your dog is highly intolerant to lactose, then goat milk wouldn’t be a good option.
5. Watch for Symptoms
Once you’ve identified that your dog has eaten jalapeno, observing him is of utmost importance. If you notice anything unusual like your dog vomiting, passing blood stool, losing appetite, becoming restless, and so on, don’t delay consulting a veterinarian.
6. Keep Them on a Bland Diet (If they have fallen sick)
When your dog has eaten a lot of jalapenos, one of the primary things you must do is to keep a check on his diet. This is to ensure that his condition does not deteriorate further. If you put him on a bland diet that comprises rice and chicken or mashed pumpkins, this would help his stomach settle.
7. Talk to a Vet and Follow his Advice
If his condition does not get any better, and in case the situation worsens, don’t delay in contacting the vet. He will understand the graveness of the situation and provide a solution accordingly. Never give your dog tums or any other over-the-counter medication on your own to deal with the gastrointestinal disorders he may be facing.
What Problems Can Your Dog Face if He Eats Jalapeno
If your dog eats a little jalapeno, chances are that he may remain perfectly fine excepting the frequent panting because of the heat. If he has a sensitive stomach, then a little bit of heat could result in serious consequences. Moreover, if your pet has eaten too much of it, then the symptoms could become visible right away. Here are some of the problems your dog is likely to face after eating jalapeno. The symptoms may vary from mild to moderate depending on the quantity of jalapeno the dog ate and his overall health.
1. Mild Irritation in the Stomach
If your dog has eaten a negligible quantity of jalapeno chances are that he could have mild symptoms like bloating or gas. If you see his swollen abdomen, you will understand that he is bloated. You can even hear a rumbling sound from the dog’s stomach that doesn’t sound like regular digestion-related sounds. So, for mild gastric issues, you could make your dog feel better by giving him water and milk as well as a bland diet. If the situation worsens, then call a vet.
2. Burning Sensation in the Stomach
If your pet has eaten a lot of jalapenos or has a sensitive stomach, he could experience a burning sensation in his stomach, which is one of the symptoms of acid reflux. Your dog could show signs of pain and discomfort by remaining in a bent or scrunched posture. He may refuse to eat well and could even have bad breath that lasts for a long time. Another symptom that indicates a possibility of a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach is drooling or increased panting.
If the jalapeno hasn’t been digested well, then it could result in an upset stomach in dogs. In dire situations, there could even be blood in his stools. The other chance could be that he may not be passing loose stools but emitting foul-smelling gas. This is one of the signs of indigestion.
Like diarrhea, vomiting also is a sign that the food your dog ate hasn’t been properly digested. Keep your dog hydrated if he is throwing up after eating jalapeno.
5. Loss of Appetite
Your dog may not be vomiting or passing loose stool, but he may not show interest in eating. This may perhaps be due to a feeling of fullness because of the gas which has accumulated in his stomach. If the loss of appetite is for a day or two, there isn’t much to worry about. In case the problem persists, you would have to meet a vet.
6. Lethargic Behavior
If your dog is in pain or not in a proper physical state, it will reflect his behavior. Your pooch would remain lethargic most of the time, unwilling to run around or do any work as he used to before.
Things you Should Not Do After Your Dog Has Eaten Jalapeno
When your dog has eaten jalapeno, and if he is in discomfort, you should try to ease him. There are certain things that you must refrain from doing lest it could hurt your dog even more.
- Your dog may feel nauseous and uncomfortable after eating jalapeno. So exercising him or making him do any kind of heavy physical activity wouldn’t be a good choice. That could increase his discomfort and result in vomiting or other severe symptoms.
- Giving your dog home remedies is fine. However, prescribing your dog any over-the-counter medication without a vet’s advice is a strict no-no.
Can raw Jalapeno cause more harm to dogs than cooked Jalapeno?
Yes, jalapenos in any form can cause harm to the dog depending on how much of it he has. However, raw jalapeno shows a faster reaction than cooked ones. Upon having a bite of a raw jalapeno, your dog could react instantly by drooling, panting, or having a runny nose. However, in the case of a sauce or other cooked food, the discomfort would be much less if eaten in moderation. This is because the spiciness of the pepper is neutralized to around 50% after cooking.
Can jalapenos be life-threatening to dogs?
Yes, it could be life-threatening if the dog has eaten too much of it. Moreover, if your pet already suffers from gastrointestinal problems or has any other underlying issues, then even a small amount of jalapeno could aggravate his condition.
How will a dog react after eating spicy foods?
The first reactions your dog would have after eating anything with high heat are panting and drooling. He may even develop a runny nose.
Is there an alternative to Jalapeno?
An alternative to jalapeno can’t be any other spicy foods, though, as dogs cannot digest any spicy food well. However, many sources deem bell pepper a good option for dogs as a treat in moderate amounts. It doesn’t contain capsaicin and is not spicy. Hence, it wouldn’t harm your pooch. Rather, bell peppers have a whole lot of health benefits.
Can dogs be allergic to jalapenos?
Yes, the symptoms of spice allergies include swelling of lips, hives, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. So, if your dog shows all these signs combinedly or any one or two of them together, that means he is allergic to jalapenos.
In conclusion, it can be said that small amounts of jalapenos wouldn’t do too much harm if your pooch is in the best of his health. Yet, it is better to avoid giving him jalapenos altogether to save him from discomfort. You should be extra careful and keep all the raw jalapenos away from your dog’s reach. Moreover, if you are eating cooked jalapeno, it would be preferable to have it when your dog is not around. If he sees you eating, keep an alternative snack at hand that you can give him. Please don’t leave your empty plate near your dog’s reach, or he may lick the leftovers. You should instead arrange for healthy treat options that your dog would enjoy.
Heather Abraham is a professional blogger who owns two dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a leopard gecko. She has a connection with animals since she was a child. She shares her love for all pet breeds and provides information on pet food, toys, medications, beds, and everything else.
She is committed to learning about the internal workings of animals. Her work permits her to work closely with knowledgeable vets and obtain practical expertise in animal care. When she is not working, her love of animals continues in her writing. Her goal is to educate and uplift readers who also have a passion for animals through her writing.