If they can’t, my black lab is in trouble! I often catch him stealing bell peppers (aka. capsicums) straight from the plant! Not to mention tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, and anything else he can get his jaws on from the garden.
Fresh veggies and fruits are an excellent natural source of vitamin and mineral supplements, but that’s only if you know which ones are appropriate.
The veggie in question today are bell peppers. These are wonderfully colored foods that usually come in green, red, yellow, and orange. They won’t only decorate your dog’s bowl but also bring essential nutrients to each meal.
The quick answer is YES, dogs can have bell peppers! They make for a crunchy and healthy alternative to regular processed doggie treats.
That’s our dog Bingo posing in the glasshouse above hoping I look away so he can pinch a pepper. It’s the end of the growing season. The plants are wilting and the final pieces of fruit are ripening.
Which Color Should You Pick?
As we said, bell peppers come in a variety of colors, so does the shade matter? Honestly, any color will add enormous benefits to your dog’s health, but if we had to pick one, it would be the brightest red peppers.
The brightness signifies the most levels of vitamins and antioxidants in these veggies and they also happen to be the sweetest. We’re sure your dog will appreciate a sweet dessert from time to time.
How Should I Feed Bell Peppers to My Dog?
As with most food, dogs cannot handle a lot of seasoning. They don’t need you to add sauces and flavor to the bell pepper, but will appreciate it plain.
You can choose to feed the bell pepper to your dog raw as a crunchy treat. It’s also popular to steam it to soften the outer layer, or you can create a paste by pureeing and mix it in with other ingredients like pumpkin puree.
Do not prepare bell peppers with other ingredients that may be harmful to your dog. Some such examples are garlic and onion. Even if you’re taking a shortcut and cooking food for yourself together with the bell peppers, picking out the harmful stuff will still put your dog at risk.
When we say peppers, we mean the larger bell peppers and never the small and spicy ones. We caution against feeding dogs any type of over-stimulating food as it can be tough on their systems.
How Much is too Much?
There is a reason we feed our dog kibble or wet food that is created especially for them.
The ingredients used are safe for dogs (if you choose from reputable brands), and well-balanced for nutrition. See these Royal Canin reviews for examples. Too much of a good thing can be harmful, and that extends to bell peppers.
We would suggest feeding your dog just one small piece to see how he does. If he accepts it and seems like wants more, then try to give him as much as a slice. However, if it’s your first time feeding your dog bell peppers, we wouldn’t recommend going overboard too quickly.
It all depends on your dog. Some can handle a lot of bell peppers but some may experience the runs after a slice or two. We suggest removing the seeds and not feeding more than a slice to smaller dogs and more than 3 for larger breeds at a time.
The bell peppers can slowly become a regular snack, along with other healthy treats such as carrots and celery, which are often recommended for weight loss. Making a paste by pureeing these ingredients together or boiling them so they are softened can make excellent food toppers as well.
Not only will it be a healthy alternative, but the paste can also help your picky-eating pup.
Benefits of Bell Peppers For Dogs
These vivid and bright vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A, B, C, and E. You will often have beta-carotene in veggies that have inviting colors, and carrots are another excellent example.
Beta-carotene is responsible for various parts of the body and can help manage skin, coat, and eye health for your dog.
Dog Food with Bell Peppers
There are many brands of dog food have that bell peppers in the ingredients list, including:
Orijen dog food
Taste of the Wild
Pet Plate is a fresh dog food delivery service that also uses bell pepper in their dog meals. Their ‘Tail Waggin’ Turkey‘ meal is one example of a dog food with capsicum.
Keep in mind that veggies and fruits are found on the lower end of the list because top-quality dog foods will always lead with protein from meat sources as the first few ingredients.
You can most likely find the fruits and veggies towards the middle and they should preferably be whole foods and organic.
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers?
Dogs appreciate human food once in a while, and as pet owners, we are happy to oblige.
However, it’s very important to distinguish between something toxic such as onions, and something that has immeasurable health benefits such as bell peppers. Keep in mind that too much of a good thing can lead to drawbacks, so always feed your dog new food in moderation.
Start with a small piece and work your way up from there. For most dogs, bell peppers are going to be just fine. They’ll love them!