According to various experts, including writers from American Kennel Club, the question about bell peppers and dogs is easy to answer. Bell peppers and dogs are supposed to be friends.
But, I am sure, as a responsible pet parent, you deserve way more than just plain yes or no. You will need more data to make a fully informed judgment whether or not you should include these colorful vegetables in your pup’s diet.
Let’s have a look at some relevant research first.
First thing you should be aware of is that bell pepper is a part of nightshades plants family (along with potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants). And those are known for creating naturally occurring food toxin, called α-Solanine.
You might not think it matters. However, there are known cases of canine intoxication by Solanine. For instance, in this study, describing the successful treatment of poisoned labrador retriever puppy, you can get yourself acquainted with all potential consequences of an incident. To keep it short, it can include anything from weakness and ataxia, muscle tremors, and respiratory depression.
Yes, such cases are not very common. But, I believe you should know that the risk exists.
So, are bell peppers good for dogs?
Keeping in mind the piece of the warning above, the small portion of bell pepper will be excellent for you pup to crunch on. Bell peppers are low in calories and quite a good source of several nutrients. Depending on the type in can be anything from Calcium and Iron to Potassium and Vitamin C
The skin of bell pepper can be challenging for your pup to chew, so you may want to steam it or smash it first. And as with all new food introduced to pet’s diet, it makes sense to start slowly and consult your vet first.
Can dogs eat green bell peppers?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Database, the 100g of green bell peppers contains 20 calories, 0.86g of protein, 4.64g of carbs, including 1.7g of fiber and 2.44g of sugars. On top of it, an insignificant amount of iron, 0.34mg, is worth mentioning.
Seems like not that much of benefits, but not much of harm either. And it’s crunchy after all. So if your pup gets excited around green bell peppers, it’s ok to share a couple of small slices with him or her.
How about yellow and red bell peppers?
The most common bell peppers are yellow, green, red and orange. However, white, brown, purple, and lavender can also be found. So let’s touch the most common types here.
Unfortunately, my quick research wasn’t able to obtain the nutritional value for a specific type of peppers (and I only use one source – USDA Food Database – for the sake of consistency throughout the content of this website). But let’s use the report on the set of rainbow bell peppers – it’s sort of average down the data on all types.
So in 100g of “rainbow” set, there are 17 calories, 0.68g of protein, 4.05g of carbs, including 1.4g of fiber and 2.7g of sugars. On top of it, an insignificant amount of iron, 0.49mg, 14mg of Calcium, 149mg of Potassium, 77mg of Vitamin C, and135 IU of Vitamin A.
And that seems like a better dial vitamin-wise, right? I guess we just have to figure out which type of bell pepper will be a better snack choice for your pup.
Which bell pepper is better for your pup?
Let’s get back to some data from fellow scientists. Here’s another research on Antioxidant activities of different colored sweet bell peppers from the Department of Food Science of Louisiana State University. The team has found that the red bell peppers beat the rest big time.
The red pepper had significantly higher antioxidant content than others , including a higher level of beta-carotene, phenolics, capsanthin, luteolin, and others hard to pronounce but obviously healthy things. So, red bell peppers would be the best bet, according to science.
How much bell pepper should I feed my dog?
Don’t be very generous. First, remember about those toxins, we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article. And also keep in mind the golden rule of introducing the new food to your pup’s diet: start small, keep things slow.
If you have a large breed – the serving size should be less than half of the bell pepper. And a smaller pup should not eat more than a quarter at a time.
My dog ate bell pepper. What should I do?
If you give your pup too much of the bell peppers the pet might end up vomiting or experiencing an upset stomach and diarrhea. Watch your dog for any uncommon symptoms and signs of discomfort or pain. If your pup demonstrates any – it makes sense to contact your vet and ask for a piece of advice.
Dogs and bell peppers. Summary
Like with any other vegetable you share with your four-legged friend, moderation is the key to success. While bell peppers are relatively safe for your pet, too much can upset his stomach. So only give your dog one or two small slices of bell pepper a day to start with.
And steaming would be the best cooking option since it preserves the most nutritional value and makes the vegetable more digestible. And, an important note – always remove the seeds and stem before feeding it to your pup. These parts don’t contain that much value and definitely can be challenging to digest.
Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.
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