Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? And What Amount Is Safe?
This color of bell pepper is the *most* nutritious.
There’s nothing tastier than eating slices of bell peppers with your favorite dip as a snack. But can dogs eat bell peppers, too? Or do you have to say no to that sad face watching you eat?
But there’s actually one variety of bell pepper that’s better than the rest. Here’s what the vets had to say.
Are bell peppers healthy for dogs?
“Sweet bell peppers — green, yellow, orange or red — are wonderful treats for dogs,” veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates told The Dodo, and that’s because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients that boost your dog’s immune system.
Benefits of bell peppers for dogs
Though all colors of bell peppers contain “lots of fiber, vitamin C, iron and antioxidants,” according to Dr. Coates, it’s the red bell peppers that do the heaviest lifting in the immune-boosting department.
“Red is the best type to feed them since it's the most nutritious,” Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinary consultant for Stayyy, told The Dodo.
This is because red bell peppers are the ripest, and, having been on the vine for a longer period of time compared to green, yellow and orange varieties, red bell peppers have had time to become more nutrient-packed.
But you can’t go wrong feeding your dog any kind of bell pepper.
“The health benefits of peppers are that they are rich in vitamins A, E, B6 and lutein and are excellent sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are essential for a dog's healthy immune system,” Dr. Sievert said.
Can dogs eat bell peppers every day?
Begin introducing bell peppers into your dog’s diet slowly by feeding a tiny amount at first, making sure he doesn’t have a bad reaction. Then bell peppers can become regular treats for your pup — but, as is true for every type of treat, serve bell peppers in moderation.
“Feeding your dog large portions may upset his stomach, causing vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Sievert said.
“Any new food can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs,” Dr. Coates added. “Keep treats of all sorts to just 10 percent of a dog’s diet to avoid nutritional imbalances.”
But once you’re in the clear, there are a few different ways you can serve your dog bell peppers.
Raw bell peppers are fine for your pup as long as they’re cut up into easy-to-eat bits. “Cut them into thin slices and remove the seeds,” Dr. Coates said. You can also dice them up to make sure slices don’t become a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs.
Dr. Sievert suggested boiling, steaming and/or pureeing bell peppers to make them easier for your dog to chew and to digest. Raw bell peppers may be a bit too harsh for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
“Remember never to add seasonings to it, and call your vet before introducing any new food to your dog,” she added.
“Consult with a veterinary nutritionist if you want ‘human foods’ to make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet,” Dr. Coates said. “A veterinary nutritionist can design recipes that will provide complete and balanced nutrition with the ingredients you’d like to use.”
So next time you cut up a bunch of bell peppers to eat as a snack, you can toss one to your pup to enjoy, too. And remember, if you want to get the most out of your bell peppers, red is best for both you and your dog!