It’s Friday, which is your favorite day of the week—not only because it’s the start of the weekend but also because it means you’re having fajitas for dinner. And of course, Fido wants in on the fun. So as you’re chopping up peppers and onions to stir-fry, you consider giving him a little taste. But wait, can dogs eat peppers? Let us rephrase that, because as any dog owner knows, technically your pooch can eat pretty much anything…but should he? We asked the experts.
Wait, why wouldn’t dogs tolerate this crunchy vegetable? “Peppers are part of the nightshade family, and therefore may worsen inflammatory conditions such as arthritis,” Dr. Barrack explains. That’s because peppers contain solanine, a chemical also found in eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes, which may trigger arthritis pain. “Additionally, some dogs may have gastrointestinal upset, manifested by vomiting or diarrhea after ingesting peppers in large quantities.”
Translation? As long as your pup is otherwise healthy and doesn’t suffer from inflammation, feel free to give her a small piece of pepper (think no more than half a pepper—and less if she’s small breed). Just make sure to keep an eye on her to see how she reacts. If everything looks good, then you can give her another piece next Fajita Friday. And in case you were wondering, any color bell pepper is fine (although red ones contain the most nutrients because they were on the vine the longest). Just don’t give your pooch a spicy variety of pepper like jalapeño or chili. (And whatever you do, steer clear of onions—they contain compounds that could cause anemia in dogs.)