Bell peppers are one of the most versatile and nutritional ingredients around, perfect either raw or cooked in a range of different dishes. But can dogs eat bell peppers, or are they toxic to them?
Can dogs eat bell peppers?
The great news is that bell peppers are actually one of the safest and most nutritious vegetables you can feed to your dog! Many dogs enjoy the sweet flavor of bell peppers, and will happily enjoy a slice or two of this colorful salad ingredient.
When served to your dog correctly and safely, bell peppers are healthy treats that your dog will find both refreshing and tasty.
What are the health benefits of bell peppers?
Many dogs love bell peppers, which is a good thing since these crispy salad fruits are rich in nutritional benefits.
Interestingly, red peppers are the most beneficial, but all types of sweet bell pepper are good for dogs.
Bell peppers are high in vitamins A, E, B6, and lutein. They also contain vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which have immune-boosting antioxidant properties. This combination of nutrients can also be beneficial to the skin, coat, and vision.
Another benefit to bell peppers is their antioxidant properties, which can be particularly beneficial for older dogs that suffer from musculoskeletal problems.
And although bell peppers are high in natural sugars, they make a much healthier alternative to many commercially-produced dog treats.
What should I be aware of when offering bell peppers to my dog?
Some dogs can suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort the first time they eat bell peppers, so start with just a small amount, to begin with. For a small dog, this may be less than a quarter of a pepper.
If your dog seems fine with this amount, you can gradually increase the amount of pepper each time. Remember that snacks such as bell peppers should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s total daily food intake.
Slice the pepper into cubes or strips, as dogs sometimes find the skin difficult to chew. Remove the seeds and tough central stem as these cannot be digested.
Dogs can eat bell peppers either raw or cooked, but never add seasonings or flavorings such as salt, oil, onion, or garlic.
It is also vital to steer clear of spicy peppers such as jalapenos or chilis, as these can give your dog a very unpleasant stomach upset.
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