Can Dogs Eat Black Pepper?

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Black pepper is made of dried and aged pepper berries and can be used as a whole spice or in powdered form as seasoning.

a small portion of black pepper corns on a wooden table top

Thinking of giving your dog treats flavored with black pepper but asking yourself is black pepper safe for dogs? Then you’ve landed on the right article!

So, can dogs have black pepper? Read on to find out the answer, and if so, is there a correct way of feeding it to them?

Can Dogs Eat Black Pepper?

Black pepper is usually counted as a healthy seasoning that’s packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

golden lab/retriever eating from a bowl on brick floor

It might be a mineral-rich and beneficial spice for you, but when it comes to dogs and black pepper, can they eat it?

The short answer is: yes and no.

Confused? Well, here’s the longer answer.

Your dog can eat black pepper, although in moderation. In high quantities, black pepper gets pungently spicy — a flavor your dog won’t usually like.

Too much black pepper in their food, or if your dog inhales it, might trigger some uncomfortable reactions. It may even cause serious health concerns for your dog!

Is Black Pepper Good for Dogs? – The Benefits

In moderation, black pepper for dogs is not only good for your furry friend, but it is also recommended. If you add small amounts of this seasoning into their diets, your dog may get the following health benefits:

  • Strengthened immunity: Black pepper has potent antioxidant properties that help strengthen and boost the immune system of your dog. On top of that, if added in regulation to their diets, your furry friend is also likely to be safe from free-radical damage.
  • Controlled blood sugar levels: Black pepper also helps with blood sugar metabolism.
  • Reduced cholesterol: Black pepper contains a compound known as piperine, which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. It also enhances the absorption of other cholesterol-reducing dietary agents.
  • Enhanced brain functionality: This spice has also been linked to promoting neural connections, therefore enhancing brainpower in your dog. With a boosted brain function, your dog is likely to be more trainable.

Black Pepper Nutrition

This sharply flavored spice contains a variety of compounds and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

On the whole, nutritional contents and their values provided by black pepper are as follows:

  • Vitamin A (27 µg)
  • Thiamine or Vitamin B1 (0.108 mg)
  • Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 (0.18 mg)
  • Pantothenic Acid or Vitamin B5 (1.4 mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (0.291 mg)
  • Vitamin E (1.04 mg)
  • Manganese (12.753 mg)
  • Vitamin K (163.7 µg)
  • Copper (1.33 mg)
  • Iron (9.71 mg)
  • Calcium (443 mg)
  • Potassium (1329 mg)

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170931/nutrients

Is Black Pepper Bad for Dogs? – The Risks

Up till this point, we’ve been stating that when it comes to black pepper and dogs, moderation is key. But Is black pepper harmful to dogs?

dog resting his head on owners lap begging for food

Giving more than a small amount is detrimental to dogs, black pepper can pose a number of health risks, such as:

Digestive problems

Adding more than recommended amounts of black pepper to your dog’s diet is not a good idea. Too much black pepper causes a distressing burning sensation in their stomach, as their digestive tract gets irritated. It might even lead to food intolerance, indigestion, or vomiting. 

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids refer to the swelling of veins in the lower region of the anus and rectum. In addition to an irritable digestive tract, excessive black pepper can also lead to rectal/colon irritation, causing hemorrhoids in your dog.

Not only that, the swollen veins in their colon cause significant pain while pooping. This is another good reason not to add too much black pepper to your dog’s diet.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another common side-effect of digestive tract irritation caused by a high intake of black pepper by your dog.

Respiratory issues

A dog’s lungs are highly sensitive to the pungent smell of black pepper. If some spills on the floor, for example, and your dog inhales it, the pepper can trigger uncontrollable sneezing fits.

This happens because the spicy odor of black pepper accumulates in your dog’s alveoli, depriving them of oxygen. 

Additionally, a more-than-needed amount of black pepper can develop bronchitis symptoms in your dog.

So, before feeding your furry best friend anything with black pepper, be watchful of its quantity as a seasoning. 

Can Dogs Eat Cracked Black Pepper?

The answer remains the same. In moderation, yes; in high amounts, no.

a pile of cracked black pepper

Similar to black pepper, cracked black pepper might also give you that spicy kick, but it still is harmful to dogs if given in excess.

Cracked black pepper presents all the health hazards that black pepper poses. It’s advised that you exercise the same cautions as with normal black pepper for dogs (i.e., moderation and frequency).

Will Pepper Kill My Dog?

As seen already, several health issues can be caused by ingesting too much black pepper, dogs can suffer the following:

  • Digestive tract irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Bronchitis
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

It is unlikely that these diseases will kill your dog. However, it is possible that if the lung/intestinal irritation gets bad enough, it can endanger the workings of your dog’s organs.

Consequently, although very slim, there is still a chance that the consumption of excess black pepper can kill your dog.

Turmeric and Black Pepper for Dogs – Is it safe?

In moderation, turmeric, just like black pepper is not only safe but also beneficial to your dog!

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, turmeric has several health benefits; some of them are:

  • It enhances liver function: Similar to black pepper, turmeric is also packed with antioxidants that fight free-radical damage, which may safeguard your dog’s liver from being harmed by toxins.
  • It is anticarcinogenic: Turmeric contains a bright yellow compound called curcumin, which imparts the spice its characteristic color. This compound is a well-known cancer-fighting agent that helps prevent cancer and may reduce its severity, too. 
  • It improves digestive action: The high fiber content present in turmeric helps the digestive system of your dog in functioning smoothly.

Conclusion

Black pepper is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, but it must be fed to them in moderation. Regulated amounts of this seasoning improve digestive function, immunity, brainpower and reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in your furry best friend.

dog lying on the floor licking his lips with a bowl between his legs

However, if given in excess, your dog might suffer allergic reactions, especially marked by abdominal and respiratory inflammation.

Therefore, if you plan on introducing black pepper to your dog’s diet, make sure you feed it to them in strict moderation and only once in a while.

Disclaimer
All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.

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