Paprika is one spice added to our everyday meals for flavor and color. And, most of the time, we end up sharing those same meals with our vaccine companions. But can dogs eat paprika and foods that contain this spice? Let’s find out.
Spices are one of the most common kitchen staples found in every household. Some of the common household spices like salt and paprika are pretty much in every recipe. Most of the time, people assume that these spices are also safe for their pets.
However, some spices can be very dangerous for your pets. One such spice is paprika because it can be harmful to dogs. So, if you want to keep your pup safe and healthy, you should know how paprika affects your dog’s well-being.
Continue reading this article to learn more. You will find everything you need to know about can dogs eat paprika but before that, let’s tell you what paprika is.
What is Paprika?
Paprika is a vibrant red spice available in various heat levels, flavors, and shades. The texture of paprika is also very fine, unlike the grainy texture of the usual chili flakes.
It is typically made from dried and ground red Capsicum annuum varieties. So, the flavor and spice level of paprika depends upon the type of peppers used.
Some paprika powders are hot and spicy with predominant notes of fiery hot peppers, while others are sweet and mild with no heat. Mostly paprika is made from red bell peppers to keep the spice level milder than red chili powder. The hotter version of paprika is called cayenne.
Paprika offers many beneficial compounds, including carotenoid antioxidants, capsaicin, and vitamin A. These compounds have many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving eye health, lowering cholesterol levels, and managing blood sugar levels.
Paprika also improves liver function by stimulating the production of glycogen. Some other benefits of consuming paprika include improved digestion, immunity, and skin glow.
Now, let’s tell you if dogs can have the same benefits from eating paprika.
We often share our foods with our canine buddies but rarely consider whether the ingredients in our food are safe for pups. Paprika may seem harmless, but it can actually have adverse side effects on your dog’s health.
So, if you have a dog, avoid sharing spicy foods with them. It is best to only share dog-safe human foods with your pup. Moreover, a dog’s natural diet primarily consists of meat, so only feed high protein dog-friendly foods like chicken, beef, fish, etc.
However, if you’re worried that kibble is too bland for your pup, top it with safe and healthy herbs and spices instead of seasoning it with hot paprika and salt.
No, dogs should not eat paprika. Just because paprika is non-toxic doesn’t mean you should feed it to your pup. Not only is paprika a nuisance for dogs, but it also does not offer anything to a dog’s daily nutritional requirement.
Dogs can’t eat paprika because it can be very dangerous for them (if given regularly or a lot at once). Even sniffing or licking paprika can cause irritation around the mouth and nose.
A small amount of paprika in a while may not seriously harm your dog, but a significant quantity can cause an upset stomach and many other health issues.
If your dog likes eating human foods with paprika, introduce it gradually to your pup and watch out for any signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. If all goes well, only share a tiny portion, not so often.
Yes, technically, paprika is safe for dogs because it is non-toxic. Eating paprika does not induce any toxic or poisonous reactions in dogs.
Just because paprika is non-toxic does not mean you should give it to your dog. Paprika consumption can still harm dogs and result in many health issues.
Let’s tell you how and why paprika is bad for dogs.
We have already established that dogs should not eat paprika because it can harm them. Let’s take a closer look at how paprika is bad for canines:
Some dogs, especially puppies, are very sensitive to spices like paprika. Even big dogs with sensitive stomachs can show adverse reactions to eating paprika. The severity and intensity of the side effects vary from dog to dog, but generally, paprika can cause the following reactions in dogs:
A few mouthfuls of hot and spicy paprika is enough to harm your dog. Many dogs suffer from stomach issues after eating paprika or paprika-rich foods. So, avoid feeding paprika to dogs as it can lead to bloat, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and other gastrointestinal problems.
Solanine is a poisonous compound found in veggies belonging to the nightshade family. Nightshade vegetables are eggplants, peppers, and potatoes. These vegetables are usually toxic to plants. Large amounts of paprika can cause solanine overdose, resulting in many serious side effects, such as:
Your dog will need to ingest a large amount of paprika to get solanine poisoning, but it is still a risk nonetheless. So, prevent your dog from eating paprika, as it is better to be safe than sorry.
No Nutritional Value
Paprika is rich in nutrients, but a pinch of paprika only includes a negligible amount. Thus, spicing up your dog’s food with paprika does not offer additional nutrients. It may only slightly enhance the flavor. That’s it!
Does Not Suit Dog’s Natural Diet
Dogs are obligate carnivores. They are made to eat and process the flesh of other animals, so dogs thrive on a meaty, high-protein diet. You can feed your dog meat or kibble to meet their nutritional needs.
So, dogs don’t need spices and herbs in their diet. They can thrive and survive just fine without them. In fact, adding spices like salt and paprika to your dog’s daily meal will only result in different health issues.
Paprika is not all that bad for dogs. It can be a flavor enhancer for your dog’s food and can also help improve certain health conditions.
This means that, like all spices, paprika also has its benefits. The problem is that the negatives overshadow these benefits when it comes to dogs.
Here are some ways how paprika can be good for dogs:
Good For Eye Health
Paprika contains carotenoids like Zeaxanthin and Lutein, which improve eye health. These substances help with a clear vision and protect the eye tissue against UV rays.
So, paprika can help improve your puppy’s eyes. Moreover, paprika also contains Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for optimal eye health. It also improves night vision.
Capsaicin is a compound in certain vegetables like capsicum, green chilies, and peppers. Paprika is sourced from peppers, so it is rich in capsaicin. Consuming capsaicin or applying it topically can help with many health issues.
Source Of Quintessential Nutrients
As you know, paprika contains many essential nutrients that are beneficial for health. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are important for any bodily functions in both humans and pets, including:
Just because paprika benefits your dog’s health doesn’t mean you should feed it to your pup. Remember, paprika can be very harmful to dogs. Here are some major health risks of giving paprika to dogs:
1. Nasal Irritations
Dogs have a very strong sense of smell compared to humans. This also makes their nose more sensitive to irritation. Sniffing paprika can cause nasal Irritations in dogs, resulting in sneezing, itching, and inflammation.
2. Heat Sensations
The heat levels and spice of paprika can cause heat sensations in dogs. This usually happens if your dog consumes paprika or eats spicy food. The heat sensations usually cause skin irritation, hot flashes, and sweating.
3. Gastrointestinal Problems
We already explained that eating paprika can cause many gastrointestinal problems in dogs. It results in stomach upset, diarrhea, and even vomiting in worst-case scenarios. This is because dogs can’t digest spicy food as we humans do.
4. Excessive Thirst And Bloating
Eating paprika can also cause gas and bloating in dogs. Moreover, the heat sensations caused by paprika can also cause excessive thirst as a side effect. To avoid this issue, make sure your dog gets proper water intake. So, keep your pup hydrated.
5. Mouth Irritation
Eating spicy food and spices themselves can also irritate the mouth. Your dog may feel a burning sensation in the mouth. Moreover, feeding your dog spicy foods can also cause swelling around the mouth.
Now that we know the negative impacts of paprika on a dog’s health, it is better not to risk feeding your dog this spice anyway. You can opt for different paprika alternatives instead.
Here are the best paprika alternatives for dogs that are safe and healthy:
Turmeric is a yellow spice commonly used in southeast Asian foods. Turmeric is super beneficial for the body because it is a natural antibiotic. Some benefits of turmeric include the following:
So, if you want your pup to live a long and healthy life, add turmeric to its meals.
Basil is an herb that tastes good and has many benefits for your pup’s health. Basil can help relieve stress and improve symptoms of arthritis. Moreover, it also helps improve gut health.
This Italian herb smells and tastes amazing. It is great for pups with bad breath. Moreover, feeding parsley to dogs also improves their overall oral health. Parsley is also rich in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. All of these are super important for a healthy body.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to be great for the body. It has been used in ancient medicine for centuries. For dogs, cinnamon is an effective remedy to improve dental health. It also helps regulate blood sugar, so cinnamon can be very effective for diabetic dogs.
Ginger will boost your dog’s metabolism and improve gut health. Ginger can also help soothe symptoms of vomiting and nausea. However, it is recommended to introduce ground ginger to your pup’s diet, as fresh ginger can be very powerful in taste and smell.
Here are a few cases in which you don’t need to panic, and it is perfectly okay for your dog to eat paprika:
- Your dog licks or sniffs a tiny amount of paprika
- Your dog ate something that contains paprika
- You occasionally sprinkle a pinch of paprika on your pup’s meal
- Your dog shows no signs or symptoms of discomfort after eating food with paprika
In any of the abovementioned situations, your dog will most likely be fine after consuming paprika.
You need to worry if:
- Your dog has eaten or sniffed a large quantity of paprika powder or if the paprika was too spicy.
- You feed your dog very spicy food regularly and frequently because it can cause many health concerns.
- Your dog exhibits signs of an allergic reaction after consuming paprika, like skin irritation, vomiting, excessive thirst, etc.
- Your dog is in discomfort after eating paprika and gets stomach upset.
You should contact your vet if you notice your dog is not feeling good after eating paprika.
In case of emergency, you can also call ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) for any queries and assistance.
Final Words | Can Dogs Eat Paprika?
Can Dogs Eat Paprika? We humans like enhancing the taste and flavor of our foods with spices, herbs, and condiments. Dogs don’t care much about taste because they have far fewer taste buds than humans. Even a plain boiled piece of chicken tastes heavenly to dogs.
Spices like paprika are nothing more than a simple addition to their meals. However, the heat and spice from paprika can cause side effects such as watery eyes, nasal irritation, skin inflammation, and indigestion.
So, there is no need to add paprika to your dog’s meals. Add safe spices and herbs like cinnamon, ginger, parsley, and turmeric to make your dog’s meal more flavorful. They are also very beneficial to your dog’s health.
To conclude, always consult your vet before adding or removing anything from your dog’s diet.