Red, green, orange, yellow…
What do these four colors have in common?
They are all varieties of bell pepper!
Bell peppers are a colorful and nutrient-rich vegetable that can be used in everything from fresh salads to casseroles.
But are bell peppers safe for dogs?
The short answer is that it is safe for dogs to eat bell peppers.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to feed them!
We’ll cover that in detail but, for now, what are the health benefits of bell peppers for dogs? Keep reading to find out:
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What are the Health Benefits of Bell Peppers for Dogs?
First of all, you should know that bell peppers are also known as capsicum in some countries. This is because they belong to they are a cultivar of the Capsicum anuum species. They are also sometimes known as sweet peppers.
Bell peppers are primarily comprised of water but they also contain carbohydrates as well as small amounts of protein and fat. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and other phytochemicals.
A raw bell pepper contains about 92% water with roughly 30 calories per 100 grams. A 100-gram serving of bell pepper contains 6 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of protein, and less than ½ gram of fat. They are also low in sodium.
When it comes to the nutrient content of bell peppers, they are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K as well as potassium and folate. They also contain a little bit of magnesium, manganese, and pantothenic acid.
In addition to these nutrients, bell peppers also contain various antioxidants (particularly carotenoids) as well as other beneficial compounds like capsanthin, lutein, quercetin, and luteolin.
But how exactly do these nutrients benefit your dog?
Here’s what you need to know:
Vitamin A and lutein, as well as other carotenoids, help to support healthy vision while Vitamin C supports healthy immunity. Vitamin E helps to keep your dog’s skin and coat in good condition while Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy nervous system.
Okay, so bell peppers contain healthy nutrients, but which variety is the most nutritious?
Generally speaking, red pepper for dogs is the most nutritious option. They have the highest concentration of Vitamin C and Vitamin A content and they are also higher in beta-carotene. The riper the pepper, the higher the nutrient content as well.
What about hot peppers?
Never give your dog hot peppers!
Okay, so hot peppers for dogs may not be a lethal combination, but it isn’t going to be pleasant for your pooch. Dogs aren’t used to eating spicy things and spicy foods can seriously upset their digestive system.
If your dog accidentally eats a jalapeno or another hot pepper, you should prepare for some diarrhea. You may even want to add some pureed pumpkin to your dog’s food for the next couple of days to soothe any digestive upset. If your dog develops severe diarrhea or other digestive problems, don’t delay in taking him to the vet for a check-up.
So, bell peppers are healthy for dogs, but how do you go about feeding them?
Keep reading to find out:
How Do I Feed My Dog Bell Peppers?
When it comes to green peppers for dogs, or any other color bell pepper, you can feed them raw or you can cook them. But which option is best?
Raw peppers have a satisfying crunch which makes them a great addition to fresh salads and side dishes, but it may not be the best option for your dog. Dogs sometimes have trouble digesting high-fiber foods but cooking those foods makes them easier to handle. Feeding your dog too much raw bell pepper can cause diarrhea and, in some cases, vomiting.
So, what’s the best option?
When you start feeding your dog bell peppers, be sure to start off slow!
Give your dog just one or two small slices a day – larger dogs can eat up to half a small pepper. You can chop it up and mix it into your dog’s food, or you can cook it in coconut oil or puree it in your food processor. Just don’t overcook the pepper or you might lose some of the nutrients. Steaming the pepper is the best way to cook it while preserving the nutritional value.
Another quick tip – remove the seeds and stem from the peppers before you feed them to your dog. These parts of the pepper don’t contain as many nutrients and they are likely to be hard for your dog to digest properly.
Now, a quick word of warning:
Never feed your dog bell peppers that have been cooked together with onions or garlic – these are toxic veggies for dogs! Your dog should never eat anything belonging to the onion family which includes leeks, garlic, and chives.
And remember, supplemental foods should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. Most of his nutrition should come from his kibble!
Do you have a favorite way of preparing bell peppers for your dog? Share it with us in the comment section below!