My Dog Ate Jalapeno – What Should I Do Now?

In recent years, it seems like everyone is talking about the benefits of eating spicy foods. 

Nowadays, you can find a vast array of spicy dishes at your local grocery store or restaurant menu. 

Jalapeno peppers are one of the most popular types of hot spices in America and are often used to flavor Mexican dishes such as salsa, guacamole, enchiladas, and quesadillas.

Unfortunately, though, we’ve all heard about how terrible jalapenos can be for our pets if they eat them.

If you’re reading this article then that probably means your dog has had an unfortunate encounter with some chili peppers. 

What should you do now?

Dogs And Spicy Food

Most dogs tend to have an acquired taste for spicy food. Some think that this means dogs can’t really taste the spiciness, but that’s not entirely true. 

Studies about whether or not animals such as dogs and cats experience any flavor in their food at all indicate that although they don’t appear to enjoy the flavors of different foods, they do sense some kind of “pleasantness” or “displeasure.”

If your dog has ever tried to sneak a bite out of your Mexican meal then you know exactly what I mean! 

Of course, just because a dog loves certain foods doesn’t mean it should eat them.

Why Do Dogs Like Jalapenos?

There’s no denying that dogs and spicy food go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

In fact, if you’ve ever tried to feed your dog a treat that has hot peppers on it then you’ll probably know what an uphill battle the whole thing can be.

If you’re not sure why jalapeno peppers are so attractive to our canine friends, it may have something to do with their smell or taste. 

Although there hasn’t been any research done specifically on this subject (that we know of), it is possible that the reason dogs love chili peppers so much is because they produce endorphins in the same way as chocolate does for humans.

Even though jalapeno peppers contain capsaicin which stimulates the endorphins, this doesn’t mean your dog will feel the same effects. 

This is because they don’t have as many taste buds as humans do, which means that they cannot enjoy the flavor of food or other things in the same way we can.

Will Jalapenos Hurt My Dog?


Jalapeno peppers are moderately toxic to dogs, especially canines that weigh 10 pounds or more. This is because the pepper’s toxic ingredient binds with fat in the dog’s body and causes a chemical reaction that leads to tissue damage in the stomach and intestines.

In most cases, a dog will experience vomiting within 15 minutes of ingesting a jalapeno pepper, and it may continue for several days. 

The dog’s stomach will also be very sensitive to touch during this time. If the dog is in pain or suffering from an allergic reaction, it could grow restless or depressed.

Can A Jalapeno Kill A Dog?

Luckily, dogs will usually vomit most of the toxic plant out of their body if they eat a jalapeno. 

However, there have been cases where dogs have eaten so many spicy peppers that they have required surgery to remove scar tissue from the stomach lining or other complications. 

If you think your dog has ingested too many peppers it’s best to call your veterinarian immediately.

Are All Dogs Allergic To Jalapeno Peppers?

Most dogs will not be allergic to the capsaicin found in jalapenos, but there are a few that can have adverse reactions. 

The only way to tell if your dog is reacting negatively to peppers is by watching for symptoms and waiting for them to pass. 

If you’re unsure about whether or not your canine companion should ingest peppers, it’s best to err on the side of caution just in case they are allergic.

What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Jalapeno Peppers?

dog not feeling okay

As we mentioned before, if your dog has an allergy to peppers then there is a good chance that eating jalapeno peppers will cause some sort of reaction for him. 

If this happens, they may drool excessively, paw at their mouth, try to scratch the inside of their nose or mouth, or paw at their ears. 

There is a chance that your dog will vomit as well.  

Your dog might start wheezing and making strange noises and if they’re having trouble breathing you should bring them to the veterinarian right away!

If your dog has not had an allergic reaction to jalapenos but they’ve just eaten too many spicy peppers then they may vomit as a matter of course. 

However, if it continues for several days then there could be something wrong with them and you should call your vet before continuing on with your regular routine.  

You can also try giving your dog milk to help soothe their stomach lining because this helps get rid of the capsaicin from the peppers more quickly.  

If your dog is still in pain after drinking milk, however, you should talk to your vet.

How Do Dogs Digest Jalapeno Peppers?

Jalapenos are highly acidic (just like humans) and can cause extreme irritation when ingested. 

The dog’s stomach lining will respond by trying to absorb the pepper, which leads to the formation of ulcers. 

In humans, the toxic effect is broken down after a few days, but in dogs, it can last for weeks.

It is estimated that about 1% of all pet poisonings a year are due to peppers. However, you should be able to identify these effects and know what to do if your furry friend has ingested something spicy. 

What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Jalapeno Pepper?

If you suspect that your dog has ingested a poisonous plant such as a jalapeno pepper, then take the following steps immediately:

  • Wash any visible residue from the mouth and paws with warm soapy water.
  • DO NOT induce vomiting. This could lead to further complications and damage to the animal’s stomach lining.
  • Contact your vet immediately and describe all symptoms of the dog so they can determine whether or not an emergency visit is required.   
  • Check to see if there are any more jalapeno’s in the area and remove them from your dog’s reach.

If you have previously given your dog chili pepper before with no adverse consequences, then you shouldn’t worry. 

When dogs eat spicy foods it simply means that they are able to digest pain or discomfort easier than other pets. Plus, eating fiery foods won’t leave an animal dehydrated or needing a trip to the hospital!

What Seasoning Is Okay For Dogs?

If you’re looking to spice up your meals but don’t want to harm any animals, then here are some great alternatives for seasoning:


This is actually very healthy for dogs. 

It helps with their blood pressure and can even help them lose weight. Make sure the garlic does not contain added sugar or salt, however, because the dog will ingest more calories than they need.

Onion Powder

If your dog has no previous history of allergies then adding an onion powder should be okay in small quantities. 

Just make sure that it’s a pure powder and contains nothing else aside from onions! You may also want to avoid other strong spices such as curry, which could lead to stomach upset or diarrhea.


If you use this in cooking then your dog is most likely fine to eat it. 

Cilantro is one of the most popular herbs for humans and if a herb tastes good to us, then what makes dogs any different? 

However, some dogs are unable to handle cilantro so make sure that you check with your vet first before giving them any kitchen leftovers.  

Your dog should also be eating regular meals at least 4 times a day in order to keep their blood sugar stable and ensure optimal health!

Coconut Oil

If you’re thinking about trying coconut oil on your dog then there isn’t much research available. 

Coconut is known as a great remedy for humans so it’s likely to work in a similar way for pets.

This is due to the fact that dogs are omnivores who thrive on starches, fruits, and vegetables. 

That being said, there are no specific side effects associated with giving your dog coconut oil since most of them can handle carbohydrates quite well.  

This is also true when giving your dog garlic powder or onion powder: as long as you don’t feed them too much then their meal should be okay!   

How Can I Avoid Accidentally Giving My Dog Jalapenos?

There are many ways that dogs are able to get into things that they shouldn’t be eating, especially when kids and adults aren’t paying attention to them.  

As always, it’s important to keep any dangerous or toxic items well out of your dog’s reach so they don’t have a chance to get them.  

If you use jalapenos in any dishes, however, it might be wise to keep them hidden so that curious dogs can’t sniff them out.  

You could put the dish in a cabinet or move it all the way up on a high shelf where only you can reach it.

Training Your Dog To Stay Away From Jalapenos

If you know your dog likes to eat spicy peppers try putting them up out of reach so they can’t get to them. 

You may even want to consider getting some bitter apple spray and spraying it around the kitchen where you keep all the peppers (or any other sensitive foods). 

This will hopefully deter them from eating anything else while you’re gone.

The best way to avoid this problem altogether is by training your pet from an early age not to eat spicy foods, and having pepper-proof baby gates will help with that too.

If you think your dog has eaten a jalapeno pepper but he doesn’t seem to be suffering any ill effects then it’s safe to assume they have become accustomed to the spice. 

If you want your dog to stop eating spicy food, start weaning them off slowly in order for them not to notice anything is different!

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