Say you’re prepping your salad…
When you’re adding some flavorful capers, one falls from the counter…
And there’s your pooch…
They catch the “treasure” and eat it.
It stops you in your tracks and makes you think…
“Should I worry that my dog just ate that caper?”
Read on to discover:
- What are capers and where it’s from.
- 7 benefits of feeding capers to your dog.
- 2 potential health concerns for your dog when you feed them capers.
- And much, much more…
Table of contents
- What are capers?
- Can dogs eat capers?
- 7 benefits of feeding capers to your dog
- 2 potential health concerns when feeding capers to your dog
What are capers?
Capers are small, green, unripe flower buds from a bush called Capparis spinosa. That type of bush is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. Despite that, capers are enjoyed worldwide.
Now, those capers that you take home are unripened flower buds of the bush.
These immature buds are picked, then dried, and lastly, preserved.
The latter is done by curing it in salt or pickling it in brine.
Regardless of which, both processes create the caper’s trademark flavor.
I’m talking about its rich salty and savory taste. And sometimes, its flavor is described as tangy.
Overall, it offers a burst of flavor that you can’t compare to anything else.
Did you know? Capers aren’t just appreciated for their taste. Long ago, these buds are used as traditional medicine.
For example, capers were used to aid signs of liver and kidney issues in Egypt.
Can dogs eat capers?
Dogs can eat capers. It’s abundant in essential vitamins such as A, C, K, B2, and B3. It’s also rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron. But, you should give it in moderation to dogs. That’s because it’s high in sodium and can raise your dog’s blood sugar levels.
7 benefits of feeding capers to your dog
#1: It’s packed with essential vitamins
Oh, don’t underestimate these small and unripe flower buds…
That’s because inside it lies a plentiful of essntial vitamins. All of those are necessary for maintaining your dog’s health.
Before I discuss them all one by one, let’s settle the daily value for capers.
It’ll be the basis for how much of what can be found in a specific amount of this food.
So, following the USDA, the daily value of caper that I’ll use is 0.3 oz (9 g).
With that cleared, let me tell you about all the essential vitamins that are found in capers.
This vitamin makes up 2% of the capers’ daily value.
Now, dogs’ bodies can make their own vitamin K.
Despite that, many supplements are available for purchase. And it wouldn’t hurt for your pooch to get some from food like capers.
That aside, how does this contribute to your dog’s health?
Vets often prescribe vitamin K for a dog’s blood to clot normally.
Do you know? Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
It hunts down any peculiar compounds in the body called free radicals. Those are harmful to your pupper’s body if they multiply and become too many.
Moreover, Vitamin C can also assist in reducing inflammation
Now, according to AKC, dogs’ bodies can make up Vitamin C on their own. Their livers are assigned for such job…
However, additional supplementation and food intake with this vitamin will be highly beneficial.
Dogs need Vitamin A for many things…
First of all, this is the vitamin that’s present in carrots.
If you ever wonder how they say the vegetable improves your eyesight…
Well, this vitamin is the reason behind it!
Vitamin A improves vision and contributes to healthy growth and development.
It also assists in immune and cell functions.
Now, this is a highly essential vitamin in dogs.
That’s because their body can’t make its own Vitamin A.
So, you should include food with this component, such as capers, in your dog’s diet.
If not, it can lead to Vitamin A deficiency.
Signs of this condition are:
- Dry skin.
- Low appetite.
- Poor eyesight.
- Unhealthy coat.
- Presence of bumps and lesions.
Vitamin B2 and B3
Respectively, these are also called riboflavin (1% of the daily value) and niacin.
Both of those vitamins assist in speeding up enzyme functions.
What’s that exactly?
It’s the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates in your dog’s body. Basically, it boosts your dog’s body’s productivity, and they can remain active for long.
Moreover, these vitamins can be a remedy for your canine’s shedding problem.
You might also wonder: Can Dogs Eat Acai Berries? 5 Health Benefits + 3 Dangers
#2: It’s rich in vital minerals
According to PetMD, minerals are essential to your dog’s diet.
That’s because those offer numerous nutritional values.
Minerals contribute to the normal development and function of your canine’s body.
Now, giving your dog capers can make for that need…
It’s all thanks to its richness in the following minerals:
This is a much-needed electrolyte that your dog needs.
Its job is to deliver electrical charges necessary to power the heart, nerves, and muscles.
Now, potassium deficiency can make your dog weak.
It’ll seem like they’re always tired or suddenly lazy. You can also expect your deficient dog’s appetite to be absent.
Other signs of potassium deficiency are:
- Abnormal heartbeat.
This mineral makes up 1% of the capers’ daily value.
Now, what help does it offer?
Magnesium often partners up with calcium and phosphorus. Those work together to assist in bone development.
The specific job of this mineral is to help the body in absorbing calcium.
Iron and copper
Think of all these minerals as best friends.
I mentioned previously that there are 3 that work together to assist bone growth.
This time, it’s copper and iron that get another job done…
First of all, the daily value of capers is 4% copper and 1% iron. Now, how can your dog’s body use these?
The specific task of those minerals is maintaining healthy blood.
First, iron is designated to be of service during the oxygenation of red blood cells.
Then, copper helps your dog’s body to use that iron properly.
Moreover, it also aids in energy production.
With that, you could really expect these buds to assist in keeping Fido’s blood healthy.
#3: Assist in maintaining bone strength
A mineral that I didn’t mention yet is calcium. Capers are also abundant with it…
So much that it deserves its own spotlight.
That’s because the calcium in capers greatly assists in maintaining strong bones.
And with the capers’ abundance in magnesium as well…
Your dog’s bone is in good hands with these buds.
Moreover, take it from this experiment that’s done on rats:
Extract from capers is given to 32 subject rats.
Results show that the extract sped up ossification. That’s the name for the process of new bone formation.
So, if your pooch is arthritic, let them try a caper every once in a while.
You might also want to know: How to help a dog with arthritis at home?
#4: Aids the digestive system
Capers contain high amounts of dietary fiber.
According to AKC, such is useful in your canine’s digestive tract.
What happens when your pooch eats a meal that’s high in fiber?
When that food gets to your dog’s large intestines, it gets fermented there.
Then, it turns into fatty acids that are assigned to a crucial assignment…
And that’s stopping the multiplication of bad bacteria in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
With that, the ingestion of caper can help with keeping your dog’s GI tract healthy.
Specifically, fiber can reduce diarrhea and prevent issues like constipation.
Did you know? It can go all the way and help lessen the risk of colon cancer in your pooch.
A widely known fact is that fiber improves digestion…
With that, prolonged exposure to food with carcinogens becomes less likely. Therefore, it won’t greatly affect your dog’s GI tract, including its colon.
#5: Promotes overall cardiovascular health
I previously mentioned that capers contain the minerals copper and iron. And that both are necessary to maintain healthy blood…
Now, capers prove themselves in this area once again…
This time, it’s because of an antioxidant called rutin.
According to research, rutin is considered to be highly beneficial to the whole body.
However, let me focus on one…
And that’s its ability to reinforce blood vessels and capillaries. Moreover, it stops platelets from clumping in your dog’s body.
Then, all of those leads to a smooth blood flow boost.
And with those properties, it further promotes cardiovascular health.
#6: It’s low in calories
These buds are so flavorful and generous when it comes to benefits…
But, it knows when to give and not to…
What am I talking about?
It’s the fact that despite its richness for many things, it holds a significantly low amount of calories.
Based on the daily serving of capers, calories make up 0.07 oz (2 g) of it.
With that, adding it to your dog’s food won’t harm their diet. And Fido won’t gain any unnecessary weight from calories.
#7: Helps maintain coat and fur health
Capers aren’t just known in the food industry…
Many commercial hair products have it as an ingredient as well.
That’s because it can boost hair growth.
Such is a reason to be assured that capers can help with your dog’s fur, too.
And as mentioned, these buds help with the body’s blood circulation.
Now, such a property is a stimulant for healthy hair growth.
Then, the iron that capers contain also prevent hair loss. With that, it may be used as a way to resolve your dog’s shedding problems.
2 potential health concerns when feeding capers to your dog
#1: It’s high in sodium
Another mineral that caper is ample in is sodium.
However, this abundance doesn’t fall on the good side.
You see, per daily serving of caper, sodium occupies 9% of it. That’s 0.03 oz (0.81 g) of the basis.
Then, I mentioned before that you could buy capers that are pickled in brine. It’s the process of storing something in a solution that has a high concentration of salt.
Now, how exactly is this harmful to your poooch?
To start, let me show you how much sodium can hurt dogs of different sizes. This is based on experts from ACVP:
|Dog size||Sodium intake limit|
1 lbs (0.45 kg) to 10 lbs to (4.6 kg)
|0.025 oz (0.7 g)|
11 lbs (5 kg) to 25 lbs (11.4 kg)
|0.25 oz (7 g)|
26 lbs (11.8 kg) to 40 lbs (18.2 kg)
|0.65 oz (18 g)|
41 lbs (18.6 kg) to 70 lbs (31.8 kg)
|1 oz (28 g)|
71 lbs (32.3 kg) to 90 lbs (40.9 kg)
|1.75 oz (50 g)|
91 lbs (41.4 kg) to 110 lbs (50 kg)
|2.25 oz (64 g)|
So, based on this table, extra small dogs like Chihuahuas don’t stand a chance. The sodium content of a single daily serving of caper is too much for them.
As for the other dogs, it might seem like the salt content and their limits are far from each other…
However, don’t let that make you complacent.
Your pooch can be a Pug or a Great Dane…
Whatever their breed and size are, be watchful of their caper intake because of sodium.
What will happen if you don’t?
Then, it can lead to…
Sodium poisoning in dogs
The MSDVM also calls this condition hypernatremia.
It’s a medical situation where your dog is deprived of water. Such happens as the body doesn’t have a healthy water-salt balance due to the high sodium intake.
Now, such is dangerous for dogs.
That’s why the APCC names salt as poison for dogs.
With that, here are the signs of salt poisoning in canines:
- Excessive thirst.
- Decreased appetite.
- Loss of coordination.
- Change in urinating habits.
Warning: It’s a medical emergency when your dog ingests a high amount of salt and shows these signs. With that, you must bring your dog to the vet immediately.
According to research, cases like this are rare. But when it occurs, it’s life-threatening.
#2: It can drop your dog’s blood sugar levels
This is yet another huge concern for a dog who ate a caper…
It’s the issue of its ability to change blood sugar levels.
Some label this as a beneficial quality of capers…
However, it’s not good news for diabetic dogs.
That’s because capers can lower glucose levels in the blood.
And with a diabetic dog taking medications plus eating a caper…
It can lead to a severe drop in glucose levels.
The condition that it leads to is called hypoglycemia.
PetMD tells us that these are the signs for such a medical issue:
- Heart palpitations.
- Increased appetite.
- Loss of consciousness.