Skip to Content

5 Reasons Why Dogs Can’t Eat Paprika (Must-Read)

Can Dogs Eat Paprika

You’re a fan of adding paprika to spice up your food…

It does its purpose amazingly…

So much that you want your pooch to taste and experience it as well.

And that makes you ask…

Will your dog appreciate such?

But first, are they even allowed to do so?

Continue reading to discover: 

  • How dogs taste spicy foods.
  • 5 reasons why dogs can’t eat paprika.
  • The effects of feeding your dog anything spicy.
  • And much, much more…

What is paprika?

Paprika is a powdered spice that’s recognizably red. It’s made by mixing peppers in the capsicum annum family.

First of all, paprika is a much-needed seasoning in the spice cabinet.

This powder that’s striking in red hue is a versatile one. You can use it to season, garnish, and add color to the food.

Then, its taste isn’t limited to just being spicy. The way it tastes depends on where it’s from and how it’s made.

That’s why some paprika has a tang of sweetness. Then, others are spicier.

Moreover, this spice isn’t made from only one pepper.

As I said, it’s a combination of peppers that belong to the capsicum annum family.

What’s that?

That’s the name for the group of shrubs that bears a chili pepper. 

So, paprika can be made by granulating and mixing these peppers together:

  • Red.
  • Chili.
  • Aleppo.
  • Cayenne.

Note: Those are only limited examples. Paprika can be made from more or less of those types of peppers.

Moreover, paprika shouldn’t be mistaken for red chili powder.

Yes, the two look alike. But, if you look closely, they can differ in the shade.

Their taste will also be different. That’s because chili powder is mixed with cumin, garlic, and salt.

That aside, paprika is also proven to have numerous benefits.

The benefits paprika has to offer (are they applicable in dogs?)

Benefits Of Paprika

Among many, the FDA attests that paprika contains a lot of nutrients. It’s rich in the following:

  • Iron.
  • Fiber.
  • Protein.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Vitamins A, B6, and E.

Another benefit of paprika is its ability to reduce inflammation.

Now, this property has a rule, and it’s:

The spicier, the more effective it is against inflammation.

With that, research tells us that it can help with the following:

  • Arthritis.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Digestive issues.

But, despite that many perks, it’s still not recommended for your pooch to consume. 

Moreover, these studies are done on humans. There are limited applications on dogs that confirm these benefits on them.

Other reasons why will be further discussed in the article…

Can dogs eat paprika?

Dogs can’t eat paprika. It isn’t advised to feed paprika to them as its spiciness can lead to pain. That’s because it’s spicy and can cause gastrointestinal upset to them. It also has a toxic component for dogs called solanine. Moreover, eating it can lead to nasal and eye irritation in dogs.

5 reasons why dogs can’t eat paprika

#1: Its spiciness is uncomfortable for them 

I mentioned paprika is a mixture of chili peppers. Moreover, I mentioned that its taste could vary…

But despite that variation, there’s one thing for sure…

And that’s the fact that adding paprika can cause the food to become spicy.

Now, can your pooch handle such?

Humans can never get the answer directly from their fur babies.

But your canine companion’s actions can tell you.

Take a look at this Goldie who would never attempt to grab a pepper ever again:

Now, let’s analyze what happens when such scenarios happen…

Some dogs will hesitate to eat anything spicy at first.

Given that they have a strong sense of smell, they’ll use it first and determine the nature of the food.

When dogs get past that hesitation, they’ll eat the pepper.

And when they do so…

Oh, boy…

They might get shocked by the consequences.

Sure, some dogs might enjoy the taste. However, most of those canines are only amused at the beginning…

How can I say so?

Let’s explore a dog’s world of flavor…

A dog’s taste sensitivity

You’ve probably heard of how amazing a dog’s nose or ears is…

In that area, dogs clearly win.

But if it’s taste that the contest is based on, humans can claim the trophy.

What do I mean?

I say so as, according to AKC, dogs have fewer taste buds than humans. While you have 9,000, your pooch only has about 1,700.

Now, what does that number represent? 

As a general rule, the fewer the tastebud, the less sensitive the tongue is.

With that, spicy food can affect your dog less. But, let me emphasize that they’re only affected less…

Meaning that they can definitely detect that the food is indeed spicy.

And that despite that little sensitivity, dogs can get uncomfortable with spicy foods.

Then, your pooch can’t exactly tell you how much the spiciness affects them.

Moreover, humans don’t have a concrete idea of how intense such food acts on dogs’ tongues. 

With that, you must work on the spirit of caution…

And think that, as humans, each has different preferences set by themself. Such a rule can apply to dogs, too.

Furthermore, the discomfort that spicy food brings doesn’t just happen in your dog’s taste buds… 

Let me elaborate further in the next section…

Read also: Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? 7 Shocking Health Risks + 3 Tips

#2: It causes gastrointestinal upset

Dogs Can't Eat Paprika Because It Causes Gastrointestinal Upset

After your dog’s tastebud, the spiciness travels in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

So, this tract actually starts in your canine’s mouth. There, the discomfort is already being experienced by your pooch.

Then, the spicy food proceeds to the throat and esophagus. After that, it reaches the stomach and the intestines. The last stops are their rectum and anus.

Now, enough of that quick anatomy lesson…

All of those parts will be affected by your dog’s ingestion of paprika.

How can you know when this happens? And what happens exactly?

Dogs and spicy foods

You may know a friend who enjoys eating spicy foods so much. Then, there could also be someone you know that can’t stand any hot and peppery cuisine.

Now, your do’s going to agree with the latter. However, this judgment is based on how their bodies react to the food…

I say so as your pooch might eat just about anything you hand them. Or, it could be anything that they manage to get their paws on.

Such habits make you solely responsible for what to feed your canine.

And something to put on your watchlist is anything that’s spicy.


Because that kind of cuisine doesn’t sit right on your dog’s GI tract, it can be toxic for them.

VCA Hospitals say that spicy foods can cause flatulence in dogs. 

So, don’t be surprised if you feed your dog paprika…

Then, one moment, poof…

Your dog releases stinky farts.

That aside, here are other signs of GI upset in dogs:

Warning: Monitor your dog’s poop frequency and consistency. 

Take notes of what their poops look like and how many times they go. Also, observe the intervals between their toilet breaks.

Moreover, call their veterinarian immediately when these signs start to show. They’ll give the best advice and will tell you when your dog needs to see them.

For further reading: Can Dogs Eat Pimentos (Cheese)? 3 Health Concerns

#3: It can cause nasal irritations

I mentioned earlier that dogs have an amazing sense of smell.

This research reports that our canine companions can smell better than humans…

And do you want to know by how much?

Dogs are 10,000 to 100,000 times better at detecting odor than humans.

Now, moving to the issue with paprika…

It can cause nasal irritations in your dog.


First, it’s a powdered spice that has a dusty texture.

With that, it’s very easy for your dog to inhale by mistake.

And surely you’re no foreigner of the feeling you can get from such a happening…

But for the sake of being clear, it’ll seem like there’s a fire in your nose.

And with your dog’s strong sense of smell comes a price as well. It makes their nose more sensitive to scenarios like this.

With that, the paprika leads to nasal irritation, which then causes difficulty breathing.

Note: This is the reason why paprika or chili powders can deter your dog from peeing on areas you don’t want them to.

Moreover, there might be one question on your mind:

“Why does spicy food create a burning sensation?

The explanation lies behind the component called capsaicin

It’s what causes the burning sensation.


When capsaicin comes in contact with anything with moisture, it irritates the area. That can be the eye or the moist mucous membrane (nose).

And with the more that this component is present, the more it’s going to hurt.

So, if your pooch gets paprika on their eye/s, guarantee they’re going to cry. Then, they’ll start pawing their face.

#4: It can cause pain

In this case, it’s not just discomfort anymore…

Paprika can lead to your dog feeling pain in their mouth and stomach.

And it’s not just the nasal irritation or crying from the burning sensation…

It might get so intense that your pooch will start coughing and whining. Other times, they’ll suddenly begin drooling too much.

Then, there are also cases that your dog will dry heave or gag. As if they’re trying to remove the seemingly-permanent pain.

And the most worrying of all is when your dog’s mouth starts to foam.

All of those are responses to the extreme pain that the spiciness of paprika can bring.

#5: It contains solanine

As I mentioned, paprika is from spices that grow on shrubs. Then, these shrubs belong to the capsicum annuum family.

Now, that group is also called the nightshade family of vegetables.

And do you wanna know something?

For your dog, this family isn’t a force to be reckoned with.


That’s because vegetables from this order contain a chemical compound called solanine

Such can be toxic to dogs if they ingest large amounts of it.

When that happens, it’s called nightshade poisoning.

According to experts, here are the clinical signs for that condition:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Weakness.
  • Confusion.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Hypersalivation.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Behavioral change.

Moreover, here are other plants and vegetables that belong to this family:

  • Petunias.
  • Eggplants.
  • Unripe tomatoes.
  • Angel’s trumpets.
  • Potatoes with traces of green color on the skin.

Warning: If you suspect that your dog is poisoned by the following, contact your dog’s vet ASAP.