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Can Dogs Eat Pimentos (Cheese)? 3 Health Concerns

Can Dogs Eat Pimentos

Cheese is among the most flavorful foods out there…

But then add mayo and a spice called pimento…

Oh, it becomes more irresistible.

If your pooch tastes it, they might just agree.

But should they taste it?

And if they do, is it a cause for concern?

You’re about to discover:

  • If dogs can eat pimentos.
  • 5 benefits of feeding pimento cheese to your dog.
  • 3 potential health concerns when you feed your dog pimento cheese.
  • And much, much more…

What are pimentos?

Pimentos are a type of pepper often referred to as pimientos or allspice. It’s used in many recipes as it’s sweet and has little spice. It’s also a versatile ingredient that you can use as a garnish, ingredient, or spice.

Moreover, this pepper is among the mildest of all. 

Using the Scoville scale, pimentos register between 100 and 500. 

That scale is the measurement for a pepper’s spiciness.

For perspective, some of the hottest peppers in the world go beyond a million in the ranking.

That aside, pimentos are the key ingredient for a famous appetizer.

It all started when pimento transformed cheddar cheese into something tastier.

Mix the two with mayonnaise, and you get pimento cheese.

It’s perfect as a tasty dip for crackers or spread for sandwiches.

Can dogs eat pimentos?

Dogs can eat pimentos as the pepper isn’t toxic for them. Moreover, pimentos have a  lot of nutritional value for your dog. However, you should feed it to them in moderation. That’s because high amounts of this pepper might cause GI upset in your dog. It can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Can dogs eat pimento cheese?

Dogs can eat pimento cheese if they’re not lactose intolerant. They’ll appreciate the tasty treat. However, you should only give it to them in moderation. Excessive amounts of pimento cheese can cause an upset stomach in dogs. In severe cases, too much cheese can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.

5 benefits of feeding pimentos (cheese) to your dog

#1: Anti-inflammatory effects

Feeding Pimentos To Your Dog Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Coming in strong is the anti-inflammatory effects of pimentos.

The quality of these peppers is what makes them great for relieving pain.

According to this study, pimento inhibits the protein that causes inflammation. Those proteins are called markers.

And in another investigation, pimentos are studied for their medicinal properties.

The result shows that:

There’s a compound that makes pimento the perfect pain reliever.

It’s called eugenol, and many pain-relief medications have it as an ingredient.

What’s so special about eugenol?

It’s a compound that gives pimentos an analgesic property.

And what’s that?

Well, the answer might just lie in your bathroom cabinet. 

An example of a mild analgesic is the well-known paracetamol.

Who knew that pimentos and that medication could have the same effects? 

Also, did you know? Inflammation can make injuries or infections worse. Moreover, it can cause further discomfort to your pooch.

An example of a medical issue with inflammation is kennel cough.

Experts describe it as the swelling of a dog’s voice box (larynx).

So, if your pooch has that condition, make them feel a little better…

Use a little of this pimento cheese treat to cheer them up. They’d enjoy the flavorful delicacy and gain from its anti-inflammatory properties.

“By ‘how little,’ how many do you mean?”

Well, the answer to that is more complicated than you might think. So, let me explain in detail…

How much pimento cheese you should feed your dog

I’ll be ahead and frank. You can’t really feed a lot of pimento cheese to your pooch.

To start, you’ll be considering cheese as a treat.

And PetMD says that treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily diet. That percentage is based on their daily calorie needs.

Then, that calorie count depends on your dog’s:

  • Age.
  • Size.
  • Breed.
  • Health condition.

You can ask your dog’s vet to calculate it for you to get the amount.

(Yes, it’s going to involve a lot more math than you might have expected…)

Now, an ounce (28g) of cheese has about 90 calories. 

This amount is already half of a small dog’s daily calorie requirement…

So, be mindful and remain patient as you do the math for your dog’s specific situation.

Now to the peppers…

Dogs can stand about 1 to 3 medium-sized pimentos per day.

1 being the maximum for small dogs, while 3 is the maximum for larger canines.

Put that together, and you’ll come up with how much pimento cheese your pooch can stand.

And as I said, it’s not going to amount to a lot…

But at least Fido gets a taste of it.

#2: Fights bacteria and fungi

Oh, this yummy mixture doesn’t just help with inflammation. 

It also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. 

These qualities are still thanks to the compound eugenol.

However, this time, eugenol got a little help from a friend. Its name is ericifolin.

Both of these compounds contribute to fighting bacteria and fungi.

This research gives us proof of this quality.

Its results show that pimentos can help bat down the following bacteria:

  • E. coli.
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria monocytogenes.

Warning: Don’t use pimento cheese as an alternative for your dog’s medication or needs.  And it’s best to consult a vet for advice regarding the usage of this pepper.

#3: They make a great reward

I’ve been saying it any moment I can…

Pimento cheese is a delectable treat.

After all, it’s a mixture of flavorful cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. And to top it off, the kinda-spicy but sweet pimento is added to the mix.

A lot finds this combination delicious…

And that includes most dogs, especially puppies.

That’s why many dog parents use cheese as a training tool…

Our four-legged friends can’t just resist the taste of cheese.

What more if the leveled-up version, pimento cheese, get offered? 

All they have to do is show a trick…

So, expect your pooch to comply in exchange for this delicious reward gladly.

#4: High healthy components

High Healthy Components

It’s obvious in the name…

The main ingredients for this scrumptious appetizer are cheese and pimentos.

Both of those have tons of health benefits alone.

But put them together?

Let’s just say that the nutritional value might be overflowing…

To explain, let me separate the two again…

Healthy components of cheese

Since cheese is made of milk, it’s a great source of calcium.

Moreover, experts say that cheese contains a healthy amount of protein.

And it doesn’t stop there…

Cheese also has high amounts of the following:

  • Zinc.
  • Vitamin A.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2).
  • Cobalamin (vitamin B12).

Healthy components of pimentos

Did you know? A teaspoon of pimento only contains 5 calories.

And from what I explained about calories, that quantity isn’t too much. It’s applicable for all sizes of dogs.

Moreover, pimento is low in fat…

It’s coming in hot (ehem) with only under 0.03 oz (1g) of fat per teaspoon.

For context: An average pimento weighs about 1.27 oz (36g). That size consists of about 36 teaspoons.

That makes a pimento’s average fat content 1.27 oz (36g) per piece.

But it doesn’t end there….

Experts say that this tasty kind of pepper is an excellent source of the following:

  • Iron.
  • Copper.
  • Calcium.
  • Gallic acid.
  • Manganese.
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

#5: Slows cancer growth

Pimentos are rich in plant compounds. 

I’ve already mentioned the first 2: eugenol and ericifolin.

Then, gallic acid is included in a bullet point in the previous section.

Now, the only plant compound that isn’t mentioned is quercetin.

All of those have cancer-fighting properties.

Many studies back it up…

In fact, there are so many that I can’t mention them all.

But how exactly do they contribute to fighting cancer cells?

Most of the studies available call these compounds antioxidants.

What are those?

They’re substances that inhibit or slow the process of cell degradation.

Hmmm, think of it as the fountain of youth…

I say so as antioxidants are usually used as preservatives in food.

These substances are assigned to keep ’em young, so to say… 

How exactly?

Antioxidants slow down the growth of bacteria and fungi. With that, it extends a food’s shelf life. 

It also prevents cells from being damaged or malfunctioning. That’s the cancer-fighting ability of antioxidants.

Moreover, the uncontrollable division of cells causes cancer.

With antioxidants, it can avoid such overdrive.

3 potential health concerns when feeding pimentos (cheese) to your dog

#1: It can cause digestive upset 

It Can Cause Digestive Upset

Unfortunately, cheese isn’t made for every dog…

How so?

Sad to say that most dogs are lactose intolerant.

And as I said, cheese is made of milk…

The kryptonite of every being that’s lactose intolerant is dairy.

So, sorry, Fido, but this tasty delight isn’t for you…

Lactose intolerance in dogs

When your pooch was just a puppy, you know they drank their mother’s milk…

“Right, so how come they became intolerant?”

Well, during puppyhood, pups can still handle the sugar called lactose.

That sugar is found in every mammal’s milk.

However, lactose concentration in dogs is only 3%…

Compare that to a cow’s milk that has a 5% concentration.

Now, there’s something to partner that sugar with…

In every young, lactase is present. It’s the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

During puppyhood, your fur baby has a higher level of lactase.

Then, it all changes when they start to eat solid foods.

Research says that lactase activity will decrease by 10% when that change happens.

With that, your grown dog finally develops lactose intolerance.

According to VCA Hospitals, here are the signs of lactose intolerance in dogs:

If your pooch reacts poorly to other dairy products, don’t try giving them pimento cheese.

Your dog doesn’t have to be intolerant to experience stomach upset

Too much of something can be bad for one’s health…

And in your dog’s case, too much pimento cheese might cause an upset stomach.

They don’t have to be lactose intolerant to experience this discomfort.

It also doesn’t matter if your dog has a sensitive stomach or not…

Eating high amounts of pimento cheese might make Fido’s tummy gurgle and start chaos.

With that, feed them pimento cheese moderately. The best way to do so is to follow the requirements that I mentioned earlier.

And as their dog parent, you’re one of the people that knows your dog well (second to their vet)…

Moreover, your closeness lets you watch your pup closely. 

If you wish, you can see how their stomach reacts to different amounts of pimento cheese.

Moreover, too much spice doesn’t brew well in a dog’s tummy

I did say that pimentos are only mildly-spicy…

That they lie on the bottom of the Scoville scale.

But don’t let that make you complacent.

Pimentos are still a type of pepper that can upset your dog’s stomach.

So, make sure you don’t go beyond what your canine can handle.

Note that a dog’s stomach doesn’t agree well with any spicy food.

For further reading: Top 9 Foods That Give Dogs Gas (Avoid #3 At All Times)

#2: Risk of getting pancreatitis

Pimento cheese is a mouthwatering snack with a handful of healthy benefits…

However, it’s only that way when you feed it to your dog in a reasonable amount.

Now, what if you don’t practice moderation?

An upset stomach is just the start…

You might be able to handle your dog’s diarrhea or vomiting, thinking that it’ll pass.

But what if the case isn’t a simple come-and-go situation?

I’m talking about the possibility of your pooch developing pancreatitis.

AKC says that dogs can get that condition from eating too much cheese.

Furthermore, this is more likely if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

But even if they don’t, it’s a condition you should be concerned about.

Pancreatitis in dogs

The pancreas is a vital organ in one’s body.

It’s assigned to produce enzymes that help break down food.

It also helps regulate hormones, mainly insulin.

All in all, those hormones assist in maintaining blood sugar levels.

But with pancreatitis, the organ becomes inflamed. When this happen, the organ stops from doing its crucial job.

Secondary to this condition is liver damage and digestive issues.

According to vets, here are the clinical signs of pancreatitis in dogs:

  • Nausea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Decreased appetite.

You might also want to know: Can dogs eat nacho cheese? 

#3: It’s high in fat 

The recipe for this yummy mix includes cheddar cheese.

Sadly, that type of cheese is high in saturated fats. Sure, such a component is useful for your pooch.

I say so as fats are essential givers of energy to dogs.

PetMD says that fats can double the stamina that carbs and proteins give.

So, giving your pooch too much pimento cheese might cause them to get the zoomies.

Also, saturated fats fall under the unhealthy list…

It’s linked to increased levels of cholesterol.

Do you still want to feed your pooch flavorful cheese?

Give them low-fat cheese instead

There’s always an option for your fur baby to experience amazing things like this.

In terms of cheese, Fido can enjoy those low in fat.

Here are some options for low-fat cheese according to professionals:

  • Feta.
  • Parmesan.
  • Mozzarella.
  • Goat’s cheese.
  • Ricotta cheese.

Note: Continue to practice moderation when feeding your dog cheese.