Paprika is a spice that is used in many kitchens worldwide. It comes in different varieties, with hot paprika and sweet paprika being the most common ones. The spice is rich and flavorful, adding a punch of deliciousness to every meal.
Most spices are harmful to dogs, and as a dog owner, you want to make sure you only feed your dog healthy foods. Because of this, you might have questioned whether dogs can eat paprika.
A Closer Look Into Paprika
Paprika is a multiple ingredient spice made using ground dried bell peppers (capsicum), Aleppo peppers, and different chili peppers. Its taste varies among different blends because of the various ratios and ingredients used. For example, hot paprika uses chili seeds containing capsaicin. This makes it spicier, with around 500-1000 SHU.
Sweet paprika, on the other hand, uses more bell peppers than chilies. This type of paprika doesn’t contain any chili seeds; they are removed during processing. This is what gives sweet paprika its mellow, less spicy flavor.
Although dogs are different, most don’t like spicy foods. They also might not like the intense aroma of the spice as they have a great sense of smell that can be irritated by strong smells.
It is important to keep paprika away from your dog. Only feed them foods containing paprika in small amounts, with long periods in between, if they like it.
Is Paprika Safe For Dogs?
Paprika is safe for dogs. It doesn’t harm them, but there are a few safety and health reasons not to feed your dog the spice.
Dogs don’t have a high number of taste buds as humans, only 1700 to our 9000. This means they don’t have the same perception of food and spices as we do. With most spices being harmful to dogs, you want to ensure you stay away from anything that can harm your furry friend.
What Are The Possible Risks Of Feeding Dogs Paprika?
Just because paprika doesn’t put your furry friend’s life at risk is not enough reason to constantly serve it. Paprika can be a nuisance to some dogs and a source of discomfort. Here are other reasons why you should exercise moderation.
It is a compound found in plants falling under the nightshade family, and you can find it in eggplants, potatoes, and of course, paprika. Solanine overdose can occur if your pup consumes massive amounts of paprika.
The overdose can lead to drowsiness, difficulty in breathing, and impaired nervous system reactions. While this is rare and your dog must ingest a comically large amount of paprika, it is still a danger to them. Avoid leaving the spice where your dog can gain access to prevent such an accident.
Irritates GI Tract
Dogs have gentler stomachs than we do when it comes to handling spice and heat. They have sensitive gastrointestinal tracts and stomachs that cannot handle such foods. This is not much of a problem with sweet paprika but comes into play with hot paprika.
Dogs have a strong sense of smell which makes them more vulnerable to irritations than humans. Paprika has a strong smell, and the capsaicin in it can be a source of irritation to most dogs. The spice can cause dogs to sneeze uncontrollably. It can also cause mild to medium discomfort in some pups.
Safer Spice Alternatives
Although most spices are not safe for dogs, a few are the exception. These are safe for dogs to eat and are even healthy.
If you want to add more flavor to your dog’s meals, try using these spices:
Cinnamon sticks are good for freshening your pup’s breath and promoting their overall dental health. It is also a good agent for counteracting diabetes in dogs.
Ensure you mix the spice with their food thoroughly before feeding, especially when using the powder. A small sniff of loose powder can irritate their nose, leading to long bouts of sneezing.
This root spice is one of the best spices anyone can use, even dogs. It is an excellent metabolism booster, working well with overweight dogs. It also helps prevent doggy arthritis and soothes the muscles of those with arthritis.
Turmeric is also great for your dog’s brain health.
This is another root spice that you cannot go wrong with. Ginger is the best agent for dealing with your pup’s gastrointestinal health. It soothes diarrhea and nausea and improves gut health.
It is better to use ground ginger when feeding it to your dog as it is the safest option. Finely grated or fresh ginger can be too powerful and irritate your dog’s stomach lining.
You can also switch things up by feeding your dog healthy herbs, such as:
- Basil – This herb is packed with antioxidants that can help relieve arthritis effects. It is also an excellent stress reliever, perfect for anxious dogs.
- Parsley – You can use this herb to improve your dog’s dental health. Chewing parsley combats bad breath and leaves your pup with a fresh mouth. Parsley also contains minerals, fiber, and healthy antioxidants that promote your dog’s general well-being.
Although paprika is not inherently unsafe for dogs, use it with caution. Limit your dog’s exposure to the spice and keep the powder out of their reach. Opt for safer spices that boost your dog’s health.