Are Jalapenos and Their Stems and Leaves Harmful to Dogs?

Susana Bradford
April 18, 2023
2 minutes
Jalapenos are typically not harmful to dogs, but they will cause them to sneeze and salivate. It's generally best to keep any...

As a general rule, dogs should not be given people food, because it is simply not compatible with their digestive systems. Any dog owner knows, however, that keeping a dog away from the garden, the trashcan, and the kitchen counter during food preparation can be quite a challenge. Pet owners have to be especially cautious of their dogs ingesting something that is potentially dangerous. Though many plants are toxic to dogs, jalapenos are not.

There are a limited number of ways in which a dog could be tempted with jalapenos. A pet owner may be growing the peppers in his garden, he may have ordered pizza delivered with them in the box and threw the box out where the dog can reach it, or he may deliberately feed a jalapeno to the dog. In any case, most dogs shy away from hot peppers altogether, or briefly taste them and spit them out.

Are Jalapenos Bad for Dogs?

Jalapenos may cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs due to the presence of capsaicin. Though not toxic, ingestion can lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. It's best to avoid feeding jalapenos to your furry friend and opt for dog-friendly treats instead.

If a dog happens to ingest an entire jalapeno pepper, it is likely not in any immediate danger, but it will be affected by its compounds just like a person. The dog might begin to sneeze, desperately lick its chops, and frantically search for water. If a dog has eaten a pepper, its owner should make sure it has plenty of water to drink.

Depending on the tolerance of the dog’s digestive system, it may vomit after eating a jalapeno. The pet owner may want to keep an eye out to protect his carpet or furniture. Dogs often eat grass if their stomachs are upset, so owners may want to look for that sign as well. They should be sure to continually keep a plentiful supply of water in the dog's dish.


Anxiety and some pain might occur when dogs eat foods they're not supposed to. As we mentioned above your pup could experience a ton of different symptoms from eating something they're not supposed to and get anxious as a result. That said, if you notice your pet is in more pain or feeling discomfort it could help to give them something that helps calm them down if they accidentally eat something that is making them feel not so great.

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dog eating treats

Though jalapenos are not toxic to dogs, these pets should not be encouraged to eat them. Even if a dog seems to enjoy them, peppers are not treats. For the overall health of the dog, an owner should only feed it food and treats specifically made for dogs. Too much people food promotes weight gain that can become unhealthy for the animal’s heart and other organs, and the pancreas can also be affected. For the health of the dog and to increase its longevity as a loyal friend, pet owners should always stick to dog food.

Get helpful pet care information and other helpful resources by visiting Pettable's blog.

Meet the author:
Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.