Can Dogs Eat Black Pepper? Here’s What the Expert Says

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Black pepper is a seasoning that you can find on everything. You likely use a lot of it at home without realizing it. Since black pepper is on so much of our food, your dog has probably eaten it without you knowing, but can they eat this spice safely?

Dogs can eat black pepper in small amounts. Your pet shouldn’t get sick unless they eat a ton of the seasoning. However, most dogs don’t enjoy the taste of black pepper on their own, so you shouldn’t have to worry. Still, make sure you don’t feed your pet too much of this spice.

Additionally, black pepper has no nutritional benefits for a dog and can irritate its noses. It’s best if you don’t offer it to them, but you won’t harm them if they eat it. Make sure to continue reading if you want to know what the experts have to say.

Why Small Amounts of Black Pepper For Dogs Is Fine

A small amount of black pepper is safe for dogs to eat. 

However, eating too much of this spice can cause your puppy’s stomach to get upset. If your dog gets into a container of black pepper, they’re likely to start sneezing uncontrollably, which is uncomfortable for them.

You don’t want to add black pepper to any food or treats you’re making for your dog. 

The spice doesn’t have a flavor that dogs like and will bother their sensitive noses. There’s also no real reason to add it to their food, as the spice offers no nutritional benefits to a dog.

Overall, if you’re enjoying a lightly seasoned chicken breast, it should be completely fine to offer a bite to your dog. However, if the meat is over seasoned or coated in black pepper, you don’t want to give it to your dog.

How Much Black Pepper Can a Dog Eat?

If it’s on their food, you don’t want to give them more than two to three teaspoons worth of the seasoning. Any more than that, and they’ll likely be irritated by the spice. You shouldn’t offer your dog straight black pepper- they’ll hate it!

More significant amounts of black pepper can make your dog feel sick. You shouldn’t give your dog straight black pepper either, as itcan make them sneeze, and they won’t enjoy the taste or smell.

Can a Dog Have Salt and Pepper?

Salt is harmful to dogs, especially in large amounts. Too much salt makes your dog thirst, which means more trips outside. While salt and pepper are often used together in the kitchen, you don’t want to give these ingredients to your dog. 

Dogs can’t handle salt in the same way that we can as it’s very toxic to them, and overeating salt can even cause sodium ion poisoning in your dog. The Pet Poison Helpline even considers salt to be a poison. 

These are the signs of salt poisoning:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • No appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Weakness or exhaustion
  • Coma

You’ll want to contact your vet if your pet consumes a lot of salt and displays the above symptoms. While your dog can safely eat black pepper, these two ingredients go hand in hand. 

So, where you find black pepper, you’re also likely to find salt.

Can Dogs Eat Peppercorn?

Peppercorn is black pepper that you haven’t crushed yet. If your dog steals a few small corns, they should be alright. But you’ll need to keep a close eye on your pup if they eat a large amount of peppercorn. 

Since the pepper isn’t powdered, your dog might have eaten a more significant concentration of pepper, which might lead to your pet having an upset stomach for sure. You’ll want to call your vet right away if your pet becomes sick. 

The professionals will advise and let you know if they think they need to see your pet in person.

Can Dogs Eat Meat With Black Pepper?

Your dog can safely eat certain types of meat that have black pepper on them. You don’t want to offer them red, fatty meats since they can cause health issues, which means a piece of pepper steak isn’t going to be good for your dog. They may also not like it if the meat has a coat of pepper.

Plus, you’ll want to make sure that the meat doesn’t have a lot of salt or other seasonings on it. Not everything you cook with is going to be healthy for your dog to eat. 

Garlic is very toxic to your dog, so you should never offer it to them.

However, if you make chicken breast with a very light dusting of black pepper over it, it should be safe for your dog to eat. Don’t season the chicken heavily, or your dog might not like it.

You can always make your dog its own food. 

It’s best only to cook plain meat for your dog so that you won’t have to worry about them reacting to the seasonings. Your dog is going to love whatever you make for them- they’re not picky eaters when it comes to “human food.”

If you want to make a nice, balanced meal for your pup at home, follow this quick video tutorial:

It’s essential to offer your dog mostly kibble, as this food is better balanced for your pooch than human food can be. 

Additionally, you don’t want to provide your dog with too many treats. Their diet should be 90% balanced food, with 10% treats at most. Feeding them significant cuts of meat (seasoned or not) could cause them to go over that 10% treat limit.

In short, dogs can eat meat with black pepper on it, as long as you portion it correctly. If the dog can smell a lot of pepper, they may not even be interested in eating the meat anyway.

Why Do Dogs Dislike Black Pepper?

Dogs have very sensitive noses, so they dislike the smell of black pepper. It’s too strong and doesn’t have a taste that they enjoy. However, they’ll still eat food that has pepper on it. Your dog likely gets very excited about “human food” and won’t miss an opportunity to eat it.

If the food contains high amounts of black pepper, your dog might end up ignoring it. You may even notice them spit out a piece of meat covered in this spice.

Pepper may even cause dogs to feel a burning sensation in their stomach, which is painful. The spice can also cause heartburn, so it’s not something your dog will want to eat after trying it for the first time. 

They’ll probably remember the smell and avoid the spice.

Overall, most dogs ignore black pepper, as it has a powerful scent that bothers them. Some people even use black pepper as a way to train their puppies not to chew since they’ll actively avoid areas with the spice on them.

You can make your own black pepper spray by mixing a teaspoon or two with a small amount of water and spray the items you don’t want your dog to chew on. 

You can even use this method to keep dogs out of your yard.

What if My Dog Ate Black Pepper?

If your dog ate some black pepper, you don’t have to worry. Your pet likely didn’t eat much of it since they probably didn’t appreciate the taste. Dogs don’t like this spice very much but might still eat it if it happens to fall on the floor.

However, if your dog did eat a lot of black pepper, make sure to keep an eye on them. 

Your dog will probably experience some stomach upset and vomiting or diarrhea, so reach out to your vet if your dog gets really sick and let them know what’s going on.

Your vet will give you the advice you need, and they may ask that you bring in your pet to see them, depending on their condition. However, this situation isn’t very likely. You may also want to call your primary vet if you aren’t sure how much of the spice your dog ate.

Reducing Stomach Upset in Dogs

While it’s best to call your vet, there are a few home remedies that you might want to try. 

When your dog isn’t feeling well, it’s important to stay hydrated, but drinking too much water with an upset stomach can make them feel worse.

Instead of giving them water, you can offer your dog ice cubes, as small ice chips help your dog stay hydrated without making them sicker. Plus, they won’t be able to gulp them down as they can with water.

Additionally, plain, canned pumpkin is another way to combat your pet’s upset stomach. The food absorbs slowly and has a taste that dogs love. 

I recommend that you offer them Nummy Tum Tum Pure Pumpkin For Pets from It’s pure pumpkin, organic, and comes from local farms, and there are no added spices or sugars to worry about in this treat.

Is Black Pepper Bad for Dogs?

When consumed in large amounts, black pepper can irritate your dog’s stomach. It has a strong flavor and smells that many dogs hate, which can cause vomiting or diarrhea, as well as lots of sneezing.

While most cases should be mild, you’ll still want to keep an eye on your pet when they eat something they shouldn’t. If you catch your dog eating a lot of black pepper, you may want to offer them some extra water to help prevent them from choking on it.

Effects of Eating Too Much Black Pepper

Too much black pepper is harmful to dogs, so watch out for some of the health issues that could arise from your dog consuming a lot of black pepper:

Irritated Stomach

Your dog is most likely to feel a burning sensation in their stomach, which is very unpleasant for them. Too much spice can even bother the lining of their stomach and intestines. Black pepper is spicy, which isn’t a flavor you want to offer to your pet.

Diarrhea and Vomiting

With an upset stomach comes vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms could cause your dog to become dehydrated, so it’s crucial to offer them plenty of water. You’ll need to keep an eye on their condition and plan a trip to the vet if they seem to be really sick.

Respiratory Issues

Black pepper can cause some breathing problems in dogs, and when inhaled, it makes it much harder for your dog to breathe. Your dog will likely have a sneezing fit as well, which is a very uncomfortable experience for them. It’s best to keep the spice away from your dog so they don’t accidentally breathe it in.


Your dog can also get hemorrhoids from eating too much black pepper since their bodies don’t like the spice. This condition causes severe discomfort to any dog! If your dog is suffering from hemorrhoids, you must get them professional help right away.

If you notice your dog is itching a lot, it may have hemorrhoids. 

Blood in their stool and dragging on the carpet are other signs that your dog may have this condition. There are internal and external hemorrhoids, so you may not be able to see them.

What Does Black Pepper Nutrition Look Like?

The USDA says that black pepper is a decent source of iron, manganese, and Vitamin K- for people. Black pepper comes from crushed peppercorns, and it’s been a popular seasoning for hundreds of years and was once one of the world’s most sought-after spices. 

Black pepper doesn’t offer your dog any nutritional benefits. 

They can’t absorb the nutrients the same way we do, so adding this spice to your food won’t offer them much of anything. Even though it’s not toxic for them, that doesn’t make it a good part of their diet.

Alternative Spices to Use

If you still want to spice up your dog’s food with something, you can use these options instead of black pepper:

  • Parsley: This herb is good for reducing bad breath in dogs.
  • Oregano: This herb is delicious, and dogs love it, and it assists with dog digestion. It also comes in pet formulas.
  • Rosemary: Finally, this herb has plenty of nutrients that are good for your dog. You’ll need to make sure you only offer it in small amounts, however.

Why Are Some Spices Healthy for Dogs?

Some spices are healthy for dogs because they have different bodies than we do, so what’s healthy for us might not be the best for your pup. There are plenty of healthy spices in your kitchen cabinet, but there are just as many toxic ones.

For example, dogs can safely eat some cinnamon and receive benefits from it. 

However, cocoa powder, garlic, and nutmeg are all very toxic to your pet, so before giving your dog any sort of “human food,” it’s essential that you make sure they can safely eat it. There are several posts covering foods that your dog can and can’t eat on this site.

Can a Dog Have Cayenne Pepper?

A dog cannot have cayenne pepper, as it’s spicier and will make your dog feel like its mouth and throat are burning. They’ll also be sure to experience awful diarrhea or vomiting. Dogs don’t have the tolerance for spices that we have.

Black pepper and cayenne pepper are very different since they come from different plants. 

Black pepper comes from dried parts of the Piper nigrum, and cayenne pepper comes from dried capsicum fruit. The two spices have very distinct flavor profiles.

So you definitely don’t want to offer this type of spice to your dog. Even though some black pepper is okay, too much is terrible. Cayenne pepper is way too hot for your dog to enjoy and is sure to make them feel sick! 

It’s best to avoid using this spice on your dog’s food at all costs.

Can Dogs Have Spicy Food?

Most dogs have a very low tolerance for anything spicy, as many spicy foods can cause excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. You shouldn’t feed your dog heavily spiced or hot foods, as you don’t want to cause them pain.

While black pepper isn’t the spiciest food out there, it still is very strong for your dog. 

Dogs have different taste buds and a stronger sense of smell than we do. Your dog also processes food differently than a person, which is why they can’t safely eat everything that humans can. 

Related article:
Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? Can It Hurt Your Dog?

Final Thoughts

Your dog can safely eat black pepper in small amounts. 

You shouldn’t give it to them, as large amounts of black pepper can make your dog feel sick or have other harmful effects. Plus, black pepper goes with salt, which is very toxic to your pet.

Overall, you probably shouldn’t offer your dog foods with black pepper on them. 

It’s alright for them to eat small portions of the ingredient, but they won’t enjoy the smell or taste. Dogs dislike spicy foods, and black pepper also has a very strong smell.

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