White dog eating a sliced bell pepper from a bowl

Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Yes, But…

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Fresh, crisp bell pepper can be such a tasty part of a veggie tray, but can dogs eat bell peppers? Whether you’re wondering if your pup can have a piece of a bell pepper as an occasional treat because he enjoys them or you’re trying to entice your dog to eat if he doesn’t have an appetite, there are many possible reasons to wonder if dogs can eat certain human foods like bell peppers. And, when your dog helps himself to a tasty piece of bell pepper, you’re likely concerned about whether dogs can eat bell peppers safely.

Dogs and people can eat many of the same things, but some human foods are toxic to dogs. You always want to be sure that any foods you’re feeding your pup won’t cause any harm. Read on to learn if dogs can eat bell peppers and any caveats to be mindful of.

Wondering what other foods are safe for your dog to eat (and which foods are not so safe)? Check out our Vet’s List of Human Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

Is it Safe for My Dog to Eat Bell Peppers?

Jack Russell puppy chewing on a bell pepper


It is safe for your dog to eat bell peppers! Bell peppers are a tasty treat that is healthy for people and dogs. Bell peppers have a high water content which allows for increased water intake in your dog’s daily diet. Bell peppers are also low in calories and have a pretty high fiber content.1 This makes these peppers great for pets with a lower-calorie diet.

Bell peppers also have many different vitamins and minerals. There is a high content of vitamin C in bell peppers.2 Bell peppers also contain Vitamin B6, Vitamin K1, potassium, folate, Vitamin E, and A. These vitamins are a great support for many different organ systems in the body. For example, these vitamins and minerals are good for heart health, healthy red blood cells, clotting cells, and healthy nerves and muscles.3

Bell peppers also contain many antioxidants. In particular, some antioxidants that support ocular (eye) health are contained in bell peppers.4

Dogs can eat bell peppers of any color safely. All the different colors of bell peppers will also have nutritional benefits.

Finally, most dogs like bell peppers. If your pup likes bell peppers but has a hard time chewing raw peppers, it is perfectly safe to cook them so that they are soft and easy to eat.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Bell Peppers to My Dog?

If your dog has a very sensitive stomach or severe food intolerance, then even bell peppers could cause some irritation to the intestinal tract. Symptoms of intestinal upset include reluctance to eat, vomiting, diarrhea, or soft stool.5 This can happen due to underlying conditions such as food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, or other diagnosed intestinal diseases. If your dog does have any of these conditions speak with your veterinarian before offering any “people food.”

Of course, as with anything, eating too much good food has the potential to upset your pup’s intestinal tract, even without any underlying disease. However, bell pepper is generally very safe for dogs to eat.

How Much Bell Pepper Can I Feed My Dog?

As always, calories that come from any food other than your dog’s main balanced diet should be limited. Typically veterinary nutritionists recommend that 10% of your dog’s total calories can be from treats or foods that are not his main dog food.

As bell peppers have a low caloric content feeding them based on calories would result in too much volume of bell peppers. I recommend the following guideline for dogs: You can feed up to one-half of a bell pepper per large dog per day. For a small dog, I would limit it to a quarter of a bell pepper per day.6 This will leave room in the daily calories for other treats also.

How to Prepare Bell Peppers for Dogs

Bell peppers are an easy snack to prepare for anyone! Prepare the bell pepper by trimming the stem and then slicing the bell pepper to remove the seeds. Set aside the seeds and the stem for compost or into your dog proof trash can, as your dog will not want to eat these parts of the pepper.

You can then chop the pepper into pieces for your dog to chew on. Remember, for those dogs that have a hard time chewing raw peppers, steaming or cooking the bell pepper is a great idea. Just remember the best way to feed the pepper is plain. It is best not to cook the bell pepper in oils or with seasoning for your pets.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Now you know that dogs can eat bell peppers safely. Always monitor your dog closely. If you notice any decrease in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, stop offering people food and check in with your veterinarian. Just like people, some foods may be safe but still not agree with your dog’s tummy. You can learn more about what’s safe for your pet to eat in our series of guides on the topic, including whether your dog can eat zucchini, or watermelon, avocados, shrimp, pork, and more are safe for your pup to consume.

Additionally, if you’re asking questions about what’s safe for your dog to eat you’re likely interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s overall health. Luckily, we have a lot of resources to help! You can check out our guide which answers the question how much fiber should a dog have in it’s diet or our guide to choosing the best high fiber dog food. If you’re worried about a dog upset stomach we have a guide for that as well, and we can even answer the question of how long does it takes a dog to digest food. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best automatic dog feeder. We even have a list that answers the question what foods can dogs not eat?

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our dog weight calculator can let you know how big your dog is likely to be, our answer to how heavy should my dog be? can help you determine if your dog is the ideal weight, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts to help you determine the proper weight for specific breeds such as goldendoodle weight, great dane weight, golden retriever weight, chihuahua weight, or labrador weight.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Arnarson A. Bell Peppers 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline.com. Published March 27, 2019. Accessed September 22, 2021.
  2. Cutolo M. 9 Foods With More Vitamin C Than an Orange. Thehealthy.com. Accessed September 22, 2021.
  3. Arnarson A. Bell Peppers 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline.com. Published March 27, 2019. Accessed September 22, 2021.
  4. Sun T, Xu Z, Wu CT, Janes M, Prinyawiwatkul W, No HK. Antioxidant activities of different colored sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.)J Food Sci. 2007;72(2):S98-S102. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00245.x
  5. Southwind Animal Hospital. Does my dog have an upset stomach? Southwindvets.com. Accessed September 22, 2021.
  6. Anastasia A. Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Akc.org. Published August 9, 2018. Accessed September 22, 2021.
Dr. Melody Aitchison-Steed
Dr. Melody Aitchison-Steed graduated with her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of California at Davis in 2005. Following graduation, she completed a 1-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and emergency care. After completing her internship, Dr. Aitchison-Steed has practiced small animal general medicine in Southern California. When she’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Aitchison-Steed is usually with her family (a husband and two sweet daughters, two dogs, and a cat!) enjoying the outdoors by hiking and camping, reading, or attending the kids’ sports events.