Bell peppers come in different shapes and sizes. All of them are safe for dogs, but not all of them contain the same amount of important nutrients. We want the best for our dogs, so it goes without saying that we want to give them foods with the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals.
This leads us to our today’s topic: what color of bell pepper is the best in terms of nutrition? Is it true that it’s the red one? Read on to know about the nutritional information of red peppers and their potential benefits to canines.
What You Need to Know About Red Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are perceived as vegetables in the culinary world. This is probably because they are often used for savory dishes. But in the botanical context, bell peppers are technically fruits. These sweet peppers are the only kinds of peppers you can share with your dog.
Red bell peppers are dubbed as the healthiest of all sweet bells or bell peppers. This is because they stayed on the vine much longer. The green ones were harvested right before they reached maturity.
Do note, however, that there is a variety of bell peppers that remain green even when they are fully ripe. They are called the Permagreen.
Red bell peppers, compared to peppers of other colors, have more amounts of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, carotenoids, and phytochemicals. The red ones also contain the highest concentration of Vitamin C.
That does not mean that you cannot share bell peppers in other colors with Fido. It just happened that the red ones outranked the green, yellow, and orange sweet peppers in the amount of nutrients they have.
Can Dogs Have Red Peppers?
Yes, they are. Although they belong to the capsicum family, bell peppers, in general, don’t contain capsaicin. This natural compound is the reason why chili peppers are hot or spicy.
As you might have learned before, spicy foods are not suitable for dogs. Dogs might not even recognize the spicy taste but their bodies can still react to it. Spicy foods, such as hot peppers, can cause gastrointestinal upsets in canines. It could make them throw up or suffer from bouts of diarrhea.
The good news is that bell peppers produce no heat. They scored zero on the Scoville scale because their recessive genes hinder them from creating such compound.
How to Give Red Bell Peppers to Dogs
The red bell peppers should be washed and cored before serving them to dogs. Don’t forget to remove the seeds as well. You can give them raw to your pet, but make sure to cut them in small pieces to make it easier for your pet to chew.
Aside from giving them raw, you can also add the peppers in cooked dishes. Check out the recipe below if you are not sure how to incorporate red bell pepper in your pet’s meal. Avoid giving stewed and stuffed peppers as they may contain harmful ingredients such as garlic and onion.
You can also cook them in the pan but don’t use any oil. Steaming them is the best way to serve sweet peppers to Fido. When already sliced, they can be steamed for roughly 5 minutes. When steamed whole, you will need to wait for three minutes more for them to be done.
How to Select Fresh Red Bell Peppers for Your Dog
Bell peppers can also have molds. Any rotten food that contains mold can make your pooch seriously ill and nobody wants a pet to get sick. When buying red bell peppers, these signs will tell you if the ones you’re buying are good:
- Smooth and firm all over
- Consistent firmness and not soft on certain spots
- No signs of discoloration
- No brown spots
- No cracks and holes
Important Reminders for Dog Owners
While red bell peppers are safe for dogs, we still recommend feeding them in moderate amounts. If it’s the first time offering them to your pet, better start slow. One or two slices are a safe amount to begin with.
Too many veggies, especially raw ones, can upset your dog’s stomach. Also consider the fact that your pet might not like it. Some dogs will gobble down almost anything while some can be so picky.
Benefits of Red Bell Peppers for Canines
According to dog experts, our buddies really don’t need fruits and vegetables in their diet. Nonetheless, they can get some energy as well as fiber and minerals from consuming fruits and veggies. Bell peppers, for instance, still have potential benefits to dogs. Below are just some of the many good things red bell peppers have to offer:
They are good for the eyesight. The beta-carotene in bell peppers can tremendously help in improving vision. Red bell peppers have an impressive amount of this carotenoid that is important for a good health. This can also be a healthy addition for dogs prone to macular degeneration and cataracts.
They can boost Fido’s immune system. Did you know that red bell peppers contain twice of the Vitamin C found in citrus fruits? Because citruses are not so friendly to dogs anyway, bell peppers can be a healthier alternative to supplement your pet’s Vitamin C needs. While dogs can naturally create their own Vitamin C, some of them still need some supplementation.
They lower the risks of some cancers. Red vegetables are best known for their lycopene content. In fact, this naturally occurring chemical is responsible for their red color. Due to their red color, you can be sure red bell peppers have a lot of lycopene in them. This is the reason why the green bell peppers don’t contain lycopene. Lycopene can prevent many types of cancers including lung and prostate cancer. Aside from lycopene, red bell peppers are also packed with capsanthin which can help protect against cancer.
They are heart-healthy. Lycopene has many amazing health benefits. This substance does not only prevent certain types of cancer but is also beneficial for heart health.
They can help ward off diseases. Red bell peppers can be a wholesome treat to dogs suffering from arthritis. They are also ideal for those with joint issues because they have anti-inflammatory properties. Because of their Quercetin content, sweet peppers are also helpful in getting rid of many chronic diseases.
They can improve the digestive system. This kind of pepper contains an impressive amount of dietary fiber. Although they don’t have capsaicin, red bell peppers still have a mild thermogenic action. Unlike hot peppers, sweet peppers are capable of increasing the metabolism without raising blood pressure.
They maintain bone mass. Red bell peppers are packed with vitamins and minerals that keep bones healthy. The Vitamin C in them plays a role in producing collagen which helps in forming bone structures. They also contain 7 milligrams of calcium for every serving. Calcium works hand in hand with phosphorus in keeping the bones healthy.
They are good for the skin. Bell peppers, regardless of the color, keep skin youthful due to their rich antioxidant content. The Vitamin C found in red bell peppers is not just beneficial for the immune system. It also supports tissue health. The Vitamin E in red bell peppers can also help in building strong and healthy cells in canines.
They aid in weight loss. In humans, red bell peppers are notorious in weight-loss diet plans. This is because they are a low-calorie treat that is also low in fat. A 100-gram serving only contains 0.3 grams of fat. Aside from having low amounts of calories, they are also capable of turning the carbs into energy.
Red Bell Pepper Dog Treat Recipe
This doggie treat is definitely healthy because it only consists of all-natural ingredients. For a healthier twist, better make your own chicken broth. It’s easy to do and it’s a great addition to a dog’s diet. It’s also better if you use a non-fat yogurt for this recipe.
- Prep half of a red bell pepper by washing it and removing the stem, seeds, and the core. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, and 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Crack in 2 pieces of large eggs.
- Put 3 and ½ cups of rice flour.
- Add in ½ cup of cooked chicken. It should be chopped or shredded.
- Add your red bell peppers and a cup of minced carrots.
- Stir until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Form a ball and flatten it on a lightly floured surface.
- Place the dough on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before serving to your dog.
We recommend giving this doggy treat on occasion. Don’t forget that these treats, even if they contain healthy ingredients, should not replace your dog’s usual healthy meals.
Red bell peppers are safe for dogs when given in small amounts. As with any fruit or veggie, sweet peppers should only be given in moderation to prevent any adverse effects. Giving your dog a small slice per day will be enough for him. Don’t offer in large amounts as it contains dietary fibers that can cause stomach upset in dogs.