Does your dog like eating veggies? He might have come across bell peppers one way or another as these vegetables always find their way in our kitchen due to their versatility. There are several ways you can incorporate them into your dishes. Bake them, grill them, or stir-fry them – they always add a dash of color and extra flavor to many meals.
If your furry little friend right there actually finds bell peppers interesting, will you let him eat some? We know certain vegetables and fruits are not so good for dogs regardless of their impressive nutritional profile. Are bell peppers among those things you should avoid? In this post, we will talk about bell peppers as well as the safety measures and risks involved in feeding them to our pets.
What You Need to Know About Bell Peppers
While most of us see them as vegetables, bell peppers are actually fruits. In botany, they are considered as fruits mainly because they are the part of the plant that contains the seeds.
Bell peppers belong in the nightshade family. But unlike tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes, bell peppers don’t contain solanine. This substance can be toxic to dogs when ingested in large amounts. It’s believed that the green bell peppers have solanine but they only contain an insignificant amount of it.
All of the colors of bell peppers are actually good for you and for your dog. But did you know that each of them has their unique nutritional characteristic? One color can be healthier than the other. One could taste much better than the rest. So which one outranks them all?
Take a look at the differences of green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers below:
- Green bell peppers
All bell peppers actually start from being green. They will then turn yellow or sometimes orange as time goes by. Basically, the green ones are just the unripe bell peppers. In case you didn’t notice, they are also the least expensive among all colors of sweet peppers.
Green bell peppers have the tendency to be a bit spicy and slightly bitter. This is the reason why most dogs actually rather despise them than like them. They are aromatic, making them a perfect addition to pasta sauces and casseroles.
Do note that there is a variety of sweet peppers that stay green even until they are fully ripe. This variety is called the Permagreen, which can be grown as an annual plant and have a sweet taste.
- Yellow bell peppers
Yellow bell peppers are usually soft and they also taste mildly sweet. Because of their vibrant colors, they are a perfect addition to salads.
An ounce or roughly 28 grams of yellow-colored sweet peppers provides 6.4 grams of carbohydrates and 7.6 calories. There are 51.4 milligrams of Vitamin C and 56 IU Vitamin A in this amount of yellow peppers.
This vegetable also provides with a whopping amount of potassium, at 59.4 milligram per every ounce of serving. Yellow bell peppers of the same amount also have 3.4 milligrams magnesium and 3.1 milligrams calcium.
- Orange bell peppers
If you want to give your dog the sweetest bell pepper, go for the orange color. Because they are perfectly sweet, your dog will like them even if he eats them raw.
The nutrition facts of orange bell peppers only have a slight difference to the yellow ones. It comes with 8.8 calories, 41.6 milligrams of Vitamin C, and 178 IU of Vitamin A for every ounce of serving.
- Red bell peppers
It’s believed that the best of all, in terms of nutrition, are the red bell peppers. They are simply the ripened versions of the green bell peppers but the fact that they stayed on the vine much longer make them a healthier choice. They are also more expensive than the green ones.
The red bell peppers are the most ripened colors of sweet peppers. Unlike the green ones, the red peppers contain lycopene which is good for the heart. This naturally occurring chemical is also powerful enough in preventing certain types of cancers.
The amount of Vitamin C found in red bell peppers is almost twice as the one you can get from the green ones. An ounce of red bell peppers has 35.8 milligrams of Vitamin C.
Can Dogs Have Some Bell Peppers?
Yes, dogs are allowed to snack on bell peppers every now and then. If you are planning to give your dog raw bell peppers, make sure it was washed and sliced in small pieces.
When you are in doubt which color to pick, just choose the red ones as they are the sweetest among all the varieties. The yellow and orange peppers are also sweet but not as much as the red ones.
Cleaning your bell peppers can help lessen their bitterness. Doing so is also believed to enhance their overall flavor.
How to Offer Bell Peppers to Doggies?
- Raw – giving them raw is the easiest way to offer bell peppers. A slice or two of raw bell pepper should be enough to satisfy your curious pet. You can chop them in very small pieces and sprinkle them on top of your pet’s meal.
- Oven-roasted – set the bell peppers in a baking sheet brushed with a bit of olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven at 400F for 20 minutes.
- Pan-grilled – to cook bell peppers on a grill pan, just place the peppers on a preheated pan then allow to roast for around 20 minutes or until they are charred.
Important Reminder to Dog Owners
Just a quick word of warning, be vigilant in feeding anything to your dog. If it’s the first time your pup gets a taste of bell pepper, start slow. Introduce bell peppers to him by offering a slice of it.
There is a very minimal risk in giving bell peppers to dogs. Your only concern here is if the dog ate more than what is allowed for him. Bell peppers are packed with dietary fibers, which can upset Fido’s stomach if he eats a lot of them.
Green bell peppers are also believed to have small amounts of solanine. If they are eaten in large amounts, your dog will eventually end up sick. To be safe, just offer him the ripe sweet peppers or the red ones.
What Are the Benefits of Bell Peppers to Dogs?
A medium-sized bell pepper only comes with 37 kcal, 5 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of sugar. There is a gram of protein for every medium-sized serving of bell peppers. Below are some of the reasons why these vegetables are a wholesome addition to Fido’s diet:
- Bell peppers can boost your dog’s immunity
Your dog’s immune system serves as his first line of defense from bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can causes many diseases. The good news is that bell peppers are packed with lots of Vitamin C, an immunity-boosting vitamin. Dogs naturally produce their own Vitamin C from glucose. However, canines with Vitamin C deficiencies can eventually be given a raw natural dog food diet. Giving a Vitamin C supplement is only needed if the raw diet is not sufficient.
- They are anti-inflammatory
Bell peppers can be a wholesome treat for dogs with joint problems or arthritis because they have anti-inflammatory properties. A 2017 study published at the experimental and Therapeutic Medicine suggests that the components of bell pepper do have an anti-inflammatory activity.
- They can lower bad cholesterol
Dogs, like humans, can also have increased fat in their blood in the form of cholesterol and triglycerides. When there is excessive fat in the blood, a canine will suffer from hyperlipidemia. If your pooch is prone to having a high cholesterol, you eventually have to modify his current diet.
- They are ideal for burning calories
If you struggle in helping your pooch burn some calories, you can add more healthy foods in their diet. These include bell peppers which naturally boost their metabolism. When the metabolism is working at its best, it helps converts foods into energy at a faster rate. When the metabolism is slow, the calories eventually turn into fats.
- Bell peppers are good for the eyes
Bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is dubbed as the eye vitamin. Vitamin A can make Fido’s eyesight better because it protects his eyes from infections. This vitamin can also help in soothing eye inflammation and can tremendously reduce the risks of macular degeneration.
Bell peppers are the only types of peppers we can share with our pets. They have many amazing benefits, not to mention that they are also low in fats and calories. But as with any veggie (or fruit, for that matter) you have to offer bell peppers in moderation otherwise, Fido may suffer from diarrhea and vomiting.