Last Updated : November 7, 2022

Can dogs taste spicy? [Each Variety Explained]

Spicy foods have always been the favorite food of us humans. For centuries, different regions have different spices and man’s love for spices has never ended.

Many dog owners ask us if they can share their favorite spicy food such as capsaicin, hot sauce, spicy tuna, chilli and pepper with their beloved dog or not. There’s a lot of stuff you need to know before concluding anything. For example, can dogs taste spicy food? Is spicy food bad for dogs? Can dogs feel spicy food? Do dogs like spicy food? What spices are bad for dogs? what happens if dog eats spicy food? Let’s explore all these in today’s guide.

Can dogs taste spicy

Do dogs taste spicy food

Dogs and humans are similar in many ways and one of them is the way we taste the food. Studies have shown that dogs can taste most of the flavors like us humans except salt. It’s because they have fewer taste buds than humans (1700 in dogs & 9000 in humans).

When we say that dogs can taste different flavors like us humans, it does not mean that they react to them the same way. It’s because the anatomy of humans and dogs is totally different from each other. Both have their own digestive systems that perceive different foods in different ways.

To sum up, dogs have fewer taste buds than humans, so their taste buds are not very sensitive and due to this they can’t taste that much spicy food or feel any heat. Therefore, feeding spicy food to dogs is not much effective as it can degrade their digestive system.

Can dogs eat spicy food?

A note: This video not recorded by us. We do not really recommend offering spicy food to our lovely dogs

The answer is that dogs cannot eat spicy food that much.

Dogs have fewer taste buds (1700) as compared to humans (9000). Fewer taste buds mean that their tongue is less sensitive and cannot detect the heat of spicy food. Dogs have a strong sense of smell but their sense of taste is a bit weak as they have fewer taste buds on their tongue. So it is not much effective to offer spicy food to dogs as they won’t be able to taste it that much.

Can dogs taste hot sauce?

Studies have shown that hot or spicy sauce has a bitter or sour flavor. So it will be detected by the bitter and sour taste buds on the tongue of dogs.

But dogs have fewer taste buds on their tongue and they cannot taste the sour or bitter flavor.

From this, we can conclude that dogs cannot taste much of hot sauce rather it can deteriorate their digestive system or lead to other problems like frequent thirst.

Can dogs taste hot pepper?

As we have mentioned above that dogs have fewer taste buds (1700) than humans (9000). It means that their tongue is less sensitive and can taste hot pepper to a limited extent. However, if dogs cannot taste hot pepper it doesn’t mean that they are immune to the heat produced by the pepper in reaction.

In simple words, dogs cannot taste pepper that much but they can still feel the heat of the pepper. It’s because the heat produced by pepper is not a taste, it is the reaction of the dog’s body to capsaicin present in spicy food. So feeding pepper to your dog is not effective but it can still hurt your dog with its heat.

Can dogs taste hot cheetos?

Hot Cheetos is a processed food with almost no nutrients present in it. It means that after eating Hot Cheetos, your dog will consume a lot of calories without obtaining a single nutrient. That is surely unhealthy for your dog.

Moreover, Hot Cheetos are spicy which means that they contain capsaicin. Capsaicin can trigger burning effects, vomiting, and diarrhea among dogs.

Can cheetos kill dogs? No. Cheetos will not kill your dog.

Can dogs taste spicy tuna?

Dogs have a fewer taste buds and their tongue is less sensitive. Dogs cannot taste spicy tuna to that much extent.

However, the spices present in spicy tuna contain capsaicin that can cause burning effects, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal problems. Moreover, if there are garlic and onions present in there, it can lead to even serious problems for your dog. Therefore, we recommend you keep your dog away from spicy tuna and stick to its healthy and natural diet.

Can dogs eat chili powders?

Yes, dogs can eat chili powders, but it is not safe for them. Chili powder contains capsaicin, a substance that causes irritants to dogs. When your dog eats chili powder or spicy food it can lead to some discomforts like stomach pain, diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting. Although this discomfort may not be fatal, springing to action will help save your dog from having to go through excruciating pain for a long time.

If you notice that your dog has licked off some chili powders from the ground, provide it with a healthy supply of water immediately to prevent dehydration. Also, make access to the toilet easy for the dog so that it can go to the toilet as many times as required.

Can dogs eat spicy mayo?

Yes, dogs can eat spicy mayo because it is not toxic for them. However, it will be best to keep your dog from eating spicy mayo or any spicy foods because it could cause stomach upset.

Can dogs smell spicy foods?

Spicy foods are not only harmful to the digestive system of your dog, but they can also affect the nose of your canine companion because of their highly sensitive sense of smell. The strong smell of some spices like cumin is enough to cause your dog little discomfort.

How well can dogs taste spicy food?

Dogs have an excellent sense of smell but how well can dogs taste spicy food?

Spicy food is generally detected by the taste buds present on the tongue. Fewer taste buds mean a less sensitive tongue and less ability to taste spicy food while more taste buds mean a more sensitive tongue and a higher ability to taste spicy foods.

Dogs have 1700 taste buds present on their tongue while humans have 9000 taste buds present on their tongue. It means that dogs have fewer taste buds than humans so they cannot taste spicy foods like us humans.

From the above explanation, we can conclude that dogs cannot taste spicy foods properly.

Effects of spicy food on dogs

When we say that dogs cannot taste spicy food properly, it does not mean that they are immune to the heat and burning sensation produced by spices.

Spicy food contains capsaicin. When capsaicin enters the body, the nervous system of the body triggers a response against capsaicin that leads to heat, burning effect, vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal problems among dogs.

What to do if your dog eats spicy food?

What happens if you give dogs spicy food? If your dog has eaten spicy food, there is no need to panic and stress about it, so take it easy. Spicy foods are not toxic for dogs that they will immediately kill it. Your dog may show mild symptoms like the gastrointestinal problem, diarrhea, frequent thirst, or burning effect for a short time. After that, things will start rolling backs towards normalcy.

However, you are recommended to keep your dog away from spicy foods for the next time.

But if your dog has eaten way too much spicy food then you should call your nearest veterinarian for help.

Can spicy foods kill dogs?

If your dog has eaten a little bit of spicy food then it is totally normal. Chances are that it will show mild symptoms that will go away after a short time.

However, if your dog has eaten an excess of spicy foods then you should consult your nearest veterinarian because an excess of spicy food can lead to degradation of the digestive system, frequent thirst, gastrointestinal problems, and salt or sodium poisoning in dogs.

What spices are bad for dogs?

While some spices are nontoxic to dogs, some spices are considered dangerous to your dogs. These spices include; salt, cocoa powder, onion, nutmeg, and garlic.

Do dogs like spicy foods?

No, dogs don’t fancy spicy foods. Spicy foods taste bitter and sour, therefore, there’s a great chance that your dog may not like to eat or smell them.

Although a friend once to me that his dog likes to eat spicy foods, that to me is a rare case that needs to be critically examined because the capsaicin in spicy foods triggers pain receptors when it comes in contact with the mouth or tissues of dogs. Now tell me, how great would it be to enjoy eating in discomfort?


Dogs have fewer taste buds present on their tongue, so they cannot taste spicy foods excessively. However, spicy foods will still show their reaction to the dog’s body even though the dog cannot taste them. The capsaicin, garlic, or onion present in spicy food often leads to frequent thirst, gas, burning effect, and other problems among dogs.

If your dog has eaten way too much spicy food then it’s better to call your nearest veterinarian because consuming too much salt can lead to salt poisoning as well.

Bottom line is that you should keep your dog away from spicy foods and stick to their natural and healthy diet.

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