Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food? (And Why You Should NOT Let Them)

Dogs are wonderful creatures, but there is one thing about them that you cannot deny, and that is that they are greedy.

Dogs are scavengers by nature, and because of this, dogs will attempt to eat absolutely anything that they can get their teeth on. 

Some people find this annoying, other people find it cute, and some owners will even go out of their way to share their meals with their dogs.

But there’s one area of human food that seems to be a gray area when it comes to feeding them human food...

...and that is spicy food!

Can dogs taste spicy food? And is it ok for them to eat it? Is it bad for them?

These are the questions I'll answer in this post.

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Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food?

As we have already established, you should not add spice to your dog’s food.

However tempting it might be to make your dog’s food taste nicer, what tastes nice for you might not be the same for them. 

Spices can also be incredibly dangerous for your dog as they can cause lots of different stomach problems, as well as vomiting, dehydration, and they can even be poisonous for your dog. 

But on a basic level, you might just be curious about whether or not dogs can taste spices. Not all spices are toxic to dogs, yet no dog foods contain spices, so is there a reason behind this?

The answer is yes. The reason that most dog foods do not contain spices, aside from them potentially being poisonous, is because dogs probably will not be able to taste the spices in their food.

As we rightfully treat dogs as part of the family, it can be very easy to forget how genetically different they are to us.

But as we have already established, a lot of food that is safe for humans could potentially be harmful to your dog. 

But it is not just the potential of harm you need to consider when feeding your dog, you also need to think about what they can taste. One of the major genetic differences between us and dogs is our taste buds.

The average human being will have more than 9,000 different taste buds which will allow us to break down the different flavors in our food and appreciate them all separately.

In comparison, dogs will only have roughly 1700 taste buds in their mouth. So while humans can break down and appreciate the different ingredients that combine to create the flavor of their food, dogs will not be able to taste spice.

This is why dog food is bland, as your dog simply won’t be able to taste the advanced flavors that we enjoy in a meal.

While adding spices to your dog’s food might make it more enjoyable for you, your dog will be unable to taste the spice, and it will more than likely upset their stomach. 

So even though you might fear your dog will grow bored of eating the same food every day, your dog is perfectly happy doing so, and there is no need to do anything to try and spice up their mealtimes. 


So, Do Dogs Taste Spicy? Conclusion...

In short, dogs probably cannot taste spicy food as they have 7000 fewer taste buds than human beings do.

Due to this, they simply cannot break down the different flavors in a specific meal which is why most dog foods appear bland to humans but tasty to our dogs.