While some people cannot stand spicy food at all, some of us crave it so bad and always look for that heat feeling while eating. There are various kinds of spices and peppers with different levels of hotness. Pepperoncini peppers can be an option for those who do not seek much hotness in their food as they are mild to medium in hotness scale.
Since they are not so hot, you might wonder whether it is safe to feed your dog pepperoncini peppers or not. Pepperoncini peppers can be safe in small quantities for dogs but should not be priority.
What is Pepperoncini Pepper?
Pepperoncini peppers originate in Europe, specifically in Italy and Greece. These peppers are called friggitello or peperone in Italy. Their popularity of pepperoncini peppers has not only reached the rest of Europe, but also spread all around the world. They are very popular in United States and are known as sweet Italian peppers, Tuscan peppers or golden Greek peppers.
Pepperoncini peppers are more often found in pickled versions and are used in pizzas, salads or sandwiches. They are about 2,5 inches in average, and their skin is wrinkled. The color is bright yellow or green but they turn red when they mature. It is possible to find them in both green-yellow or red colors in stores.
Greek version of pepperoncini peppers is sweeter than the Italian ones and are a bit shorter. They are often confused for Banana peppers. However, they are not the same, though similar.
Pepperoncini peppers are relatively less hot than the hot peppers such as jalapeno or cayenne peppers.
How Hot are Pepperoncini Peppers?
When we take a look at the Scovile Heat Units in order to examine and dig deeper into the hotness level of pepperoncini peppers, we observe that pepperoncini peppers have 100 to 500 heat units.
In order to create a better picture in your mind, we need to compare pepperoncini peppers with other peppers. For example, jalapeños are 40 times hotter than pepperoncini peppers according to Scovile Heat Units.
If we compare pepperoncini peppers with cayenne, habanero or ghost peppers, the difference will be even bigger than the difference with jalapeños. Therefore, we can say that pepperoncini peppers are mild and not that hot comparing to other kinds of peppers.
Problems with Hot Peppers for Dogs
Spicy peppers can cause different health problems for your pup. Some of these health issues that are caused by spicy peppers can be upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Depending on the breed, age, and size, your pup’s reaction to hot peppers might differ. While some dogs have a very sensitive stomach, some other breeds can tolerate hot peppers better. If you do not know whether your dog can handle a hot pepper or not, it is better not to feed your dog with these peppers.
One of the problems dogs have regarding the consumption of hot, spicy food, is that while humans have 9.000 taste buds, dogs have only 1700 of them on average. This means that we, humans, feel the hotness of foods way more than dogs do. You might be losing control after eating a jalapeño; however, your dog won’t feel the hotness as much as you do.
That’s not necessarily a good thing for your dog because the fact that they do not feel the hotness as much as we do can let them eat more of them without feeling the downside of it. This can cause serious health issues even though these peppers are not toxic. Hot peppers contain a compound named capsaicin which acts as an irritant to dogs.
Is it Safe for My Dog to Eat Pepperoncini Peppers?
In comparison to other well-known hot peppers, pepperoncini peppers are mild and less hot. They are also low in calories and low in carbohydrates. 30 grams serving of pepperoncini peppers contain around 8 calories. As well as other chili peppers, pepperoncini peppers are very low in carbohydrate. This means that pepperoncini peppers will not increase your pup’s blood sugar rapidly if introduced to his diet.
Pepperoncini peppers also contain vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A will help your dog maintain a healthy skin, coat, muscles, and nerves. Vitamin A is especially important for small puppies in their growth process, muscle and neurological development. On the other hand, Vitamin C helps your pup reduce inflammation and cognitive aging.
Pepperoncini peppers are also rich in minerals. They contain remarkable amount of calcium and iron. Calcium in pepperoncini peppers will help your dog improve his bone health and density while iron plays an important role for physiological processes in dogs.
Fiber is also abundant in pepperoncini peppers which can make things easier for your dog in the bathroom and regulate his digestive process. Also, since fiber makes the food bulky, your pup will feel full easily. This can help with the weight loss if your dog has such a problem.
Capsaicin is present in pepperoncini peppers. This is a compound that makes the peppers hot. As aforementioned, capsaicin amount in pepperoncini peppers is considered low comparing to other chili peppers which actually makes them more edible for dogs and relatively healthier.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pepperoncini Peppers?
Dogs can eat pepperoncini peppers in moderate amount. Pepperoncini peppers are very low in carbohydrates, low in calorie, and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals which make them a healthy snack for both people and dogs. However, you need to pay attention to the capsaicin amount of peppers since dogs should not eat hot and spicy food at any time.
Chili peppers like jalapeño are high in capsaicin and can cause health problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach even though these peppers are not toxic to dogs. Not to forget, dogs differ within themselves and have different sensitivity and tolerance to foods. Therefore, it’s best if you contact your vet before introducing pepperoncini peppers to his diet.