Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food? [Answer + 4 Big Dangers]

Many of us love to eat spicy foods like curries and foods with added hot sauce or chili. Some like to test ourselves and see just how much spice we can tolerate – there are even spice eating competitions!

But what about dogs eating spice foods? We may ask ourselves; can dogs taste spicy foods? The simple answer is no, dogs cannot taste the spice in spicy food, but they are able to sense and react to the heat that follows. This means dog’s taste buds can’t detect the spice, but they will react physically to the spice, for example, they may suffer stomach discomfort and digestive distress, they may vomit, and more besides.

How Do Dog Taste Buds Work? – Can Dogs Taste Spicy?

Dogs can taste things because they have taste buds. Papillae are little, visible pimples on the tongue that contain taste buds. There are around 1700 taste buds on a dogs’ tongue, compared to approximately 9000 on a human tongue.

After just a few short weeks of life, puppies begin to gain the capacity to taste food. Taste is among the first senses to develop, even before hearing or vision.

So, the main difference between dog taste buds and human taste buds are the fact that humans have over 5 times the number of tastebuds that dogs have. Humans have a considerably greater range of tastes than dogs due to this significant difference.

Can Dogs Taste Spicy Flavors And Sweet, Sour And Salt Flavors?

Dogs have taste receptors that correspond to those found in humans, this means they can taste spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. However, because dogs have around one fifth of the taste buds we have, their ability to actually taste spicy is practically non-existent. Dogs are more likely to detect spicy foods by smell, rather than by taste, and we know how powerful a dog’s sense of smell is.

You may also notice that your pooch doesn’t like bitter tasting foods and will generally avoid them. Again, this is more so due to the dog smelling that a food is bitter, rather than having a very strong sense of taste for bitterness. 

Dogs have a particular fondness for sweet tastes, which is most likely due to their ancestors’ diets, which included a variety of fruit and vegetable species.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Spicy Food?

If your dog eats spicy foods, they could become sick. Here are some possible indications and symptoms that your dog may be experiencing a negative response to spicy food.

  • A build-up of too much gas
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Thirst
  • Vomiting

You can tell your dog was uncomfortable or in pain if you see him licking his lips, shaking his head, pacing, and crying after eating spicy food. It’s always sensible to contact a veterinarian if you observe these symptoms in your dog.

Do Dogs Taste Spicy Foods Like Humans Do?

No, dogs do not taste spicy foods like humans do. This is because are around 1700 taste buds on a dogs’ tongue, compared to approximately 9000 on a human tongue. Because dogs have only around 20% of the taste buds that humans have, their ability to taste spicy foods is practically non-existent.

With that said, while dogs can’t taste spicy food, their bodies can and do react to the heat and ingredients that are often in spicy foods. And this physical reaction is typically negative, including intestinal bloating, diarrhea and a build-up of gas, and vomiting.

It’s not recommended to feed a dog spicy food.

Is Spicy Food Bad For Dogs?

Spicy food is often bad for dogs and rarely ever good for them. When it comes to feeding your dog spicy foods, you’re likely to be creating more issues than you know. For dogs, some spicy meals can be very dangerous since they can induce gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhea and gas.

Vomiting in dogs might be caused by an excess of thirst brought on by eating spicy food.

Why Does My Dog Like Spicy Food?

Dogs have a very keen sense of smell, which may account for their fondness for hot and spicy foods. The number of scent receptors in dogs is around 220 million, while there are only 5 million in humans. Therefore, if your dog indicates they enjoy spicy food, it’s due to the fact they find it an appealing smell, rather than because they can actually taste the spice flavor

What To Do If My Dog Ate Spicy Food?

If your dog ate spicy food there are measure you can take to help them deal with any gastrointestinal issues that may follow. 

Give Your Dog Water

A constant supply of fresh water can help reduce the feeling of heat in their mouth and help wash away the spice taste. 

Give Your Dog Milk

Consider feeding them milk if you find that hydrating with water isn’t working. Milk helps alleviate the burning sensations caused by spicy foods.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, be careful not to let him drink too much milk.

Contact Your Veterinarian

If you’ve given your dog water and milk but don’t believe their condition is improving, do not hesitate to call your trusted veterinarian right away. If your dog begins vomiting or has diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration, this is very crucial.

Can Dogs Taste Hot Sauce?

No, dogs cannot taste hot sauce. This is due to the fact that a dog’s tongue has around 1700 taste buds, while the human tongue has about 9000. Because dogs only have around 20% of the taste receptors that humans have, they are unable to taste spicy foods like hot sauce.

It should be noted that although dogs cannot taste spicy food, their bodies respond to the heat and other spicy-food-ingredients. For most dogs, this causes bloating, diarrhea and gas to build up in the intestines; it also causes vomiting.

Can Dogs Taste Capsaicin?

Compared to humans, dogs have just around 20% of the taste buds. Because of this, dogs are unable to taste hot sauce or other spicy meals.

And this inability to taste hot spices like capsaicin is an evolutionary trait. Due of the dangers posed by capsaicin, dogs are not designed to taste foods like capsaicin due of the dangers posed by it. Chilis and spicy peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that causes burning in dogs.

Can Spicy Food Kill Dogs?

There are no recorded instances of spicy foods killing dogs. With that said, spicy foods are can be dangerous for dogs whether they eat a small amount or a large amount. This is because spicy foods typically contain ingredients that can be very hazardous for dogs. 

Be aware of any changes in behavior or indicators of illness in your dog if they consume spicy food, such as diarrhea, increased thirst and vomiting.

Dog Ate Spicy Food Now Has Diarrhea – What Should I Do?

If your dog gets diarrhea, vomiting, and a lack of energy after eating spicy food, this might be a sign of a more severe problem, instead of a simply upset tummy. You should take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food? – Final Thoughts

After reading this article you’ll know the answer to the question, can dogs taste spicy foods? The answer is no, dogs can’t taste spicy foods. Dogs only have 1,700 taste buds, while humans have 9,000. This big difference is why a dog’s sense of taste is far duller than humans and they cannot taste spicy. However, they have physical reactions to spicy tastes, and these are often negative, including vomiting, diarrhea and gas.