Can Dogs Eat Hot Sauce?

You absolutely love hot sauce. Along with making your food spicier and more delicious, you find that it clears up your stuffy nose and gets your endorphins going.

Dog Begging At Table
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While there are health benefits to using hot sauce on your food, are there any when it comes to your dog's health as well?

Learning about hot sauce and the ingredients it contains are going to help you determine the answer to that question.

Where did hot sauce originate?

That delicious, spicy hot sauce you probably have more than a few varieties of in your refrigerator originated in Southern Mexico in 7000 B.C. The Aztecs would cultivate chilies to use for both medicinal purposes and flavoring on their food. Christopher Columbus likely took them to India and Europe, where they spread and were used in many dishes in these countries.

In general, hot sauce ingredients include chili peppers, vinegar, citrus juice from a lime, lemon, or other fruit, salt, seasonings, and vegetables. Sriracha, one of the most popular hot sauces on the market, contains chili peppers, garlic, distilled vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Hot sauce on a table
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Today, there are different kinds of hot sauce from various places around the world. For instance, Hawaiian style hot sauce is made with chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and vinegar, while American Southwest style hot sauce contains New Mexican peppers and just a little bit of vinegar.

Can dogs eat hot sauce?

No, dogs cannot eat hot sauce. Your pup probably won't enjoy it because of how spicy it is, and it could cause some mild health issues. There are ingredients in hot sauce that dogs should not eat.

What are the concerns with feeding hot sauce to dogs?

Your dog may not enjoy the spice, and it could give him stomach issues like indigestion and diarrhea. Since dogs are sloppy eaters, there is a possibility the hot sauce could get into his eye and cause him a lot of discomfort. Also, the ingredients in hot sauce are problematic.

Chili peppers

While sweet peppers and bell peppers are fine in moderation, the capsaicin in chili peppers, which causes them to be spicy, can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and burns in the stomach, throat, and mouth.

Garlic

Garlic is toxic for dogs. Garlic is part of the allium family, which contains N-propyl disulfide. This compound could cause internal organ failure, anemia, and death.

Jars of hot sauce on shelves in store
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Onion

Onions are also part of the allium family and as such are also toxic to dogs. Some hot sauces may contain onion or onion powder, and both are definitely toxic to your dog.

Lemon

Since many hot sauces contain citrus, it's entirely possible that lemon is one of the ingredients in a hot sauce in your fridge. The stem, peel, and leaves are toxic to your dog and, if ingested, could lead to death.

Sugar

Excessive sugar is bad for your dog, as it can cause health and dental issues. While giving your dog a piece of dog-friendly fruit, which contains naturally occurring sugar, is fine, you should avoid the refined sugar found in hot sauce.

Conclusion

You shouldn't feed your dog hot sauce because it could, at the very least, upset your dog's stomach. In the worst-case scenario, eating a large amount of it could even cause death, unfortunately. So while you may love hot sauce, don't let your dog lick your plate after you've even it. If your dog accidentally has a little bit, check for signs of discomfort or illness, and if you notice any, take him to the veterinarian immediately for a check up.

Want to learn more about what your dog can and cannot eat? Here's our helpful guide.