As a native New Mexican, I grew up eating our signature spicy green chile on everything. My Abuelita’s pork green chile stew is one of my favorite nostalgic meals. Recently, I decided to try making her traditional recipe so I could share this taste of home with my dog Benny.
After letting the green chile stew simmer for hours, the savory aromas filled my kitchen. I dished out a bowl and took a big whiff of the green chiles, pork, and veggies. But just as I set my bowl on the table, I heard Benny whimpering. When I turned around, he had his snout deep in the stock pot, lapping up my stew!
At first, I thought nothing of Benny’s chili thievery. Green chiles are a staple ingredient in Southwestern and Mexican cuisine after all. However, after doing some reading, I realized they may not be as safe for dogs as they are delicious! Here’s what you should know if you’re wondering, “Can dogs eat green chiles?”
Why Green Chiles Cause Issues for Dogs
All chile peppers, including popular varieties like Hatch, Anaheim, and Poblano green chiles, contain a chemical called capsaicin. When eaten, capsaicin reacts with pain receptors in mammal’s mouths, creating a burning “spicy” sensation.
Capsaicin irritates dogs’ digestive systems. Consuming significant amounts can lead to stomach upset or even toxicity. After Benny’s stew heist, he began drooling excessively, panting, and seeking out water – signs of discomfort in canines.
Health Risks of Ingesting Too Many Green Chiles
While we humans savor spicy chili heat, large quantities of green chiles can have serious health effects for dogs. Here are some of the most common risks:
- Stomach inflammation and irritation – Capsaicin can cause digestive upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or burning.
- Dehydration – Vomiting and diarrhea result in fluid loss and can make dogs prone to dehydration. Excessive panting from a burning mouth can also contribute.
- Anemia – Spicy chile recipes often contain onions and garlic, both of which can damage red blood cells in dogs when eaten in excess.
- Pancreatitis – High fat ingredients like pork can inflame dogs’ pancreases if consumed in high quantities.
- Kidney damage – Capsaicin causes increased blood flow to the kidneys as the body tries to filter it out, which can lead to renal issues.
So while the odd lick of a green chile won’t harm most dogs, ingesting an entire bowl could spell trouble. Watch for signs of discomfort or distress after exposure.
Other Problematic Ingredients in Chile Recipes
It’s not just the green chiles themselves that pose a risk. Many spicy chili recipes meant for humans contain other ingredients that can be iffy for canines, like:
- Onions/garlic – Can cause toxicity and anemia.
- Pork – High in fat and sodium.
- Oil/lard – Dogs have trouble digesting high fat foods.
- Salt – Excess sodium is unhealthy for dogs.
When cooking with green chiles, use dog-friendly modifications like lean turkey instead of pork, skip onions, and limit oil. Season lightly or use spices safer for pups.
Is There a Safe Way to Feed Dogs Green Chiles?
Small amounts of chiles may be tolerated by some dogs, but preparation is key. Here are tips for integrating green chiles into your pup’s diet:
- Remove spicy seeds and membranes before serving, as capsaicin concentrates here.
- Mix a few chopped green chiles thoroughly into your dog’s regular food to dilute.
- Start with just a teaspoon per meal to test your dog’s reaction.
- Stick to mild varieties like Anaheim over spicier options.
- Avoid any seasoned or oil-cooked chile dishes. Go for raw green chiles only.
- Monitor your dog closely after for signs of stomach upset.
As always, consult your vet about diet changes and safety. When in doubt, leave chiles out of your pup’s plate!
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Too Many Green Chiles
If your hound manages to get into the green chile cornbread or polish off your pork posole, here’s how to treat potential issues:
- Provide plenty of fresh water to help dilute their stomach acid and flush out irritation.
- Hand feed them a bland diet like boiled chicken and rice to calm their upset tummy.
- Call your vet right away if you notice severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or signs of distress. They can provide supportive treatments.
- Consult your vet before giving any over the counter medications like Pepto-Bismol, as these can be dangerous for dogs.
With quick action, most minor green chile mishaps can be treated at home. But have your vet’s number handy just in case!
Let Your Human Taste Test the Spicy Stuff!
While green chiles are a tasty treat for us Southwestern folk, essentially all chili dishes are too spicy and rich for our canine companions. The capsaicin in green chiles can irritate dogs’ stomachs and cause toxicity when consumed in large amounts.
Stick to dog-friendly foods and monitor closely if you share small tastes of chiles with your pup. When cooking up my next batch of Abuelita’s green chile stew, you can bet I’ll be keeping Benny far from the stock pot!
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.