My Dog Ate Hot Sauce: Should I Worry? (Solved & Explained!)

Everybody loves Taco Tuesday. Tacos, burritos, and your favorite Mexican beer or a frozen margarita. Fiesta! Don’t forget the hot sauce if you like spicy foods as much as I do. Just be careful during your party to keep Fido safe. Not all the ingredients are safe for your pet dog!   

Hot sauce, while not toxic for dogs, can cause discomfort and illness. Dogs are not equipped to ingest spicy foods. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea and leave their mouth and throat burning. The onions can cause anemia and can be fatal if untreated. 

Below we look at what hot sauce is, if it is safe for your dog, how it can affect your dog, and treatment options if they do decide to partake in Taco Tuesday. 

What is hot sauce?

Hot sauce is a type of condiment made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. They can vary in color and be red, green, or even brown. Hot sauces get their spicy flavor from the capsaicin in chili peppers. They give the hot sauce various degrees of hotness on the Scoville scale.  

Capsaicin is an irritant and is found in various repellant sprays such as pepper sprays, bear sprays, and mace. They are designed to impair people and animals without doing permanent harm. People with allergies to capsaicin can experience breathing difficulties and eye irritation. 

Is hot sauce safe for dogs?  

Dogs are not tolerant of spicy flavors. Hot sauce will cause digestive issues and diarrhea when eaten. Capsaicin is not toxic to dogs but can put them in distress. It can lead to dehydration in dogs and it is very important they have access to fresh water to counter the burning effects. 

Some spicy foods and hot sauces can contain onion and garlic both of which are toxic to dogs. All parts of onions and garlic contain a toxin that may damage red blood cells and cause hemolytic anemia in your dog. If left untreated by a veterinarian it can be life-threatening or fatal.   

Do dogs like spicy foods? 

Dogs have different taste buds than their human counterparts. Spicy foods have a bitter taste that most dogs will not enjoy. Beyond the taste, spicy foods can cause burning in the dog’s mouth and throat and will not be a pleasant experience, even if they do tolerate the taste. 

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What symptoms can hot sauce cause in dogs?

Capsaicin is not toxic for dogs. Its ingestion may not be pleasant for them. Listed below are some of the symptoms that a dog may have after eating hot sauce. 

  • Panting
  • Watery eyes
  • Rubbing head and face
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Thirst 

What to do if your dog eats hot sauce?

Hot sauce is not toxic for dogs. Most of the time dogs ingest hot sauce they do not need to visit a veterinarian. Unless they are distressed, keep a watch over them and check for signs of an illness or changes in behavior. Home treatments can help them feel better. 

If their condition does not improve, or they are showing severe signs of illness consult a veterinarian for treatment. Onions and garlic are toxic for dogs and can be fatal if untreated. 

Treatments for dogs that eat hot sauce

There are a few treatments you can do to help your dog at home after they eat hot sauce until they are feeling better:

Provide plenty of water  

Capsaicin can cause thirst and dehydration in your dog. Ensure they have access to plenty of fresh, clean water and are drinking the water. 

Yogurt and milk 

Yogurt and milk can help neutralize the burning effect on their mouth and throat. It will help them start feeling better quicker. 

Prepare for vomiting or diarrhea 

Hot sauce and its ingredients can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your pet. Taking them outside more often will help to give them a place to use the bathroom. 

Change their diet

Switching their diet after vomiting and diarrhea can help your pet recover quickly. Rice, bland chicken, and white tuna will help their digestive tract return to normal.

Other risks from spicy foods

Hot sauce isn’t the only concern if your dog eats spicy foods. Spicy foods can contain both onions and garlic which are known to be toxic to dogs. A toxin in onions can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia which could be life-threatening if left untreated. 

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All parts of an onion are toxic to dogs. Onion powder is also toxic and can cause issues if consumed by your pet. If your dog is experiencing the effects of eating onions, it will need medical treatment by a veterinarian. In severe cases, dogs may require a blood transfusion. 

Prevention is best

Preventing your dog from eating spicey foods is the best way to keep them healthy. When cooking, especially when preparing spicy foods, pets should be monitored in the kitchen at all times. Messes should be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent them from eating the mess. 

Your dog should be fed a well-balanced diet to promote health. They can be fed some human food, but care must be taken to ensure they are safe. Tacos, hot sauce, and other spicy foods are not safe for dogs and can cause illness or vomiting. They are best left for their human counterparts. 


You may be a fan of spicy foods but they are not suitable for your dog. Hot sauce, when ingested by a dog can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It can leave them in pain with their mouths burning. Other ingredients in spicy food, like onions, can be harmful or fatal to your family pet. 

The best way to keep your pets safe is to prevent them from ingesting any spicy foods. If they do, be sure to give them plenty of fresh water. Milk and yogurt help neutralize the burning effects the hot sauce has on your pets. If the symptoms do not improve seek medical treatment.   Happy pets!