Cayenne for Dogs

| Modified on Aug 25, 2020

Cayenne pepper has many health benefits for dogs and has been used for hundreds of years. Cayenne peppers contain vitamins A, C, B-complex, calcium, and potassium, which may explain why it is a beneficial remedy for canines.

Earth Clinic readers have mentioned adding a tiny amount of cayenne powder to their dog's food for a number of ailments, such as diarrhea and arthritis.

What is Cayenne?

Cayenne is from the nightshade family and associated with the spicy cayenne pepper, which is named after the capital of French Guiana with the same name!

Cayenne is typically found in South and Central America, although changes in growing habits in the past few decades have made these pepper readily available around the world.

Therapeutic Benefits for Dogs

Cayenne can helps with the following conditions:


Cayenne increases blood circulation to the joints, tendons, muscles and connective tissues.  Because cayenne is high in capsaicin, it is helpful in temporarily relieving the joints.


Cayenne is a fantastic digestive aid for people and pets!

It can stimulate the digestive tract by increasing flow of gastric juices and enzyme production. This helps your dog to metabolize food (and toxins) with greater efficiency.

Cayenne also alleviates gas and bloating by stimulating the intestinal tract and aiding in the elimination of waste.


Cayenne is said to be helpful for overweight dogs as it balances LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Immune Strengthener

Cayenne has antifungal and antibacterial properties, helping your dog fight illness.

What Happens When a Dog Eats Cayenne?

One of the main therapeutic uses for cayenne is in widening the blood vessels, which is called Vasodilation. This occurs after the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the walls of the vessels themselves. This process naturally increases the flow of blood in dogs.

Cayenne Dosage for Dogs

First, never give over the counter capsules meant for humans.  This is way too much for them. If you are considering using it internally on your dog, check with a holistic vet first. Only a very small amount is needed for dogs.

A little cayenne goes a long way.

Earth Clinic readers recommend sprinkling cayenne powder in your dog's food once or twice a day. No more than 2 shakes of cayenne to start. Mix well into their food.

Cayenne does not cause irritation to the digestive tract when used moderately.


Cayenne pepper powder can cause irritation to a dog’s eyes, paws and irritate mucous membranes if they accidentally inhale some powder. This can be painful to a dog.

Send Us Your Feedback!

Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have used cayenne for their dogs and let us know how you use it on your pet!

Arthritis, Poop Eating

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by JuneBug (Pasadena) on 08/25/2020

I started putting a couple shakes of cayenne in my elderly dogs' meals to stop one from eating poop and help her better absorb nutrients. They are fed a freeze-dried raw food and are doing well on it but slow from arthritis and hip dysplasia. They are definitely more "zippy" on walks since I added the cayenne. It seems to have stopped the eating poop issue.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by June ( Sheboygan Falls, WI) on 06/13/2008

Cayenne Pepper cured my Dog's Diarrhea:

I read on your website that cayenne pepper sprinkled on some rice would help my dog's diarrhea. I cooked some plain white rice, sprinkled a small bit of cayenne pepper on it, and fed it to my 120 pound dog.

He normally eats 2 cups of food twice daily. I started with one cup of rice at breakfast and one at supper the first day. Then 2 cups at each meal the second day. I noticed within 30 MINUTES, his stools were beginning to firm up and by the 3rd day he was back to himself! I never had to take him to the vet, this remedy saved me money, thank you so much Earth Clinic!