A dog with a wary expression looking at capers, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Capers?

No, dogs should not eat capers. These tiny, tangy buds can pose significant health risks to our four-legged friends. Capers are high in sodium, which is closely linked to hypertension and kidney damage in dogs. Additionally, their acidic nature can upset a dog's stomach and lead to gastrointestinal issues.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 20, 2024

Did You Know?

Capers contain high levels of sodium, which can be harmful to a dog's digestive system and lead to salt poisoning.




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Why are Capers Bad for Dogs?

Capers are packed with salt, which can cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs if consumed in large quantities. This poisoning can lead to symptoms like excessive thirst, urination, vomiting, and even seizures. The acidity and high sodium content make capers a poor choice for any canine diet.

How Many Capers Can Dogs Eat?

While it's best to avoid capers altogether, an accidental consumption of one or two is unlikely to cause severe harm. However, try to ensure this doesn’t become a habit, and always keep capers out of reach. Even in small amounts, capers can upset your dog's stomach due to their acidity.

Common Misconceptions

Some people believe that small amounts of capers can add a bit of flavor to a dog's meal without any adverse effects. However, the risks associated with sodium and acidity far outweigh any supposed benefits. Dogs don’t need fancy spices or tangy flavors; plain and simple is usually best for them.

Similar Harmful Products

Capers aren't the only culprits hiding in your kitchen that are harmful to dogs. Here are a few more to watch out for:

  • Pickles: Also high in sodium, leading to similar risks as capers.
  • Olives: Often brined or preserved with salt, they pose the same dangers.
  • Anchovies: Another salty treat that can harm your dog’s health.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Capers?

If your dog accidentally eats capers, monitor them closely for any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive thirst. If you notice these symptoms or if your dog consumed a large amount, contact your veterinarian immediately. Avoid taking independent medical actions like inducing vomiting without professional advice.

Consuming high salt content foods like capers can lead to long-term health issues such as hypertension and kidney damage. The treatment for sodium ion poisoning or other complications can be expensive. Pet insurance can help manage these unexpected costs, saving you from a financial burden while ensuring your furry friend gets the best care possible.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of capers, consider these dog-friendly treats that add flavor without the risks:

  • Plain Carrots: Crunchy and sweet, great for dental health.
  • Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, perfect for a healthy snack.
  • Pumpkin: Low in calories, high in fiber, excellent for digestion.


To sum it up, capers are a no-go for dogs. Their high sodium and acidity levels can lead to serious health issues. Always aim for dog-safe alternatives and consult with a veterinarian for any diet-related questions. Keep your pup's diet simple, nutritious, and flavor-packed with safe options!