Many people rave about jerk chicken—it’s become a popular food all around the world! If you’re a pet parent who has a dog, then you’ve probably experienced your dog begging for jerk chicken when you’re enjoying it. Why not, he’d like to enjoy it with you, after all! However, is jerk chicken really good or safe for dogs?
What is Jerk Chicken?
Jerk chicken is a dish that comes from Jamaica. The “jerk” part of the dish’s name refers to a style of cooking. This type of chicken is usually cooked over a fire or a grill using green pimento wood. The wood creates a lot of smoke, which is the key to the wonderful flavor of the chicken.
Jerk chicken is made with a marinade that includes allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, garlic and ginger. The resulting flavoring from the marinade and the smoke create something that’s sweet and sour but has a peppery (hot) after taste.
Is Jerk Chicken Safe for Dogs?
Jerk chicken is not really a very good dish to share with dogs. The reason is not the chicken, but the ingredients used to prepare the marinade.
For instance, Scotch bonnet peppers are some of the hottest out there! The peppers are grown in Jamaica and are named “Scotch bonnet” due to the shape of the peppers. They strongly resemble the tam worn by Scottish men. The peppers range in color from yellow, green and red, with some ripening to orange or even brown. On the Scoville heat scale, Scotch bonnet peppers rate between 80,000 to 400,000. While there are hotter peppers out there, these are pretty hot.
Along with the peppers, jerk marinade includes garlic. This is a known toxin for dogs. Garlic is able to damage the red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. It can also cause digestive tract problems, and more.
So, is jerk safe for dogs? No, because of the pepper and garlic used in the marinade. While a piece of jerk chicken probably won’t make your dog sick, it’s just best to avoid giving it to him all together.
Symptoms Caused by Eating Jerk Chicken
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten jerk chicken:
- Stomach upset
- Lack of appetite
If your dog has eaten jerk chicken and is showing any concerning symptoms, then it’s a good idea to call the vet. They’ll be the best source of advice on how to care for your fur baby.