Health

TikTok users are feeding hot sauce to their dogs, but veterinary experts say the trend is dangerous

Summary List PlacementAs part of a TikTok trend slowly gaining popularity on the app, pet owners are feeding chicken covered in hot sauce to their pet dogs. Like other social-media challenges involving food, this one is dangerous, according to a veterinarian interviewed by Insider.  Multiple users have posted videos of themselves dousing pieces of chicken with hot sauce as they reference the trend. "Give your dog something with hot sauce and get their reaction," one video's caption said, as they showed themselves attempting to feed their dog. In the various videos, some dogs lick the food and continue to eat it until...

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Summary List Placement

As part of a TikTok trend slowly gaining popularity on the app, pet owners are feeding chicken covered in hot sauce to their pet dogs.

Like other social-media challenges involving food, this one is dangerous, according to a veterinarian interviewed by Insider. 

Multiple users have posted videos of themselves dousing pieces of chicken with hot sauce as they reference the trend. “Give your dog something with hot sauce and get their reaction,” one video’s caption said, as they showed themselves attempting to feed their dog.

In the various videos, some dogs lick the food and continue to eat it until they realize how spicy it is, while others snarl and refuse to continue to eat it.

A veterinary technician with over one million TikTok followers said the trend could cause pancreatitis, or the inflammation of the pancreas, in dogs. 

“Stop doing trends with pets,” Peter, one-half of the duo @vet_techs_pj on TikTok, said in a March 2 video. 

Peter, who did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, said that while some dogs might enjoy the spicy treat, hot sauce could cause mild harm to your pets. The veterinary employee showed a dog who had eaten chicken with hot sauce, and claimed that his owners kept feeding him chicken with hot sauce because they enjoyed his reaction. 

“They just kept giving him more and more because I guess his reaction was just so funny but now he’s in the hospital with pancreatitis,” he said. The video currently has over one million views, almost 300,000 likes, and over 6,000 comments. Many of the comments condemned the dog owner’s actions. 

Dr. Mary Altomare, the head veterinarian at the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in New Jersey, told Insider that spicy food causes “great discomfort” to the dog’s body, including the oral cavity and esophagus. 

“As it travels to their stomach, it can cause further upset such as heartburn and even ulcerations,” Altomare said. “Once it passes through the stomach, pets are likely to experience intestinal cramping and diarrhea. Depending on how sensitive of a stomach your pet has, you may also see some vomiting and subsequent dehydration.”

Altomare also cautioned against feeding dogs onions and garlic, which she said are toxic to the animals. Both are sometimes found in hot sauces or used to add flavor to the chicken. “They both contain a specific ingredient called n-propyl disulfide that targets and can destroy red blood cells in dogs, causing anemia,” she told Insider.

Other TikTok trends have posed safety concerns for humans and animals alike. The nutmeg challenge, in which people become intoxicated from consuming excess nutmeg, reappears online frequently, though it has been known to lead to comas and even death. 

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