Can Dogs Eat Pizza? The Truth About This Popular Food

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world, enjoyed by millions of people every day. But what about our canine companions? Can dogs eat pizza too, or is it bad for them? The answer is no, dogs should not eat pizza ever. Pizza is not a healthy or safe food choice for dogs, and it can cause various health problems and complications. Here are some of the reasons why pizza is bad for dogs and what to do if your dog eats pizza.

Pizza Ingredients That Are Bad for Dogs

can dogs eat pizza

Pizza is made of cooked flatbread, cheese, tomato sauce, and various toppings, such as meats, vegetables, spices, and condiments. While some of these ingredients may be harmless or even beneficial for dogs when given separately and in moderation, most of them are not suitable or safe for dogs when combined with pizza. Here are some of the pizza ingredients that are bad for dogs and why:

  • Cheese: Cheese is high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs. Cheese also contains lactose, which many dogs are intolerant to and can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting. Cheese is also often salty, which can cause dehydration and sodium poisoning in dogs.
  • Tomato sauce: Tomato sauce is usually made from ripe tomatoes, which are not toxic to dogs. However, tomato sauce also contains other ingredients, such as garlic, onion, herbs, and sugar, which can be harmful to dogs. Garlic and onion are toxic to dogs and can cause damage to their red blood cells, leading to anemia. Herbs, such as oregano and basil, can cause gastrointestinal irritation and allergic reactions in dogs. Sugar can cause obesity, diabetes, and dental problems in dogs.
  • Crust and dough: Crust and dough are made of wheat flour, yeast, water, oil, and salt. Wheat flour is a common allergen for dogs and can cause skin and ear infections, itching, and inflammation. Yeast can cause bloating and gas in dogs, which can be painful and dangerous. Oil can increase the fat and calorie content of pizza, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs. Salt can cause dehydration and sodium poisoning in dogs, which can affect their kidneys, brain, and heart.
  • Toppings: Toppings are the most variable part of pizza, and they can range from harmless to toxic for dogs. Some toppings that are safe for dogs in small amounts and without sauce are cooked chicken, turkey, ham, pineapple, spinach, and broccoli. However, some of the toppings that are unsafe or toxic for dogs are pepperoni, sausage, bacon, salami, mushrooms, olives, peppers, and jalapeƱos. These toppings are high in salt, fat, and spices, which can cause digestive upset, pancreatitis, and salt poisoning in dogs. Some of them, such as mushrooms and peppers, can also be toxic to dogs and cause neurological and cardiovascular problems.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pizza

dog eat pizza

If your dog eats pizza, you should monitor them closely for any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, panting, drooling, or seizures. If you notice any of these symptoms, or if your dog ate a large amount of pizza, you should immediately contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal, or provide intravenous fluids and medications to treat your dog. Depending on the severity of the case, your dog may need to stay in the hospital for observation and supportive care.

Why do dogs like pizza so much?

pizza with toppings

Dogs may be attracted to the smell and taste of pizza due to the savory aromas, especially those coming from ingredients like cheese, meat, and various seasonings. However, it’s important to note that while dogs might show interest in pizza, it’s not an ideal or nutritionally balanced food for them. Pizza often contains ingredients like onions, garlic, and certain spices that can be harmful to dogs. Additionally, the high-fat content in cheese and other toppings can lead to digestive issues.

Dogs also have a keen sense of smell, and the enticing aroma of pizza may simply appeal to their olfactory senses. Pet owners must be cautious about feeding dogs human food, especially those with ingredients that can be toxic to them. Providing dogs with a well-balanced and appropriate diet designed for their nutritional needs is the best way to ensure their health and well-being.

What part of pizza can dogs eat?

If you’re enjoying a chicken pizza (without garlic) and choose to tear off a portion to share with your dog, it should be safe. The same applies to bell peppers or spinach toppings on your pizza. However, if your pizza includes onions, it’s advisable to refrain from letting your dog have a sample.

Is pepperoni pizza safe for dogs?

Feeding pepperoni pizza to dogs is not recommended. While plain, cooked pepperoni itself is not toxic to dogs, it often contains high levels of fat, salt, and spices, which can be harmful to their digestive system and overall health. The high-fat content can lead to pancreatitis, and the excessive salt can contribute to sodium ion poisoning. Additionally, the spices and seasonings in pepperoni may upset a dog’s stomach.

If you want to share a pizza-like treat with your dog, it’s better to make one by yourself. You can see here a Pizza for Dog Recipe

Can dogs eat pizza crust?

can dogs eat pizza crust

Plain pizza crust, without any harmful toppings or seasonings, may be safe for dogs to eat in moderation. The key is to ensure that the crust is free from ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, such as garlic, onions, and excessive salt. Additionally, some dogs may be sensitive to grains, so it’s important to monitor how your dog reacts to the crust.

While plain pizza crust might be an occasional and small treat, it’s essential not to make a habit of feeding dogs human food, especially pizza, as a significant part of their diet. High-fat content in pizza crust, as well as potential digestive upset from unfamiliar ingredients, could be problematic.

Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into your dog’s diet, and be observant of any signs of allergies or digestive issues when sharing human food with your pet. Remember that the best way to ensure your dog’s health is to provide them with a well-balanced and appropriate diet designed for their nutritional needs.

The Bottom Line Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

Pizza is not a good food choice for dogs, and it can cause various health problems and complications. Dogs should never eat pizza, and they should be kept away from pizza boxes, leftovers, and crumbs. If your dog eats pizza, you should monitor them closely and contact your veterinarian if needed. To keep your dog healthy and happy, you should feed them a balanced and complete dog food that meets their nutritional needs and avoid giving them human foods that are not suitable or safe for them.

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