Dogs should not be given pizza if you can avoid it. Although a small amount of pizza will likely not hurt your dog, you should be careful to avoid giving your dog pizza, as many of the ingredients will hurt your dog.
The rest of this article will explain why giving your dog pizza is bad and why.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza?
Pizza is one of the biggest, most popular foods out there. In fact, according to the Washington Post, three billion pizzas are eaten across just the United States every year. But, of course, that’s just the US!
There have been a lot of studies done on how fast food such as pizza can hurt even us humans in large quantities, so you may be wondering if it will have the same effect on dogs.
Although it is excellent comfort food for human consumption, pet parents should avoid feeding their dog pizza, no matter how much dogs love it.
Unfortunately, whether it is bad is a complicated answer since it largely depends on the ingredients. This is because some of the main ingredients in pizza are not good for dogs, and neither are so many of the most popular toppings we see today. Some harmful components in pizza sauce can actually be toxic for your pup and will lead to severe illness if they eat a large quantity of it.
You may be wondering, well, what parts of the pizza can dogs eat? So let’s dive into the different parts of a pizza and look at what your dog can and cannot eat.
A good pizza always starts with the pizza crust. A traditional crust is usually made from wheat flour, sugar, yeast, salt, oil, and water.
When it comes to these ingredients, sugar and salt are the main issue for your dog. In excessive quantities, neither of these are suitable for dogs.
If your dogs eat pizza crusts, it may not be the biggest issue, depending on what else is in it.
If you purchase store-bought, processed raw pizza dough, the sugar and salt may be downright excessive, even for human consumption. Unfortunately, this means that it’s not good for your dog.
In addition to this, some crusts may even include some ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onions, herbs, and garlic.
Raw Pizza Dough
This is going to get its very own section, simply because it’s important!
If your dog has eaten raw pizza dough, it may be an even more urgent matter. But, first, it would be best if you took your dog to the vet right away, as the raw dough can expand in your dog’s stomach. This can cause possible tears in the muscle tissue and potentially cut off blood supply to essential organs. In fact, it can end up taking up so much space inside your dog that it stops their chest from properly inflating, leading to breathing difficulties.
Additionally, due to the ethanol byproduct of yeast, your dog can even become intoxicated.
As a rule, dog owners should stay away from allowing their dogs to eat pizza crusts.
If your dog was able to lick some marinara, they should be okay! Thankfully, marinara is usually made from ripe tomatoes, which are okay for dogs to eat, according to the American Kennel Club. The only parts of the tomato that are toxic to dogs are the stem and leaves, which can make them sick.
That being said, pizza sauce is not only made from tomatoes. If your dog has eaten tomato sauce, you should make sure that it does not have garlic, herbs, or onion, as they are toxic for your dog. Many store-bought pizza sauces also contain a lot of sugar.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ingredients that dogs need to stay away from in tomato sauce:
- Garlic- Garlic is toxic for dogs and used in so many sauces. It is possible for your dog to get garlic poisoning from it, which will have several health implications such as hemolytic anemia, heinz body anemia, and methemoglobinemia, all damaging the red blood cells.
- Onion Powder- Another common ingredient in pizza sauce, onions can cause onion toxicity. If you see any signs of it, such as weakness, pale gums, fainting, and reddish urine, you should go to your vet immediately.
- Herbs- Although herbs can be good for dogs, many herbs included in the sauce are not, such as shallots.
Pizza sauce will also have a large amount of sodium, which will lead to heart disease for your dog over time.
It is never good for your dog to have too much cheese, as it is typically high in fat and calories. This can lead to way too many calories for your pet, even if you went with a more low-fat cheese option.
There are so many cheese varieties, and although almost all of them are incredibly high in fat content, mozzarella can be better for your dogs than most. However, this can still lead to a tummy upset in excess quantities.
Other Toppings Your Dog Should Not Eat
Your dog should stay away from most pizza toppings since most will be fatty and over-processed, meaning they will contain high levels of salt and sugar.
Even ingredients that you think your dogs can eat, such as pepperoni, are too fatty and salty for your dog. It can also have a spicy flavor that is not good for dogs and can hurt their sensitive stomachs. In addition, nitrates, which pepperoni also has, have been linked to certain cancers and are terrible for dogs and your pet’s digestive system.
Although fresh vegetables may sound like an okay addition to your dog’s diet, they are usually cooked in oils or spices when made for pizza, which will lead to abdominal pain.
Mushrooms, although eaten by humans, are not unsafe for dogs. However, much like other vegetables, they are often cooked with oils and spices that your dog should not eat, so it is best not to take that risk!
Dog Safe Pizza Toppings
Although they are not suitable for dogs due to their high-fat content, most cheeses are safe for them. In fact, in minimal amounts, mozzarella has a couple of beneficial nutrients such as calcium, protein, and essential fatty acids.
That being said, you should always stay away from blue cheese, as it is unsafe for your dog and can cause a lot of harm.
If your dog is lactose intolerant or has a sensitive stomach, you should avoid allowing them to have cheese altogether.
If you are looking for a pizza topping that your dog can eat, raw pineapple is a healthy treat for most dogs as long as it is consumed in moderation.
Can I Make Homemade Pizza For My Dog?
It is possible to make a dog-safe pizza, but it should not be done often.
Making a pizza for your dog will be wasteful, as your dog will be just as happy with plainly cooked meat, which will be better suited for them.
If you are a home cook and a proud owner of dogs who makes pizza regularly, it is okay to make a dog-safe pizza. Just know that most dogs will not appreciate it.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Pizza
A small slice of pizza will not hurt your dog. A small amount of cheese is also likely not to harm them. Small bites of anything will probably not because of going to the vet, but it can quickly turn dangerous.
Raw Pizza Dough
Raw pizza dough, for example, can cause severe illness very fast. If your dog may have eaten raw dough, you should call the vet immediately, as it can cause so many health problems in a very short amount of time. It is terrible for dogs and should not be given to them.
Cooked pizza, in excess, will likely cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you think that your dog has eaten a lot of pizza, you should call your vet, as they might need treatment, such as induced vomiting, so that they will not suffer any more than they must.
Pizza rolls, like most pizzas, are also not good for your dog since they are processed, include a lot of salt and sugar, and ingredients that are toxic. In addition to all of those, it also doesn’t have any nutritional value and will lead to health issues long-term.
Health Problems Your Dog May Face
As stated, your dog may face several different health problems if they have eaten pizza.
Pizza is a lot of empty calories since none of the ingredients have any health benefits for your canine friends.
Because of this, your beloved pet may gain weight if they eat too much of this rich food, which can lead to serious health problems down the line.
This can also lead to pancreatitis, which can be very serious.
Many of the pizza ingredients will lead to your dog having an upset stomach, which could lead to a more significant issue for your dog’s health.
If your dog ate pizza that contained garlic or onion, you should call the vet, as these include alliums that are high in thiosulfate. This can impact the oxygen in your dog’s red blood cells, which is terrible.
Final Thoughts- Can Dogs Eat Pizza?
Although it may not be the end of the world if your dog gets a small piece of pizza or a bite of pizza leftovers, you should avoid feeding pizza to your dog whenever you can.
Although you may feel as though a small piece of leftover pizza here and there is okay for your dog, it adds up and will cause harm over time.
It would be best if you never fed pizza to your dog, especially pizza crust or pizza dough, as it can be terrible for your canine companions.
Cheese and other toppings offer little to no nutritional value and should not be fed to your dog.
Pizza, unfortunately, is not dog food and should not be treated as such. What makes pizza terrible for dogs is what we love it for, and although we can eat large amounts without it hurting our health at the moment, unfortunately, that is not the case for dogs.
If your dog has eaten pizza, make sure to monitor its reaction to it. If they have any symptoms, you should call the vet to see how you can help.