If you are a pet parent who enjoys pizza and won’t mind sharing a slice with your canine friend, you may first ask yourself, can dogs eat pizza? After all, dogs love to eat anything that humans eat. But is pizza safe for your dog? The answer is a resounding No. While a slice of pizza crust may be harmless, consuming large amounts of pizza harms your dog due to the varied ingredients and toppings used to make them.
Do Dogs Love Pizza?
Before considering why pizza is not suitable for your dog, let’s first see whether dogs love to eat pizza. If you offer a piece of pizza to your dog, what will happen? It will solely depend on your dog and what foods it is used to eating. But overall, dogs love cheesy, greasy, salty foods regardless of whether they are healthy for them or not.
Dogs will drool at any food that humans eat. But, they are selective about what kind of pizza they would prefer. Chances are high that your dog will enjoy beefy pizza instead of vegetable pizza. Why so? Dogs are generally meat lovers unless, of course, yours is allergic to meat. Even so, it is good to be careful, as a dog rarely turns down such a delicious bite.
How Much Pizza Is Enough For Your Dog?
Offering a small slice of pizza to your dog is harmless. But, it is good to watch out for which part of the pizza you are offering and the ingredients in them.
The crust, for example, is the only part of the pizza that is almost harmless to your dog, but only if they are not allergic to gluten. The crust you offer must be equivalent to your dog’s size. Although your furry friend will enjoy munching on the crust, it does not contain any nutritional value for your dog.
Why Pizza Is Bad For Dogs
Eating a slice of pizza will not cause significant harm to your dog. However, pizza ingredients such as salt, garlic, and onions can harm your dog’s health. If you want to be safe, avoiding giving your dog pizza, even in smaller amounts, is good. Let’s examine pizza ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
Like humans, dogs are meat lovers. Unfortunately, dogs have a limit to the amount of meat they can consume. Pizza toppings contain processed meat such as pepperoni, bacon, and salami which are usually fatty and contain a lot of salt.
If your pet consumes too much sodium and fat, it damages its digestive system and makes them sick. Besides, consuming these ingredients over a long period puts your dog at risk of developing health complications due to weight gain.
Even though there is an option for roasted chicken pizza toppings considered good for your dog if consumed in minimal amounts, it is safe that you don’t offer pizza to your pup.
Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic are the top ingredients that make pizza favorable. While humans may enjoy the taste of these two essential pizza ingredients, they are lethal to dogs and can be life-threatening. Onions and garlic are classified under the allium family. They contain thiosulfate, which weakens the red blood cells and leads to anemia.
So, do not give pizza to your dog. Anemia is life-threatening as it causes dehydration, extreme tiredness, and difficulty breathing. In worst-case scenarios, your canine could go into a coma if you don’t arrest the situation in good time.
Dogs are not lovers of spices like humans, as spices make them develop stomach upset and gas. It may also increase your pup’s hunger. Spices that are harmful to your dog are such as nutmeg and cocoa powder. Even though pizza topping spices like parsley, basil, and turmeric are beneficial for your dog, it is still unsafe to let your dog eat pizza since all these are mixed spices.
Pizza Toppings Safe For Your Dog
Aside from the crust, cheese is another pizza ingredient that might be tolerated by some dogs, provided they are not lactose intolerant and it is offered in moderation due to its high-fat content.
Also, don’t feed your dog pizza containing blue cheese. Other harmless pizza toppings for your dog include mushrooms, vegetables, olive oil, broccoli, chicken, and beef. Although these toppings may be safe for your dog, the fact that they combine with unsafe ingredients makes them unhealthy for your pup.
What Can You Feed Your Dog In Place Of Pizza?
You want to enjoy your pizza with your furry friend but do not wish to share a slice due to the consequences. Luckily, you could find a recipe that mimics a pizza so your dog doesn’t drool as you enjoy your delicacy. You can check out alternative pizza recipes from pet stores that your dog will love.
Pizza That A Dog Can Eat
Now that we have examined the harmful parts of pizza for your furry friend, is there a kind of pizza your dog can eat?
Your dog can only eat one type of pizza: homemade pizza. The pizza you make at home will contain dog-friendly ingredients, including your pup’s favorite treat. Don’t add garlic, onions, and salt since these ingredients are why your dog can’t enjoy your pizza. Obviously, you will not indulge in this pizza because it will be too flat for you but healthy for your dog.
Also, there are dog treats that you could add to the ingredients to make it look like authentic pizza. They include; cheese-flavored dog treats, pizza-flavored dog treats, and pepperoni-flavored dog treats. You can find them at local pet stores.
Alternatively, you can assemble all the recipes and make your canine friend a pizza. Of course, it won’t “taste” like actual pizza, but it will be better than if your dog keeps guessing and drooling at you as you enjoy your pizza treat.
You may ask yourself if going the extra mile to make your dog a special pizza treat at home is worth it. Your dog might enjoy that treat less than it would if you offered it ‘normal’ pizza. The reason is apparent.
Homemade pizza for your pup will not be cheesy, greasy, and spicy, and your dog may (sometimes) turn it down. So, making your dog some pizza at home may waste time and resources. You would instead stick to offering your pup a healthy diet. But still, going that extra mile is worth it as it shows you are a caring friend.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Pizza?
If your dog eats any type of pizza, including those with garlic, pepperoni, or onion, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian. The following are the effects of your dog consuming pizza:
Diarrhea can result from ingesting pizza with a lot of cheese. Cheese leads to stomach discomfort and eventually diarrhea due to lactose intolerance, as most dogs are. If this happens, and the piece of pizza ingested was small, give your dog plenty of water to decrease the risk of them getting dehydrated.
Allium content in pizza ingredients such as garlic can make your dog nauseated, which leads to vomiting. Unfortunately, with garlic, it is almost impossible to bypass it as most pizza recipes contain garlic. That is why veterinarians are against dog parents giving pizza to their pups, as you can never be sure.
Weight gain is a long-term consequence of feeding pizza to your dog. Pizza ingredients contain high fat, Sugar, and salt, which are excessive calories for canines. It also depends on your dog’s breed. Pet parents who own dog breeds like beagles and golden retrievers should be extra careful as these breeds are prone to obesity. For your dog to maintain a healthy weight, avoid giving them pizza.
If your dog eats raw dough, the yeast accumulation in your pup’s tummy could result in bloating, which, unfortunately, is difficult to identify. Signs of a bloated dog may range from exhibiting distress when lying down or burping more frequently.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Pizza
The two crucial questions to ask yourself if this happens are: What was in the pizza, and how much did it consume? Were the pizza toppings more of onions, garlic, sauce, spices, and processed meat? If not, there should be no cause for alarm. Otherwise, it would be best if you were on a call with your vet. Or on your way to having your dog examined, more so if your dog ate a whole pizza.
Again, your dog will be fine if the quantity is small and from the crust. Just monitor the pup for any signs of sickness and call your vet (with complete information). Give your dog plenty of water to counter dehydration effects of diarrhea and vomiting.
These effects could take time to start showing. Monitor your dog for any abnormal health-related behavior and call your vet to be on the safe side.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of pizza can my dog eat?
Cauliflower crust is an ideal option that is safe for your dog to consume. The said vegetable is non-toxic to dogs, and it contains essential vitamins. Aside from this, it also offers a high amount of fiber, preventing diarrhea or colon cancer.
Technically, it’s not an absolute pizza since you can’t add regular toppings to the crust. But it’s sure better than spoiling them with human food.
2. Is tomato sauce safe for dogs?
Ripe tomatoes are safe for dogs when consumed in small quantities. But adding canned tomato sauce to your crust can be harmful to them. Most pre-made red sauces contain preservatives, high sodium, and spices for flavoring.
If you plan on giving them this plum fruit, ensure it is organic and bright red.
3. Which pizza toppings can dogs eat?
When you think of pizza for dogs, consider the greens! Here are some toppings you can add aside from chicken and ground beef.
- Carrot: is high in Vitamin A, a vital compound for your fur baby’s growth and development. It can also aid with their dental health by preventing plaque build-up.
- Broccoli: helps with heart health, the immune system, and bone strength. But ensure not to go beyond 10% of their diet to avoid harmful effects.
- Cauliflower: is low in calories, which is ideal for dogs that need to lose weight.
- Green beans: is full of vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. But take note to only add one to two pieces for small dogs.
Most greens are safe for dogs when given in moderation. Try to play around with the ingredients and see what works for them.
Overall, dogs should not eat pizza as many ingredients in pizzas are harmful or not beneficial to dogs. As a pet parent, watch what your dog eats so that you are not panicked when your canine friend exhibits symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and, eventually, weight gain.
Barbara is an enthusiastic food-exploring person that goes through different culinary experiences. She got inspired by creating a pizza blog post after she tasted one of the best-selling pizzas in Toledo.