fb

Can Dogs Eat Pizza

Published: 20 Apr 2024
Ashley Marlton
Ashley Marlton
Dr. Marlton spent her first two years in practice working as a veterinary assistant at a 24-hour emergency care animal hospital in Michigan prior to moving to Miami. Following graduation, Dr. Marlton attended Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biochemical Sciences in Fort Collins while participating in volunteer spay neuter trips.
Editorial Policy and Guidelines
Our articles are meticulously composed and vetted by veterinary professionals, guaranteeing precision and pertinence by consulting credible sources, chiefly scientific journals and veterinary manuals. Prior to publication and major revisions, we thoroughly validate the factual correctness, providing well-researched content rooted in veterinary science.

As a dog owner, if you discover your canine companion chomping on a piece of leftover pizza and you’re wondering, “Can dogs safely consume pizza?” or “Is it okay for dogs to eat pizza?”,  the answer is emphatically “NO.” Pizza is not appropriate for dogs!

We’re all aware of the health hazards that we’re constantly warned about, such as how fast food like pizza can be extremely detrimental to our health and is increasingly rising obesity rates around the world.  In the US, pizza ranks at the top in the choice of fast food. 

But it has to be kept in mind that, pizzas are not only bad for humans, vets argue that they are bad for dogs too. Be it bread dough, pizza dough, crust, or an alternative ingredient makeup – they are all bad for dogs. 

Is Pizza Safe For Dogs To Eat?

While a single slice of pizza is unlikely to cause any significant harm, feeding your dog pizza on a regular basis is not safe for its health. The toppings and ingredients play an important role in determining how big a problem does the pizza poses to your furry friend.

Pizza provides very little health benefits to dogs as it contains highly processed cheese and high amounts of sodium. Even if your dog may tolerate tiny amounts of pizza, it’s best to keep them away from it. You can’t really be sure about the ingredients in your pizza, and there are better alternatives for treats.

Aside from the pizza crust, there is no aspect of pizza that can help a dog, rather it may result in a few negative side effects. In some cases, the pizza crusts too contain large amounts of salt to flavor the dough, which again causes health problems. 

The primary reason why veterinarians advise against serving pizza to dogs is that most pizzas contain at least one ingredient that is potentially dangerous to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust

What Pizza Ingredients Are Harmful To Dogs?

What exactly is bad about the pizza is its ingredient list. Below are mentioned the most common ones:

Cheese

Many dog owners would be surprised to learn that cheese is not the best food for their pooch. Lactose intolerance affects the majority of dogs. While certain cheese is safe to eat, others may be harmful. 

The issue with pizza is that it’s almost always smothered in excessive quantities of cheese. Not only that, but the cheese varieties used are often the most harmful to your dog’s health.

You can expect your dog to have digestive problems if it eats a large amount of cheese. They can vomit, have gas problems, or have diarrhea that entails frequent trips outside.

Garlic and Onions

Two of the basic ingredients that give pizza a richer flavor are onions and garlic. Although we humans enjoy the extra flavor it adds to food, these toppings are extremely toxic to dogs.

Fact: Garlic, like onions, and leeks, belongs to the allium family.

The thiosulfate contained in the members of the allium family weakens the red blood cells causing them to eventually burst. This condition is known as anemia, and it is a life-threatening disease. 

It may cause extreme tiredness, trouble breathing, dehydration, and a variety of other symptoms. Remember, do not give pizza to your dog, your dog could even go into a coma and die if not taken care of immediately.

Pizza Bad For Dogs Safety

Tomato Sauce

While your dog might enjoy the sweet tomato flavor of tomato sauce, it is certainly not good for them. Tomato sauce is usually made of canned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, onions and garlic, and a small amount of olive oil, which is difficult for dogs to eat. 

Although tomatoes themselves are not harmful for dogs, when used as a sauce, large quantities of salt, as well as more sugar and spices, are added to it. 

Keep in mind, ingesting foods with a high sodium content is dangerous for dogs. It can result in acute stomach problems as well as more serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Heavy Oils

Pizzas can be high in grease, which is bad for your health and that of your dog. Oil is essentially extra fat that is almost impossible for a dog’s digestive system to absorb.

Overeating pizza crusts can make your pooch sick and bloated, and it can also lead to severe obesity-related health concerns like diabetes, hypertension, and joint pain.

Pizza for dogs on a daily basis is likely to result in weight gain and obesity over time, resulting in a cascade of risky illnesses such as pancreatitis.

Processed Meat

Most pizzas are topped with fatty, high-sodium processed meats like bacon, ham, or pepperoni, which could be too much for your dog’s stomach to manage. Dogs, like humans, enjoy meat, but they have more limitations than we do. 

It should be taken care that if at all your pet dog is having any meat, it must be unprocessed, lean, and cooked meat fed in moderation.

The spicy taste of pepperoni can disturb a dog’s stomach or cause side effects if they are especially sensitive. Garlic and onion powder that is known to be poisonous to dogs may also found in some pepperoni.

In terms of how processed meat affects dogs, bacon is not very different from other meats. Bacon may damage your dog’s kidneys and pancreas due to its high sodium content. It may also cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea.

Therefore, processed meat as pizza toppings can prove highly fatal for your dog.

Dogs and Pizza Crust in their Diet

Spices

Simply put, giving a spice-coated pizza to your dog will prove to be poisonous. Matter of fact, feeding your dog a slice of hot spicy pizza is dangerous, as it can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, extreme hunger, stomach pain, and gas.

Carbohydrates

Dogs have a hard time digesting carbohydrate-rich food.  It’s all about figuring out which carbs are good for your dog and which aren’t. Unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good sources of healthy carbs.

White sugar and white flour are examples of unhealthy processed carbohydrates. These are nutrient-depleted carbohydrates that are high in empty calories and rapidly increase the blood sugar levels of your dog. 

Pizza crusts are essentially made of these ingredients which is why they should be avoided.

What Toppings Are Less Harmful For Your Dog?

The following choices of food as pizza toppings can be beneficial for your dog:

1. Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are not only harmless to dogs, but they are also rich in dietary elements. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes. This compound has been linked to a variety of positive effects on health, including reduced cancer, diabetes, and heart disease risks. Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin C, which helps the immune system.

2. Anchovies

Anchovies are one of the most favorite food of every dog. Omega-3 fatty acids found in anchovies have been linked to enhanced vision and immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids are also good for your brain and heart.

Is Pizza Bad for Dogs

3. Spinach

Spinach is regularly included in the list of the best superfoods. It is known for its enormous health and nutritional benefits it provides. Spinach has a long list of benefits for dogs, ranging from indigestion relief to improved immunity.

4. Raw pineapple

Another common food that experts recommend for dogs is raw pineapple, but only as a snack. It has a slew of well-being and nutritional advantages. It not only relieves constipation thanks to its high fiber content.

Arthritic dogs may also benefit from raw pineapple. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that help to prevent chronic diseases. This leads us to the issue of whether or not dogs should eat ham and pineapple pizza.

Pineapple, in particular, is safe for dogs. Just make sure you get fresh pineapple instead of canned or frozen. In general, pineapple is a healthy pizza ingredient.

5. Mushroom

Mushrooms are one of the most nutritious food for dogs. They are high in fiber, which can improve your dog’s bowel movement and natural weight control.

It also contains a lot of protein, which is good for muscle and tissue growth. Not to mention the antioxidant selenium, which protects your dog’s overall immunity by preventing the effects of free radicals. Mushrooms seem to be completely healthy and nutritious for dogs. However, there is one condition: it must be an edible variety.

Can a Dog Eat Pizza Slice

How Much Pizza Crust Can a Dog Have?

Dogs are permitted to eat the crust of bread, but only in moderation. If you’re wondering what kind of bread is the best for your dog to eat, it’s either white or whole wheat bread, provided your dog is not allergic [1].

Dogs who are fond of pizza especially enjoy the crusts, which are not directly harmful. The crust is all salt and carbohydrates, with no nutritional value for a dog. They will, without a doubt, satisfy your dog’s hunger. 

They would, however, be deprived of real fuel in order to survive. Instead, they’ll feel an increase in blood pressure as well as an explosion of extra calories to burn – leading to obesity.

My Dog Ate Pizza is it a Problem

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Pizza?

If your dog ate pizza, it may start experiencing odd symptoms immediately. In this case, call a veterinarian right away to control the situation and avoid any serious health problems.

If you want to give your dog some pizza, ask the restaurant what kind of ingredients they use. Garlic and onions are the most toxic pizza ingredients, so keep an eye out for them. Many restaurants now allow customers to order pizza without garlic, hot peppers, or a variety of other toppings.

Can Eating Pizza Kill Dogs?

Eating pizza can kill dogs if consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis. Hemolytic anemia is a life-threatening condition that may occur in dogs that have symptoms which appear days after consumption. However, if consumed in small quantities, they might only experience a stomachache.

Are There Any Health Benefits To Pizza?

Even though there are no overall health benefits to pizza, some ingredients like black olives, mushrooms, and green peppers have been proved to provide vital nutrients and immunity to dogs.

Conclusion

Owners always offer their leftover crusts to their pets; if you’re one of them, it’s time to break the habit, despite your dog’s begging and barking. It is true that pizza crusts are safer than other human foods, but that doesn’t make them any better.

Pizza crusts are mostly carbs and sodium, which won’t provide any value to your dog other than a full stomach.

Perhaps the best food for dogs is top-quality kibble or homemade food, which is formulated specifically to meet their nutritional needs.

Table of Contents
Recent Posts
Share this
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn