Pizza is arguably one of the best human foods out there. But can dogs eat pizza? And would they love it as much as we do? After all, your dog is sure to stare at you with cute begging eyes as you bite into a slice of cheesy pizza, but don’t give in! Many popular human foods can be dangerous for dogs, so don’t share your meals with your dog without doing the proper research.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza?
Pizza is considered a fatty food, which means your dog could easily gain weight or have an upset stomach after eating it. Even the meat used on pizza is usually very processed and not enough to satisfy your dog’s need for protein. So, if your dog is begging for a taste of your pizza, it’s best to kindly tell them no. Stick to high quality dog treats instead.
Are Any Pizza Ingredients Safe for Dogs?
Pizza is a combination of many tasty ingredients. It’s clear that as a whole, its contents are not healthy for anyone. But dogs are more sensitive to unhealthy foods than humans are. So, let’s take a look at each individual ingredient to see if any of these items are okay for dogs to eat on their own.
Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so dairy products like cheese could be difficult for them to digest. Cheese often has a high fat and calorie content, which can be hard on your dog’s stomach. Even low-fat cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese can still cause problems if eaten in large quantities. So, it’s best to limit the amount of cheese your dog gets. Plus, the cheese on pizza is often greasy, which only adds to the risk.
While ripe tomatoes without the green part are safe for dogs to eat, pizza sauce is made from more than just that. It often has a lot of added flavor enhancers, such as garlic and herbs. Any seasoning with garlic, onion, or chives could be poisonous to dogs and lead to severe reactions. Some sauces even have added sugar, which could lead to canine obesity. Dogs are healthiest when eating plain foods, so sauce isn’t a good human food for them.
Crust seems like the safest part of the pizza, but it’s not the same as regular bread. Like sauce, crust often has added seasoning, which could include garlic, onions, and herbs. So, don’t be tempted to sneak your dog a piece of crust because it could be just as harmful as the rest of the pizza.
However, dough is usually more troublesome than the cooked crust. Raw yeast could expand in your dog’s stomach which could cause internal blockages, tissue tearing, and difficulties breathing. In some cases, dough is even considered toxic to dogs. Therefore, if you’re making a pizza from scratch, the raw dough is the most dangerous part for your dog. A dog eating dough requires immediate veterinary care.
Pizza can have such a wide variety of toppings. Some could be healthy like vegetables while others could be greasy like bacon. However, all toppings on pizza could be a risk for your dog. Pizza toppings are rarely plain, and they often include salt and seasoning like the other ingredients. Meats on pizza, such as pepperoni and sausage are especially high in salt. Too much salt is known to cause high blood pressure and heart disease in dogs. So, no matter how tasty the toppings look, keep them away from your furry friend.
What to Do if Your Dog Accidentally Eats Pizza
Even if you’re careful not to give your dog pizza, they could accidentally eat some now and then. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your dog in a separate room while you eat pizza. However, if they eat small amounts of pizza, there’s not a huge cause for concern. But no matter how much they ate, be sure to monitor them closely afterwards for unusual symptoms.
If your dog ate pizza, keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Abnormally colored urine
- Loss of appetite
If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms after eating pizza, it’s a good idea to contact your vet. In most cases, your vet will simply advise you to keep an eye on them for a little longer. They may also prescribe a medication to ease your dog’s discomfort. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The only cause for immediate concern is if your dog gets a hold of raw pizza dough. In that situation, do not wait to visit the vet.
Dogs can eat many human foods, but pizza isn’t one of them. Pizza is a popular meal for humans, but it’s not safe to share it with four-legged family members. Every ingredient in pizza has its own risks for dogs, so keep it out of reach from your canines at all times. Instead, keep your dog on a healthy, dog-friendly diet to ensure they stay safe.