Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

dog looking at pizza

While your dog may beg for a bite of your pizza slice, giving in could put their health at risk. 

Many people consider pizza night to be the best night of the week, and who can blame them? Pizza is a delicious and satisfying meal that can be made in a variety of ways. Whether you go for the meat lovers option or stack your pizza with vegetable toppings, you’re sure to enjoy every flavorful slice. 

Dog owners know that some human foods are particularly enticing for their furry friends, and pizza is one of them. Your pup will likely be drawn in by the smell and use their best puppy dog eyes to try to get a bite. But can dogs eat pizza safely? Unfortunately, the answer is no. 

Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Pizza?

Eating pizza could be a serious danger to your dog’s health, especially if you give it to them on a regular basis. There are many different aspects of pizza and how it’s made that can affect your dog’s wellness in the short and long term.

Think about it: even though you love pizza as much as the next person, you know it’s not the best for you. The same goes for dogs, except their bodies are much less able to easily process the occasional slice or two than human bodies are. 

This means that when dogs eat pizza, the type of pizza and the amount eaten in one sitting could really play a big role in how your pup reacts to it. 

Additionally, your dog’s internal organs are much less able to metabolize pizza even if they’re only eating it on occasion. This puts them at greater risk for health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, reduced mobility, and kidney failure later in life.

Why Is It Dangerous When Dogs Eat Pizza?

While it might be difficult to imagine pizza as a dangerous food, it’s important to take the risks seriously when it comes to how pizza could affect your dog’s health. In order to make wise choices for your pup’s wellness and longevity, you should know exactly why the different elements of pizza recipes can be unhealthy or even toxic for dogs. 

The Dough and Crust

Pizza dough can be made using a variety of ingredients, but most pizza restaurants and homemade dough recipes will include some combination of flour, eggs, milk, and seasonings. 

The primary ingredients that make up pizza dough aren’t a huge risk for dogs, as long as they are consumed in moderation. However, many of the spices and seasonings added to pizza dough can be toxic for dogs even in small amounts. Some of these include garlic, herbs, and onions. 

If you make fresh pizza dough at home, be extra careful that your dog doesn’t accidentally eat any raw dough. The ingredients in raw pizza dough are designed to expand throughout the baking process, and this can lead them to expand inside your dog’s stomach and cause serious health complications. If your dog eats any raw pizza dough, you should take them to an emergency vet clinic right away.  

The Cheese

If you’ve fed your dog small bits of cheese in the past, don’t panic. While this food is not toxic to dogs, it certainly isn’t healthy for them either. 

Cheese is very high in calories and fat, and even low-fat cheeses can have a higher fat content than dogs should be consuming. That’s why the best thing to do is just avoid giving your dog cheese altogether.

The Sauce

Pizza sauce is dangerous for dogs in the same way that pizza dough is. The vast majority of pizza sauce is made up of crushed tomato, which can actually be a healthy snack for dogs on its own. 

What makes pizza sauce unhealthy for dogs are the spices that are added to give it its flavor and aroma. Most recipes use the same seasonings that can be found in pizza dough, such as onion, garlic, and Italian herbs. 

The Toppings

All the primary ingredients that make up a pizza are unhealthy for dogs in their own way, but the toppings you choose to add to your pizza can make it an even worse snack for your pup. 

While your dog might crave a bite of your sausage, ham, or pepperoni pizza, these meats are high in fat and sodium, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in dogs when eaten regularly. Other toppings like vegetables might be okay for your dog to eat in moderation, but make sure to check whether the toppings you’ve chosen are safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pizza Once in a While?

Resisting your dog’s begging can be difficult, especially with something as tempting and delicious as pizza. If you’ve fed your dog small bites of pizza in the past, don’t worry. However, it’s a good idea to avoid doing it again in the future.

Similar Foods That Are Safe for Dogs

You may not be able to share your pizza with your pup, but you can still make their day with a similar tasty treat. Slice up some tomatoes and finely chop some lean chicken or beef. This will give your dog a protein boost as well as some additional vitamins and minerals in their daily intake. 

Additionally, it will taste great and your dog won’t feel so left out on pizza night. 

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Paul Buonopane

Have you ever heard the adage, "Once a cat person, always a cat person"? Well, prepare to have that myth charmingly dispelled! I grew up a cat lover but these good boys just couldn't be denied and I'm officially a convert.

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