Did you catch your pup snout-deep in your pizza box and are worried if it’s safe for your canine? Pizza is undoubtedly one of man’s best food. In the United States alone, Americans eat 3 billion pizzas every day. And this number is even higher across the globe. But as much as pizza is a guilty pleasure for most of us, is it the same for our furry companions?
Will the pizza crust make them sick? Can pizza kill your dog? Is the sauce okay for them? We expound on these and more.
Is Pizza Safe For Your Dog?
Do you find it difficult to resist those sweet puppy eyes? We love to show affection to our dogs and are guilty of going overboard sometimes. And this includes giving them our food. Hold that thought if you’re thinking of sharing your slice of goodness with your pup.
Pizza is not safe for your dog. Some of the ingredients used in its preparation are not good for your pup as they are toxic and fatal. Before feeding your dog pizza, you must understand your dog’s sensitivities, including allergic reactions and dietary limitations. You can get away with a bite, but don’t let them have too much.
Why Is Pizza Bad For Your Dog?
Pizza contains numerous ingredients, from the crust to various toppings and sauce that can hurt your dog’s health. Before sharing that slice with your furry BFF, you must find out what ingredients in the pizza might send your dog to the vet clinic.
What Makes Pizza Crust Bad For Your Dog?
The pizza crust is loaded with wheat, sugar, yeast, oils, salt, and other ingredients like onions, herbs, and garlic that are not nutritious for your pup. Moderate salt is not bad for your dog. Still, excess amounts can cause thirst and urination, lethargy, and sodium ion poisoning, resulting in vomiting, depression, diarrhea, seizures, and tremors.
The extra sugar and carbs can lead to obesity, diabetes, and dental issues. Their immunity will also be compromised, muscle tone decreases, and inflammation can occur, leading to arthritis, pancreatitis, and dermatitis.
Why Not Pizza Sauce?
A traditional pizza sauce is tomato-based with extra flavorings such as onion, minced garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, and other herbs and spices. None of these ingredients is healthy for your canine.
Onions, garlic, and herbs can make your pup very sick. When consumed in excess, they can cause vomiting, gastroenteritis, nausea, drooling, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, these flavorings may also cause red blood cell damage, elevated heart rate, pale gums, enhanced respiratory rate, and red-colored urine.
Although chili is not toxic to dogs, capsaicin can give your furry baby a burning sensation in their mouth and throat, leaving you quite distressed. Spicy foods can also give your Fido an upset tummy, which worsens if they suffer from a sensitive gut.
Are Pizza Toppings Bad For My Dog?
Most pizza toppings are fatty, spicy, salty, sugary, and overly processed. Processed meat like pepperoni, salami, hot dogs, bologna, and sausage are extremely high in fat and spices. When ingested in excess, they can inflame your dog’s pancreas leading to pancreatitis, and your dog will experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and gastrointestinal pain.
The sulfite preservatives used in cured meats result in thiamine deficiency in your pup, leading to death. Most fresh vegetables are okay for your dog, but when prepped for pizza, they are cooked in many spices and oils, irritating your canine’s tummy.
What Dog-Friendly Pizza Toppings Can I use?
If you fancy switching up the pizza toppings to sneak a slice to your canine BFF, we recommend you stick to bland toppings. Choose simple foods that are minimally processed like:
- Unseasoned, boiled chicken
- Bell peppers
- Plain, salt-free tomato paste
Pizza is not complete without a cheesy topping. But cheese can irritate your pup’s gut, so stick to good cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese. These are low in salt and fat. Avoid using blue cheese since it’s toxic to pups.
Also, exceptions are made for lactose intolerant dogs. You might want to eliminate the cheese to avoid acute stomach upset. However, most cheeses have low lactose content compared to other dairy products.
Related – Can Dogs eat Mac and Cheese?
Can My Dog Eat Pizza Dough?
It goes without saying – do not feed raw dough to your pup. Raw yeast dough is dangerous for your pup because the yeast and sugar ferment in your pup’s stomach, causing a swollen and distended tummy. The fermentation can also cut off blood supply to vital organs and take up a lot of space, causing breathing challenges.
Also, fermenting yeast releases alcohol which can cause alcohol toxicity resulting in low blood sugar, breathing difficulty, seizures, and untimely death. Contact Pet Poison Control immediately if your pup ingests any amount of raw dough.
To prevent raw dough toxicity in your pup, never leave your raw dough to rise on the counter. You can place the dough in the oven or microwave. Also, you can safely dispose of the unused dough in a tight-lid garbage bin outside your home. Also, keep your pup in a different room while you prepare the pizza dough to prevent him from snatching the dough when you’re distracted.
My Dog Ate Pizza, What Can I Do?
When your dog starts vomiting, hold off from giving it any food for the next 24 hours. You can give it water to keep it hydrated and administer a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or use activated charcoal to detoxify the system.
Feed your dog small amounts of a bland diet for the next couple of hours. Boiled unseasoned chicken and white rice are good options. If they continue to vomit after the 24-hour fast, you need to bring them to the animal clinic.
Also, if your pup is vomiting water, seems exhausted, miserable, and lacks coordination, you need to rush them to the vet. Treatment is more effective and less complicated when done early. Plus, you can save your furry best friend the agony.
If you suspect your canine has consumed raw pizza dough, they’ll need prompt veterinary care since the dough will start to ferment and expand in their stomach. Don’t attempt to induce vomiting without consulting your vet. You can give your pup cold water to slow down the fermentation process and help control diarrhea and stomach pain.
To remove the dough from your dog’s stomach, your vet will likely administer intensive treatment. Your pup’s GI might need to be “lavaged”. Here a tube is inserted into their body, and a saline solution is released into their system to help flush out the mass of dough and other toxins. Surgery may be necessary if the dough is still intact after inducing vomiting and lavage.
In case the yeast has fermented long enough to cause alcohol poisoning, your vet will administer oxygen therapy and IV fluids to balance electrolyte levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Various medications can be given to cure other complications, including heart arrhythmias. In case of severe anemia, your dog will need a blood transfusion.
Finally, the vet will recommend at-home care before taking your pup home, including dietary requirements and exercises for the first few weeks, for a speedy recovery.
Can I Make A Homemade Pup-Friendly Pizza?
Pizza comes in plenty of varieties, but you’ll rarely find a gluten-free, low carb, salt-free, sugar-free, zero seasonings pizza. You can consider looking beyond the regular kibble and preparing a homemade pizza with dog-friendly ingredients to avoid the potential risks of rewarding your dog with a slice of your favorite pepperoni pizza.
A few considerations to keep in mind when preparing an appealing, safe, and healthy pizza for your canine best friend are:
Dog-Friendly Toppings: You must carefully consider each ingredient you’ll use as a topping for your pup’s pizza and ensure it’s healthy. Eliminate garlic, chives, and onions from your list. Make yours at home with no added sugar or seasonings if using tomato sauce. Alternatively, ditch the tomatoes and use mashed veggies instead.
Minimal salt: Traditional pizza is quite salty, and your pup doesn’t need that extra salt. So, opt for low salt or unsalted ingredients for your healthy canine-friendly pizza.
Small size: Small-size pizzas come in handy if you have a small pup. You can make slices instead of a whole pizza or cut them into strips for easier feeding. You can use a cookie cutter to portion the dough. Your canine might probably not chow down the entire pizza, and you don’t want to get stuck with leftover waste.
Meaty: It’s no news that pups love meat. So be generous with the chicken, turkey, ground beef, and other meats on your pizza. Go for the leanest cuts possible to limit the fat content. You can use fresh cuts or leftover meats and broth.
Limited cheese: While we are ecstatic about lots of cheese on our pizza, our furry babies are not typical cheese eaters. Too much, and you risk hurting your pooch’s tummy. Plus, dogs are lactose intolerant, and a large amount can cause digestive upsets. Stick to mozzarella and cottage cheese since they are lower in fat content, and keep it on the low.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can My Dog Eat Pizza?
No, pizza is not appropriate food for your canine companion. Why? It contains plenty of ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Worse still, some ingredients are toxic and can cause serious illness.
2. Is Pizza Crust Bad For My Dog?
The pizza crust is not healthy for your pup. It’s loaded with artificial cheese, sauces, salt, onions, garlic, and herbs. These ingredients are dangerous to your dog when consumed in excess amounts.
3. Can My Dog Eat Raw Pizza Dough?
No, raw dough is dangerous to your pup. The fermenting raw yeast dough can expand inside your canine’s stomach, causing breathing difficulties and interference with blood supply to vital organs. Furthermore, it can lead to tissue tearing, and the alcohol from fermentation can intoxicate your pup and cause alcohol poisoning.
4. Can I Feed My Dog Pepperoni Pizza?
No, pepperoni is not a healthy food for your canine as it’s laden with an unhealthy amount of fat, sodium, garlic, onions, and artificial seasonings that are toxic to your dog. If your pup regularly eats a large quantity of pepperoni pizza, it can develop digestive issues, acid reflux, kidney damage, salt ion poisoning, diabetes, heart disease, and pancreatitis.
5. What Will Happen If My Dog Eats Pizza?
Your dog can get away with munching a bite-size or a slice of pizza. It’s unlikely there’s enough onion and garlic to cause a problem. However, if your pup consumes too much pizza, it will likely suffer from pancreatitis and gastroenteritis (inflammation of the intestines and stomach), which can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
6. Can I Make Homemade Dog-Friendly Pizza?
Yes, you can. You can whip up a DIY canine-friendly pizza using safe and healthy ingredients. You can use gluten-free flours, lean meats, low-fat soft cheese, and assorted dog-friendly vegetables.
The bottom line is, keep that slice of pizza away from your pooch. It’s packed with extra calories and ingredients that are toxic to your four-legged best friend. A tidbit won’t hurt, but there are healthier foods you can give to your dog. If you want to reward them with a tasty treat, you could consider making a specialty pizza.