Now, if there was one list of mankind’s favorite food of all time, I bet you that pizza would take that #1 spot, no doubt about it!
Apart from hamburgers and a side of french fries, I can’t think of another fast food that could possibly compete with pizza in terms of popularity.
But hey, that may just be me and my bias, so whatever! 🙂
While you’re there enjoying all that cheese, crust and pepperoni in your pizza, you suddenly think about sharing some with your dog.
Or, you ordered a pizza for yourself and didn’t manage to finish it to the last piece, so are considering giving your dog a leftover piece or two just so you don’t throw that food in the trash.
But how safe would that be, exactly? We all know the health risks we’re all warned about on a daily basis, concerning how fast food like pizza can be very harmful to us and is rapidly increasing obesity rates across the world.
So the question is, can dogs eat pizza? Or is pizza bad for dogs?
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Can Dogs Eat Pizza?
If your canine’s safety is your priority (which is the way it should be) and you’re looking for the most common answer for this question, then NO, it’s better that you don’t feed your dog any pizza.
Most of the times, the ingredient makeup of pizza has at least 1 ingredient that’s bad for dogs to be eating, so it’s best to just not take the risk in the first place and focus your time and effort on other food that’s safe for your dog to eat.
However, if you’re willing to learn more about this issue and get the more complicated answer to this question, then it all comes down to the ingredients used in the pizza and the complexity of the subject at hand, because as you already know, there’s probably a million and one ways out there to prepare pizzas.
Chances are that no matter how hard you try to make a pizza dog-friendly, there will always be at least one ingredient involved that should never make its way to your dog’s reach at all.
But, there are indeed some ways you can create that perfect dog-friendly pizza, so the answer isn’t technically always a no.
However, the problem that arises here is that if you try to remove all the harmful ingredients in a pizza from it to feed it to your dog, it almost always won’t be a pizza anymore.
Why Is Pizza Bad For Dogs?
Again, pizza in and of itself isn’t the devil here, it’s the ingredients involved that are the bad guys.
Here are some of the most dangerous ingredients used in preparing pizzas that you should be very careful when feeding your dog (some of them should even be off limits at all times):
– Cheese: Although dogs can eat specific types of cheese, chances are that the cheese used in pizza is almost always very high in lactose content, and since most dogs out there are lactose intolerant, this is a big problem.
Besides the high lactose content, these cheese varieties also almost always have tremendously high fat content, which is also a very dangerous thing for dogs.
– Garlic: If you’re not carefully calculating the amount of garlic you’re including in the pizza you feed your dog, and don’t know the exact dosage of garlic they’re getting, you’re risking your dog falling ill with something as simple of a little stomach ache and something as huge as collapse, coma and death.
– Onions: Onions, a prominent part of many pizza preparation methods, causes damage to your dog’s red blood cells.
– Mushrooms: Not everyone pays attention to the kinds of mushrooms they prepare pizzas with, and that’s a very dangerous game if you plan to feed your dog any pizza, because some mushrooms are fine for dogs to eat, while others can lead to death in dogs.
– Sodium: Not much needs to be said about dogs eating sodium other than the fact that sodium is a dog killer, short and simple.
– Seasonings and spices: Just like sodium, seasonings and spices can go down very bad in your dog’s digestive system and lead to very negative and serious effects.
– Oil: What pizza out there doesn’t feel a whole lot oily?
This may be a tremendous feeling for you and I to experience once in a while when we want to treat ourselves to something special in our diet, but guess what this means for dogs?
A whole lot of extra fat they don’t need in their diet.
Worse than that, this means a whole lot of extra fat their bodies can’t handle and will translate into serious health problems in no time, such as obesity and pancreatitis.
Not to mention the fact that the very high fat content in pizzas (unless you go out of your way to prepare a low-fat pizza at home, but even then you would still be using ingredients that would be toxic to your dog) greatly increases the chances of your dog developing pancreatitis.
And if all that’s not enough to convince you not to feed your dog any pizza, the only thing that’s left after you would take all these ingredients out and make sure you prepare the lowest of low-fat pizzas is the dough.
And the pizza dough in and of itself provides absolutely no nutritional or health benefit for dogs whatsoever, so there’s no use in feeding it to your dog.
That would just mean feeding your dog empty calories that provide them with no nutrients at all, and who would ever want to do that?
You may also want to consider just how high in calories a single slice of pizza is for dogs, because for the same calories they’ll get from a single, small slice of pizza, they can eat the same calorie’s worth of a significant portion of dog food that will actually make them feel much more full and satisfied.
The same calorie’s worth of dog food they eat will also be much more nutritious and beneficial to them than a slice of pizza which has absolutely no health benefits to offer dogs.
Which of the two options would you prefer for your pooch?
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate Pizza?
Now, if your dog ate a small slice of pizza, there’s most probably no need to panic as that amount of pizza isn’t enough to cause any toxicity or serious repercussions on its own.
(This isn’t the case all the time, so don’t feel free to feed your dog a small slice of pizza and think you can get away with it without your dog experiencing health problems every time, there’s always a risk involved).
However, if your dog munched down on a sizable portion of pizza, it’s only a matter of time before you start to notice your dog exhibiting some strange symptoms that signify potential toxicity problems.
If you notice your dog exhibiting any strange symptoms in this case, get in immediate contact with a veterinarian in order to stay in control of the situation.
If you know that your dog consumed a large amount of pizza, don’t wait for your dog to start showing strange symptoms, get in contact with a veterinarian right off the bat in order to minimize any potential health damage that could possibly happen.
The sooner your dog is catered to, the better.
Also, be careful to not leave any pizza leftovers in something like your trash bin which your dog can easily reach, sniff into and eat whatever they find.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crusts?
Even though pizza crusts aren’t poisonous or toxic to dogs per se, but your dog doesn’t get any nutritional value from them so there’s no reason why they should be eating any pizza crusts.
All your dog is ever getting from eating the crust is empty calories and the type of carbohydrates that will increase the chances of them becoming obese, so why would you want them to eat pizza crust?
Not to mention the fact that pizza crust also has fairly high levels of sodium in them, which is also terrible for the health of your dog on so many different levels.