Can Dogs Eat Pizza? A Comprehensive Guide for Dog Lovers

can dogs eat pizza

Pizza is undoubtedly one of the most beloved comfort foods enjoyed by humans worldwide. Let’s be honest, it’s the best. Especially if it has an entire burrata on top.

But can dogs eat pizza?

Are there toppings you should avoid? What about pizza cheese? Tomato sauce?

You might not want to hear it but dogs really shouldn’t eat pizza. There are heaps of healthier alternatives that make much better treats for your pooch. In this guide, we’re going to go through why exactly you shouldn’t make pizza a regular part of your dog’s diet (and some ingredients that are even poisonous) and some better alternatives for your canine companion.

The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Pizza

While dogs may be enticed by the smell and taste of pizza, it’s important to understand why it’s not a suitable food for them. Pizza contains various ingredients and toppings that can be harmful to dogs, it also has a high-calorie count. Let’s delve into the potential dangers associated with feeding your dog pizza:

1. Pizza Crust: A Nutritional Void

The crust of a pizza is usually made with ingredients like flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, and water. While a small piece of plain pizza crust may be harmless, it offers no nutritional value for your dog (just like bread).

The sugar and salt content in store-bought pizza crusts can be excessive and lead to health issues for your furry friend in consumed in excess.

2. Pizza Sauce: A Recipe for Trouble

Pizza sauce typically contains tomatoes, garlic, onions, sugar, and salt which are all really bad for dogs. While tomatoes in small amounts are generally safe for dogs, the addition of garlic and onions can be toxic to them.

These allium vegetables can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Additionally, the sugar and salt content in pizza sauce can cause stomach upset and other health problems for your pup.

3. Pizza Toppings: Proceed with Caution

Many popular pizza toppings, such as pepperoni, bacon, sausage, and ham, are high in fat, salt, and preservatives. These ingredients can lead to weight gain, digestive issues, and other health complications in dogs. Moreover, certain spices used in pizza toppings can irritate your dog’s stomach and cause discomfort.

4. Cheese: A Limited Indulgence

While dogs can safely consume small amounts of certain cheeses, such as mozzarella, as a treat or training reward, it’s important to be mindful of their lactose tolerance. Some dogs may be lactose intolerant and experience digestive upset after consuming cheese.

Additionally, the high-fat content in cheese can contribute to obesity and other health problems if your pooch eats too much of it.

margherita pizza

Can Dogs Eat Specific Types of Pizza?

Now that we understand the dangers of feeding dogs pizza, let’s address some common questions regarding specific types of pizza:

1. Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust?

As mentioned earlier, pizza crust in small amounts is generally safe for dogs, as long as they are not allergic to gluten. However, it’s important to remember that pizza crust offers no nutritional value for your dog and should only be given as an occasional treat.

2. Can Dogs Eat Pizza Rolls?

Pizza rolls typically contain the same harmful ingredients as regular pizza, including processed meats, high levels of salt, and spices. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog pizza rolls, as they can cause digestive upset and contribute to long-term health issues.

3. Can Dogs Eat Cheese Pizza?

While cheese itself is generally safe for dogs in small quantities, cheese pizza should still be approached with caution. The high-fat content in cheese pizza can lead to weight gain and digestive problems. It’s best to offer your dog small amounts of plain cheese as a treat instead.

4. Can Dogs Eat Pizza Sauce?

Pizza sauce contains ingredients like garlic, onions, sugar, and salt, which are harmful to dogs. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog pizza sauce, as it can cause stomach upset and other health complications.

5. Can Dogs Eat Pineapple Pizza?

While dogs should not consume pineapple pizza due to the potential harmful ingredients like garlic and onions, fresh pineapple in moderation can be a safe and healthy treat for dogs. Just be sure to remove the skin and core before offering it to your furry friend.

6. Can Dogs Eat Plain Pizza?

Plain pizza without any harmful ingredients, such as garlic, onions, or processed meats, may be safe for your dog in small amounts. However, it’s important to remember that pizza, even in its plain form, is still a calorie-dense food that should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet.

7. Can Dogs Eat Pizza Dough?

Dogs should not eat raw pizza dough. It contains lots of calories and little nutritional value which dogs don’t need as part of their diet. It can also be difficult for pups to chew and eat, which can make it a potential choking hazard.

If your dog eats pizza dough, monitor them for signs of choking or an upset stomach, and contact your vet if you’re worried.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Pizza?

Although homemade pizza is usually healthier than shop-bought, it’s still not something your pup should eat regularly. It has lots of salt, calories, and fat. Even though you monitor the ingredients (and it shouldn’t contain any harmful or poisonous ones), it doesn’t contain that much nutrition either.

dog asking for pizza

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Pizza?

If your dog ate a small amount of plain pizza, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Even so, monitor your pooch just in case they have an upset stomach. If, however, your pooch eats a toxic ingredient, it’s important you contact your vet right away.

Alternatives to Feeding Your Dog Pizza

Instead of feeding your dog pizza, there are several healthier alternatives and treats you can offer them. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Training Treats: Use small amounts of cheese or dog-friendly treats specifically designed for training purposes. OK, so pizza isn’t just cheese. But it is one of the key ingredients.
  2. Vegetables: Dogs can enjoy certain vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, and carrots as healthy snacks. Just be sure to prepare them without any harmful seasonings or oils.
  3. Fruit: Offer your dog small amounts of dog-safe fruits such as blueberries, watermelon, or apple slices as a sweet and nutritious treat.
  4. Fresh Dog Food. If you want to add a bit of excitement to your dog’s meals, why not try fresh dog food? It’s packed full of health ingredients (some are even pizza toppings) and many are individually portioned to help with weight.

Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

So, while dogs may be tempted by pizza, it is not a suitable food for them. The various ingredients and toppings in pizza can be harmful and even toxic to dogs. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog pizza and instead opt for healthier alternatives and treats that are specifically formulated for their dietary needs.

Remember, as a responsible pet parent, your dog’s health and well-being should always be a top priority.