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Can Dogs Eat Pizza: The Question on Every Dog Owner’s Mind

Written by, Ljubica Cvetkovska

Updated September, 14, 2022

Your dog might be eyeing your pizza leftovers, but should you let him eat them?

While some say that pups can have a small slice of pizza as a treat every once in a while,  others believe it is unhealthy and should not be a part of a canine’s diet.

So, what’s the verdict? Can dogs eat pizza or not?

Let’s take a closer look at why giving your dog this popular Italian dish may not be the best idea. 

Why is pizza bad for dogs?

Pizza can make dogs sick for one big reason: salt.

Just like with people, excess sodium can lead to heart disease and other health problems like high blood pressure, kidney disease, and obesity.

Keep in mind that a pizza can have as much as 1,500 milligrams of sodium per slice! Given that the average dog should consume no more than 600-800 milligrams of sodium per day, even a small pizza slice can have a seriously harmful effect on your pup.

So, wolfing down the entire pie is not an option. What about the crust and toppings? Can you share these with your doggy while you are out and about or lounging in front of the TV?

Pizza Crust and Your Dog

The crust can also be a problem for canines because it contains sugar and yeast

Yeast can result in problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhoea in dogs, whereas sugar may lead to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. So, while a tiny piece of pizza crust may not kill your dog, it’s best not to take any chances and avoid it altogether.

Can dogs eat pizza sauce?

Dogs and tomato sauce are a safe combination (usually), as most pizza sauces are made of ripe tomatoes (it’s the stems and leaves that are toxic to dogs). But there is more to sauce than tomatoes as this delicious topping typically contains salt, sugar, spices, and most importantly, onions and garlic.

Sadly, these two staple Italian ingredients can be toxic to dogs and cause anaemia (reduced numbers of red blood cells in the blood). If your canine friend does happen to lick some of the marinara, watch out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and excessive drooling. If you see any of these signs, call your veterinarian right away.

How about toppings?

Like the sauce, most pizza toppings can also contain garlic, onions, sugar and salt, all of which can harm your dog’s wellbeing.

That said, there are a few exceptions.

Cheese is generally considered safe for dogs because it is low in sodium and is free of potentially dangerous ingredients. However, you should still keep an eye on your pup if she decides to indulge in a slice of cheese pizza—just like with any other food, moderation is key.

Some dog owners also choose to give their furry friends pepperoni, but this should only be done in small doses as pepperoni and other processed meats can be high in fat and sodium.

Can dogs eat raw pizza dough?

Dogs should never eat raw pizza dough. 

Raw yeast dough can expand in your pet’s stomach, disrupting his breathing and even leading to tissue tearing. What’s more, yeast can be intoxicating because it contains ethanol (a type of alcohol) as well as lead to an upset stomach or other digestive problems. 

Call your vet immediately if you see your dog eating raw pizza dough.

Before You Throw the Leftovers Away

So, what’s the bottom line? Can dogs eat pizza, or is it best to keep this tasty treat all to yourself?

We are inclined to agree with the latter. Pizza, when eaten in moderation, should not cause significant issues for your canine companion; however, most pizzas, even the ones from the best pizza places in the country, are high in processed ingredients, sodium and sugar, which can result in health issues, bloating and general discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

What happens if your dog eats pizza?

If your dog ate a bit of pizza, there is probably nothing to worry about. Still, be on the lookout for any signs of illness, such as loss of appetite or diarrhoea. Contact your vet if this is the case, and they will advise you on the best course of action.

Can my dog eat pepperoni pizza?

In general, no. Pepperoni, although delicious, is high in fat and sodium and is not an appropriate treat for a dog. Instead, stick to healthy dog snacks like apples, carrots, meat bites and grain-free vegetable sticks.

Are mushrooms bad for dogs?

Mushrooms can be harmful to dogs because they could contain dangerous toxins, which may cause liver damage, seizures, and even death. For this reason, keep your pooch away from mushrooms. 

What to do if I want to give my dog a pizza slice?

You make your own dough using a simple recipe, like the 4-ingredient Cauliflower Crust pizza for dogs—a healthy snack made with nutrient-rich cauliflower and topped off with your dog’s favourite treats.

So, can dogs eat pizza made at home with simple healthy ingredients? Yes, you can search online for the best recipes, and who knows? They might even inspire you to put your pizza stone to work and make nutritious snacks for you and your doggy.

I am a writer and editor, turned co-founder. During my writing days, I came across countless accounts of people trying to find trusted and reliable sources online. That’s when I realised that this was easier said than done. Creating Don’t Disappoint Me allowed me to help other writers out there who struggle just like me, get the most reliable data in no time. Although this website keeps me busy, I am also known to binge-watch a TV show or two or hit the gym, which doesn’t happen that often.