Is there anyone who doesn’t really like pizza? Today, pizza has become one of the most loved foods in modern culture. Whether you’re having it at a party or as a quick dinner, there’s no denying that pizza is a huge favorite.
Loaded with cheese and your favorite toppings, a gooey pizza is sure to make anyone super delighted. Right from the crispy crust to the tomato sauce loaded with flavor, all the ingredients of the pizza make it absolutely delicious. While pizza may not be the healthiest food out there, no one has the heart to turn down pizza given a choice and dogs are no different.
Dogs are generally tempted by most people foods; however, some foods can be more tempting to them than others. And, most certainly pizza is among the most irresistible to dogs as it is to humans. What with all the delicious toppings, flavors and spicy and warm smells, surely, pizza is a huge pooch favorite.
However, before you reach down to give your furry pet a slice of your pizza, you should stop to consider, “Is pizza safe for my dog?” “If he can’t eat the pizza toppings, is the pizza crust safe for my pet to eat?” Well, the answer to these is a “No”.
Why Is Pizza Bad for Your Dog?
In general, pizza is not recommended for dogs because it does not provide any nutritional benefits and also, pizza contains several ingredients that can be harmful to your pet. Simply stated, pizza does not accommodate the dietary requirements of a dog and does not offer the nutrients for your pet to stay healthy. In fact, it has empty calories. And, too much pizza can lead to several health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, weight gain and obesity.
Apart from lacking nutrients, pizza has several ingredients and toppings that can be very harmful to your dog. Here is a list of some of the most common ingredients in pizzas that can be hazardous for your pet’s health.
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Onions and Garlic
No pizza is complete without onions and garlic, which are the key ingredients and give the pizza the extra taste. And, even if you can see any onion or garlic on the pizza, it could be added to the tomato sauce.
However, garlic and onion are very toxic to your dog. Both onion and garlic belong to the allium plant family and allium contain the compounds thiosulphate and n-propyl disulfide, which reduces the oxygen that is present in the red blood cells and leads to anemia in the long run. And, even a little amount of onion or garlic can cause huge damage to your pet’s health.
Depending on how your dog’s health is currently and depending on how much onion or garlic your pet has consumed, the symptoms can vary. In the best case, your pet will suffer for a minor stomach upset and stomach ache.
However, the symptoms can also be quite serious and your pet could experience hemolytic anemia after a few days of consuming onion and garlic. This condition can cause lethargy, severe dehydration and can affect breathing and if not treated, it can cause your pooch to go into a coma and even die.
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Most pizza toppings such as anchovies, pickled veggies, pepperoni, etc. contain high levels of sodium. Pizza also contains tomato sauce, which has one of the highest sodium contents. This helps to enhance the flavor of the pizza. While sodium is a huge flavor booster, it can be quite deadly for your pooch.
A slice of cheese pizza contains around 624 mg of sodium and for a medium-size dog, it is not recommended to consume more than 100 mg of sodium daily. Large quantities of sodium can lead to gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, causing heart disease. And, if your pet consumes a lot of sodium in a short period of time, he can go into shock, which can lead to long-term problems and even death.
You may find it quite surprising, but feeding cheese to your dog is not recommended. While cheese in very small quantities may not cause any problem for your pet, often dogs can find it difficult to digest dairy products and consuming a lot of cheese can cause stomach upset. Some varieties of cheese have a very high-fat content, which is also extremely dangerous for your dog.
And, if your pet is lactose intolerant, he could be allergic to certain varieties of cheese, which can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. Typically, most pizza recipes require varieties of cheese that are high in fat and melt easily. These kinds of cheese usually have high lactose levels and if your pet is lactose intolerant, he may find it difficult to digest the cheese. And, if your pet consumed a lot of cheese, he may experience vomiting, diarrhea and digestive issues.
Pizza is a convenience food that is loaded with grease, which is what makes pizza extremely delicious, Even the “so-called” low-fat pizzas contain some form of grease. 1 slice of pizza contains around 6 grams of fat and 168 calories, of which 54 calories are from fat. And, your pet does not need this fat in his diet and definitely not the calories. Typically, your dog’s diet should not have more than 10% of fat and the excess grease in the pizzas can have long-term harmful effects on your pet.
Excessive fat can cause obesity and if your dog gains weight, he will have quite a tough time shedding the extra weight, which can be a big problem. Also, consuming a lot of fat can cause pancreatitis in your pooch, which is a very painful condition and requires lifelong management. And without proper treatment, this condition can even be fatal.
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Bacon and Spicy Meats
Bacon is very popularly used as a pizza topping. Bacon is very salty and high in fat and can be very difficult for your pooch to digest. Like cheese, consuming a lot of bacon can cause your dog to gain weight and also cause pancreatitis. Pizza also often contains chunks of meat, which your pet is sure to love. However, if it is loaded with salt and spices, this can cause stomach upsets and your dog to feel extremely thirsty and even dehydration.
Pepperoni, a common topping on pizzas can be quite harmful to your pooch. The spicy flavor of the pepperoni can cause pain in your pet’s sensitive mouth and can also cause stomach upsets. Sometimes, the pepperoni can contain onion or garlic powder as flavoring, which are both toxic to dogs.
Pizzas come with a wide range of toppings and plenty of ingredients that can be quite bad for your dog’s health. Even if the topping or ingredients are not dangerous for your pet, it can also cause tummy upsets, especially if they are very rich and your pooch is not used to eating such rich foods.
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Can I Feed My Dog Pizza Crust?
Often people eat their pizza and feed the leftover crust to their dog. While the pizza crust does not contain the unhealthy toppings and ingredients like the rest of the pizza and is comparatively safer, it is still not very healthy and it’s not recommended that you allow your pooch to eat the crust.
As per the USDA, 100 grams of pizza crust has around 47.6 grams of carbs, 3.86 grams of fat and 262 calories. It also contains around 6.15 grams of sugars and 554 mg of sodium, which is extremely high for a dog.
The pizza crust can contain unprocessed dough, which can be quite toxic for your pooch. And, it can also contain butter, salt, oil, garlic, cheese and other seasonings, which can be harmful to your pet. Even plain pizza crust is not very good for your pooch. Pizza crust contains only simple carbs and sodium, which are just empty calories and have little or no health benefits. While your pooch may feel full after eating the pizza crust, it offers no nutritional value and is not beneficial for your pet’s health.
Also, eating too much pizza crust can cause your pet to gain weight and make him obese. It can also increase the risk of blood pressure and several health problems such as diabetes, heart disease or liver and kidney disease. The excessive amount of salt in the pizza dough leads to dehydration and even causes toxicity of your dog’s system, known as hypernatremia.
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Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Raw Pizza Dough?
Raw pizza dough is dangerous and if your pooch consumes the dough in excessive amounts, it can be potentially fatal. Keep this in mind when you are preparing homemade pizza and if your dog loves stealing food from your kitchen counter. The raw dough can carry bacterial contamination like E. coli or salmonella that can make your dog sick.
Pizza dough contains yeast and when the yeast ferments, it produces alcohol. If your dog eats the raw dough and the alcohol is absorbed into his bloodstream, this causes his blood sugar and body temperature to drop and in severe cases, it can result in seizures and respiratory failure. The raw dough can also expand in your dog’s stomach and if your pet has eaten a lot of dough, then it can cause the stomach to get bloated making your pet very uncomfortable.
In extreme cases, it can also cause bloat, a very serious condition, which causes your pet’s stomach to twist very painfully. Bloat develops fast and is difficult to treat and includes symptoms such as increased heart rate, retching, restlessness, lethargy and it can even cause your dog to collapse. If you notice these symptoms, you must take your pet to the vet immediately.
My Pooch Ate Some Pizza, What Should I Do?
If your pooch has grabbed some pizza sneakily, when you were not looking and has eaten it, there’s not much reason to panic. Firstly, check how much pizza your pet has eaten and what kind of ingredients the pizza had. A small slice of pizza is not likely to cause your pet any major problem. He’s most likely to have an upset tummy.
However, if your pet has consumed a large chunk of the pizza, then it is very important to keep a watch on him. If he shows any signs of a stomach disorder or toxicity, then take him to the vet immediately. It is better that you don’t wait for your pooch to display signs of sickness or toxicity, it is better to contact the vet before your pet gets sick. This will help to reduce the risk of serious health damage.
So, by now, we’re sure you’ve got the answer to your question if your dog can eat pizza or the crust. The digestive system of a canine is more delicate when compared to humans and the ingredients in pizza are far too greasy, oily or salty for your pet to digest easily. And, the ingredients in the pizza can also make your pet sick, lazy and obese.
The best way to avoid all these issues is by keeping pizza away from your furry pet, no matter how cute he looks begging for it. As a rule, be mindful of what you feed your pet and avoid giving him any food consumed by humans. If your dog is drooling and begging for the pizza you’re eating, keep some dog-friendly healthy treats on hand so that your pet is also happily eating while you are and he feels like he is part of the feast and is getting special treats.
In short, it is best to avoid giving your dog pizza. Your pet is sure to enjoy the taste of the yummy pizza, but it’s definitely not worth the risk of your pet falling sick. So, if you are having a pizza party at home, make sure that you keep it out of your dog’s reach so that he can’t sneak some away when you are not looking.