Pizza lovers would surely agree that a slice of pizza can keep all the negativity away. Bonding moments are just better with a box or two of pizza.
Dog lovers, however, would think twice. Since pizza is considered by many as junk food, can dogs eat pizza? If your dog ate or dog eats pizza, should you worry?
Yes, the combination of a crunchy pizza crust topped with loads of toppings and melted cheese is truly scrumptious.
But then, you realize that many of the foods we eat (the healthy foods included) are harmful (even toxic) to your pet dogs. So, how does a slice of pizza (given its low nutritional value) compare to the rest?
Well, keep your cool and restrain yourself from looking for other dog blog posts because Dog Food Guide aims to give you everything you must know about dogs and pizza.
This way, you’d save time since you don’t have to look for other dog-and-pizza-related posts.
Pizza & Its Yummy Nutritional Facts
When we talk about pizza, the first thing that comes to mind are those loaded with processed meat (think pepperoni) and stretchy mozzarella cheese smothered all over a warm, crisp pizza crust (think deep-dish Chicago pizza). But there are all sorts of pizzas out there.
Depending on the ingredients, one pizza can be healthier than others. It’s a given, though, that not one pizza will be as hearty as your veggie salad—still, the ingredients and how they’re processed matter.
What To Expect From Frozen & Fast-Food Pizzas
The easiest way to satisfy your daily cravings for pizza is to either settle for frozen pizza or fast-food pizza. Unfortunately, these two are the least healthy.
Often brimming with fat, salt, carbs, and sodium, these types may also contain artificial coloring and preservatives. All of which will likely harm you and the health of your pet dog, especially when eaten in large amounts.
Homemade Or Freshly Made Pizza
If you still want to indulge in a slice of pizza but prefer a healthier variety, then checking out the freshly made pizzas from your local pizzeria is your best course of action.
Many pizza restaurants opt to make their pizza from scratch using healthier ingredients – from the crust to the sauce and the toppings.
Now, if you have a lot of time to spare and can do some wonders in the kitchen, then you might as well try making your own version of pizza.
Make sure to use whole ingredients; this way, you know for sure that it’s yummy, not to mention hearty.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza?
Most “Can Dogs Eat Pizza” articles would say that pizza is bad for dogs. This is partly correct but not entirely true.
As mentioned, there are various types of pizza out there, and not all are made equal. Most are undoubtedly harmful, while others can be enjoyed with your pet dog as long as it is given to your dog in moderation.
Why Feeding Pizza To Your Dog Is Bad
Is pizza bad for dogs? The answer is Yes, especially if you’re a frequent buyer of frozen or fast-food bought pizza. Since this is easy to prep and much more affordable, we can’t really blame you if that’s what you have available.
Now, if that’s all you have, then you better stop yourself from feeding your dog pizza. Why?
To give you an idea, here’s a rundown of all the bad stuff you’re allowing to get into your dog’s body and the possible health problems your pet dogs might face.
It Is High In Fat
Yes, fats are often included in most dog food brands since your canine friends need this to function normally.
However, consumption of too much fat from low-quality meat products like processed meats (think bacon and pepperoni) could only lead to adverse side effects like obesity, heart diseases, and worst – cancer.
The oil that’s often added to pizza is also bad for your dog’s health since too much of it can lead to a condition known as pancreatitis.
It Has High Sodium Content
Apart from getting a stomach upset, one thing you have to worry about is the amount of sodium your dog gets from eating pizza. In fact, sodium – a mineral present in salt and MSG – can be found from the pizza crust to the tomato sauce and the cured meats on top.
A large slice of frozen pizza may contain 765 mg of sodium, according to Healthline. Letting your dogs eat pizza all day, every day, will not only make your dog crave more water but may also cause stomach upset, diarrhea and even increase your dog’s blood pressure and your dog’s risk of getting heart disease.
It Is Brimming in Calories
Apart from fat and salt, many types of pizzas are loaded with calories. Fact is, USDA states that a 14” regular pizza contains around 266 calories. Consuming more calories can lead to obesity. You can blame this on the extra cheese, pizza sauce, salty topping, and thick pizza crust.
Raw Dough Is A No-No
Although no-yeast dough exists, those made with yeasts can negatively impact the health of your dog if eaten raw. Eating raw dough can lead to intoxication since yeast produces ethanol. It can also expand inside the tummy of your dog and tear the tissues inside.
Some Dogs Are Lactose Intolerant
Unless you’re vegan, you’d probably think that there’s no chance a pizza can be as indulgent without the cheese. Indeed, cheese makes pizza a lot more mouth-watering for both you and your pet dog. Sadly, some dogs are lactose intolerant.
Compared to milk, cheese is easier to digest. If your dog can eat cheese without getting an upset stomach, then good for you and your dog. However, some dogs can’t even handle cheese.
You’d know if your pup is among the totally lactose intolerant bunch if your dog exhibits the following after eating a small amount:
- Excessive gas
- Soft, watery stool
- Abdominal pain
It May Contain Harmful Ingredients
Pizza won’t taste yummy as it is without the addition of seasonings. While allowing your dogs to eat basil, thyme, fennel, oregano, and black pepper is fine, spices like paprika and salt can cause GI problems.
Some Ingredients Are Toxic
Pizza crusts, pizza sauce, and toppings can also include garlic and onions. These two are especially dangerous for dogs. And when we say dangerous, this means that your dog may suffer from a serious, life-threatening condition called hemolytic anemia.
Studies suggest that your pet dogs do not have to eat many onions and garlic for them to feel its damaging effects on their red blood cells.
If your pet dog ate garlic- or onion-filled pizza by any chance, keep an eye on these symptoms and contact your vet ASAP.
- Pale gums
- Loss of appetite
- Reddish pee
Benefits Of Giving Your Dog Pizza
True, pizza’s nutritional value isn’t in any way impressive, but if you’re picky with the stuff you put into and on that flat, baked crust, then your dog might just be in for a hearty treat.
Now that you know that ingredients matter, make sure to only include dog-friendly, wholesome foods the next time you decide to cook up pizza for your dinner. This way, you can at least feed your dog a few pieces.
Wondering what foods are great for your dogs’ health. Check out the list of dog-approved foods below (plus its benefits):
Can dogs eat pizza crusts? They can if you use grain-free flour like almond or coconut flour instead of refined flour to make the crust.
Coconut flour is high in fiber and rich in nutrients like potassium, Vitamin B6, and amino acids. On the one hand, Almond flour is low in carb content and is a great source of macronutrients.
If your dog isn’t allergic to grain or wheat, you can use whole grain wheat flour. This one is loaded with fiber, phosphorus, folates, and more.
Instead of using store-bought sauce, create your own. Sauce made with fresh, ripe tomatoes is good for dogs since tomatoes packs a punch nutrition-wise. Just leave out the dangerous stuff like garlic and onion.
If you have to add oil, then add olive oil. Since it contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E, expect a boost in your dogs’ immune system. It can also improve your dogs’ cognitive function and skin health.
Cheese has always been used as a treat for training dogs. So if your dogs’ tummy isn’t that sensitive, you can still add low-fat cheese (like cheddar and mozzarella) into the mix. After all, this contains essential nutrients like protein, zinc, and calcium.
Quality, lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken are better options for your pizza toppings since these are high in protein and low in sodium. Again, you must do away with the onions and garlic if you want your dog to enjoy.
When it comes to the toppings, aside from using lean meats, you can also add pup-friendly toppings like store-bought mushrooms, bell pepper, and olives.