Pug dog sniff and waiting to eat pizza on black background.

Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

Does your dog love table scraps? Or maybe you just like to spoil your dog with the things you eat to make them feel special.

There’s really nothing wrong with giving your dog some treats now and then but you should be careful when you do because sometimes our human food isn’t healthy for dogs.

Is pizza bad for dogs? The truth is that it can be and it is not recommended to let dogs eat pizza.

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Can I Give My Dog a Piece of Pizza?

Pizza lover. Dog. Contemporary minimal collage. Funny Fast food art projectIn the question of whether dogs can eat pizza or not, we need to break down what composes a pizza in order to better understand why you shouldn’t feed pizza to your dog.

Is it the pizza toppings or is there a dog pizza reaction that simply makes that slice of pizza a bad idea?

When it comes to feeding your dog pizza, it’s about more than just nutritional value. Some of the ingredients might actually be good in small amounts but others could lead to health problems that you just don’t want to contend with.

It’s important to know the potential side effects of things like pizza sauce, onion or garlic, cheese, pizza dough, and other ingredients. You might find that different cheese varieties contribute to your dog’s health differently as well.

Then, we must consider that every dog is different. Your dog might be lactose intolerant or garlic and onions might be a no-no for your pup.

As people, most of us love pizza. Your dog very well might like pizzas as well but the problem is it could do more harm than good for some dog breeds. Enjoying some pizzas now and then may seem harmless but it offers no nutritional health benefits and it might also eventually cause some nasty side effects from various substances that are in use.

When considering what pizza toppings are safe for a dog to eat, you should remember that garlic and onions can sometimes be toxic to dogs.

At the least, they might cause an upset stomach. In addition, the fat content and salt content in pizzas can lead to heart disease and blood pressure challenges for most dog breeds.

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Dogs Vs. Pizza

pug dog looks at pizza and refuses to eat. concept of diet. weight loss and healthy eatingHuman food for dogs can be a challenging search to consider. Not only do you have to consider the ingredient list but you must keep in mind tips on calories and fat content. Will too much crust or too much cheese cause lactose intolerance? Will the ingredient makeup lead to an upset stomach?

What you will find with food is that your dog will want the food but it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. The combination of pizza crust (bread dough), onions and garlic, cheese, and large amounts of other ingredients can be quite the combination. The nutritional value is non-existent in a slice of pizza since there are large amounts of salt and fat in almost any type of fast food.

If your dog ate a slice of pizza, it may not hurt them but there is always a chance that some of the ingredients might bother them. It is not recommended to let your dog eat pizza in any capacity. Pizza really is bad for dogs overall and could pose health risks if you choose to let dogs eat pizza once or even regularly.

Dogs can have different reactions to ingredients as well. You never really know what is in the tomato sauce or the pizza crust and you can count on the majority of ingredients being processed rather than fresh.

If you let your dogs eat pizza, you may not notice anything adverse about your dog’s health right away but over time it could affect their red blood cells, they could suffer from lactose intolerance, or your dog might even suffer from hemolytic anemia.

Lack of Health Benefits

When you let your dogs eat table food that is designed for people, do you ever consider whether they can affect your dog’s health in a negative way? Many of us just mindlessly will provide our beloved pets with scraps and we just don’t realize that those can be bad for dogs. Is pizza bad for dogs? Well, it certainly isn’t good for them.

Ultimately, some of the ingredients that you find in pizza can possibly be good for them but things like garlic or onion can sometimes be toxic if your dog ate too much. Cheese can also be a challenging ingredient, particularly if your dog is sensitive to lactose.

Here is something to consider before you feed your dogs pizza. Pizza holds almost no nutritional value as a whole for your pup. You have no guarantee of all of the ingredients in all of the things. You know the basic ingredients are things like cheese and garlic and tomato sauce and crust but all pizzas are made differently.

If you use pizza to provide a means for a treat you might want to consider pizza flavored dog treats instead!

There are a lot of great food options you can try in place of pizza as well if you want a human food option. Try healthier things like peanut butter or actual fruits and vegetables. Canned pumpkin can be a great option and most dogs love it!

We recommend looking for food that might actually have some benefit for your pup rather than the potential problem food that pizzas and even pizza crust might present.

Can Pizza Kill Dogs? Potential Side Effects

Small chihuahua dog with pizza on grey backgroundWe hate to sound just doom and gloom on this subject but we feel it is important for you to truly understand the question can dogs eat pizza? Each dog is different but there are definitely things you can and should know before you try to give your dog pizza.

Here are some possible things your dog may be affected by and certain information to keep in mind.

Lactose Sensitivity

You may not know it but it is quite possible that your dog is lactose intolerant. The cheese on your pizza could turn into a terrible stomachache or worse for your dog. Here’s a fun fact that a lot of people don’t realize. Dogs are actually naturally lactose sensitive. Their bodies are not meant to digest most milk products. This includes cheese, which is one of the primary toppings on the majority of pizza.

Related: The Perfect Diet for a Dog with Sensitivities

You could be inadvertently irritating a natural ailment of your dogs without ever even knowing they have this sensitivity. With dogs, they don’t get diagnosed as lactose intolerant but this is a part of their nature.

On top of that, the cheese that is most often used in pizza tends to have a higher fat content, which is simply not healthy, particularly when added to the lactose sensitivity your dog might suffer from.

Toxic Ingredients

Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks, and similar vegetables and herbs are all part of the allium family. These things are actually potentially toxic to dogs. While small amounts may not have effects right away, they sure can cause problems.

This particular category has something called thiosulfate in it. This toxin causes your dog’s red blood cells to be damaged in ways that the dog can’t recover from. It doesn’t take much to cause harm for dogs and it’s simply not worth the risk.

Even if you don’t add these toppings, you never know if the sauce possibly has them in it.

You may not even see symptoms of this toxin for several days if you fee it to your dogs. By the time you see symptoms, you could be facing a life-threatening issue known as hemolytic anemia.

Here are some of the symptoms that can occur.

+ Diarrhea
+ Vomiting
+ Jaundice
+ Weakness
+ Lethargy
+ Abnormal urine
+ Depression
+ No appetite
+ Dehydration
+ Pain, particularly in the abdomen
+ Rapid breathing

This could very well kill your dog or it might not. Is it worth the risk to you? You might feed your dog any pizza on a regular basis and never notice anything abnormal but you could be doing harm to your dog that goes unnoticed for quite some time.

At the same time, your dog could react within just a few days but there may not be much that you can do to help them by then.

Sodium Levels in Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce on pizza typically has incredibly high sodium levels. That sauce is flavored and seasoned and salt is the number one enhancer. Tomatoes are actually good for your dog but when they are turned into a sauce such as this, the spices and salt that are included can become harmful.

High levels of sodium might lead to various gastrointestinal issues that you will have to contend with. And honestly, that could be the least of your problems. In addition to tummy issues, you might see things like high blood pressure or even heart disease develop in your dog.

Unfortunately, high exposures to continued high levels of sodium could eventually kill your dog. Again we want to say – is it really worth the risk?

Pizza Crust

As humans, we understand the concept of carbs and what too much pizza might do to our health. It’s the same for dogs. Just like human, dogs can face obesity and weight issues that over time can be very hard on their health.

This might not impact them today or tomorrow but it could impact them in a tragic way over time. Obesity and excessive weight can cause serious health problems in the future as well. It’s not just necessarily their weight that might suffer but they might also suffer from other physical challenges that can be experienced because of obesity.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Pizza?

Considering all we know about the elements of pizza, we don’t recommend feeding your dog that pizza of any kind, including pepperoni pizza. Pepperonis are a highly-processed meat and they tend to be a bit spicy. While the flavor is delicious, this is one of the greasiest pizza options out there.

Normal pizza is greasy or oily to some extent but pepperoni adds even more grease to the pizza. Those oils and grease are really hard on a dogs digestive system. Have you ever eaten pepperoni pizza and then suffered from heartburn or indigestion?

If pepperoni has that affect on us, it can have just as much (probably more) of an affect on your dog. This poses another risk of obesity but it can also lead to pancreatitis in your dog as well.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce on Pizza?

Refer back to our potential effects review in the above section. Tomato sauce can include a number of different ingredients when it is put on pizza. From the use of things like onion or garlic for pizza sauce that can be toxic, to the addition of salt for flavor tomato sauce is a bad idea.

Tomato sauce can lead to heart issues and that is not even taking into account the potential toxins from the use of allium plants in the mix.

Tomatoes on their own, served fresh, can be good for your dog though so feel free to turn to those.


chihuahua and the pizza on the white backgroundSo – can dogs eat pizza? In review, all of the signs point to no. With all of the details that we have discovered here today, we recommend avoiding all types of pizza when it comes to your dog. It’s much better to simply avoid the potential health risks that feeding your dog all pizza options might lead to.

It’s simply not worth the risk if you have the best interests of your dog at heart. Say no to pizza and find a better alternative to treat your dog when you need it!

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