Pizza is a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth treat. The very thought of warm cheese, sauce, and bread is enough to make you log onto Postmates and order a nice big pie.
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Sometimes, you wonder if your dog would love pizza as much as you do. But is it safe to give him a slice, or will it hurt his stomach? How about different parts of the pizza—are they OK? Surely, you think, bread should be fine for him, right?
It's important to learn about what's in pizza and how your dog will react to it prior to sharing the pie with him.
What does pizza come from?
Everybody knows that pizza comes from Italy, even though the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks ate flatbread with toppings on it. The people of southwestern Italy's Campania region, which is where Naples is, started making pizza in the 1700s. Italian immigrants brought pizza to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was popularized in New York City and then, of course, it become a nationwide and worldwide delicacy.
Can dogs eat pizza?
Contrary to what you may believe, dogs should not eat pizza. While your dog may love it, it could cause a number of health issues. After a slice or two, you could end up at the veterinarian with a doggy with a bad stomachache, or worse.
What are the concerns with feeding pizza to dogs?
There are many concerns with feeding pizza to dogs. Even plain cheese pizza can be an issue because it contains garlic and onion, which are harmful to your dog. Both are potentially poisonous. If they eat too much of either, they could get a stomachache or experience a very serious illness, hemolytic anemia, where the immune system destroys red blood cells. Left untreated, your dog could end up in a coma and pass away. The signs of this illness are difficulty breathing, severe lethargy, and dehydration.
The amount of sodium in the pizza sauce is very high, and can result in high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, and heart disease. If your dog ingests too much salt, he could get salt poisoning and experience vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, seizures, and depression.
Dogs can't digest cheese very well; most pups are lactose intolerant. The cheese could cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea. There's also high fat content in pizza and a lot of grease, which could also lead to stomach issues.
In addition, pizza crust is a simple carbohydrate, which could spike your dog's blood pressure.
If you feed your dog pizza by accident, just make sure to watch out for any signs of distress. Call your veterinarian as soon as you notice anything is wrong. You could also call the Pet Poison Hotline if you know your dog ate too much pizza or ingested onion or garlic. The hotline's number is (855) 764-7661, and agents are standing by 24/7 to help you. Just note that there is a $59 charge.
While you may love pizza, your dog should not eat it. Not only is it not nutritious at all, but also ingredients like onion and garlic could do severe damage to your pup. Instead of feeding your dog pizza, stick to regular dog food and treats if you feel bad that he doesn't get to partake in a nice slice. Also, check out our list of everything your dog can and cannot eat to see what else you can feed him. As always, be in touch with your vet if your dog exhibits signs of sickness so that you can treat him as promptly as possible.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.