Pizza is always listed in the top 10 all-time food favorites. Most dogs love it too, but is it okay for them? After all, it’s often been said that pets shouldn’t be given people foods and a slice of pizza certainly falls into that category.
This particular question is somewhat tricky, partially because all pizzas are not created equal. Obviously, first and foremost, you want to ensure the health and safety of your dog. So let’s cover all the angles and find out exactly where pizza stands.
Sure, some human foods can be beneficial to canines but certain ingredients and various combinations are potentially toxic. It’s best not to complicate your best buddy’s diet. Here is our judgement call regarding dogs and pizza.
Can I Give My Dog Pizza? Answer: No
Believe it or not, certain kinds of pizza can be quite dangerous for dogs.
While pizzas come in lots of variations, many of the toppings are highly questionable. These include cheese, garlic and onions. Mushroom and tomatoes are probably okay but the entire combination may be risky. Consider that the ASPCA lists human foods as one of the top culprits for cases involving pet poisoning. Even giving plain pizza should be discouraged in our humble opinion. Save the leftovers for yourself since cold pizza, crust and all, tastes great anyway.
There’s a formulated pizza treat made for dogs which you may want to consider. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, tastes just like the real thing and it gets great reviews.
More on the Toppings
Onion and garlic are common ingredients and are often used as pizza toppings. Unfortunately, these food additions could be dangerous for dogs. Unlike humans, your dog lacks the enzymes needed to process and break down the Thiosulfate components in garlic and onions. As a result, they can cause diarrhea or vomiting and even anemia.
We all love cheese on our pizza but it may not agree with your pet dog. Sure, just a little bit is not likely to be harmful but canines are generally lactose intolerant. Further, too much cheese can cause digestive problems even though you may not be able to observe it most times.
Other Critical Considerations
Pizza contains high amounts of oil, salt and other spices that have the potential for some degree of toxicity. In addition, too much fatty food (especially of the human variety) can contribute to your dog developing pancreatitis over time. Consider that the total body weight of a typical dog is much less than that of an average adult person. As such, they can be greatly affected by even small portions of harmful people food including pizza.
Dough, Obesity & Bad Habits
No matter how much your dog begs for pizza, don’t give in! They shouldn’t be cleaning up the leftovers just because you are stuffed and there’s still one or two slices remaining. This is even true for plain pizza, any kind really. There’s no doubt that doing so is a bad feeding habit. Obesity is becoming a real problem for dogs. If your best bud is already overweight, it’s especially important be firm and resist sharing any pizza.
Also consider that the primary ingredient, the dough, does not contain any nutrition or what your dog actually needs to be healthy. Commercial dog food and dog treats, the quality ones, have been developed for this very reason. So there are good alternatives, no excuses. Remember that your dog’s system has somewhat different nutritional requirements than humans do even though dogs will often chow down on nearly anything. Simply put, pizza just isn’t going to cut it for Fido.
Conclusion on Pizza
You should resist giving pizza to your dog, at the very least on a regular basis. Instead, stick to healthier treats. If you still want to share some with your buddy, do so in moderation and consider each of the pizza’s toppings because several can be harmful. We consider pizza to be a poor choice and a no-no for dogs due to all the reasons given above. Pizza flavored dog treats will provide the same taste but without the negative factors.