Both people and dogs bond over food. We include food at birthday parties and even weddings as part of the celebration. We feed those we love. It’s a way of sharing something intimate with people we care for.
It’s natural to want to share some of your favorite foods with your favorite canine. However, you probably know that some foods aren’t good for your dog. Some human foods can even be harmful, or fatal.
Is cheese pizza safe for your dog, or will it hurt them?
What happens if my dog eats cheese pizza?
Your chowing down on a cheese pizza and your dog gives you the look. The look that says, come on pal, you gotta share. The secret weapon, puppy dog eyes, has been deployed.
Is it ok to give them a bite? A slice? What happens if you leave the pizza unattended and come back to an empty box and a full dog? Let’s take a look at common pizza ingredients and whether they are safe for your dog.
Cheese is fine for dogs in moderation. Most dogs love it, and it makes a great training treat. However, it’s also high in fat and calories. It’s best to feed your pooch cheese in moderation.
The mozzarella cheese used as a pizza topping is lower in calories than many other types. The cheese in one slice of pizza shouldn’t be harmful, unless they have a dairy intolerance.
If your dog has a dairy intolerance, they will have a reaction to dairy products, including cheese. A true dairy allergy is rare in dogs. Most often, they have a lactose intolerance.
Cheese has little lactose, so many dogs can tolerate it well. However, if your dog shows signs of stomach upset after eating cheese, they may be lactose intolerant.
Tomatoes are actually good for dogs, so at first glance, tomato sauce isn’t problematic. However, tomato sauce contains more than just tomatoes.
It contains salt, which can be harmful to dogs in high amounts. More on that soon. The other issue is the herbs and spices frequently used to flavor the sauce.
Onions and garlic can be toxic to dogs. They are both members of the allium family. They, and other allium plants, contain thiosulfate. This is harmless to humans, but toxic to dogs.
It causes oxidative stress to the red blood cells, which leads to hemolytic anemia. Put simply, the compound in garlic attacks the dog’s blood cells. Symptoms of garlic toxicity include pale mucous membranes, lethargy, and dark colored urine. Jaundice, or a yellow hue, particularly in the eyes, and rapid breathing are also common.
The good news is it would take a lot of garlic, several bulbs, to get the average dog sick. Some dogs are more sensitive to the compound however, and can become sick from smaller amounts of garlic.
It’s unlikely there’s enough garlic in the sauce to harm your dog, but it is a risk you should be aware of. If you plan to share with your pooch, avoid adding extra garlic or onion. This includes choosing a garlic crust, adding garlic butter, or onions as a pizza topping.
What happens if my dog eats pizza crust?
Pizza crust is made from a few basic ingredients. These are flour, yeast, salt, and water. There’s also oil added to the crust. Generally, a small amount of crust won’t hurt your dog, but that doesn’t make it a great idea.
Flour is the main component. It’s a carbohydrate, and not one your dog would consume in the wild.
Dogs are omnivores, which mean they can eat both meat and plant matter. However, you won’t find them munching on wheat in the wild, and processed flour is a far cry from a natural plant.
All purpose flour is unlikely to harm your dog in small amounts. In fact, it’s found in many dog foods and dog treats. However, it’s not great for them either. It has little nutritional value.
You probably don’t think of pizza crust as being salty. However, it can be a significant source of salt. A small slice of thin crust pizza has 282 mg of sodium. The same size slice in a thick crust has 422 mg of salt.
A dog’s recommended salt allowance is based on their body weight. As an average, a 33 pound dog should consume about 200 mg of salt each day. Considering that there is some salt in commercial dog food, this leaves very little room for added sodium. This means that one thick pizza crust has double the salt a medium dog needs in a day.
Salt is a necessary part of a dog’s diet, but too much can be fatal. If a dog consumes too much salt, you’ll notice them drinking and peeing more than normal. This is their way of attempting to flush the excess salt from their system.
The symptoms of salt poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. In rare cases, salt toxicity can be fatal. It’s unlikely your dog will consume a fatal amount of salt from a pizza or pizza crust.
However, a high salt intake is linked to high blood pressure and obesity, and reduced kidney function.
Wheat flour is a common ingredient in dog food, as well as pizza crust. It’s also a common dog allergen. Signs of a wheat dog allergy include itchy skin, rubbing face on carpet, and paw licking. Your dog may also develop a rash or hot spots.
In addition to skin symptoms, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or gas after consuming wheat.
If your dog consumes wheat without a problem in their regular food, they aren’t likely to react to pizza crust. However, a large amount of crust can overload their system. If they have a sensitivity to wheat, the larger amount can cause a reaction.
What happens if my dog eats pizza dough?
There are some risks associated with a dog eating pizza or pizza crust. However, when it comes to raw pizza dough, the risks are much higher. This seemingly benign ingredient can be fatal for your dog.
If you’ve ever made homemade bread or pizza crust, you know that the dough rises in a warm environment. Unfortunately, your dog’s stomach can cause the dough to expand larger than it would otherwise. This can be dangerous for your pet.
Bloat is a life threatening condition. Food and the gas from food breaking down create pressure in the stomach. Instead of coming out as a fart or a burp, the gas remains trapped inside the stomach.
The stomach swells. As the pressure increases, the stomach can twist, causing torsion. When this occurs, surgery is the only possible treatment.
The signs of bloat include pacing, pain, swollen stomach, and excessive drooling. The most noticeable symptom is the dog’s inability to evacuate. They will not be able to pee, poop, vomit, or expel gas. At the same time, they will gag or dry heave in an attempt to rid their stomach of its painful contents.
A dog with bloat requires emergency veterinary care. Simple bloat can be easily treated. If it progresses to torsion, the dog may not survive.
You may know that yeast and grain are the essence of beer. The yeast ferments the grain, producing what we know as alcohol. Unfortunately, when your dog eats raw dough, this fermentation process can happen inside their body.
Dogs are not equipped to handle alcohol the way humans are. The fermentation can lead to intoxication. It can also cause blood pressure or blood sugar to drop dangerously low, and even lead to seizures.
What to do if my dog eats pizza?
The good news is that a slice, or even a few, slices of pizza isn’t likely to be harmful to your dog. Most dogs are fine after eating pizza, although some experience mild diarrhea or vomiting. However, there are cases where a simple pizza snack turns into something more serious.
Monitoring Your Dog
In most cases, you’ll simply need to monitor your dog for a few hours. Look for signs of stomach upset. If they show signs of diarrhea or vomiting, it’s best to give your vet a call.
Pizza can cause salt toxicity or pancreatitis due to it’s high fat content. These conditions require veterinary treatment. In most cases, it’s simply the dog equivalent of eating too much and getting an upset stomach. However, better safe than sorry.
How Much Did They Eat?
If your dog ate a lot of pizza, you may want to bring them in for an evaluation to be on the safe side. Keep in mind that how much is too much is based on the size of your dog, and the size of their meal. If a toy breed eats 2 slices of pizza, this is the equivalent of a large breed eating 6 slices.
If your dog ate raw pizza dough, bring them to the vet immediately. Bloat can come on quickly, and it can be fatal within hours. Intoxication can also cause serious complications, including seizures and death, in a short amount of time.
It’s best not to wait to see if symptoms appear in this case, due to the serious conditions that can occur. Your vet can induce vomiting early on, which can save you and your pooch from more invasive procedures.
It’s unlikely that you’ll need to induce vomiting after your dog eating pizza. However, if you are concerned about what they ingested, vomiting will not cause your dog any serious harm.
To induce vomiting, give 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per every 5 pounds of body weight. If they don’t vomit, you can repeat the dose once after 30 minutes. Do not exceed 3 tablespoons for dogs weighing 45 pounds or over.
Do not induce vomiting if your dog is lethargic, unresponsive, or having seizures. They must be physically capable of managing the vomiting.