Can Dogs Eat Pasta?

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
By Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Nov. 3, 2023
beige poodle looking up at their human who is holding pasta
NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one

Whether you prefer spaghetti with meatballs or a veggie-packed penne dish, pasta is a go-to base of numerous dishes. But can dogs eat pasta safely alongside us? And what about pasta sauce?

Here’s everything you need to know about sharing noodles with your dog—and why it’s not such a good idea.

Is Pasta Good for Dogs?

Nothing in plain, cooked pasta is toxic to your dog. But it definitely isn’t good for your dog, either.

The delicious noodles we so enjoy are largely made up of flour, eggs, and water—and although there are some healthy components to pasta, noodles are mostly empty calories for our four-legged friends.

Whole grain pasta is usually high in fiber, manganese, selenium, copper, and phosphorous, while the more common refined/enriched pasta is higher in iron and B vitamins. But the amount needed to add to the benefits of a healthy commercial dog food would also pack on the pounds for your pooch, leading to obesity and related health issues.

So, no matter what “Lady and the Tramp” says, do not feed your dog spaghetti, penne, macaroni, or any other type of pasta.

Can Dogs Eat Pasta Sauce?

Pasta sauce should never be given to a dog. The ingredients commonly found in these sauces, such as garlic, onions, sugar, salt, and butter, are strictly off-limits to dogs and may even prove toxic. Even a topping of cheese isn’t a good idea for your pup, as some dogs can be lactose intolerant and it can cause gastrointestinal distress or trigger pancreatitis.

If you feel compelled to share a bite of noodles with your dog, be sure that it’s entirely plain—it shouldn’t even be cooked with salt or oil.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Pasta?

Eating uncooked pasta can be a choking hazard and, if it’s eaten in large amounts, can lead to an intestinal blockage. It can also be scratchy going down and can cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

My Dog Ate Pasta. What Do I Do?

If your dog ate a small amount of plain, cooked pasta, chances are good that he’ll be OK. Even if he sneaked a larger heaping of spaghetti, generally, the most severe side effect is an upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhea. 

However, if the pasta was covered in sauce or was not cooked, there is a little bit more to worry about. Although an immediate trip to the emergency clinic is probably not necessary (unless the amount was quite large or if your dog appears to be in any type of distress), call your vet for advice. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what to watch for—and when to be worried—based on your dog’s size, health, and the type and amount of pasta he ate.

What To Feed Your Dog Instead of Pasta

There are much healthier human foods to share with your dog, so it’s best to just avoid the pasta altogether. Some good options include:

Featured Image: Adobe/Rasulov

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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