Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

April Saylor

April Saylor

. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
Updated Jan. 3, 2024
corgi dog looking down at a pizza

Adobe Stock/Masarik

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’re making a DIY pizza to pop in the oven or opening the just-delivered box, your dog is probably not far away. Just think—if pepperoni topping smells that delicious to us humans, it probably smells even better to your pup. But can dogs eat pepperoni, or should they stay away?

If your dog starts giving puppy dog eyes the next time you get out the pizza toppings, tread carefully. Even though they may beg for a bite, dogs should not eat pepperoni. There are several potential health risks to consider when it comes to dogs and pepperoni, and it’s not a suitable snack to share with dogs.

Is Pepperoni Bad for Dogs?

Unfortunately, pepperoni is not a safe food for dogs. While it may be a tasty treat for humans, pepperoni can make your dog sick. 

As with any other high-fat food, pepperoni can lead to pancreatitis, a painful condition that can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.

Pepperoni is also dangerous for dogs because of the spices and seasonings it’s made with. The ingredients that make those greasy little disks of meat so tasty to us humans are also the same ingredients that are so dangerous for dogs. Both garlic and onion are toxic to dogs. Do not feed your dog any foods that contain garlic or onion.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Pizza?

Just like plain bites of pepperoni, pepperoni pizza is not a suitable snack for dogs. In fact, dogs should not eat any kind of pizza, even those without pepperoni.

Pizza itself often contains other ingredients that can also cause your pup harm. Cheese can cause digestive upset (especially for dogs who are lactose intolerant) and pancreatitis.

My Dog Ate Pepperoni. What Do I Do?

If your dog did get into the pepperoni, stay calm and keep a close eye on him. Watch for the following signs, which may mean he’ll need veterinary attention (especially if they persist or get worse):

Even if your dog appears to be OK, the amount of pepperoni, coupled with your dog’s size and relative health, may mean a trip to the vet is needed. For instance, if your pooch scarfed down more than a few bites of pepperoni or if he has existing health conditions that would be made worse with an influx of salt and fat, such as pancreatitis, call your vet. Your vet will help you determine next steps. 

What To Give Your Dog Instead of Pepperoni

Even though your pup is bound to beg for a bit of pepperoni any time you’re having pizza, don’t give in. The high fat content, toxic spices, and risk of pancreatitis make pepperoni an unsafe food for dogs. There are plenty of other dog-safe foods you can share with your pooch. 

Human Foods That Are OK for Dogs

“Pepperoni-Style” Treats Made for Dogs

Still want your pup to be able to enjoy a pepperoni treat safely? There are plenty of ‘roni-inspired options to choose from.

When it comes to sharing new snacks with your dog, it’s best to always talk to your vet before introducing new ingredients into your dog's bowl. They may have recommendations that take your pet’s health, age, and weight into account. 

Featured Image: Adobe/Masarik

April Saylor


April Saylor

Freelance Writer

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