One sniff of a warm, cheesy pizza fresh out of the oven is enough to bring out the most desperate puppy-dog eyes. Since pizza is such an undeniable favorite for us humans, it's no surprise that dogs would also want a taste.
But can dogs eat pizza, or should you keep them away from this favorite meal? Unfortunately for our furry friends, pizza is not safe for dogs to eat. Pizza is made with several ingredients that are not good for dogs, such as garlic, onion, and cheese.
Here's what to do if your dog does eat pizza, when to call the vet, and what snacks to feed them instead.
Can Dogs Have Pizza?
While delicious to us humans, pizza contains several ingredients that are dangerous for dogs. You should not feed your dog pizza, no matter how much they beg for a taste.
Common ingredients found in pizza—namely onions, garlic, spices, dairy, and the high fat and salt content—can lead to digestive issues and illness for your dog. Onions and garlic are toxic to dogs. The cheese and toppings like sausage and pepperoni may not be toxic, but they can also make your dog sick.
All of these ingredients can cause digestive issues, including stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Over time, feeding your dog foods that are high in fat and salt (such as pizza toppings) can lead to serious health issues like pancreatitis and obesity.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust?
While the crust may seem relatively harmless compared to the other ingredients, giving pizza crust to your dog is not a great idea—especially if your dog has health issues, digestive sensitivities, or is very young or old. Dogs can eat many breads, but pizza crust can have lingering garlic, onions, cheese, and other ingredients on or inside it.
It’s likely that a healthy adult dog would be fine if he ate a bite of plain pizza crust on occasion. But it should not be given as a regular snack, and there are plenty of alternatives that would be a better choice as a treat for your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Pizza Rolls?
Pizza rolls contain a combination of ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. Along with being a greasy snack that offers dogs no nutritional value, the cheese and other harmful seasonings can cause digestive issues. So, just don’t feed your dog pizza rolls.
If your dog snatches a pizza roll that fell on the floor, keep a close eye on him and call your vet if he appears sick.
My Dog Ate Pizza. What Do I Do?
If you catch your four-legged friend sneaking a slice of pizza, stay calm and keep a close eye on him. Watch for these signs of illness that could require veterinary attention if they persist or get worse:
If your dog has eaten a lot of pizza, or a slice that contains more garlic or onion than the amount usually found in pizza sauce (for instance, if the pizza was topped with whole garlic cloves), call your vet. Your dog may need medical attention, and your vet can help you determine next steps.
More severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, weakness/lethargy, or collapse, can be a sign of toxicity for your dog. These are always an emergency and require vet attention ASAP.
What To Feed Your Dog Instead of Pizza
While sharing your favorite food with your dog may sound fun, health should always be your first priority. Dogs shouldn’t have pizza, but there are plenty of safe and healthy alternative snacks to offer your canine companion instead.
Here are a few dog-safe options to pizza that your pooch can snack on safely:
Homemade dog treats made with safe ingredients
Remember that any treats, including safe foods like those listed above, should only make up 10% of your dog’s calorie intake. The majority of your dog’s diet should come from a well-balanced dog food.
Pizza-Inspired Items for Dogs
Still want to include your pup in the pizza fun? There’s no shortage of pizza-themed items for dog parents who are pizza superfans. Check out these slice-inspired dog treats, toys, and costumes—your dog can be a pizza pooch without ever having a bite!
Help us make PetMD better
Was this article helpful?