Does your dog love to eat leftover Pizza crusts on a relaxing FriYAY night like u? Are you being the cautious pet-parent, scratching your head to find if it’s safe to feed some chunks of crust to your lovely dog? If this is the case, you have safely landed on this write-up to get comprehensive answers to your valid concerns.
Precisely, you CAN feed your dog leftover Pizza crusts, but you SHOULD NOT.
Pizza is human food. It isn’t for dogs. Pizza crusts contain ingredients like yeast, salt, flour, eggs, water, and oil, which is of no nutritional value to your pup when put together.
However, feeding leftover crusts in moderate amounts is okay, but it can lead to adverse reactions like vomiting and diarrhea if given in excess. Hence, except for a tasty flavor, neither pizza crusts nor pizza toppings can benefit dogs. It is nothing but empty calories. So, the only purpose of feeding pizza crusts to your puppy is to satiate his hunger. Otherwise, Pizza crusts shouldn’t be part of your dog’s diet no matter what.
‘DISSECTING’ Pizza and its Crust:
Let’s have a look at the ingredients of pizza and its crust to find out what’s so unsafe about them for your little pup:
You can’t blame your dog for being tempted by the aroma of cheese-loaded Pepperoni Pizza. However, it is in your dog’s best interest to avoid it.
Most dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the enzyme lactase to digest the carbohydrate lactose present in dairy products.
However, a moderate amount of cheese would not spark any reaction, but consuming it in excess can cause your pup to go through a myriad of side-effects.
- digestive problems
Dogs love licking the sweet and tangy pizza sauce. Most pizza sauces contain the following ingredients:
- Canned Tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
It is difficult for your dog’s stomach to digest these ingredients and can cause vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal discomfort if taken in excess.
Garlic and Onions:
Garlic and onions give an extra kick to the pizza, but your canine companion is sensitive to them.
Garlic and onions being the members of Alliums family of plants contain disulfides and thiosulphates, which can cause garlic toxicity in dogs if ingested.
Thiosulphates reduce the amount of oxygen in red blood cells and give rise to a life-threatening condition known as Hemolytic anemia.
Your pup is most probably suffering from hemolytic anemia if he has significant lethargy, severe dehydration, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, he may even go into a coma and die.
Hence, next time when you feel like succumbing to your dog’s wagging tail and puppy eyes, remember it’s not worth the risk.
According to healthline.com, a slice of Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza contains 900 mg of sodium, which makes up about 38% of the RDI.
Now imagine the amount of salt in your dog’s diet if you are feeding him pizza crusts regularly. Excessive salt consumption can damage your pup’s kidney and cause salt toxicity.
Pizza sauce and pizza toppings including pepperoni, anchovies, pickled vegetables, contain high sodium content that can shoot your pup’s blood pressure up. Large amounts of sodium intake can dehydrate your fur-child to a great extent and even send your puppy into shock.
Thus, sodium, though adds great taste to your pizza, is harmful to your puppy’s delicate immune system and can cause a host of complications.
Your canine friend is a carnivore, but he loves raw meat, not processed ones. Processed meat such as ham, bacon, and pepperoni resting on top of your Marco’s pizza is high in sodium and fat content.
Your pup’s digestive system is not designed to digest cooked meat with ease.
Gobbling a bite or two of processed meat won’t harm your pupper, but it is a matter of concern if it’s a habit.
Your dog is at the risk of the following diseases if eating processed meat is a regular pattern:
- Heart disease
Also, spicy meat is a big no-no for your dog. Meat coated with spices can cause heartburn, an upset stomach, and excessive thirst in your dog.
Pizzas are oily and greasy, partly because of the cheese that melts and spills its fatty content onto your pizza.
The oil used in making dough makes it even greasier. It is difficult for your dog to break down oil and over ingesting it can cause inflammation, obesity, and joint pain. If this inflammation reaches your pup’s pancreas, it can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is characterized by nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, and abdominal pain. The acute pancreatitis mortality rate in dogs is around 40% hence don’t take it lightly when your dog shows any symptoms associated with Pancreatitis.
If you don’t believe pineapples belong on pizza, skip this paragraph. Although pineapples make an excellent snack for your pup, it’s dangerous in excessive amounts. Eating too many pineapples can cause stomach discomfort leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
What about raw pizza dough?
Raw pizza dough is even more dangerous for your pup than cooked one because it contains ingredients lethal for your dog. Yeast ferments sugar and produces alcohol. When ingested by your pup, it can cause alcohol poisoning and stomach upsets.
Your dog’s warm stomach provides an ideal environment for the raw dough to expand and release ethanol and carbon dioxide in his body. As ethanol absorbs into his bloodstream, your pup’s blood sugar level, body temperature, and heart rate spikes up. His stomach gets stretched and bloated and his body becomes lethargic.
Alcohol poisoning can even lead to seizures and respiratory failure.
If you notice your fur-child getting restless and facing difficulty in breathing, rush to the vet ASAP.
How to make dog-friendly Pizza:
If your dog loves pizza and its crust but you are afraid about his health, try making a dog-friendly one.
- To make a dog-friendly pizza, use whole wheat flour or cauliflower scraps, eggs, low-fat milk, a pinch of salt, and water for the dough.
- For toppings, use uncured pepperoni, Italian sausage, and some grated carrots. You can also sprinkle some dairy-free cheese on top of the Pizza, along with sliced green bell peppers.
- For pizza sauce, you can use red bell peppers and some oregano.
So, to have a scrumptious dinner together with your four-legged furry friend, try making a dog-friendly pizza out of these ingredients. These ingredients are relatively safer for your pup, but it’s best to not make this a habit.
What to do in case of emergency?
- If your pup experiences any adverse reactions from gulping down pizza crusts, rush to the vet immediately.
- If you suspect he has ingested something toxic, call ASPCA Poison Control Helpline (888) 426-4435 right away.
- If you wish to treat him at home, give him a bland diet (boiled chicken and white rice) after 12 hours for the next couple of days.
- Induce vomiting by giving an oral dose of hydrogen peroxide to your pup within one hour if you notice your puppy in discomfort.
Some points to remember:
- Don’t make it a habit of feeding your dog human food, as it will habituate him to beg for food every time you dine.
- Avoid putting the pizza dough on the counter if your puppy is a counter-surfer. Put it off the ground.
- Get a dog-proof trash can to prevent your dog from munching on some leftover pizza crusts rotting in the garbage can.
To sum up, it is best to avoid feeding human food, especially junk food like pizza crusts to your dog. Occasionally, that is fine but is worrisome if it’s a regular habit. Instead, give your dog some top-quality kibble food, doggy-safe snacks, or organic human food such as sardines, carrots, or chicken breast.
Keep the dough off the counter if your mutt keeps sneaking his snout into the pizza box. Seek your vet’s help right away if you find your pooch showing any signs of discomfort after eating pizza and its crust.