Unless your pet is either trained incredible well or completely disinterested in table foods, you’ve probably battled over incessant begging for samples. Sure, they’re unlikely to ask for a taste of Brussels sprouts or tofu, but if there’s meat, cheese, and bread being passed around, all bets are off.
As a result of all this begging and giving-in, many pets eat pizza. But should they? In other words, where does this beloved Italian-American treat fall on the pet-risk-o-meter?
A Simplified Approach
Taking responsibility for your pet’s health and safety is a big deal. No pet owner wants to consciously endanger their pet, but when they “treat” them to certain table foods, these good intentions can prove dicey.
That’s a “No”, Then?
Pets are drawn to pizza because, let’s face it, it’s amazing. They’ll steal it, sneak it, and beg for more until the box is taken to the trash can. Behaviorally, once they develop a taste for pizza they’ll always want a bite or two whenever it’s in the house. Enjoyed on a regular basis, pizza doesn’t bring high nutritional value to pets and can make them sick.
Unsafe Pizza Ingredients
The ingredients that comprise the dough, sauce and various potential toppings can cause serious issues to an animal’s delicately balanced system. Sure, a veggie slice may seem like a good idea, but pizza inherently has a lot of sodium and certain spices, such as garlic, that should be off-limits to pets.
Similarly, toppings like onions (which are poisonous to pets) or fatty meats, such as sausage or pepperoni, can lead to a painful bout of pancreatitis. It is also well-known that lifelong exposure to processed meat can lead to heart disease, cancer, and obesity in both people and animals.
Whether your pet sneaks a piece of pizza or was offered a bite, please watch out for the following red flags:
- Lethargy or weakness
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Red-tinged urine
Other Worrisome Effects
Cheese is another common culprit when pets eat pizza. Because they are generally considered lactose intolerant, pets really shouldn’t be exposed to the greasy goodness. Be prepared for some terrible gas, bloating, diarrhea, and overall GI discomfort. Like the effects of fatty meat, cheese can also lead to a flare up of pancreatitis.
Likewise, tomato sauce is salty and can contain dangerous herbs. Pizza dough may seem harmless, but it can also be salty and is full of carbohydrates that pets just don’t need. If they are treated to items like this over time, they can quickly gain unnecessary weight.
No Pets Eat Pizza
If you feel a bit guilty for indulging in pizza, but not sharing it, opt to give your pet a tasty treat of their own. Blueberries, bananas, canned pumpkin or a peanut butter Kong go a long way toward distracting your pet and keeping them satisfied, too.