All Disney fans know that Lady and the Tramp would have never made it if not for that famous spaghetti kiss. If you hope to smooch your pup’s adorable nose in a recreation of that very scene, you need to boil some delicious pasta for you two to share.
Before you get down to cooking, you must find out the answer to an important question: Can dogs eat pasta? Is pasta safe for our four-legged friends? Should they eat it?
The answer is a bit complex. If you want the best for your pet, you need to do some research. No need to frown; we have done all the hard work for you! All you have to do is read this text!
What Do Vets Say? Can Dogs Eat Pasta or Not?
Here’s a trick – vets seem to find it hard to reach a unanimous decision on this matter! Namely, while some think that it is perfectly acceptable for dogs to enjoy pasta in moderation, others disagree.
Plain pasta (no sauce) is generally ok if you do not overdo it. After all, plain pasta is usually made from everyday ingredients such as eggs, flour, and water. All these ingredients are safe for your dog.
Still, if you go overboard, you can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases, or worsen the existing conditions your dog already suffers from.
So, How Much Pasta Is Too Much Pasta?
If you give pasta as a treat or a snack, your dog should be just fine. Feeding your pooch some pasta with no extras can even be healthy as long as you do it in moderation.
Sharing a plate of spaghetti Lady & Tramp style will be perfectly fine once a month or so. Even if your kid decides to feed your pet with their not-so-favorite dinner, there is still no need to panic! As long as you do not cook pasta every night in a row, your dog should make it unharmed.
In general, avoid feeding your dog a whole dish of pasta or repeatedly giving him full servings of pasta. If you do that, chances are your four-legged friend will soon become overweight.
We know that you would love him or her anyway, but it’s not primarily about the looks! Being overweight can cause serious health issues that your dog will have a hard time handling.
Weight gain is a highway to heart disease and high blood pressure. Your lively dog will become lethargic due to breathing problems. He or she can even experience joint or muscle pain. You will lose your energetic, ball-chasing buddy for good!
So let’s try to be as precise as possible. How much pasta is ok for a dog of medium size? The answer is – one cup of pasta a week. Cook plain noodles and stick to this rule; anything more than that can be harmful to your pet’s health.
What About Pasta With Sauce?
The problem becomes even more complicated when you want to feed the dog with some pasta with sauce. In this case, besides the amount of pasta, you must also consider the pasta’s ingredients. The main thing is to make sure your pet isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients.
You need to be very careful with two particular ingredients found in most pasta recipes – garlic and onions. They might be healthy for us humans, but our canine friends are a whole different story.
Namely, both garlic and onions, as well as less popular leeks and chives, belong to the Allium species. It is quite a notorious species in the dogs’ world. If our four-legged friends were to ingest any of its members, especially in large amounts, they would be at significant risk of becoming anemic.
What Are The Sure Signs That Your Dog Has Been Poisoned From Too Much Garlic And Onions?
- Pale mucous membrane
We know what you are thinking – how are you supposed to make a marinara or any other decent tomato sauce without garlic and onions. Here is an idea that might solve the problem: simply set some pasta aside before mixing in the sauce. In this way, both you and your dog can enjoy an Italian dinner night without feeling sick afterward.
You should really stick to the no sauce rule when it comes to feeding your dog. There are some herbs and spices typically present in many sauces and pasta dishes that can cause problems for your pet too, such as:
- Salt: Salt is not good for dogs. If they have too much sodium in their diet, our canine companions can dehydrate or even experience neurological problems. What are the symptoms to look for when you suspect your pup has had too much salt? Dizziness, loss of coordination, headache, and seizures.
- Oregano: Oregano is another ingredient often found in pasta recipes that have proven toxic for dogs. It is best to avoid it altogether.
- Basil And Black Pepper: This pair is tolerated in small amounts but make sure you do not overdo it. If you decide to include them in your dog’s regular diet, start slowly and monitor your dog for any unwanted reactions.
What About Pasta With Cheese?
Macaroni and cheese – that is one hard-to-resist combo for humans and dogs alike. All dogs like cheese, and it is often given as a treat.
Logically, if plain pasta is safe, and cheese is safe, macaroni and cheese or any other similar combination should be fine as well. We agree that well-behaved pets can enjoy pasta and cheese occasionally.
However, if you feed your dog this dish too often or in large amounts, he or she can become overweight, experience heart problems or gastrointestinal issues. If your dog adores the taste of cheese, reward him or her from time to time, just don’t make it a habit. Also, use the cheese sparingly; your dog will feel all the flavors nonetheless. After all, their sense of smell is way better than ours!
What About Pasta Alternatives?
A lot of humans these days are trying to alter their lifestyles and live healthier lives. Why not help your dog make such a change for the better too?
There are numerous low-carb pasta alternatives on the market. They seem to pop up daily. Rice pasta is already a classic, but you can also browse the grocery store shelves for pasta made from ingredients such as chickpeas and lentils.
These out-of-the-ordinary kinds of pasta are gluten-free, and thus an excellent choice for people who have celiac disease or are simply intolerant to gluten. What about dogs, though? Are these pasta varieties healthy for our furry friends too?
Some studies have sadly shown that grain-free dog foods can also increase heart disease risk in canines. Lentils and chickpeas are not toxic to dogs, but their consumption must be limited to some extent! Most vets agree that both lentils and chickpeas are healthy for canines when eaten in moderation.
Rice pasta is the best grain-free option for your dog’s diet. If your dog has gastrointestinal problems, rice pasta can help resolve that and promote its overall health. White rice is an excellent food for dogs with upset stomachs. It has low fiber content and is easy to digest.
The Bottom Line
The next time you cook pasta, feel free to give fido a noodle or two! It is perfectly safe! Sauces, on the other hand, require caution. Always make sure that all the sauce ingredients are safe for your dog. Avoid herbs, spices, and too much salt! Cheese is ok, as long as you do not go overboard.
There is an alternative too – you can whip up some rice, chickpea, or lentil pasta. It will be easier to digest and can even help alleviate your dog’s upset stomach. He or she might like the new taste too!
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods