It’s Friday night, and rain is pouring outside. Naturally, you cannot think of a better plan than cuddling with your furry best friend and watching movies on Netflix. Perhaps, the night would even be better if you had some pizza on your plate.
So, you’re thinking – why order it when you can make it yourself? You’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients and made dough quickly. After a few minutes of digging extra ingredients for pizza from your fridge, you found an unopened pack of pepperoni. Your favorite!
Unfortunately, a few pieces fell on the floor, and Charlie ate them before you could react. Your dog is a smaller breed and only eats high-quality dog food, and sometimes you give him some treats like dog cookies or veggies and fruits. No wonder you panicked.
But wait… Pepperoni is made from meat, so why would this salami harm your puppy? The question here is pretty obvious – Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? Can pepperoni be harmful to your dog?
If you are a curious dog parent with a similar experience of your dog eating pepperoni, we’re here to offer a helping hand. This article will discuss whether dogs can eat pepperoni or not and the possible health consequences that can occur, so read on!
Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?
Technically, yes, dogs can eat pepperoni. Pepperoni is not toxic to your dog, but it can be very harmful. Hence, the real question here is – should dogs eat pepperoni? Well, no, dogs should never eat pepperoni.
A few slices on rare occasions are fine, but regularly feeding your dog pepperoni can have severe consequences in the long run.
Pepperoni is full of unhealthy fats, salt, and spices that could be dangerous to your dog. Some of these include:
- Fennel Seeds
- Black Pepper
Garlic belongs to the so-called Allium family and is highly toxic to dogs. Onion and garlic can damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia and possible lethal outcome. Also, while black pepper and paprika are not toxic to dogs, they are not recommended. You should avoid giving your dog these spices at all costs, as they can cause eye, skin, and nasal irritations as well as stomach upset.
Symptoms of stomach upset:
- Bloody stool
Furthermore, pepperoni is also very fatty meat and contains a lot of low-quality calories. Too much fat content in a dog’s diet can lead to inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis. Also, high fat intake can cause your dog to become obese or cause diabetes.
Before we go further, let’s take a quick look at pepperoni nutritional value per 3,53 oz (100 grams):
|Saturated Fat||15 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||3,4 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||17 grams|
|Trans fat||1,6 grams|
Pepperoni does not contain any vitamins and minerals, or dietary fiber, since it is entirely made from meat. Although dogs need salt in order for their cells to function properly, they only need between 0,25 gr – 1,5 gr per 100 grams of food per day.
The main problem with pepperoni is its high sodium amount. Too much sodium in a dog diet can lead to a serious condition called bloat. Bloat is a condition where the dog’s stomach fills with food, water, or gas and causes a stomach to expand. If not treated, bloat can lead to death in canines.
Which Pepperoni Type Is Safe For My Dog To Eat?
There are a few types of pepperoni on the market, from pepperoni slices and sticks to jerky pepperoni, hot pepperoni, and turkey pepperoni. The most significant difference between these types is the meat and herbs used. The more fat, salt, and other spices it contains, the more dangerous it is for your puppy.
If you didn’t know, dogs really shouldn’t eat pork meat. Now you’re probably thinking – if dogs can’t eat pork meat, turkey meat (turkey pepperoni) certainly won’t harm them. But the truth is, turkey meat is good for dogs only when it is prepared plain. On the other hand, turkey meat in pepperoni contains even more salt than pork pepperoni! Not to mention paprika, garlic, and other possible harmful spices.
Therefore, the answer here would be – none. All of the store-bought pepperonis are equally bad for your pooch.
How Often Can I Give My Dog Pepperoni?
You will often fall for your dog’s mouth-watering, puppy eyes, and whinings. Hence, is it okay to sometimes share a few slices with your pup? The answer here is – yes, it is, but it is not recommended. Indeed, a few slices of pepperoni won’t harm your dog and won’t poison him. However, bear in mind that you should never share more than a slice or two of pepperoni with your four-legged friend.
Moreover, if you really want to share pepperoni with your dog, you should only do it on rare occasions. Not every week, let alone every day.
Larger or medium size dog breeds can have as much as 1-3 slices of pepperoni, and you shouldn’t give smaller breeds pepperoni at all. The smaller the dog, the bigger the problem pepperoni could cause to their stomachs.
The Risk Of Feeding Your Dog Pepperoni
As we’ve already mentioned, pepperoni is not a healthy treat for your pup and does not provide any health benefits at all. On top of that, pepperoni can cause serious health issues, and for that reason, we would not recommend feeding your dog with it.
Also, avoid giving your dog other processed salami like jerky, bacon, ham, and corn beef. In addition, sausages often contain sulphite preservatives, causing thiamine deficiency in canines and leading to death.
What Can You Do If Your Dog Eats Pepperoni?
Suppose your dog manages to sneak up on you and eat a few slices of pepperoni. Don’t panic right away, because he could be just fine. The truth is, your dog got more fat and sodium than his recommended daily intake, and you should keep an eye on him.
Your dog will probably be more thirsty that day and will need to pee more often. He could also have diarrhea or even stomach pain.
On the other hand, if your pup eats more than a few slices, he will probably start to vomit or experience diarrhea. If that happens, you should call your vet immediately and follow instructions. You may even need to take your pup to the clinic just to make sure everything is fine.
Keep an eye on your furry companion, and if you notice any of the following symptoms, call your vet:
- Upset stomach
- Acid reflux
- Abdominal pain
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
In conclusion, you shouldn’t give your dog pepperoni. Pepperonis are not toxic for your dog but can lead to many health problems, even serious ones. The most common issues pepperonis could cause are stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
They can also cause obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, and bloat. Let’s not forget the spices such as garlic powder, which is highly toxic for dogs. High amounts of sodium present in pepperoni can cause your dog to excessively drink water and urinate, leading to sodium poisoning, kidney damage, pancreatitis, or bloat.
A slice or two of pepperoni most likely won’t cause any problems, but feeding your dog pepperoni more often can have serious consequences, as mentioned above. Because of these reasons, it is better to avoid feeding your dog pepperoni altogether. If you want to treat your dog with something good, you should consider dog treats or veggies like carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, or celery.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods