Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is pretty sure that when it comes to the most enjoyable things in life, pizza and pets top the list. But do they go together? We would like to think so, but there are some things to take into consideration.

Anatomy of a Pizza

Baked dough, cheese, and delicious toppings  – what could be better than pizza? Our pets most likely agree, but pizza is not necessarily totally benign when it comes to our animal friends. 

When it comes to pizza and pets there are definitely some things to think about.

Breaking it down into its mouthwatering little parts, consider:

Pizza crust – Arguably the part of the pizza that makes it or breaks it, pizza crust is an often shared part of the pie. In and of itself, pizza crust is pretty harmless especially when tossed to Fido in moderation (the salt and oil content are a concern if it is overdone). If you make your own crust, keep in mind that uncooked pizza dough can be a pretty serious pet hazard. The ingestion of uncooked dough can lead to the expansion of the stuff in the stomach as well as alcohol toxicity due to the fermentation process of yeast. 

The sauce – Another relatively harmless ingredient of pizza, the sauce is something that can be shared in small quantities with your pet. Common ingredients such as onion and garlic can cause trouble in large quantities, so use a little restraint when offering sauce to your pet. 

Cheese, please – Okay, so maybe the cheese is the best part of the pizza. Animals and people alike tend to love this gooey part their dinner. Keep in mind the calorie density of cheese when sharing with your pet. If your pet is counting calories, remember that calories in pizza do count. Some pets are also prone to digestive upset and even pancreatitis when ingesting rich and greasy foods.

All the fixings – Most pizza toppings are okay to share with animals, especially the veggie options. Again, onions, garlic, leeks, and chives in large doses can be toxic, so perhaps it is best to avoid these. Fattier meats like pepperoni, bacon, and sausage and spicy foods should also be shared with restraint due to calorie content and the potential for tummy troubles. 

Pizza and Pets

Curling up on the couch with a good movie, a delicious cheesy slice, and your furry family sounds spot-on to us. If you choose to share, be sure to take into account how tolerant your pet’s digestive tract is as well as any calorie concerns or previous history of pancreatitis. 

Some great toppings to put on your pizza that you intend to share can include:

  • Spinach
  • Bell pepper
  • Lean meats like chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Low fat cheese
  • Shredded carrots

You might even bake your pet their own pie. Not having to share is always nice!

Let us know if you ever have questions about what foods are okay for your pet to partake in. It can be fun to include your favorite four-legged family member in your meals, but doing so safely is of utmost concern.