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Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust? | Is Pizza Crust Bad for Dogs?

is pizza crust bad for dogs

Nobody loves pizza more than me!  The average American eats around 46 slices of pizza a year.  Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure I hit that number in just a few months.  Needless to say, I can’t eat a bite of pizza without my pup looking at me and begging for a bite of that cheesy goodness.  Many people end up giving in and tossing their dogs the crust of the pizza once they’re finished.  Is this ok to do?  Can dogs eat pizza crust?  Or is pizza crust bad for dogs? 

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Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust? (The Short Answer)

Dogs really should avoid eating pizza crust.  It’s high in calories, carbs, fat, and sodium—all of which aren’t good for dog’s overall health and wellbeing.  Additionally, it’s common for pizza crusts to have seasonings or spices that are harmful or potentially even toxic to dogs.  While a fallen piece of pizza crust isn’t a death-sentence for your dog, it’s safer to stick with healthier treat options. 

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Is Pizza Crust Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pizza crust?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Is pizza crust good for dogs?

No, pizza crust isn’t good for dogs.  As unfortunate as it is that dogs can’t enjoy the delicious taste of pizza, it’s best for them to avoid it.  In most cases this food isn’t toxic, but just really unhealthy. 

For humans, pizza is regarded as a junk food and we all know that it’s not the healthiest for us.  Not surprisingly, the same is true for our dogs.  Let’s focus on the crust, specifically.  There are a large variety of pizza crust options, but on average in just one quarter of the crust there are 160 calories, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 260 mg of sodium.  The only positive thing out of these is the protein.  Protein is obviously good for dogs, but at the price of 160 calories?  No way!  There are so many other options that provide more protein for a fraction of the calories. 

Trust me, if I could find a half-decent reason to argue that any part of pizza is healthy I would!  Sadly, the fact of the matter is that even if your pizza is loaded with veggies, has minimal cheese, and only has a very thin crust, it would still be tough to consider it a healthy option. 

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Is Pizza Crust Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pizza crust?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Is pizza crust bad for dogs?

Yes, pizza crust is bad for dogs.  Like crackers, Cheetos, Cheez Its, and other junk food, pizza crust is essentially all empty calories with little to no nutritional benefits. 

Pizza crust is high in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium, with little benefits to counteract these negatives.  It’s no secret that these are bad additions to any dog’s diet.  For starters, dogs do not need nearly as many calories as we do.  Just like eating an entire pizza would negatively effect our waistline, a single slice would do the same to our pets.  Excess calories, especially when they provide no nutritional benefit, can cause obesity.  Overweight and obese dogs are at higher risk of developing diabetes, heart problems, joint issues, and many types of cancers.  There are also 24 grams of carbs in a quarter of a pizza crust.  Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars.  For diabetic dogs, this can be a dangerous problem as their blood sugar may get out of control.  Along with calories and carbs you also must consider the fat content.  High-fat diets have been proven to significantly increase the risk of dogs developing pancreatitis.  Additionally, dogs can’t tolerate nearly as much sodium as humans can in their diet.  Too much sodium can easily cause sodium ion toxicity, which can have severe consequences.  A crust of a pizza could easily push a dog over their sodium limit for the day. 

Pizza crust is essentially just bread which, in moderation, is acceptable for dogs to eat.  Pizza crust, however, usually has some additional ingredients that can potentially make it worse.  For example, a lot of pizza crusts have seasonings on them.  Some might have garlic for a more traditional taste or jalapeños and red pepper for a bolder flavor.  These can be toxic ingredients that can upset your dog’s stomach significantly.  Additionally, the pizza crust is usually made out of some form of wheat and, just like humans, some dogs have a sensitivity to wheat and cannot digest it without gastrointestinal upset. 

Don’t panic if you have a friend visiting and they toss your pup their crust—once piece shouldn’t cause much harm.  The main thing to be concerned about is if there was any onion or garlic seasonings on the crust, as those can have serious complications and should require veterinary consultation.  While delicious, pizza crust is simply unhealthy for dogs and can lead to some not-so-fun health problems.  The negatives greatly outweigh the positives, so this food should be avoided whenever possible.

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Alternative Options

Similarly to how your dog shouldn’t have pizza crust, they should stay away from these foods as well.

Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Pizza Dough?

No, dogs should not eat pizza dough.  That goes for both raw and cooked pizza dough.  Raw dough is especially dangerous because it contains yeast.  Yeast is used to cause bread to rise, and when it is ingested by a dog before it’s cooked, it continues to do the same within the stomach.  The yeast produces large quantities of carbon dioxide causing the stomach to expand and bloat.  This gas is unable to pass out of the body like other gases and instead it just causes increased pressure in the stomach.  That increased pressure can eventually rupture the stomach lining and cause severe damage to your dog’s internal chest area.  If your dog eats raw dough, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.  In terms of cooked pizza dough, as mentioned before, it is full of calories and carbs that aren’t healthy for your dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Pizza Rolls?

No, dogs should not eat pizza rolls.  They’re just as unhealthy as pizza crust, if not more so!  Pizza rolls often contain different fillings, some including meats.  Meats that are put on pizza usually are highly processed and have a lot of additives and preservatives which are best to be avoided when it comes to your dog’s diet. 

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Pizza?

No, dogs should not eat pepperoni pizza.  To learn about the dangers of pepperoni check out our article, “Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

Can Dogs Eat Pizza Sauce?

No, dogs should not eat pizza sauce.  A lot of pizza sauces contain spices to give it flavor.  Commonly used spices include onion powder and garlic powder.  Both of these are very dangerous for dogs.  Additionally, pizza sauce is high in carbohydrates and sugar, containing around 16 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of sugar per cup.  While pizza sauce does have less carbs and calories than pizza crust, it’s still not healthy.  The bigger issue with pizza sauce is toxic ingredients that could potentially be mixed in, not its nutritional content. 

Are Mushrooms on Pizza Safe for Your Pup?

Yes and no.  Dogs can usually eat mushrooms, but they shouldn’t eat pizza.  We’ve already discussed the negatives of pizza crust, and adding a nutritious fungus to it doesn’t change that fact.  The crust and potential toxic seasonings of the pizza are still the big issues here.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust?

No, dogs should not have pizza crust.  Pizza crust simply isn’t a healthy option for your dog.  It usually isn’t toxic, unless it contains garlic or onion seasonings.  Nevertheless, there are still few to no health benefits of giving your dog pizza crust.  If your dog accidentally gets a piece of crust, they’ll likely be fine.  However, it’s not something you should intentionally feed them.

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.