Do you ever feel guilty lifting a big, delicious slice of pizza to your lips while your dog looks on enviously, whining as if they haven’t been fed in days?
While pizza slices are messy, you might think pizza rolls would be a nice treat to give your dog. But can dogs eat pizza rolls or even regular pizza, and is it safe?
Here’s what makes pizza a controversial food for dogs and what you can offer your good boy instead.
What’s in pizza rolls?
Let’s walk through the ingredients in pizza rolls and explain which ones are safe and which ones you should avoid.
But remember that in general, especially if you didn’t make the pizza rolls from scratch yourself and aren’t certain of the ingredients, it’s best not to give your dog pizza rolls, even though some of the ingredients are safe.
Most pizza rolls are going to contain tomatoes in some form.
Small amounts of mature tomatoes are safe for dogs, but young, green tomatoes or the green part of the tomato plant contain solanine, which is toxic for dogs.
Furthermore, many tomato sauces have garlic and onions in them, both of which are also toxic to dogs.
Cheese can be safe for your dog in small portions as an occasional treat. The vitamins and protein in cheese can even be beneficial to them.
Just be sure your pup isn’t lactose intolerant.
In large amounts, the dairy and high-fat content of cheese can cause an upset stomach in any dog, and being fed cheese regularly can cause weight gain and other health problems, such as pancreatitis1.
The crust or pastry wrapping around a pizza roll isn’t necessarily bad for dogs, but it’s not giving them any nutritional value, either. While crust on its own won’t make them sick, it’s just empty calories.
Plus, some crusts contain or are coated with garlic oil or other substances that could again be toxic for your dog.
Unless you made the rolls yourself, you can’t be sure exactly which spices are in those pizza rolls.
Too much salt is unhealthy for dogs and can lead to dehydration, kidney problems, high blood pressure, and even salt poisoning.
Oregano, garlic, and onion powder are other herbs and spices that are often used in pizza making and are harmful to dogs (although small amounts of oregano may be safe2).
If you buy pizza rolls with any sort of toppings, you have to worry about the ingredients used to make those toppings and whether or not those could be dangerous to your dog.
Even pepperoni, which is high in protein, contains a lot of fat and may upset your dog’s tummy.
Can dogs eat pizza rolls as an occasional treat?
It’s possible that your dog could eat a pizza roll every once and a while without any negative effects. However, we wouldn’t recommend it.
Not only can the pizza roll be potentially dangerous for your dog, but it may teach your dog to beg for food, which is a bad habit to get into.
Also, keep in mind that the calories in a pizza roll can add up quickly, and if your dog is overweight, eating even a few pizza rolls may be too much for them.
What happens if my dog accidentally eats pizza rolls?
If your dog eats one or two pizza rolls by accident, it probably won’t cause any problems.
Depending on the size of the dog and what was on the pizza rolls, your dog may just have a bit of a stomach ache or diarrhea.
Since pizza rolls contain a lot of sodium, eating them can also cause your dog to get dehydrated so make sure they have plenty of fresh water available and watch them closely for any other signs of illness.
If you notice anything unusual, or if your dog eats a large number of pizza rolls, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.
What can I give my dog instead?
You can find pizza-flavored dog treats at many pet stores. An even healthier alternative is to make them yourself.
This recipe makes about 12 pizza treats and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or frozen for long-term storage.
The entire recipe (not per treat) contains 1207 calories, 158 grams of carbohydrates, 61 grams of protein, and 41 grams of fat.
If you’re making homemade pizza or pizza rolls for yourself, you could even make these dog treats at the same time.
Pizza-flavored dog treats
- 1 cup wheat or spelt flour
- 1/3 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pinch or small fistful of basil
- 1 pinch or small fistful of sundried tomatoes
- 1 small ball or a few slices of fresh mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop the basil, sundried tomatoes, and cheese into little pieces and set aside.
- Combine both types of flour in a bowl. Stir in the chopped basil, sundried tomatoes, and mozzarella.
- Pour in the water and stir the mixture until it forms a dry dough that sticks together. If the dough is too crumbly, add a tablespoon of water to the mixture as needed. If the dough is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour as needed.
- Flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Use the rim of a glass to cut circular treats out of the dough. Use a knife to make indents in the circles to create the look of “pizza slices” (optional, but cute!). Transfer pizza rounds to a cookie sheet.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pizzas are lightly browned. Remove treats from oven and transfer pizzas to a cooling rack.
For small dogs, you may want to break these pizzas up into little slices instead of feeding them the whole circle.
While it can be difficult to resist those big puppy eyes, dogs shouldn’t eat pizza rolls or any kind of pizza.
Not only is it unhealthy, but certain ingredients found in pizza rolls can cause digestive problems and may even be toxic to pets.
The good news is, you can make your dog a safe, pizza-flavored treat and enjoy your own guilt-free meal.
Just be sure to limit the number of treats you give, as they’re still high in calories.