Why You Shouldn't Feed Your Dog Pepperoni

Pepperoni seems like a quintessential dog snack, but it's not actually good for your pets.

Kori Williams - Author

Mar. 27 2024, Published 3:24 p.m. ET

A Beagle in a kitchen trying to get a piece of sausage.
Source: iStock

Plenty of people enjoy pepperoni, especially because it can be so great on pizza. These little slices are usually made from a mix of pork and beef, but thankfully, there are vegan alternatives available so people with a plant-based diet can enjoy. Pepperoni is one of the more common toppings on a pizza, so it's easy to assume that your dog may have not only seen it before but also wanted a few pieces of it.

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Since so many pups love to watch people eat, it's no wonder they are at least curious about what we put in our mouths. But can dogs eat pepperoni, or will it be too rough on their tummies? Just because they want to eat something doesn't mean that they should.

A black Labrador Retriever about to take a slice of pizza.
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Can dogs eat pepperoni?

Yes, your dog can eat pepperoni but they shouldn't. Not only is it unhealthy, but it can make them sick even if they only eat a small amount. The Dodo points out that this topping has a lot of salt and fat and can be too spicy for your pet. "The ingredients added to make it taste better, including paprika, fennel seeds, black pepper, and garlic powder, can make your dog very sick," said veterinarian Dr. Claudine Sievert to the publication.

Even though your dog might be able to have a small amount of pepperoni without any issues, the risk isn't worth it. And Sievert says it's best not to give your dog this food. You can treat your pup with several different foods that won't be harmful to them and taste great.

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A small dog being fed a slice of pizza.
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According to PetMD, if your dog does eat pepperoni, it's best to get in contact with your vet as soon as possible. They will help you figure out how to move forward depending on certain factors like how much they ate in comparison to the pup's size.

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What are the risks of pepperoni?

Since pepperoni has so many seasonings and salt, it could very easily upset your dog's stomach. Not to mention that many seasonings are poisonous to dogs. Rover mentions other health issues pups could experience including:

  • Kidney damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Salt poisoning

Plus, Master Class points out that some seasonings like garlic and onions cause red blood cell damage in dogs.

A large white dog wanting two slices of pizza.
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If you decide to feed your dog some pepperoni or if they get their paws on it some other way, they may get sick and exhibit symptoms like diarrhea, tummy pain, and vomiting.

Further, the pepperoni may cause your pup to urinate more often and be thirstier than usual because of all the salt. Even though these symptoms are bad for any sized dog, they can be especially dangerous in smaller breeds.

Additionally, Master Class points out that pepperoni has high fat and calories, which could lead to obesity.

Overall, there's no good reason to give pepperoni to your dog. But luckily, there are all kinds of pepperoni-flavored treats for your pup to munch on. In addition to meat, some fruits and veggies are great options for your pup.

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