Dog Tips

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

American variety of spicy salami made from cured pork and beef seasoned with paprika or other chili pepper – I just described a delicious Pepperoni. Americans love Pizza and guess what is the most popular topping on a pizza? Yes. Pepperoni. Americans consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni annually, on 36% of all pizzas produced nationally. That is a lot of Pepperoni. No doubt Americans love this Italian version of bell pepper. What else do American’s love? Dogs. But does it mean you can transfer your love for pepperoni to these little beautiful creatures? The answer is a very clear NO.

Do Dogs like Pepperoni?

First of all, lets talk about spicy food in general. Do dogs feel the spice the same as humans? The answer is Yes and even more at times. They are not immune to the burning sensation of spicy food and will probably find the little spice according to your tongue, way spicier on theirs. And I don’t think anyone likes that pain. So, when we bring pepperoni in the equation, its very own nature is spicy. That itself is a NO for dogs. So, there is a high chance that even if the dog likes the first bite of that pizza topping, the later burning sensation is not going to be favorable.

Is Pepperoni good for your dog?

Let’s talk about the ingredients of a Pepperoni.

  • Pork – Raw or undercooked pork meat might contain trichinella parasites which can infect dogs. And if it is cooked, then only a plain spice-less version is okay for dogs.

  • Beef – Only lean beef is good for dogs. Actually, it is quite a healthy ingredient as it contains high proteins, vitamins and minerals. But again, anything apart from plain cooked beef is a No.

  • Mustard – The seeds of the mustard plant used to make the condiment are toxic to dogs and can cause issues for your pet’s digestive system and intestinal tract.

  • Garlic – Garlic is a gastrointestinal irritant and can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. If eaten disproportionately, it can even have toxic effect on the red blood cells for them.

Conclusion is there is only one ingredient which can be harmless and can provide good amount of nutrients, that too on the condition that it is served cooked and plain. These nutrients however if talked about do offer a lot of advantages to dogs. For e.g.

Vitamins – are good for eyesight, especially when your dog is matured, as they help prevent cataracts and helps with night blindness and even dry eyes. They are essential fat-soluble vitamin that has functions supporting bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation and immune response in dogs. They also boost energy metabolism and assists skin tissue maintenance. For the young ones, they support their overall growth.

Proteins – It is important for dogs to repair their muscles as well in case of any injury or for gaining strength. Beef contains proteins which can help repairing muscles and other body tissues. In addition to proteins, they are also rich in potassium which can help improve your dog’s nerves and muscles.

But again, because of the fact that these nutrients will be extracted only when the beef is plain. And that is not the case in Pepperoni. So the argument of it being healthy just because of one healthy ingredient is invalid, making Pepperoni a non-healthy food for dogs.

How much Pepperoni is good for your Dog?

None. Any pet owner who loves their dogs, and I’m sure there aren’t any which don’t, wouldn’t want the bad consequences for the dog. So, it strictly recommended that any type of pepperoni in any quantity should be avoided.

What can happen if your dog eats Pepperoni?

While pepperoni isn’t immediately toxic to dogs, it contains high amounts of sodium, fat, calories, and preservatives. Your dog can end up eating some, while are busy watching the Superbowl or an interesting match of Manchester City vs Manchester United. It might also happen that you end up giving the remaining Pepperoni Pizza to your dog after your dinner. If unfortunately, that happens, keep an eye out for the following symptoms on your pup. You should contact your vet right away if you see –

Now these are only the immediate effects of eating a couple slices of Pepperoni. In the long term it can lead to some severe problems like –

The culprits here are –

  • Number of Calories – Pepperoni is a high-calorie food. Any high calorie food can lead to rapid weight gain in case of regular consumption.

  • Garlic and Onion – Most of the pepperoni recipes contain garlic and onions. Both of them are toxic to dogs. Especially, if the dog is of a smaller breed, this problem may be triggered even on consumption of a few garlic or onion slices.

  • Salt – Salami, is a high sodium food. Salt can dehydrate your dog for the moment and cause kidney damage or sodium ion poisoning in the long term. Once it happens, little to no urination, loss of appetite, dry gums, vomiting, and diarrhea are going to be the symptoms on its way.

  • High Fat – Fats, especially saturated fats are not easily digestible by dogs. It can lead to bloating and other stomach issues. Long term health problems can also include heart disease and pancreatitis, or the swelling of the pancreas.

  • Spices – Peppers, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, fennel seeds, and other seasonings are mostly added to pepperonis. Unlike human stomach, a dog’s stomach is not made for spicy foods at all. It causes irritation and thus further complications.


The verdict after looking at all the facts of the case is that Pepperoni, a very big Yes for the American Pizzerias but a huge NO for the dogs. You can very well enjoy that slice of pizza laden with olives, jalapenos, bell peppers and pepperoni but avoid sharing the same with your dog. There are other ways to express love to your dog. This one is just to expensive and risky.

Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!


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