If there’s one thing you can always count on dogs for, it’s them staring you dead in the eyes while you cram a Domino’s MeatZZa Feast® down your throat. It’s almost impossible to resist their “gimme-snacks” gaze, and you usually scrap some crust anyway, so would it be so bad if you shared? Moreover, can dogs even eat pizza crust in the first place?
In short, yes. But as canine nutrition coach Cam Wimble explains, dogs are fraught with gluten sensitivity. Compared to us, they’re “less evolved to eat wheat proteins,” meaning even small amounts of wheat can lead to things like leaky gut syndrome, which happens when undigested food leaks through the intestinal walls, resulting in itchy skin and digestive problems.
For the same reason, starchy carbs like pizza crust can prompt inflammatory responses in pups, which is something to watch out for if your dog deals with allergies or other recurring health problems. “If your dog’s got arthritis, recurring ear infections or any issue ending in ‘itis,’ you should avoid starchy carbs altogether,” Wimble warns.
Another thing to consider when your pooch is salivating over your leftover crust is their weight. Because dogs haven’t evolved a need for carbs, Wimble says carb-heavy foods like pizza crust tend to “rapidly incite weight gain.” So if your dog is already carrying a few extra pounds, keep that crust on the table. “Obesity is a killer, and we forget that,” Wimble says. “The chubbier the dog, the more likely it is to suffer from nearly every type of disease.”
Beyond the crust, it’s super important to keep your dog away from pizza if it’s topped with onions. “Overconsumption of onions can incite anemia, as they contain a sulfur-based compound that attacks the red blood cells,” Wimble continues. Garlic can cause problems for the same reason, though your pooch would have to eat quite a lot to get sick.
All of that said, if your good boi or girl is generally healthy, and onions/garlic are nowhere to be found, Wimble has no problem with the occasional slice of pizza. “Just remember that occasional for them is probably less occasional for you,” he says. (You can make a whole dog-friendly pie by using coconut flour for the crust, going light on the cheese and topping it with meats and/or veggies — spinach, carrots and broccoli are all good bets.)
Well, well, well. Looks like it’s your lucky day, Tuck.