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For many people, pepperoni is a favorite pizza topping and a delicious addition to a charcuterie board. This meaty treat is rich in flavor, but can dogs eat pepperoni? No, and here’s why it’s not safe for your pet.

Why is Pepperoni Bad for Dogs?

Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC, explains that “pepperoni is too spicy and too fatty.” He also advises that pepperoni can make your dog sick, potentially putting them at risk for pancreatitis. This condition is an inflammation of the pancreas, often caused by dogs eating food that is too high in fat. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening for dogs.

Pepperoni’s fat content can also contribute to the risk of your dog developing obesity and obesity-related health conditions. In addition, Dr. Klein adds, “Pepperoni can cause gastroenteritis.” This condition can result in symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Beagle begging for food while his owners eat pizza.
copyright Katsiaryna Pakhomava (Martynova) rights reserved

Regardless of what type of meat is in the pepperoni you eat, it is also dangerous for dogs due to possible salt poisoning (also known as salt toxicosis). When dogs get too much salt in their bloodstream, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or even seizures. Furthermore, pepperoni is often prepared with spices, seasonings, and preservatives. Some of these ingredients, such as garlic and onion, are toxic to dogs.

If your dog gets into pepperoni, consult with your veterinarian immediately to determine how much was eaten and if treatment or monitoring is necessary.

Alternatives to Pepperoni

Instead of pepperoni, give your dog treats specifically formulated to be nutritionally safe for pets. If you want to share some of what you are eating with your dog, consider trying some small pieces of cheese, dog-friendly vegetables, or meats cooked without any oil, butter, or seasoning. And be sure to give any snacks in moderation.
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