4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Eat Pepperoni

Can dogs eat pepperoni? Numerous human foods are appropriate for your dog, such as baked chicken, rice, some vegetables, grains, and more–in fact, many of these ingredients are incorporated into wet and dry dog foods. But if you are wondering–can dogs eat pepperoni–consider that pepperoni is a highly processed food made by mixing chopped pork or beef with salt, cayenne, paprika, allspice, anise seed, and white paper.

With all those ingredients, Pepperoni contains certain substances in unhealthy amounts for dogs. Pepperoni contains a harmful amount of fats, sodium, and seasonings that may put your dog at health risk.  If you feed pepperoni to dogs frequently, they may be susceptible to pancreatitis, kidney diseases, salt poisoning, and gastrointestinal issues. Can dogs eat pepperoni regularly, or in moderation? The answer is definitely not.

If your dogs eat a little amount of pepperoni, it doesn’t mean they’ll die instantly. A few slices of pepperoni won’t cause harm to your dog. However, frequent consumption of pepperoni can make your dog deviate from its normal state of health.

In this article, we’ll be going over reasons you shouldn’t feed pepperoni to dogs.

Table of Contents

Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Eat Pepperoni

Pepperoni contains several nutrients in inappropriate proportions; this makes it harmful to dogs.  Here are some reasons you should avoid pepperoni;

Pepperoni Contains Excess Fat

A single slice of pepperoni contains about 0.9gram of fats. This is too much for the dog’s digestive system to handle efficiently. When dogs consume fats excessively, they’ll develop digestive problems such as bloating and stomach upset. After this, they’ll become obese, leading to obesity-related diseases such as osteoarthritis, hypertension, etc.

Other long-term problems associated with eating pepperoni are increased risk of heart problems and pancreatitis. Generally, when there is too much fat in a dog’s system, it can affect its health and lifespan.

High Salt Content

Pepperoni contains a high amount of sodium along with other salts. The essence of these salts is to preserve the meat in pepperoni. Due to osmosis, the salts will dry out the moisture contained in the meat. This prevents the growth of microorganisms and reduces the chance of spoilage.

This implies that pepperoni also contains an excess amount of salts, in addition to an excess amount of fats. An increase in salts in your dog’s diet will lead to dehydration. If this continues, severe damages can occur, including renal failure, salt poisoning, etc. Some signs that indicate excess sodium in the body are diarrhea, loss of appetite, pale gums, reduced urine volume, frequent thirst, etc.

Asides from dehydration, too much sodium in your dog’s system can lead to high blood pressure and hypernatremia. Hypernatremia is a condition whereby there’s an extreme sodium level in the blood due to excessive water loss. 

Because dogs have other nutritious sources of sodium, such as eggs, and commercial dog foods, eating pepperoni can raise the amount of sodium in their body above normal

Furthermore, dogs can also come down with salt toxicity. This implies that slightly elevated salt levels in a dog can cause signs of toxicity. Eating one or two slices of pepperoni once in a blue moon isn’t harmful to dogs. The problem comes in when dogs consume pepperonis frequently.

Excess Spices

Pepperoni contains several recipes, both artificial and natural spices. Unfortunately, most of these ingredients are harmful to dogs.  These spices can upset a dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea, especially paprika, red pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Although paprika, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and other additives improve the spicy flavor of the pepperoni, spicy substances can irritate your dog’s GIT leading to abdominal pains and intestinal gas. Hence, you should avoid feeding it to your dogs.

Additionally, pepperoni contains onions and garlic. These constitute more harm than other spices. Onion and garlic are very harmful to dogs. If consumed in large quantities,  onions and garlic can damage the red blood cells. The amount of onion and garlic in a single pepperoni is not enough to cause this damage. 

Hence, if you find out that your dog ate a large amount of onion or garlic powdered pepperoni, you should consult a veterinarian.

Pepperoni Has a High Number of Calories

Pepperoni seems to have everything in excess, including the number of calories. The amount of calories in pepperoni is high and not suitable for your dog’s diet. Feeding a dog with human food embedded with high calories can result in rapid weight gain and other health problems.

Health Benefits of Pepperoni to Dogs

Although pepperoni has several bad sides as a dog treat, it is also beneficial to dogs in specific ways, such as:

  • Pepperoni contains enough protein to provide dogs with healthy skin, hairs, muscles, and skeletal materials. 
  • It also is a good source of magnesium, a macronutrient essential for proper body metabolism.
  • Pepperoni is also a good source of calcium for dogs; hence it strengthens bones. Similarly, pepperoni contains vitamin D, which is another element that helps with proper bone development. Vitamin D is also important because it reduces the dog’s susceptibility to heart diseases and renal failure.
  • Pepperoni contains other essential vitamins, such as vitamin B12, essential for forming and developing blood cells and maintaining the nervous system.
  •  Pepperoni also contains vitamin B6, an essential vitamin needed for hormone regulation, nervous system functions, glucose generation, and blood cell formation.
  • Vitamin C is also found in pepperoni. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant.  Antioxidants neutralize free radicals ( harmful products of oxidative reactions in the body). As a result, vitamin C reduces premature aging.

Read more  Kibble Boosters: 8 Fresh Foods to Bump Up Your Dog’s Bowl

Nevertheless, the health benefits of Pepperoni are minimal compared to the health hazards. If you can’t avoid feeding your dogs with pepperoni totally, then it should just be one slice once every two or three months.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests a Lot of Pepperoni

Any dog that eats a lot of pepperonis is at risk of salt poisoning. So if this happens accidentally, the right thing to do is consult your dog’s veterinarian immediately. Consulting your vet will quickly arrest the situation and prevent further complications. Your veterinarian will most likely administer an antidote gel or a natural antidote to treat food poisoning.

However, if you don’t have access to a vet at that moment, the best thing to do is to induce vomiting in the dog. Inducing vomit should be done with your vet’s permission, and it should be done less than 3 hours after the dog consumes the pepperoni. At this time, most of the pepperoni is still in the dog’s stomach.

Household Method of Inducing Vomit in Dogs

The only household product suitable for inducing vomit in dogs is hydrogen peroxide, precisely a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Ensure that the solution is still potent, then use an eyedropper to put some drops of the solution into your dog’s mouth.  Your vet ought to instruct you on the number of drops to use.

The 3% hydrogen peroxide solution forms foams in the dog’s mouth. It also has an appalling taste and causes the dog to puke in about 5minutes. If your dog doesn’t vomit after taking the solution, you should inform your veterinarian.

Dog Foods That Can Serve as Alternatives to Pepperoni

Rather than feeding your dogs something harmful to their health, why not try other alternatives that are low in fat and help with weight control. These include:

  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Shrimp


Can dogs eat pepperoni? To be on the safe side, don’t feed your dogs with pepperoni. Preventing a problem costs less than curing the problem. Numerous dog foods can provide significantly greater health benefits to your dogs.

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  • The 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in 2023

— Update: 05-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? The Truth! from the website dogleashpro.com for the keyword is pepperoni safe for dogs.

Is pepperoni safe for dogs

No, dogs should not eat Pepperoni. Although it’s not completely harmful and is safe to eat one slice every 3 months, you should avoid giving any Pepperoni to your pups. When dogs consume Pepperoni, there are many harmful consequences.

Similar to the famous and tasty Italian food Lasagna, Pepperoni also contains a high amount of sodium and ingredients that are toxic to dogs such as garlic and onions. Pepperoni also has a high-fat content. This is why you should keep your pooch away from this unhealthy food and go for other nutritious options.

Let’s dive deep into the article and learn all about whether your dogs can eat Pepperoni.

Can dogs have Pepperoni?

Is pepperoni safe for dogs
Can my dog have Pepperoni?

No, dogs should not have Pepperoni. It’s not a good idea to regularly share Pepperoni with our canine friends since doing so can lead to sodium poisoning and a whole host of other health issues in dogs. 

To better understand why dogs shouldn’t have Pepperoni, let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of Pepperoni. 

Nutritional Profile of Pepperoni (1 piece or 2 grams)

Name, UnitAmount
Calories, cal10.1
Sodium, mg31.6
Carbohydrate, g0.024
Total Fat, g0.926
Saturated Fat, g0.354
Protein, g0.384
Iron, mg0.027
Calcium, mg0.38
Magnesium, mg0.36
Phosphorus, mg3.16
Potassium, mg5.48
Calculations and information from U.S. Department of Agriculture

As we can see, in just 1 piece or 2 grams of Pepperoni, there are 10 calories, 0.93 grams of fat (0.35 grams saturated), and 0.024 grams of carbohydrate. 

There is also about 32 mg of sodium in just 1 piece of Pepperoni. Although it may not seem like a lot of salt to us, this amount of sodium could lead to salt poisoning in dogs. 

In addition to the high salt content in Pepperoni, this highly processed food is also made with a list of ingredients that are not safe for doggy consumption (keep reading as we’ll list the ingredients shortly).

Is Pepperoni bad for dogs?

Is pepperoni safe for dogs
Dogs should not eat highly processed meats because their ingredients can be very harmful.

Yes, Pepperoni is bad for dogs. Not only is it highly processed, but it also contains fatty acids, sodium, onion, garlic, and some seasonings, all of which are toxic for dogs.

To understand fully why Pepperoni is bad for our canine companions, we need to look into what Pepperoni really is and what is in Pepperoni. Let’s have a look.

What is Pepperoni?

Pepperoni is a raw or cooked sausage that is made out of pork and beef or just pork. Its thinly cut slices are popularly used as pizza toppings.

What is in Pepperoni?

Pepperoni is highly processed and made with beef and pork trimmings blended with paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, allspice, and anise seed via chopping, grinding, and mixing. It is a type of salami that is red and soft. There are many canine-friendly human foods, however, Pepperoni is simply not one of those foods.

Contrary to many’s belief, Pepperoni actually originally came from the United States and not Italy. In the US, Italian-Americans created this air-dried smokey sausage with flavors similar to the southern Italian salamis. Today, Pepperoni is popular and sold in many major grocery stores.

In addition to all the spices in the Pepperoni, let’s go deeper into why Pepperoni is horrible for our furry friends:

Fats are dangerous to dogs

In one slice of Pepperoni, there are about 0.9 grams of fat. That is considered a lot of fat for dogs. If your four-legged friends consume more fat than they need, they will get obese and suffer from obesity-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, and osteoarthritis.

Overall, too much fat that your dogs don’t need can negatively affect their health and shorten their lifespan.

Too much sodium can cause salt poisoning in dogs

Munching on too much salt makes the dog extremely thirsty and can also cause salt poisoning.

Highly processed food is bad for dog’s health

While Pepperoni is a great pizza topping, like Cheese Balls, this food is highly processed. This means the meat has been fermented or cured. Then, unhealthy additives are added during this process. This is why processed meat like Pepperoni is high in saturated fat.

Seasonings are harmful to dogs

Pepperoni seasonings also include garlic – a food that is very toxic to dogs.

Spices are dangerous for dogs

The spices do not go well with the dog’s digestive system.

When shouldn’t you feed Pepperoni to your dog?

It would be best if you don’t feed your dog any Pepperoni because the dog’s digestive tract can not cope with most of the ingredients involved in preparing Pepperoni. The ingredients, including highly processed meat, preservatives, and additives, can lead to health problems such as upset stomach, pancreatitis, diabetes, acid reflux, and heart disease.

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Moreover, the garlic and onion present in Pepperoni are toxic to your dog and are known to cause hemolytic anemia (RBC number decreases). The spices do the rest of the job by causing vomiting, diarrhea, and damage to your furry friend’s esophagus.

You may be interested in Dog Vomit Color Guide

Does Pepperoni give any nutritional benefit to your dog? 

There are many disadvantages to feeding your dog Pepperoni, but some elements can be beneficial to your pup, such as:

  • Protein: It helps build healthy nails, hairs, tendons, cartilages, and your pup muscles.
  • Calcium: Although a very little amount is present, but calcium is beneficial for bones.
  • Vitamin B-12: It is important for a healthy nervous system and the formation of blood cells.
  • Magnesium: This mineral is required to maintain the metabolic processes of your dog.
  • Vitamin D: It is important for a dog’s health because vitamin D helps in bone development and decreases the chances of heart disease and kidney failure in dogs.
  • Vitamin B-6: This vitamin is involved in glucose generation, hormone regulation and aids in red blood cell and nervous system function.
  • Vitamin C: It is a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies free radicals and reduces inflammation and cognitive aging.

It would be great for your dog if you avoid giving him Pepperoni because these beneficial effects are minimal.

Can dogs eat hot Pepperoni?

Is pepperoni safe for dogs
Cooked pepperoni toppings like fresh cut pepperoni should not be fed to dogs!

No, do not give your dog any hot Pepperoni. Hot Pepperoni is spicy food. And your dog should not be consuming spicy food because it can result in an upset stomach and digestive problems.

If he accidentally eats more than a few slices of hot Pepperoni in a day, give him a lot of water. Also, look for any signs of dehydration or lethargy. Consumption of spicy Pepperoni may also lead to your dog’s food pipe breakage that is a painful condition for any dog.

Fun Fact: Spicy food is extremely harmful to our canine friends. Dog owners should avoid feeding their pups highly processed and spicy snacks. Doing so can cause health issues such as gastrointestinal upset and upset stomach.

Can dogs eat Pepperoni jerky?

You can give Pepperoni jerky to your dog, but just one slice every two or three months. Avoid adding any onion or garlic powder to the Pepperoni jerky since these are toxic to dogs. Again, don’t serve your pooch any type of spicy jerky as well.

Can dogs eat Pepperoni slices?

Giving Pepperoni slices is not unsafe, but again, only one slice of Pepperoni once every few months and not more than that is best. Exceeding the limits will put your dog in danger. 

If your furry companion consumes more than one Pepperoni slice, he risks getting salt poisoning and will also gain weight which will put pressure on his joints and bones. Both are bad for your pooch’s health.

Can dogs eat Pepperoni sticks?

Avoid giving the whole Pepperoni stick to your canine to eat all at once. If the dog eats the whole stick, he is consuming way too much sodium and fat in one go!

And that will, of course, negatively impact your doggie’s health. So, better beware of this health hazard element. If you want, give him just a small piece of that Pepperoni stick.

Can dogs eat turkey Pepperoni?

Much like the traditional type of Pepperoni, dogs eating a slice or two of turkey Pepperoni is fine. Keep in mind that dogs can generally eat all types of meat. So it’s not a matter of the meat, but if the turkey Pepperoni contains fat, salt, and spices. These three things are very harmful to dogs.

If the turkey Pepperoni is high in salt and fat, it is best to give your four-legged friends one slice if you must. Do not give any to your dog if the turkey Pepperoni contains onion or garlic powder. Both of these ingredients are extremely dangerous to dogs.

Remember, you’re doing this to keep your canine companion safe.

Handy Hint: When it comes to meat, it’s best to feed your pooch fresh meat and not Spoiled Meat. Spoiled meat contains bacteria and toxins that can negatively affect your dog’s health and overall wellbeing.

Can dogs eat Pepperoni pizza?

Is pepperoni safe for dogs

No, you should not give Pepperoni pizza to your dog. The crust and the sauce of the pizza usually contain onion and garlic powder, both of which are poisonous to dogs. 

Along with this, the pizza also contains a high amount of sodium, sugars, and fats. This can give your dogs an upset stomach and may affect their health in the long term if they eat this often. 

Is Pepperoni good for dogs?

No, Pepperoni is not good for dogs. Although Pepperoni isn’t toxic to your furry companion, it is surely bad for his health. A dog doesn’t care, nor does he knows whether Pepperoni is good for him. So, he won’t hesitate to eat a bunch of slices at once and as many times as he gets a chance to.

Pepperoni consumption by dogs can lead to serious life-threatening situations, so it is not recommended to give your pup this food.

How often can dogs eat Pepperoni?

Ideally, a dog owner should give their furry friends just one slim slice of Pepperoni every three months.

Dogs should not consume this food daily. You must make sure of this limit. The appetizing aroma of the Pepperoni might attract them, but you know what you should do: keep them away from it!

What if my dog accidentally eats a lot of Pepperoni?

If your dog accidentally consumes a lot of Pepperoni, he will be at risk of salt poisoning and weight gain. And as already mentioned, both sodium and fat are not good for your dog’s health. 

Head to your dog’s veterinarian right away for a full checkup and let him or her know that your dog has accidentally consumed a lot of Pepperoni. This will prevent the problem from worsening. Your vet may recommend a natural antidote or an antidote gel to treat food poisoning and stomach issues.

Symptoms to watch for

If your pooch ate many slices of Pepperoni, it’s important to observe him carefully and look for any of the following symptoms.

  • Throwing up.
  • Dehydration and feeling more thirsty.
  • Have abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Having to urinate more frequently.

Treatments if your dog has Pepperoni poisoning

If you see any of the above signs and symptoms, then you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

A veterinary professional will let you know what treatment options are available. For example:

Salt poisoning in dogs:

If your doggie has sodium poisoning, he or she will most likely be hospitalized and given oxygen, lots of IV fluids, and electrolytes. It is advised to stop feeding your dog Pepperoni and any other food or snacks immediately.

Read more  Dog food myth busters – is salt bad for dogs?

As you can see, dogs need immediate medical attention if they have salt poisoning. Clinical signs and symptoms of sodium-ion poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Abnormal accumulation of fluid inside your dog’s body.
  • Walking around acting drunk and wobbly.
  • Lethargy.

Be sure to contact your vet right away or bring your pooch to the vet as soon as you can because ingesting too much salt can potentially injure your dog’s kidney and can cause coma, seizures, and tremors.

You may be interested in My Dog Is Acting Drunk And Wobbly: Should I Be Concerned?

Dogs with pancreatitis:

Dogs suffering from mild symptoms will be given pain relief and sickness medicine. If the pancreatitis is severe, he will be admitted to the hospital.

Dogs with kidney damage:

Treatment for kidney damage depends upon whether your canine has an acute or chronic kidney failure. Usually, fluid therapy and antibiotics are used to treat kidney damage in dogs. Dialysis can also be performed to remove toxins from the dog’s body.

Canine friendly alternatives to feeding your dog Pepperoni

There are many dog food or dog treat alternatives to Pepperoni that are canine-friendly. If I’m eating Pepperoni, my Labrador will come running. But she will not be eating my Pepperoni. She’s having this treat instead:

You can give your doggo different kinds of meat such as Chicken, Beef, Turkey, and Lamb. These options are rich in protein, vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphorus, and potassium which are excellent for your dog’s health.

So, can dogs eat Pepperoni?

Your dog can surely have a taste of the Pepperoni, but it should not be served regularly. One Pepperoni slice every 3 months is fine. Your doggie might not know the adverse effects of eating Pepperoni, but being a responsible pet owner, you should be careful so that your canine friend remains fit, happy, and active!

Related Questions

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.




— Update: 18-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? What You Need To Know from the website spoiledhounds.com for the keyword is pepperoni safe for dogs.

Is it harmless? Can dogs eat pepperoni? Keep reading and learn whether it is safe and what to do if your dog eats pepperoni.

It might seem harmless, after all, it is just meat. But can dogs eat pepperoni? In this guide you’ll learn all about this meat and how much of it is safe for dogs to eat.

Is pepperoni safe for dogs

For ultimate pet safety, I recommend consulting with your vet about all the questions you have about your dog eating pepperoni.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni

Is pepperoni safe for dogs
Luke wondering about pepperoni.

Dogs should not eat pepperoni. It contains too much sodium and fat for dogs. Some flavors and types of pepperoni might have seasonings in them that are unsafe for dogs.

Dogs can safely eat one slice of pepperoni once in a long while – like a few times a year. More than that and they run the risk of experiencing digestive issues, salt poisoning, pancreatitis, or kidney damage.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Pepperoni

No, dogs can not eat hot pepperoni. Spicy foods will upset their stomach and give them digestive problems. Do not let your dog eat hot pepperoni.

If your dog eats some hot pepperoni, give them plenty of water and watch for any signs of lethargy or dehydration.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Jerky

Do not give your dog pepperoni jerky more than once every few months. Avoid any flavors that have garlic or onion powder since that is toxic for dogs.

Don’t give your dog spicy jerky.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Slices

Is pepperoni safe for dogs

It is safe to give your dog one pepperoni slice every few months, but do not give them more than that.

Too many pepperoni slices could cause your dog to consume too much salt and fat – both of which have bad health effects for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Sticks

Do not give your dog entire pepperoni sticks to munch on. That is far too much sodium and fat for your dog to eat all at once.

Instead, give your dog a small part of a pepperoni stick.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Pepperoni

Dogs can safely eat small amounts of turkey pepperoni, just like traditional pepperoni. The type of meat doesn’t matter, it’s the amount of salt, fat, and the types of spices it has.

If the turkey pepperoni is just as high in salt and fat, then only give them a little bit of it. If it has garlic or onion powder, don’t let them eat any of it.

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Pizza

Is pepperoni safe for dogs

No, dogs should never eat pepperoni pizza. Pizza crust and sauce usually have garlic and onion powder – both are toxic for dogs.

Pizza is also really high in sugars, fats, and sodium. It will give your dog an upset stomach and could lead to long-term health effects if they eat it regularly.

What about other pizzas? Read this complete guide on dogs eating pizza including the dough, sauce, and various toppings.

Is Pepperoni Bad For Dogs

Can pepperoni kill dogs? A few slices of pepperonis won’t kill your dog, but eating too much could make them very sick.

Too much pepperoni is bad for dogs. If your dog eats it frequently, then watch out for these symptoms.

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, please call your vet.

How Often Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni

Try to keep pepperoni away from your dog. Dogs should only eat a few thin slices of pepperoni once in a while.

In other words, dogs can eat one slice of pepperoni every few months. They should not eat it regularly.

Final Thoughts

Dogs might love the smell of the seasoned chewy pepperoni, but keep it away from them. It is perfectly safe to allow your dog to eat one slice every few months as a special treat. Since it has so much sodium and fat in it, be careful with everything else they eat that day.

As always, call your vet if you notice your dog reacting negatively after eating pepperoni.

More Dog Food Resources

Here are some more articles about the best and worst fruit for your dog to eat.

  • Can Dogs Eat Bologna
  • Can Dogs Eat Chorizo
  • Can Dogs Eat Salami
  • Can Dogs Eat Spam
  • Can Dogs Eat June Bugs
  • Can Dogs Eat Garbanzo Beans
  • Can Dogs Eat Tofu
  • Dragon Fruit for Dogs

Find lots more articles on food dogs can and can’t eat on Spoiled Hounds!

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