Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

can dogs eat pepperoni

Pepperoni is one of them foods that pretty much everyone loves, especially our pizza lovers. How about your dog as well? Can dogs eat pepperoni or are they to stay clear of it?

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

Pepperoni is a type of salami, which is derived from meat. Now you may think, of it comes from meat, that is great, my dog can eat it.

Well, you could not be further from the truth. Pepperoni may not be toxic to dogs, but it is not healthy either. Pepperoni is quite unhealthy for a dog, even if they only had a couple of pieces.

Now, if you must feed your dog pepperoni, which we do not recommend. Then you should only feed small portions, no matter the breed size, along with being on a rare treat basis.

You do not want it to be something your dog expects to have for good behavior. We do not recommend you using for rewarding good behavior or training purposes.

pepperoni pizza

What is in Pepperoni?

Processed Food

Pepperoni is a highly processed food, which usually contains a combination of pork and beef.

Talking about processed food, it is best to just keep any processed food away from your dog. Processed food usually has a mass amount of ingredients in it, some that you will not even know about.

This is where the trouble can come from, you truly will not know what is in the food. Not forgetting that most processed food is designed to last for quite some time, so they will be filled with preservatives and artificial flavorings.  Preservatives and artificial flavoring are not good for your dog’s health.

Spicy Flavoring

Pepperoni is a spicy type of food; which dogs do not do well with. Spicy food can upset a dog’s stomach and cause them to have diarrhea or vomiting. Dogs have a sensitive stomach, people tend to forget this because they see them eat anything and everything, that is just dogs for you though.

Check out the below list of spices that are usually found in pepperoni:

  • Black pepper
  • Fennel seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Paprika and/or
  • Garlic Powder

You might be shocked to think that this little piece of pepperoni has so many flavorings and spices added to it? Well, it is true, and some, if not all of them are not are dangerous to dogs, especially garlic and mustard.

If you find your dog having a reaction or you are just worried about them, you should contact your local veterinarian straight away.

can dogs eat pepperoni


Pepperoni has a lot of salt in it, to the extent that only 2-3 slices will put your dog over his daily sodium allowance.

What you need to know is that dogs receive everything they need in their daily dog food and sodium is part of that. So by giving your dog 3 small circle slices of pepperoni, you have double their daily intake of salt.

According to the US FoodData Central Database 1 small circle piece of pepperoni weighing, 2g has 31.6g of sodium in it. A dog weighing 33 pounds daily intake is only 100mg.

If you constantly feed your dog such a high sodium type of food, you are at risk of causing sodium poisoning, pancreatitis, and high blood pressure in your dog. Both of which are very serious.

Fat Content

Pepperoni is a seriously fatty piece of meat, which will not help a dog’s health in the long run. Even if you have been feeding your dog pepperoni for years and you are saying, well it is not doing any harm, is it?

You are not taking into consideration what it is doing to your dog in the long run. If you feed your dog something like pepperoni on a regular basis you will soon notice that your dog is gaining weight.

Which will in turn cause them problems with pancreatitis, which is a very serious and painful condition.

You should not be feeding your dog any human food if your dog is already overweight. You do not want to make their health any worse. If your dog is overweight, you should contact your local veterinarian for a detailed plan on how to help your dog lose them a few extra pounds.

Other conditions a fatty diet can cause are diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint issues with all the extra weight they are having to carry around with them. Older dogs have more of a chance of getting any of these conditions because of their age.

pepperoni pizza

Does Pepperoni Have Any Health Benefits?

No, it does not. As mentioned above, you have to deal with the high salt content, the spiciness of it, with it being processed and not to mention when you look at the pepperoni cooked, how greasy and shiny it looks? That grease will be going into your dog’s body, not healthy at all…

Check out the below table showing what is actually found in pepperoni, from the USDA FoodData Central.

Pepperoni – 1 Circle Piece – 2g

Total lipid (fat)0.926g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.024g


Can dogs eat pepperoni? No, they cannot, even though pepperoni is not toxic to dogs, you should not be feeding it to them. A dog’s body is not designed to break down and process oily, greasy, and fatty foods. If fed on a regular basis, this all builds up and causes the problems we have mentioned above.

Pepperoni should be thought of as a mystery meat, just like other processed food like hot dogs.

Also not forgetting the amount of salt and spicy ingredients that are put into pepperoni. It really is not worth risking your dog’s health for a little piece of meat. There are a lot of healthier foods out there, that they can actually eat more often than an unhealthy piece of meat like pepperoni.

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