Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? Is It Safe?

For such a widespread food product and common topping for pizza, not many people are very familiar with the ingredients contained in pepperoni. A lot of us love the taste, so why question it?

Well, it turns out, questioning pepperoni is a very good idea, as it is just another type of processed meat that contains lots of salt, spices, lactic acids and mixes of meat, normally pork and beef.  Overall, it is not very healthy for our consumption, and is more than certainly not healthy for your dog to consume.

What’s In Pepperoni, And Why Your Dog Should Stay Away

Contained within pepperonis are various forms of substances and minerals that may hurt your dogs health. Pepperonis are processed with salts, fats, preservatives and calories.

Sodium And Preservatives

A twenty-eight gram serving of pepperoni, which is just five thin slices on a slice of pizza, has over 440 milligrams of sodium. This alone reaches almost 20% of the daily recommended value for humans, way more than your dog even needs. Salt is not common in a dog’s diet, and an abundance can lead them to experience salt poisoning, a potentially life-threatening situation. Minor to major characteristics of salt poisoning in your dog can include;

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Tremors
  • Fluid Accumulation In The Body
  • Lethargy
  • Coma / Death

The sodium contained in pepperoni is a huge reason for your dog, and even yourself, to stay away from the food. Diabetic dogs are at an even higher risk of facing problems following pepperoni consumption.

Pepperoni is a highly processed meat, normally consisting of pork and beef. In order to keep the food edible, preservatives are added, such as sodium nitrate, and even more salt. The nitrate also helps pepperoni keep its color. Nitrates are proven to affect select people in a poor manner,

and not many studies are done on the effects of nitrates on dogs. Due to this, we don’t really know the short or long term effects of nitrate exposure to your dog.

Fats, Oils, Spices and Seasonings

Being very oily, high in calories and fats, pepperoni will prove to be very hard for your dog to properly digest. The unhealthy saturated fats are not common in your dog’s diet, and this, in combination with the oils and salts, will likely leave them with an upset stomach, followed by possible diarrhea and vomiting. The calories and fats in pepperoni, fed to your dog at a high rate, will cause them to gain weight, making a bunch of other health issues now possible for them.

Spices and seasonings are commonly added to store-bought pepperoni. Spices and seasonings are two things that should always be left out of your dog’s diet, as they simply do not need it, and it will likely only cause them further harm, due to their inability to process these added ingredients.

Pepperoni may contain garlic powder, and forms of pepper in it. Garlic, by itself, is one of the most toxic human foods for dogs, and can put them in a life-threatening situation very fast. Adding pepper to the already unhealthy mix of other seasonings, fats and salts gives even more reason for your dog to avoid the food.

Over time, an excess of pepperoni consumption can lead your dog to experience medical issues such as kidney damage, pancreatitis, and salt poisoning. Dogs, of all ages, should do their best to avoid pepperoni, under the careful supervision of their owner!

Pepperoni = Better Left Alone

As it may taste good, pepperoni, unfortunately, is not nearly the healthiest choice for us, or our dogs to consume. The included fats, salts, seasonings and preservatives make it just a food or topping to be enjoyed, by humans, every once in awhile, and never by our dogs. We all love to give our dogs some of the food we are eating, but your dog will be much better off after leaving pepperoni out of the equation. Look for other, healthier food alternatives for your dog. There’s plenty out there!


Davis, Charles Patrick. “Healthy Eating: The Dangers of Processed Meats.” OnHealth, OnHealth, 2 Oct. 2017,

Helpline, Pet Poison. “LeadER Blog.” Salt Poisoning,

Kerr, Gord. “Is Pepperoni Good for You?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 23 Sept. 2019,

“What Are the Ingredients of Pepperoni?” Hungry Howies, 7 Mar. 2017,

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