Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?


Can dogs eat pepperoni?
In short, no. Although pepperoni isn't on the list of toxic foods for dogs, unfortunately, it is high in sodium (salt) and fat. Fatty and salty foods can cause dogs short and long term problems, salt poisoning, and pancreatitis is the most common. This article will help provide you information on the reasons for not feeding your dog pepperoni, alternative meats they can eat, and in-depth information on the symptoms and treatments of pancreatitis and salt poisoning. 

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What Is Pepperoni?


Pepperoni is an American type of salami, typically made from cured pork and/or beef seasoned with chilies and pepper. Pepperoni tends to be soft, red in color, and delivers a smoky taste, often added as a topping on pizzas. 

Can Dogs Have Pepperoni?


Health Benefits

Unfortunately, due to the high levels of fat, salt, and additional ingredients (chilies, garlic, peppers), pepperoni offers minimal nutritional benefits for dogs. 

Health Concerns

High In Fat
Foods that are extremely high in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Furthermore, regular intake of fatty foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which can ultimately lead to surgery or even death. The common causes of pancreatitis is your dog being overweight, recent recovery from surgery, and a symptom from a virus/illness. See below for more details on the symptoms and treatments of pancreatitis in dogs.

High In Salt
In most cases, if your dog has eaten too much salt, they will counteract this by drinking vast amounts of water, and no further damage will be caused. However, if there is no water available, there could be some serious implications that follow. Due to the lack of water, your dog's cells in the body will begin to release its own water, which causes damage to the brain cells due to the lack of water. This results in headaches, migraines, dizziness, and vomiting. 

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis in dogs occurs when inflammation occurs around the pancreas (organ next to the stomach). It can be very irritable and causes a variety of nasty symptoms. Pancreatitis is caused when a dog has consumed too many fatty foods, severely overweight, recovering from recent surgery, and suffering from an illness or virus. 

What Are The Symptoms of Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis in dogs causes vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. The symptoms of pancreatitis depend on the dog's breed and the severity of it.  

The symptoms of pancreatitis often happen straight away and include;

> Vomiting 
> Loss of Appetite
> Diarrhea
> Extreme Weight Loss

Pancreatitis can often have very mild symptoms. On the flip side, it can also have very severe symptoms. Not all dogs will display the above symptoms and may only show 1 or 2. 

What Are The Treatments of Pancreatitis?

It is important to note, if you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Once doing so, your vet will likely ask for your dog to be checked in and examined. Some tests may be used to check the severity of the pancreatitis; these include; x-rays, blood tests, and an ultrasound scan. 

Following these tests, depending on the severity of the pancreatitis, your dog will follow mild or strict treatment guidelines. 


> Medicine for sickness
> Pain relief medicine
> Lots of rest
> Smaller and low-fat meals 


> Overnight stay in hospital
> Fluids through a drip
> 1 to 1 care
> Drip feeding

What Is Salt Poisoning?

In most cases, if your dog has eaten too much salt, they will counteract this by drinking vast amounts of water, and no further damage will be caused. However, if there is no water available, there could be some serious implications that follow. Due to the lack of water, your dog's cells in the body will begin to release its own water, which causes damage to the brain cells due to the lack of water. This results in headaches, migraines, dizziness, and vomiting.


What Are The Symptoms of Salt Poisoning?

Although sodium (salt) is needed in your dog's diet, too much salt can cause sodium toxicity, which can lead to serious illness and even in some cases, death!
If you think your dog has consumed too much salt, look out for these signs and symptoms;
> Confusion
> Extreme thirst and urination
> Headache
> High temperature + fever
> Lack of energy
> Loss of appetite
> Nausea 
> Stomach cramps/pains
> Vomiting
> Tongue swelling
> Weakness
> Lack of coordination/spatial awareness (stumbling/bumping into things)

What Are The Treatments of Salt Poisoning?

Your dog will likely be admitted to a doggy hospital for a dosage of oxygen, IV fluid, and electrolytes, which help your dog to overcome their dehydration. If the vet suddenly changes your dog's sodium levels (reducing it), they may have a heart attack. Therefore the reduction of sodium must be over a longer period of time and at a steady rate. This process can typically take up to three days. At a minimum, the veterinarian will likely keep your dog overnight for observation. 

Other Nutritional Meats That Dogs Can Eat

As an alternative to pepperoni, there are various nutritious meat that dogs can eat. Providing your dog with cooked chicken is a great alternative and a fantastic source of protein. However, it is important that you don't feed them too much as high levels of protein can cause dry and sensitive skin. You must consider using organic/cage-free chicken as this will have higher levels of vitamin D in comparison to chickens that are kept enclosed in cages. 
Beef is a very common meat that dogs eat. Shop bought cans of meat, kibble and raw meals tend to contain beef. Shop-bought products tend to be made up of the non-useable parts of the animal, e.g., the bones with meat scraps left on, offal, etc. This is ground to a pulp and then dried in high temperatures to form a powdery solution. 
Fresh beef isn't a regular meal for dogs in most households, generally because of the cost. Nutritionally, beef can provide dogs with proper levels of protein but has a higher fat percentage than most other meats (14%). Therefore, if feeding your dog fresh beef, it is highly recommended to buy organic beef as it contains a lower percentage of fat and more nutrients. 
This choice of meat is becoming more and more popular for dogs. Not only does it provide dogs' with a source of protein, but it also has nutrients such as zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential for dogs as it is responsible for the production of red blood cells but, more importantly, helps with glucose generation. 
In recent years, lamb has become a popular choice of meat for dogs. Due to the high costs of fresh lamb, most dog food providers tend to use mutton (older sheep). Lamb is nutritionally excellent, and it provides dogs with an excellent source of protein. Lamb can be high in fat, but being pasture grown under suitable conditions, it makes a good choice of meat for a dog. 

Homemade Meaty Dog Treat Recipes


Beefy Dog Treats


  • One package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • One teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • Two tablespoons boiling water
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • One envelope unflavored gelatin
  • One jar (4 ounces) vegetable beef dinner baby food
  • One egg
  • Two tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In another small bowl, dissolve bouillon in boiling water. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, milk powder, wheat flour, rice, and gelatin. Stir in the baby food, egg, oil, yeast mixture and bouillon mixture until combined; knead until the mixture forms a ball.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. bone-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on un-greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 325° for 18-25 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Let stand for 24 hours or until hardened. Store in an airtight container.

*Recipe inspired by tasteofhome*

Beef and Cheddar Dog Treats

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  •  ⅓ cup unsalted butter (about 5 and 1/3 tablespoons, cut into pieces)
  •  1 cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  •  Two teaspoons granulated sugar
  •  Two teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  •  One egg (beaten)
  •  3 cups whole wheat flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats and butter. Stir briefly and let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Add the cornmeal, sugar, beef bouillon, milk, cheese, and egg to the bowl; mix well. Stir in the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, adding additional flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

  5. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out with a rolling pin to ½-inch thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter and space evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue cutting until all the dough has been used.

  6. Bake 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*Recipe inspired by browneyedbaker




Is Cheese OK For Dogs?

Due to the high-fat levels, cheese should only be given to dogs in moderation. Cheese is an excellent treat used to train puppies from an early age. 

Can Dogs Eat Salami?
Not really. Salami isn't on the list of toxic foods for dogs, but it offers little if not zero nutritional benefits. Salami is high in sodium and fat and therefore, should not be included in a dog's diet. If your dog was to eat small amounts of salami, there is not too much to be worried about as it will not harm them. 

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?
Yes. Dogs can eat a whole egg, including the shell. Or the shells can be fed alone. Many people bake and then grind the shells into a powder, so they are easier for their dogs to consume. Ground eggshells are commonly used as a calcium supplement. 




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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.


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