4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Eat Pepperoni

Written by Austin S.
Published: May 30, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/ulkas
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Numerous human foods are appropriate for your dog, but Pepperoni is not one of them. So do not feed pepperoni to your dogs. 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.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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:


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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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.