Can dogs eat pasta? If your pup recently gulped down your favorite pasta dish, and you’re wondering if it’s okay for them to eat— the answer isn’t totally clear. Several factors can influence whether the pasta is safe for your specific dog or not.
Several veterinarians and animal health experts have weighed in on the subject— if your dog eats plain pasta with no added ingredients, they’ll likely be okay. However, every dog can be affected differently.
In this article, we’ll detail when pasta is considered safe, when it’s dangerous, and what to do if your pet ate something toxic.
Plain Pasta You Dog Can Eat
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Before you grab the camera and a plate of spaghetti to recreate Lady and the Tramp for your dogs, we want to clarify that only plain pasta is considered edible for dogs.
Ideally, that pasta should be cooked, and dogs should only try it in minimal amounts. Just like humans, your dog could potentially have a wheat or grain allergy or food sensitivity. If your pet has never attempted pasta or bread before— testing the food in small amounts and keeping a close eye on your pet is key to making sure they’re safe.
Signs My Dog May Have An Allergy
There are several symptoms that your pet may exhibit if they are experiencing a true food allergy.
Suppose your pet does show signs that they are severely allergic or intolerant to pasta or grains. In that case, the best course of action is to get them to a veterinary hospital immediately. If the dog shows moderate or mild allergy signs, the best course of action is to avoid sharing that food with them. Talk with a vet in case these mild symptoms are a sign of some other health issue.
Some common signs of an allergic reaction in a dog include:
- Itchy ears or eyes
- Constant licking
- Swelling around their face; Pay attention to the eyelids, ears, and lips
If your dog goes into anaphylactic shock, their reaction could be a significant drop in blood sugar and shock. These are severe symptoms, and you would need to call a vet immediately.
Safe Pasta Types That Dog can Eat
Generally, spaghetti, penne, egg noodles, or more are acceptable for dogs to eat in moderation. Though, with each different type of pasta, keep in mind that there could be an ingredient that your dog may disagree with. Watch for the signs of allergies or food intolerances with every new food you introduce to their diet.
Rice pasta may be the easiest pasta for your dog to digest; Rice is often used to help dogs with mild stomach aches. The simple rice grain usually helps calm the pup’s stomach. Rice pasta itself isn’t made with the same rice methods, but it may be more comfortable for your dog to eat.
The pasta itself doesn’t add much nutritional value to a dog’s diet. Carbohydrates can lead to weight gain or fatigue. Be sure to keep extra grains to a minimal amount and to try and stick to a regular food plan for your pet when possible.
Dangerous Ingredients For Your Dog
There are some ingredients your dog can not eat that may be mixed in with your pasta. Avocado, for example, contains a component called persin that can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Dairy products can also be complicated for a dog to process and may result in more diarrhea.
If you’re going to feed your pup some pasta, ensure that it’s plain noodles: no butter, no oils, no avocado, nothing. Even foods like onion powder, garlic, or chives could cause issues like stomach irritation or even anemia for your pet. Sugar and salt can both have significant impacts on your dog’s health; You may notice your dog is dizzy, vomiting, or more if they eat either ingredient.
Most of the ingredients in pasta sauces can negatively affect your dog. If you’re going to try giving pasta to your pup, steer clear of all pasta sauces.
A dog should also never consume yeast dough. If you’ve decided to make pasta from scratch, keep the dough far away from your pup. If the dogs eat it, the dough could expand in their stomach and cause severe discomfort for your pet.
Your dog is much more likely to process pasta thoroughly if it’s wholly plain and cooked.
What To Do If My Dog Eats Something Questionable
If your dog does happen to eat something that it shouldn’t, contact your veterinarian immediately. Keep the vet’s phone number in a visible and accessible place so you can find it quickly in the event of an emergency.
If it’s after hours, experts recommend contacting an emergency clinic— any crisis animal clinic or clinic open late at night.
Pet owners can also consider contacting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control line. The phone number is (888) 426-4435. You can call their experts at any hour, any day of the week. There will always be volunteers or experts available to answer your questions or advise actions to take.
Your dog should stick to a regular, safe, healthy dog food— there are dozens of brands and countless types of dog food available. If you’re unsure which kind of food to pick up for your pet, consider talking to your veterinarian because they will have a trusted opinion on the types of dog food that can work best for your pup.
However, if you want to try feeding your dog a bit of pasta, the key is that the noodles should be very simple. The fewer the ingredients in the pasta, the better. Don’t mix sauces, butter, or added foods with the noodles.
If your dog eats ingredients that they shouldn’t or shows signs of an allergic reaction to their pasta, call your vet or an emergency line for animals. An expert will be able to direct the situation better and let you know which steps to take to keep your dog safe.