Can Dogs Eat Pasta?
Yes, dogs can eat pasta safely, and you likely knew there would be a “but.” You can occasionally share your pasta with your canine companion regardless of its breed. It could be the smallest Maltese or the largest Cane Corso, as long as it is plain and without trimmings or sauce. Whether it would be healthy or harmful would also depend on the amount and the frequency of treating your furry friend with pasta.
You might even find your furry friend’s mood improving. Eating pasta causes the dog’s brain to release the feel-good chemical serotonin into the nervous system. Furthermore, pasta is primarily carbohydrates. Giving your puppy moderate portions of pasta could provide brief bursts of energy. In contrast, feeding him too much could cause weight gain.
View Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Pasta Noodles Safely?
- Can Dogs eat Pasta Sauce Safely?
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Pasta Safely?
- Can Dogs Eat Baked Pasta Safely?
- Can Dogs Eat Pasta Toppings Safely?
- What else Dogs Can Eat Together with Pasta?
- What are the Health Advantages of Feeding Pasta to Your Dog?
- What are the Disadvantages of Feeding Pasta to Your Dog?
Can Dogs Eat Pasta Noodles Safely?
Yes, dogs can eat pasta noodles safely. Spaghetti, penne, tortellini, and any other shape pasta noodles contain no more than a simple mix of water and white flour. Some might have eggs included as a binder, none of which is toxic for dogs, regardless of whether you have a Boykin Spaniel or a Labrador.
However, it would be wise to test your dog’s tolerance first. Dogs with a gluten or wheat allergy should not eat pasta. Since pasta is high in carbohydrates, you should feed your dog in moderation to keep calories down and keep your dog at a healthy weight. Below is a table showing the calorie contents per 2-oz portion of different Pasta Noodles
Pasta Noodle Shape
Calories per 2-oz Portion
Bottom line: Dogs can eat noodles but only as a special treat. Noodles are not very well suited to a dog’s nutritional needs. Even though they are not toxic to dogs, they can cause allergic reactions and contribute to weight problems due to the high content of carbohydrates.
Can Dogs eat Pasta Sauce Safely?
No, dogs cannot eat pasta sauce. Suppose you’re a doggy mama who typically gives in to your Schnauzer’s begging eyes at the dinner table. In that case, you’ll have to be firm when you’re enjoying a lovely Italian dish. Don’t tell yourself you love her too much to say “No.” Remember, you can love your precious furball to death, and that risk is real when it comes to pasta sauce.
Your dog should never have pasta sauces. If you love pasta dishes, you’ll know that a whole lot more than tomatoes go into making a pasta sauce. It contains tons of ingredients that are either super harmful or not good for your dog.
Whether your pasta sauce is homemade or store-bought, the ingredients pose health risks for dogs. The list below will show you why you should never share your pasta sauce with your canine companion.
Tomatoes: Green tomatoes are toxic for dogs, but even though those in pasta sauce are typically ripe, they pose health risks.
- The high acidity of tomatoes could cause your furry friend to have an upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Tomatoes could cause an allergic reaction in some canines.
- Tomatoes can aggravate preexisting conditions like gastrointestinal issues and acid reflux.
Garlic: Almost all pasta sauce recipes contain garlic.
- Garlic is highly toxic to dogs in both raw and powder forms.
- Garlic is five times more potent than onions, which can damage red blood cells.
- Garlic contains thiosulfate, a chemical that damages the red blood cells, and could cause liver damage in dogs
- Even though the amount of garlic in the sauce will not be enough to cause detrimental effects, the harm it causes could result in significant vet costs.
Onions: Although not as harmful as garlic, onions are also toxic to dogs.
- Onions contain a sulfur compound, N-propyl disulfide, a toxic chemical for dogs.
- Onion can damage a dog’s red blood cells, possibly leading to a severe medical issue called hemolytic anemia.
- Onions and garlic are usually used in unison in pasta sauce, increasing the potency.
Salt: It’s unlikely that pasta sauce has enough salt to poison your darling Dachshund; the combination with other harmful ingredients makes it dangerous.
- In large quantities, salt can cause sodium ion poisoning.
- Too much salt can cause dehydration and increased thirst in your dog.
- Dehydration happens through loss of fluids when the ingestion of too much salt causes diarrhea or vomiting
- Dehydrated dogs become lethargic.
Black Pepper: Only in combination with other risky ingredients can black pepper in pasta sauce be harmful.
- The characteristic flavor and aroma of black pepper come from piperine.
- Piperine can cause intense irritation in your Frenchie’s digestive system.
- The irritation can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Cheese, cream, and butter: No pasta dish is complete without cheese, cream, and butter.
- If your Shar-Pei has problems with dairy products, you’d want to keep him away from pasta sauce.
- Some dogs cannot digest the lactose present in dairy products.
- Many dogs can tolerate small amounts of cheese, cream, or butter, but the combination could be too much.
- Tummy upsets and severe vomiting and diarrhea could result.
- The high-fat content in cheese, cream, and butter could harm your dog’s pancreas.
Chili Peppers: Spicy pasta sauces are not meant for dogs.
- Although chili flakes or chili peppers are not toxic to dogs, they are not healthy.
- They contain capsaicin, which affects digestion and can make your Doberman Pinscher feel unwell.
- Dogs can have vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping after eating spicy foods.
None of these pasta sauce ingredients will adversely affect your canine companion on their own. However, the danger of health problems lies in combining six or seven potentially dangerous ingredients.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pasta Safely?
Yes, dogs can eat raw pasta, but it is not recommended. It would be best to always cook pasta before giving it to your dog. If your curious pup gets into a bag of noodles and eats them raw, they will probably be just fine. However, uncooked pasta will swell in the moisture of your Boston Terrier’s stomach. That could cause your canine companion to feel bloated and overfull, with vomiting and diarrhea the potential consequences.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Pasta Safely?
Yes, dogs can eat baked pasta safely, but in very small quantities. Pasta casseroles and bakes are typically seasoned with garlic, salt, onion, and other spices made for humans, not for your American Eskimo dog.
Many baked pasta meals come from boxed ingredients, which hide all kinds of dangers. Take boxed Mac and Cheese, for example. The tempting aroma that makes your furry friend drool disguises the toxicity of artificial colorings and flavors, such as those present in cheese powder. Gluten-containing pasta and the oils present in baked pasta dishes pose additional health risks.
Can Dogs Eat Pasta Toppings Safely?
There are some pasta toppings that are safe for your Great Dane, or even your Pomeranian t eat, and some that could cause health problems.
Pepperoni: Pepperoni isn’t recommended for your dog as it contains an unhealthy amount of sodium and fat. It may have seasonings that are unsafe for dogs. If your dog regularly consumes a large amount of pepperoni, your dog is at risk of health problems shown below.
- Digestive issues
- Salt poisoning
- Kidney damage
Mushrooms: Mushrooms have many health benefits for dogs, as long as they are not wild mushrooms, which could be poisonous. In other words, if the mushrooms you give your Poodle are the ones that you will eat, your furry friend will benefit, as shown below.
- Mushrooms support liver and kidney function
- Stabilize blood sugar and metabolism
- Lower cholesterol, boost weight loss
- Help prevent fatty liver disease
- Help prevent viral infections
- Boost immune system
- Reduce blood pressure
Sausage: Cooked manufactured meats like sausage are not a recommended protein source for your Welsh Corgi for the reasons listed below.
- It is high in fat, salt, and seasonings that are unsafe for your dog.
- Undercooked or contaminated sausage puts your dog at risk for severe illness because of a parasite infection called Trichinosis.
- Sausages can contain sulfite preservatives – these can cause thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency, which can be fatal.
- Sausages are often too fatty and salty, causing digestive upsets, including vomiting and diarrhea.
- Excessive fat content in sausages could cause more severe pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
Black olives: Your Collie Dog can safely eat black olives, provided they are fresh and pitted.
- Fresh olives are rich in vitamins A, E, and K, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein.
- Canned or pickled olives contain high levels of sodium, which studies reveal are extremely bad for dogs.
- Dogs only require a minimum of 13.3 milligrams of sodium daily, and one black olive contains 32 milligrams of sodium.
- Too much salt quickly dehydrates a dog, and consuming high amounts of sodium over an extended period can eventually lead to high blood pressure.
- Olive pits may cause choking or obstructions, block airways, and lodge in your pup’s intestinal tract.
- Olive pits also can crack your dog’s teeth.
Green pepper: Green peppers are rich in vitamins A, E, B6, and lutein. They are excellent sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene, antioxidants important for a dog’s healthy immune system. However, do not let your Boston Terrier eat green pepper pizza toppings that were mixed with garlic and onions.
What else Dogs Can Eat Together with Pasta?
There are several ingredients typically included in pasta recipes that can benefit your canine companions more if it is not limited to the odd pasta bites they get. However, note that some ingredients often eaten together with pasta pose severe health risks.
Onions: The toxic effect of onions depends on how much your dog eats and the size of your dog. According to The American Kennel Club, 100g of onion per 20kg of a dog’s weight can lead to toxic effects. Therefore, only a relatively small amount of onion can be deadly to a small dog like a Jack Russel Terrier.
Ginger: Ginger is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities and can provide several health benefits as listed below.
- Fresh ginger root is packed with antioxidants.
- It contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ginger can promote healthy blood circulation.
- Ginger eases bloating.
- Ginger increases heart health.
Parsley: Although parsley is deemed dangerous by some, it could be classified as a superfood if used correctly. It is only harmful in large amounts that you won’t ever eat yourself or feed your Boerboel. There are two types of parsley; the most commonly used type has curly leaves, while the flat-leaf variety is said to be most toxic in large amounts.
Be safe and use only the curly leaf parsley to add small amounts to your canine companion’s food.
- Never allow your pregnant dog to eat parsley because it may cause muscle contractions that could abort the puppy.
- Never feed parsley to a dog with kidney problems due to the possibility of excess bleeding.
- Parsley flakes will be great for your dog’s teeth and also freshen their breath.
- While not advisable for dogs with existing kidney problems, parsley is great for keeping the kidneys healthy.
- Parsley is cleansing for the organs and may help to prevent disease.
- Parsley’s anti-inflammatory properties could reduce arthritis and swelling.
- Parsley has itch-relief properties
- Parsley helps with indigestion
- Parsley helps prevent cystitis and even heart problems.
- Parsley can bring a lot more for your canine’s health than the occasional bite of plain, boiled pasta. You can sprinkle a bit over your dog’s usual meals, add parsley to homemade treats, and more.
Herbs: Pasta recipes typically include basil, oregano, chives, and thyme. Below are the reasons why they are healthy or health risks.
- Basil: Your Beagle can benefit from eating small quantities of basil. It’s anti-inflammatory and contains a high level of antioxidants that help prevent many types of illness, including cancer. Basil also helps prevent cellular damage, calms your anxious dog, and eases arthritis pain.
- Oregano: It’s safe to feed your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel oregano in moderation. It will act as a treat and a vitamin, and you can even provide it as a daily supplement. You can supply the herb dried and ground or fresh. Oregano is antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory.
- Thyme: This herb has significant health benefits for your dog. Thyme creates a more healthy digestive tract and can also help with irritable bowel problems in your Border Collie. In addition, thyme also aids in ousting parasites such as hookworm.
- Chives: Avoid feeding your Akita chives from the Allium genus that include other high-risk items like onions and garlic. Whether in powder form, fresh, raw, cooked, or uncooked, these herbs will cause poisoning. This applies to all other genus Allium members. To make matters worse, some of the compounds in chives have caused red blood cell dilation and relaxation of heart muscles. It leads to low blood pressure and reduced efficiency for these dogs’ hearts to pump blood.
What are the Health Advantages of Feeding Pasta to Your Dog?
Pasta is unlikely to harm your dog in its plain form, especially in moderation. However, it is worth being careful, as some pets have wheat allergies or are sensitive to grains. Pasta has very minimal nutritional value as well, so while it isn’t poisonous, it shouldn’t be a regular part of your dog’s diet.
The problem is that your English Springer Spaniel will only enjoy the listed benefits if it eats an entire cup full of pasta. This includes egg noodles, udon noodles, and the myriad varieties of pasta the world has to offer. A cup full of pasta is far too much to give your canine companion at a time.
- Pasta contains nutrients such as iron and vitamin B.
- Whole wheat pasta is high in fiber.
- Pasta is a carbohydrate, meaning it’s rich in glucose and offers a source of energy for your dog’s body and muscles.
- Ultimately, there are better sources of nutrition that won’t cause your dog to become overweight, lethargic, and unhealthy.
What are the Disadvantages of Feeding Pasta to Your Dog?
Plain, boiled pasta without additives, seasonings, sauces, and toppers provides some health benefits. However, they will only apply if you feed your Staffordshire Bull Terrier serving sizes large enough to harm his health. That’s because excessive consumption could lead to weight gain, and that could, in turn, open your dog up to various health problems like heart disease. Remember that most of the time, it’s what’s covering the noodles that dictate whether or not it’s safe for your Australian Shepherd to enjoy. Be sure to read labels to rule out any toxic ingredients like onion or garlic.
Suppose your canine companion consumes too much pasta or suffers the adverse effects of eating harmful pasta sauce or toppings. He could experience the symptoms listed below.
- Lack of interest in everyday activities
- Weight gain
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
Just like humans, carbs have a similar effect on dogs. The last two symptoms above are signs your dog may have type II diabetes. It can be a severe but rare disease brought on by excessive weight and too many carbohydrates.
Allergic reactions could cause the symptoms listed below.
- Frequent ear infections
- Skin irritation or itching
If you think your dog may have a wheat allergy, it’s best to stop feeding him wheat-containing food and see if the symptoms clear. If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s best to contact your vet. There may be more at play than food.
Since noodles have very little nutritional value in a dog’s diet, limiting their intake due to the carb and caloric content is best. Dogs should receive their daily calories through healthy meals, not fillers like pasta.
What are the best dog foods with Pasta?
Searching for dog food containing pasta is quite challenging. However, DogFoodCare will list three wet dog food options, two of which we awarded 5 stars each. We include a third option that earned only 2 stars. It is a perfect example of what you don’t want to see on the ingredients label of your dog food label.
1. Tiki Dog Taste of Italy Chicken, Pasta & Carbonara Recipe in Broth Wet Dog Food
4 x 3-oz cups per box at $7.16
This cup of Italian pasta offers your tiny Yorkie wholesome and balanced nutrition formulated for small breed dogs.
Feeding guidance is one 3-oz cup of Tiki Dog Petites Gourmet Italian Carbonara with Bacon & Egg per 7 pounds of the dog’s body weight.
The first five ingredients include three meat products, Chicken Broth, Chicken, and Ham, along with pasta and green peas.
2. Just Food For Dogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food
7 x 18-oz pouches per box at $59.15
Cost-effective and calorie-dense option—ideal for large dogs, active dogs, or dogs who are underweight.
Crafted with fresh, human-grade ingredients. The first five ingredients include ground turkey, whole wheat macaroni, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots, with turkey liver and cranberries at numbers 6 and 7.
There is a feeding guide on the package, and the 18-oz pouch Just Food For Dogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food is suitable for a large dog like a Golden Retriever weighing between 70 and 80 pounds.
Store in the freezer, thaw in the refrigerator. Thawed, it stays fresh if sealed for up to 7 days, once opened, use within 5 days.
3. Purina Beneful Romana Canned Dog Food (All Breeds)
3 x 3-oz cans per box at $2.07
The first five ingredients in Purina Beneful Romana Canned Dog Food look impressive because four of them are meat products. They are Chicken Broth, Chicken, Liver, Wheat Gluten, Meat By-Products, followed by Carrots, Pasta (Wheat Flour, Egg Whites).
Here are the ingredients you don’t want in your Schnauzer’s food. The third ingredient is liver. Usually, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified, and anybody’s guess.
The fifth ingredient is Meat By-Products, also of an unknown source, and it is an item made from slaughterhouse waste. It is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.
Except for hair, horns, teeth, and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep, or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible. Most meat by-products can be nutritious. However, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source. For these reasons, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
How Much Pasta Should I Feed My Dog?
A large amount of pasta will likely cause stomach upset for your dog, so always feed them this food in minimal quantities, whether your canine companion is a fluffy little Maltese or a massive Newfoundland dog. A cup of pasta a day is more than enough; a cup of pasta a week is probably even more advisable for a large or giant dog. A small breed dog or a puppy should not get more than two individual noodles at a time. Remember: Spaghetti noodles and other forms of pasta are no replacement for actual dog food. Act as if pasta is an occasional dog treat rather than a steady form of sustenance.