There is nothing better than sharing your favorite foods with your pet. However, most lasagna recipes contain onions and garlic. We all know how harmful these two ingredients can be to dogs.
The best way to understand the gravity of the situation if you don’t understand the consequences of feeding garlic or onions to your dog is to consult a vet.
can dogs have lasagna? is it bad for dogs?
You should never give your dog lasagna, as it isn’t something he should eat. There are three major ingredients in this dish that are all harmful to your pet’s health in general.
The onion, garlic, and tomato sauce in the concoction can ruin your pet’s stomach for days and, worse, cause significant damage that requires surgery. In case the pet suffers from lactose intolerance, the overloaded cheesy texture could further exacerbate its health problems.
Keeping Lasagna Away From the Dogs
Though an occasional plate of lasagna doesn’t cause you any trouble, in the long term, gorging on this food would also bring you issues such as diabetes, hypertension, or obesity leading to a plethora of secondary issues. However, in the case of dogs, even a small portion could prove dangerous.
Unlike other fresh fruits or veggies, lasagna isn’t something you can share with your beautiful mutt. If you locate your dog giving you a stink eye and want you to share in your lasagna escapades, it is better not to give in to the temptation. If you feel bad about not sharing, the key is to eat it somewhere the dog won’t know or see.
Regardless of how you empty that tray into your stomach, never share your cheesy lasagna with the pet.
Understanding the Lasagna Toxicity for Dogs
You might be wondering why, of all the dishes humans make, lasagna is so dangerous for the pet. Well, keeping it simple, the dish has so many ingredients that could wreak havoc on your pooch’s system that it is better to keep them away in a place that isn’t reachable.
Ingredients such as:
- Bell Pepper
- Ground Meat
- Lasagna Noodles
- Tomato Sauce
And more could be potentially lethal for your pooch. Leaving a couple of ingredients, almost each of these items could prove dangerous for your pet dog.
Even though cheese per se isn’t harmful to dogs, it could be bad and cause diarrhea if they overeat. Further, if the dog is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, it could worsen its health. So much so that the pet might have to be rushed to the veterinarian’s office.
In the long term, it could also cause permanent damage to the pooch’s digestive health.
2-Onions and Garlic:
Of all the ingredients used in lasagna, onions and garlic are undoubtedly dangerous of them. Although a bit of two might not be bad for your pooch, it completely depends on the concentration of these two ingredients in the dish.
Take, for example, if you and your neighbor happen to prepare lasagna and you add 10 cloves of garlic while your neighbor adds 20, the one made by your neighbor would no doubt be more lethal to the pooch as compared to yours.
There is no way to determine the right concentration that is safe for your pooch. So, the best option is to avoid giving lasagna to your pooch completely.
While properly cooked ripe tomatoes might actually be healthy for your pooch, tomato sauce might not be ideal for them. Something as harmless as the tomato sauce could prove futile to your pooch’s health. It contains certain ingredients that not all of us know about. Most variants of tomato sauce contain onion and garlic, which could be fatal for the canines.
My dog ate lasagna, what happens now?
Lasagna in its normal form might not be dangerous at all for dogs. However, it is the ingredients that deter your dog’s health. As explained above, lasagna packed in garlic and onions are comprised of toxins. Now, these toxins can cause major oxidative damage to your pooch’s internal organs.
True enough, one piece of garlic or onion might not harm your dog. However, anything more than that could induce serious side effects that worsen with a higher dosage. And as known to all, lasagna doesn’t contain a single onion or garlic piece, but rather a good amount of them.
In dogs, consuming a large amount of garlic or onion could lead to hemolytic anemia. This condition can destroy your pooch’s RBCs, ultimately making them lose the capability to carry the life-giving oxygen to various parts of your body.
Lack of oxygen supply within the body can make your pooch unhealthy in the long run. Not just that, consuming a lot of onion or garlic could also be fatal or life-threatening for the dog. If your pooch has accidentally consumed a lot of lasagnas and has started showing signs of toxicity, it is better to immediately rush them to your veterinarian.
The vet would try to induce vomiting if the dog’s body hasn’t yet digested the lasagna. However, in alternate cases where it’s past vomiting, the veterinarian would try to control the situation and opt for a quick blood transfusion to amp up the blood oxygen saturation.
You can understand how dangerous and troublesome it is for both you and your pet. That is why it is better to avoid feeding your pooch lasagna completely.
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Factors that Could Alter Toxicity
Apart from the ingredients added to the lasagna, several other factors might lead to toxicity or simply nothing at all.
1-Size of the Dog:
One thing that plays a major role in deciding whether or not your dog would be prone to lasagna toxicity is its size. A single bite of lasagna might not be as toxic to a fully adult dog compared to a 3 to 6 months old puppy. In order to be actually toxic, the amount has to be much larger for an adult dog.
2-Breed of the Dog:
Another factor that comes into play is the breed of the dog. Some dog breeds are pre-disposed to toxicity from onion and garlic, similar to the way we suffer from allergies. Even the smallest bite could cause major issues that could lead to fatality in case the pooch doesn’t get timely medical attention.
Japanese breeds like the Shiba Inu or Akita Inu and dogs with similar genetic designs would be highly vulnerable to toxicity from the onion or garlic present in lasagna.
3-Underlying Gastrointestinal Conditions:
The lasagna toxicity scenario gets much worse if your pooch already suffers from intestine or stomach ailments such as GI distress, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, and so on. So, if your dog has been diagnosed with the same, it is better to keep them away from lasagna completely.
Can Your Pooch Eat Home-Cooked Lasagna?
Although it might not exactly be termed as “lasagna,” your pooch can surely pack in a piece or two of the home-cooked variant as long as it doesn’t contain these harmful ingredients. All you need to do is replace these ingredients with items that help your dog’s health.
As long as it doesn’t contain anything harmful, you can surely feed it to your pooch.
The best way to go about with home-cooked lasagna is to pick up these ingredients:
- Ground Meat (1 lb)
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Parmesan Cheese
- Lasagna Noodles (1 Box)
- 2 Eggs
Make sure you avoid using a lot of cheese in case the pooch is diagnosed with lactose intolerance. When cooking the meat, make sure you drain out the grease before using it with the noodles. Use the classic baking methodology & bake your noodles until the texture is chewy.
Next, refrigerate this overnight. Although dog-friendly lasagna won’t be as tasty as the traditional variant, you can surely feed it to your dogs without actually worrying about the side effects. However, the safest of all is to avoid it. There are several other tasty dishes you can try to feed your pooch instead for a healthy life.
Is Lasagna Fatal for my Puppy?
Yes, depending on the aforementioned factors, lasagna consumption could be fatal to dogs in certain cases. It is especially true for lasagna which is loaded with garlic and onion. In case your pooch is a little pup, it could be dangerous for them. Even a single bite of the onion could be fatal for a pup that is small in size.
If you happen to see signs of toxicity such as:
- Breathing issues
- Wining sounds
- Reddish Urine
- Reduced Appetite
It is important to rush the puppy immediately to your vet as it could be life-threatening and might need urgent medical intervention. Cheese could also be a major problem for puppies. The digestive health of a puppy isn’t strong enough to digest complicated fat such as cheese, which could lead to intolerance and other fatal issues.
When Should You Visit Your Vet?
When it comes to your pooch, prevention is far better than cure. The best option would be to avoid letting your dog eat lasagna at all. However, if your pooch does eat it, the key is to immediately call in your veterinarian and ask for suggestions.
Your doctor would tell you some preventive remedies to help avoid the condition from worsening. In case you couldn’t track your pooch’s symptoms, immediately take it to the nearest vet and let them evaluate the condition for better treatment.
Lasagna Noodles or Pasta: Are they Safe for your Dog?
Dogs can surely eat lasagna pasta or noodles as it is prepared from water, flour, and at times eggs. All the ingredients mentioned here are very safe for dogs. So, most noodles or pasta variants would be safe for your pooch. However, the commercial variants might contain a lot of salt and sugar, leading to an upset stomach for your pooch.
Apart from this, you also need to keep in mind that certain dogs are allergic to wheat, leading to stomach issues. If yours is such a dog, make sure you choose a lasagna noodle or pasta variant that isn’t made up of wheat or leave the pasta off your menu.
Also, you have to keep in mind the fact that pasta or noodles are particularly high in caloric content. The key is to feed it to your dog in moderation if you plan to avoid unnecessary weight gain. It is especially true in case your dog is obese.
So, the next time you fire up your kitchen to cook a big chunk of lasagna, make sure you prepare something healthy for your pooch and not something that would land them in the hospital. Also, make sure you get your dog tested for some sort of allergies, such as lactose intolerance, GI problems, etc. In case you plan on adding heaps of garlic and onion to the recipe, make sure you keep it safe away from your pet. At the end of the day, you would want your pooch to be healthy and happy. For that, if you need to be stern and strict to those goofy eyes, so be it!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.