The Italian delicacies of Pasta and Spaghetti are no more limited to Italy. Available not only in every country but like every other corner of the world, these dishes have found their place on human taste-buds very well. And now there are over 350 different types of Pasta and Spaghetti varying in terms of shape which can be everything from long and thin to short and fat, ribbons, bows, tubes, flat sheets, noodles or stuffed shells and size, spices, ingredients, etc. Almost like every country has found a variant of their own. Now humans have been known to feed a lot of human-foods to their beloved pets – dogs. Most of them are even good for them but some can be very toxic. The question here that we are about to address is, Can dogs eat Pasta or Spaghetti?
Do dogs like Pasta or Spaghetti?
Dogs have been known to hog on human foods and savor them just like humans. Pasta may be bland in itself but is usually topped with different types of cheese, spices, oils, etc. This makes fats a prominent nutrient in them. And just like human tongues, the tongues of dogs are also well equipped for fats. There is a reason we see dogs loving sweet foods like cakes and biscuits. So, by that logic, pasta is going to be loved by your puppy, no doubt. Also read, Can Dogs Eat Junk Food? Is It Safe?.
Are Pasta or Spaghetti good for dogs?
Pasta is a type of food typically made from an unleavened dough of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs. Whole-grain pasta is typically high in fiber, manganese, selenium, copper and phosphorus, while refined, enriched pasta tends to be higher in iron and B vitamins. So, yes, pasta is safe for dogs to eat.
Health benefits of Pasta or Spaghetti
Pasta or Spaghetti are not a very huge source of nutrients for dogs. But they so possess some nutrients like fiber, manganese, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B and phosphorus. If we see the individual benefits of each of these nutrients, they are diverse.
Vitamins – are good for their eyesight, especially for the matured ones, as they help prevent cataracts and helps avoiding night blindness and even dry eyes. They are essential for digesting fats which is again prevalent in foods like pasta. They also support bone growth, reproduction and immune response in dogs. They also boost energy metabolism and assists skin tissue maintenance. Basically, they form a solid foundation for the young puppies.
Phosphorous – It is a mineral which helps a dog keep its teeth and bone healthy and also keep the metabolism on track
Fiber – It becomes a catalyst for your dog’s stomach and intestines. It not only helps in the regular digestion of food but can also help curing the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation.
Iron – Iron is a mineral that is required by your dog’s body to perform important functions like carrying oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout the body so her cells can produce energy.
Selenium – It is needed for its antioxidant function, its role in thyroid metabolism, synthesis of DNA, or reproduction
All these nutrients in Pasta or Spaghetti make it a good addition to that dog’s diet but does that mean they should be fed lots and lots of Pasta or Spaghetti for them to stay healthy? The answer is – No
How much Pasta is good Pasta for your Dog?
Dogs are carnivorous. So, ideally, 75-80% of the dog’s meal should be meat and other non-veg products. And that’s where the dog will get its most of the protein requirement. Also, it is important to note that Pasta or Spaghetti are very high in fats and dogs are known to have troubles digesting fats. It would be completely fine to avoid pasta altogether but if to be given as a treat, only one or two plain, cooked noodles a week is recommended.
How can you feed Pasta or Spaghetti to your Dog?
Pasta or Spaghetti are good in small quantities for the dog. But how exactly to add Pasta or Spaghetti into the dog’s diet is also important. There are other cautions to note before pouring a handful or Pasta or Spaghetti to your dog’s food bowl.
Unsalted – We humans like to spice Pasta or Spaghetti with salt or other spices but when feeding them to your dog, use the unsalted ones.
No top-ups – Do not add onions or garlic to the pasta in any way, may it be raw or in the form of a sauce. Garlic and onions, along with chives and leeks, are part of the Allium species. When pets ingest them, they can develop damage to their red blood cells, causing red blood cell destruction, resulting in anemia.
Not to be fooled by Low-carb varieties – Chickpeas, lentils, and rice are common ingredients in low-carb pastas which are gluten free. They are good for us humans, but not the same for dogs. Lentils and chickpeas might be healthy for dogs but given in more quantities, they can be very toxic.
Yes, to Rice variant – The pastas made from rice are the best option for dogs as rice is used to alleviate gastrointestinal problems and promote health. Easy to digest and low in fiber, rice grain makes a good option.
OregaNO – A key ingredient on pastas around the world is unfortunately toxic for dogs. It is to be strictly avoided.
Basil and Black Pepper – These other key ingredients can however be used in limited quantities.
Be ready to enjoy a ton of love in the form of licks after you throw a couple pieces of Pasta straight into your dog’s mouth.
But make sure don’t you fall for the licks and end up feeding it more of it. Stick to the recommended quantities. More Pasta or Spaghettis ≠ More Love. More Pasta or Spaghetti = Bad complications
What can happen if your dog eats an unusual amount of Pasta or Spaghetti?
If your dog ate a lot of Pasta or Spaghetti while you were trying to eat spaghetti with your loved one slurping on the other end of it, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –
Lack of interest in everyday activities
And if your dog is allergic to grains and especially wheat, which most pastas are made up of, you may see the following allergic reactions –
Which dogs should not eat Pasta or Spaghetti?
There can be some dogs, not specific to any breed which can be more susceptible to stomach harm from Pasta or Spaghetti. For them, Pasta or Spaghetti should altogether be eliminated and other sources of proteins and vitamins should be looked at. The list includes –
Dogs with Diabetes – If your dog has already been diagnosed with Diabetes or any of its symptoms then it is strictly recommended that you avoid Pasta.
Specific diets – If your vet has recommended a specific diet for your pet for its training or growth purposes or just for basic health purposes then avoid it as it is comparatively high in fats
Dogs with a higher weight – If your dog is susceptible to obesity or has already been gaining more than usual weight then you might want to avoid any form of Pasta as it is high in fats and can trigger obesity
Just like you love the cheese, olives, jalapenos, broccoli, carrots, garlic, oregano and chili flakes topped Pasta or Spaghetti, so will your dogs. And it’s not such a bad thing. Just when feeding your doggo, keep it plain and simple with a little bit of cheese, not more, without any kind of spices and it becomes a delicious treat for your doggy.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!