Pierogi (pirogge, perogies, and other spellings) are a European dumpling made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and cooking it in boiling water. Sometimes they are pan-fried before they are served. They are also popular in the United States and Canada. Can dogs eat pierogi? Find out if you can share your pierogi below.
The basic dumpling used for pierogi is made from a dough of flour, eggs, and water. What makes pierogi different from ordinary dumplings are the fillings. Typical fillings can include potato, cheese, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushrooms, and/or fruits. Savory pierogi are often served with a topping of sour cream, fried onions, or both.
Pierogi can be served as an appetizer, main course, or as a dessert, depending on the filling.
Pierogi likely became popular in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe in the middle ages thanks to Marco Polo. He may have brought back dumplings from his trip to China and Europeans created popular local fillings for them. Many countries in central Europe have their own regional versions of pierogi.
Pierogi nutrition varies, depending on the fillings used. We looked at the nutritional information for potato and Cheddar cheese pierogi.
A serving size of 3 pierogi (dumplings) has 90 grams and contains 160 calories. It has 2 grams of total fat, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, and 2 grams of sugars. It also has 5 grams of protein.
It provides some vitamin C, calcium, and a good serving of iron.
The serving also contains 320mg of sodium which is 13 percent of the daily total for a human on a 2000-calorie diet.
Overall, a serving of potato and Cheddar cheese pierogi has 12 percent protein, 77 percent carbohydrates, and 11 percent fat.
Many kinds of pierogi are high in fat but it depends on how they are prepared. Pan-frying the dumplings or sauteing them after they are boiled will increase the fat.
If you use cheese that is high in fat in your pierogi or add bacon, that will also increase the fat.
If you use whole grain flour to make the dumplings, you can increase the fiber in the pierogi and make them a little healthier.
Can you give your dog pierogi to eat?
Yes, you can give your dog a pierogi as long as you take a few precautions.
First, if you are making pierogi yourself, it’s best to simply boil the dumplings and forget about pan-frying them. Fried foods are not recommended for dogs. Your dog doesn’t need the extra fat and calories that come from pan-frying.
Second, be sure to make careful choices about the ingredients you use for your pierogi fillings. Mashed potatoes and some Cheddar cheese would be very good ingredients to put in a pierogi for your dog. However, leave out the spices and seasoning. Don’t add salt or pepper, for instance. Absolutely do not add any garlic or onion. These ingredients can be toxic to dogs.
Onions contain a toxin called N-propyl disulfide. This compound causes red blood cells to break down which can lead to anemia in dogs. It reduces the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen. Your dog’s body is essentially tricked into thinking that his own red blood cells are invaders. His body begins to attack his red blood cells in a process called hemolysis. This results in hemolytic anemia.
Symptoms of onion toxicity:
- Decreased appetite
- Pale gums
- Reddish urine
If you notice these symptoms, especially if your dog has eaten onions or garlic, contact your veterinarian immediately. Hemolytic anemia can be fatal but there are treatments.
Garlic is closely related to onion. Dogs can have a similar reaction to garlic. The effects of eating onion and/or garlic can be cumulative so your dog might not have a reaction if he eats onions one time. However, over time he could become very ill.
Onion and garlic powders are also dangerous to dogs for the same reasons.
Make sure any ingredients you use in a pierogi are safe for your dog.
We mentioned Cheddar cheese several times. That’s because it’s frequently used as a filling for pierogi. It’s also a cheese that dogs love. One ounce of Cheddar has 0 grams of lactose. Even dogs that are lactose-intolerant can usually eat Cheddar. It does have 113 calories and 9 grams of total fat. You should factor that information in when deciding if or how much of it to add to a pierogi for your dog.
How many pierogi can your dog eat?
Plain pierogi or pierogi with mashed potatoes and a cheese like Cheddar are not especially high in calories. You do need to be mindful of the amount of sodium in this kind of food. As mentioned above, a serving of 3 pieces of pierogi (three dumplings) contains about 320 mg of sodium. That is much more sodium than the average dog needs in one day. (A dog weighing 33 pounds only needs about 200 mg of sodium per day.)
Too much sodium in your dog’s diet can lead to dehydration or, in extreme cases, salt poisoning.
Symptoms of salt poisoning (salt toxicosis) can include:
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of coordination
If you think your dog is experiencing salt toxicosis, contact your veterinarian.
As long as the pierogi don’t contain very salty ingredients and they are not fried, you could give your dog 2-3 little pierogi. Pierogi do vary in size so make sure the ones you share with your dog are not too big.
How often can you give your dog pierogi?
If you have pierogi that are dog-safe and your dog likes them, you could let your dog have a couple of small pierogi once per week.
Many people love pierogi. These tasty dumplings can contain many different fillings so if you want to share some with your dog, make sure that they only contain dog-safe ingredients. That means no added salt or spices and no onions or garlic. The pierogi should be boiled but not pan-fried. Try to use healthy ingredients for your dog.