From baguettes and croissants to whole wheat loaves, humans love our bread – especially when it’s paired with delectable hunks of brie! In large quantities, alas, those carbs are not so great for human (wouldn’t that be nice?). But, is bread bad for dogs as well?
Maybe you’re wondering because you took a bite into a ciabatta bread sandwich and a piece dropped to the ground. Your pup, eagerly sitting nearby, trotted over.
As your beloved dog went to lap it up, the thought hit. Wait, can dogs eat bread?
Find out all the details with the guide below.
So, Is Bread Bad for Dogs?
Well, bread is not healthy for dogs. A filler food for the most part, if a bread is okay for your dog to eat, it still is not — healthy.
Will eating bread hurt them though? Well, for the most part, no – dogs can eat some bread. However, just as humans should consume it in moderation, so should canines. It should only be very small amounts occasionally – if at all. In addition, it is important to know not all bread is okay.
Also, some dogs are allergic to wheat. As there are humans with celiac disease who cannot consume wheat bread or the average pizza crust, there are dogs with a similar situation. Be cautious in feeding any pet wheat.
This is why we recommend consulting with your trusted veterinarian first before feeding of bread, especially wheat.
What Type of Bread is Okay?
The type of bread is important. Plain white and plain wheat are typically okay. The concern is more fanciful types of bread. Lots of varieties have toppings added, from cinnamon raisin to jalapeno cheddar.
There is a fair amount of foods that are toxic to dogs.
It is important to make sure the bread they consumed does not contain any toxic ingredients. For example, the bread can be toxic for dogs if it has:
- Chocolate – Dog’s cannot eat chocolate. In fact, endorsed information from Doctor Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, is that bagels, in general, are not good for your dog due to their high Glycemic Index.
- Onions or garlic – Dogs cannot eat onions or garlic so make sure you keep the garlic bread away from their paws!
- Nuts, especially macadamia nuts – a big no! The high-fat content can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
- Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in many baked goods and peanut butter, double check this is not in either.
- Grapes – dogs cannot eat grapes in any form, including raisins.
This list may seem startling but, it is vital to avoid raisins at all costs. As Dr. Wismer shares, they can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even if we know they are highly toxic, it’s easier to “slip” into their diet more sneakily through bread. (To be candid, animal experts are not completely sure why raisins are so dangerous for dogs. What they do know is a mere few of raisins is enough to cause issues.)
So, if he is getting any bread, it must be plain. No butter, toppings or additives within.
How Much Bread is Okay?
Bread should be a small treat once in a while if it’s something that is incorporated into a healthy diet of food made for dogs.
What are the Risks of Feeding Dogs Bread?
Now, there are things to be cautious about. For example, if a dog consumes bread dough, it is important to consult with your trusted veterinarian immediately. If you have ever made bread before, you know that (with the power of yeast) you knead the dough and then allow it to rise. If your pup hops on the counter or gets to the dough and starts to eat it, that can be highly dangerous. Just as the dough expands on the kitchen countertop, it can expand within your dog’s stomach. Not only that, your dog can suffer from alcohol toxicosis. It is a condition known as canine Bloat and when it happens, this fermentation with your dog’s stomach, serious problems can occur.
If this happens to them, they can experience:
- Feelings of weakness
- A gait that appears almost drunk
Now, this is more common with dough but there is a chance of it happening with baked bread as well.
Additional Reasons to Warn Against Bread
Bread is a treat to your dog, not an integral part of the diet that gives him any nutritional value. By giving him bread, you are infusing their diet with a filler food that is high in sugar and carbohydrates. This makes it easier for your dog to experience weight gain and canine obesity, which is a rising concern with modern pets.
Some sources, such as those endorsed by Doctor Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, argue that giving dogs bread also encourages them to beg. Bread is a food that humans eat quite often, so it’s something they’ll like to see a lot – if not every day in the house. If they get used to nibbling hunks of loaves, it is more likely to create an ongoing, problematic begging habit.
On that note, if you are having any issues when it comes to your dog begging, check out How to Stop Your Dog From Begging for Food.
“Can Dogs Eat Bread? Is It Good Or Bad For Them?” Ultimate Home Life, 18 May 2018, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.ultimatehomelife.com/can-dogs-eat-bread-or-is-bread-bad-for-dogs/.
“Can I Give My Dog Bread?” Can I Give My Dog?, 26 Feb. 2018, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.canigivemydog.com/bread.
Lowrey, Sassafras. “Can Dogs Eat Bread?” Dogster, 8 Aug. 2018, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.dogster.com/dog-food/can-dogs-eat-bread.
Burke, Anna. “Can Dogs Eat Bread?” American Kennel Club, 10 Jan. 2017, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-bread/.