Can Dogs Eat Bread? Is This Food Tasty or Toxic?
How delicious is bread? It doesn’t matter if it’s a toastie, bruschetta, pizza, or a naan – they’re all yummy and form a food basis for countries all over the world. So no wonder your furry friend is curious about this food too.
After all, if your house is anything like ours, bread is around quite a lot. But can dogs eat bread? The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat bread. But should our pooches be tucking into a sandwich? And are there certain breads that are better than others?
Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Normal, plain wheat bread is safe for dogs to eat. Unless your pup has a known wheat or gluten allergy, it shouldn’t cause a stomach upset either (unless they manage to eat an entire loaf, then it’s best to contact your vet).
The problem with bread (and bread-related food like pretzels) is that it doesn’t really add any nutrition to your dog’s diet. Pups need a high-protein diet and bread has a high-carb content. If you feed your dog bread over a long period of time, it will lead to weight gain.
That being said, the fiber in bread can help pups suffering from constipation. In all likelihood, your dog will be happy to eat any bread they’re given. It’s important that bread doesn’t take up a big part of their diet and should only be given occasionally.
The type of bread and any toppings may, however, be toxic to your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Brown Bread?
Most of us think of brown bread as being healthier than white. And the same goes for our pups. Brown bread tends to contain more fiber and is less processed than white bread.
The problem with brown bread, however, is that it can contain seeds and nuts that may be poisonous to dogs. Even if it’s plain brown bread, dogs should only be eating minimal amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Toast?
Toast is just cooked bread so it’s fine for dogs to eat. If your pup is anything like ours, they’ll be hanging around the breakfast table every morning hoping for a crust to fall from your plate (or even better a bit of leftover pancake)!
Although fine for them to eat as a treat, toast doesn’t add much nutrition to your dog’s diet and they certainly don’t need it daily.
Is Bread Bad for Dogs?
Plain bread isn’t bad for dogs and there’s no need to worry if your pup manages to get into a packet or pinches a bite from your sandwich.
But just because bread isn’t bad for dogs doesn’t mean it’s good. When you give your dog bread, they’re not getting any extra nutrition in their diet. Fruits such as watermelon or veggies such as broccoli can provide vitamins and minerals and are a better snack option.
Bread, however, is probably much tastier than broccoli but is full of carbohydrates that your pup just doesn’t need.
As an occasional treat, it’s not a problem if your dog eats bread. But they don’t need it as part of a nutritious diet.
Which Types of Bread Are Bad for Dogs to Eat?
So, it’s not a problem if you feed your dog white bread, whole wheat bread, or toast. But there are a few breads you should avoid or check the ingredients first.
Most people love garlic bread – if not the taste then certainly the smell. And whilst your pup might also start to drool when it comes out of the oven, garlic bread is a big no-no for dogs.
Garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme stomach pain.
Not only does garlic bread contain toxic ingredients it also contains a lot of (delicious) butter. Even though your furry friend might love it, butter is very fattening and dogs just don’t need the extra calories!
Lots of us also love sweet bread such as banana bread. Whilst bananas themselves aren’t bad for dogs, we add a lot of fat and sugar to banana bread which aren’t great for dogs to eat. Many of us also add honey (my Grandmother did anyway)! Whilst dogs can eat honey, moderation is a must.
You don’t have to worry if your dog manages to get some banana bread crumbs off your plate (they’ll even appreciate a bit more) but this should be a rare treat and not part of their balanced diet.
If you’re buying banana bread from the store, you need to check that it doesn’t contain any toxic nuts (especially macadamia nuts). These can cause your dog to have an upset stomach and even be very serious.
Furthermore, some banana breads (the really yummy ones) also contain chocolate chips. Chocolate is toxic to dogs so you need to make sure you don’t feed them any.
Raisins and grapes are extremely toxic to dogs and should absolutely be avoided. Whilst some dogs can eat the odd raisin and be OK, others may have one and develop acute kidney failure.
When it comes to feeding your dog bread, it’s best to double-check all packaging as raisins are often in bread we don’t expect them to be in!
The other thing about raisin bread and fruit loaf is that they can contain other toxic fruits such as dried cherries. If you’re unsure, don’t take the risk and let your pup eat something else.
Dogs don’t need extra sugar in their diets and especially not artificial sweeteners. Xylitol, in particular, is extremely toxic. It’s a common artificial sweetener found in many cupboard staples – so make sure you always check the label.
Can Dogs Eat Bread Dough?
No. You should never feed your dog raw bread dough. It’s not nice to think about, but your dog’s stomach is the perfect place for raw bread dough to rise. This can cause an extremely upset stomach, swelling, and bloat. Dog bloat is a fatal condition and if you suspect your pup has eaten bread dough, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
But it’s not just bloat that’s a problem when your dog eats bread. Alcohol toxicosis is also a concern. The yeast in the dough will continue to rise which can release toxic levels of ethanol into your pup’s bloodstream. Again, if you suspect your pup has sneaked a bit of dough, call your veterinarian straight away.
How Much Bread Can Dogs Eat?
There are no real health benefits to dogs eating bread. However, safe bread as part of a healthy and nutritious diet is OK. Depending on your dog’s size, the odd piece of bread will be enough for them to enjoy without causing any health concerns such as weight gain.
As with any addition to your pup’s diet, stick to the 90% rule. That means 90% of their nutrition should come from specifically designed dog food. 10% can be human treats such as cucumber or bread!
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Yes. Dogs can eat plain white or brown bread as the occasional snack. Bread, however, is high in carbohydrates and doesn’t really add any nutrients to your dog’s diet. Too much of the food can cause weight gain and other health-related problems.
The real issue with giving your pup bread is the other possible ingredients. Seeds, nuts, and dried fruits can all be toxic to our canine friends (but some, like sunflower seeds are good). Certain breads also contain a lot of extra sugar and fat which dogs don’t need in their diets.
If you want to feed bread to your dog, make sure it’s only occasionally and that you either make it yourself (but don’t give them any dough) or read the ingredients list carefully.