The answer to the question of whether dogs can eat bread is both a yes and no. Dogs can eat bread, but only in moderation.
Plain white and wheat bread are generally OK for your dogs to consume as long as they don’t suffer from wheat allergies.
Feeding your dog a small amount of plain bread as an occasional treat won’t hurt them.
But how about those types of bread with added ingredients? Are they still safe for your dog to eat?
Keep reading to discover what types of bread with added extras are harmful to your pet’s health and how much bread you should give to your dog.
What are the Benefits of Bread for Dogs?
Although bread is high in carbohydrates and calories, which means large quantities are not good for dogs, there are some cases in which bread can be beneficial for them.
- Bread is suitable for dogs with an upset stomach. Dogs with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or an upset stomach can eat a small amount of bread. The high starch content from white bread can help absorb the gastric acids which irritate their stomach, providing them with relief from pain and discomfort. Be sure to ask your vet for guidance on portion size.
- Bread can help dogs that have ingested a sharp object. Vets sometimes use bread to treat dogs that have eaten something sharp, such as cooked bone splinters, that could cut their intestines.
According to Dr. Laura Robinson, DVM Lead Veterinary Advisor, feeding your dog bread will encase the foreign objects, helping them to pass through their gut more easily.
Having said that, it’s always best to ask your vet for advice on using bread in this way.
What are the Health Risks of Bread for Dogs?
Most dogs can have a small amount of plain white or wheat bread without problems.
But as mentioned earlier, bread contains a high starch content which is bad for dogs, specifically if it forms the majority of their diet.
Excessive carbohydrate intake can cause digestive problems, weight gain, and tooth decay in dogs.
- Digestive problems: Bread can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in some dogs, especially if they have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy.
- Weight gain: Bread is packed full of carbohydrates which can contribute to weight gain and obesity if your dog consumes too much bread.
- Tooth decay: Feeding your dog a steady diet of bread can lead to tooth decay. Bread is high in sugar and feeds bacteria that cause tooth decay. In addition, bread is soft and sticky, which can easily become stuck to your dog’s teeth.
What’s in bread that is harmful to dogs?
Now that you’re aware that feeding your pet bread in large quantities is not good for his overall health, then let’s dive into the substances present in bread that are harmful to your dog.
- Yeast: Bread dough contains yeast which can be activated by your dog’s stomach. This can cause uncooked bread dough to rise within your pup’s stomach, which can lead to bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Bread yeast also emits a substance known as ethanol, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts.
- Sodium: Some types of bread have a very high salt content. High sodium levels can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can be dangerous for dogs. In more severe cases, too much salt can cause kidney failure and seizures.
- Sugar: Bread is a high carbohydrate food, and these carbohydrates are turned into sugar in the body. Thus, bread can be quite a dangerous treat for diabetic dogs. If your dog can eat bread, just giving a few small pieces will be enough.
- Gluten: Most bread contains gluten. If your dog has a gluten intolerance, it’s best to avoid feeding him bread, even a small amount. Affected dogs are likely to suffer diarrhea, loose stools, excessive scratching, foot chewing, and chronic ear infection.
Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Bread?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that some dog breeds are allergic to bread. However, it’s possible that your dog may be allergic to its ingredients.
In fact, wheat and corn are some of the more common allergies amongst pets, with many dogs struggling to digest these grains.
Dogs allergic to wheat or gluten may suffer from indigestion, experience an upset stomach, cough or sneeze, have difficulty breathing, or get inflamed and itchy skin or rashes.
If you suspect your dog is allergic to bread, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian.
They can perform tests to determine if your dog has a gluten allergy or sensitivity and provide guidance on how to modify his diet accordingly.
You could also try bread made with rice or coconut flour instead.
What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Much Bread?
Bread is full of carbohydrates and calories.
If you give too much bread to your dog regularly, you could put him at risk of becoming overweight, leading to obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Aside from that, eating large amounts of bread in one sitting can also trigger gastrointestinal issues or digestive problems in dogs, such as bloating and diarrhea.
Because of these health risks, you should only feed your dog a small amount of plain bread as an occasional treat.
How Should Dogs Eat Bread?
If you want to give your dog some bread, keep it to very small amounts and only occasionally.
Opt for plain white or wheat bread that doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients like onions, garlic, or raisins.
It’s also recommended to bake the bread yourself as you’ll know that all the ingredients used are safe for your pet.
Also, be sure not to add any extra condiments like butter, jam, or cheese to your dog’s bread, as this will increase the fat content, and too much fat is not healthy for your dog.
Is Bread a Good Treat for Dogs?
Yes and no, bread can be used as a treat when training your dog, provided it is served plain and doesn’t include ingredients that could be toxic to your dog, and your pup is not obese or suffering from diabetes.
A small piece of bread is fine for your dog to eat now and again, but the bread should rather be reserved for the occasional treat rather than a regular part of your dog’s diet.
When should dogs eat bread?
No particular time of day would be better for feeding your dog bread.
If you want to try feeding your dog bread for the first time, why not turn it into a special occasion and bake him his own special dog-friendly bread on 17 November, which is National Bread Day?
That said, avoid feeding your dog bread straight from your plate the next time you settle down for a sandwich.
Bread prepared for yourself likely has added fats, salts, and seasoning, which aren’t good for your pet, and you don’t want your pet to develop any bad habits.
When should dogs not eat bread?
While bread is common and generally safe for dogs as an occasional treat, there are a few instances in which it’s best to avoid giving them this food.
For instance, if the bread is moldy, it can contain harmful toxins that can make your dog sick.
Additionally, eating bread can trigger an adverse reaction if your dog is wheat allergic or has celiac disease.
If this is the case with your dog, you should stop feeding him bread immediately.
It’s essential to be aware of your dog’s individual health needs before feeding them bread.
Generally, as long as the bread is fresh, plain, and free of mold, it should be safe for most dogs to eat.
However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any new food, like bread, just to be on the safe side.
What Types of Bread Can Dogs Eat?
Do you want to make sure that your dog eats only canine-friendly bread?
Let us walk you through the various types of bread products so you can get an idea of which ones make the best occasional snack for your pet.
1. White Bread
Plain white bread that doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients like raisins, onions, garlic, nuts, or chocolate chips is fine to feed your dog in moderation.
White bread can also help to settle your dog’s stomach.
2. Wheat Bread
Plain wheat bread, although calorie-dense, is one of the types of bread that your dog can eat.
That said, go easy when serving wheat bread to your dog, as your pet won’t get much nutritional value from this snack.
3. Rye Bread
As long as your dog doesn’t have any allergies to wheat, it’s safe to feed your dog rye bread.
Avoid the temptation of trying to make rye bread tastier for your dog, and don’t add any oil, butter, salt, or seasoning to the bread.
4. Banana Bread
Bananas are a great treat for dogs packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.
This versatile fruit can be blended into a smoothie, mashed up as a tasty topper, or baked into dog-safe banana bread.
Avoid store-bought banana bread with a lot of added sugar and ingredients like raisins that are toxic for dogs.
5. Sourdough Bread
When served in moderation, sourdough bread is unlikely to harm your dog, although it’s high in calories with little nutrients.
The hard crust of this bread, although possibly difficult for your dog to digest, contains eight times more antioxidants than the fleshy part of the bread.
6. Bread Crust
It’s safe to feed your dog small amounts of bread crust, just make sure the pieces are easy enough for him to chew and swallow to avoid any risk of choking.
While bread crusts contain more antioxidants than the rest of the loaf, they are still high in calories and carbohydrates, so they should only be given to your dog in moderation.
7. Pita Bread
As pita bread is made just with water, flour, yeast, and salt, it’s not toxic for your dog.
As long as your pet doesn’t have a grain allergy, it’s safe to keep him a few bites of pita bread every now and again.
French baguettes are safe for your dog to eat. Although they are white bread, they contain less fiber than whole-grain alternatives.
The hard crust of French baguettes does carry more antioxidants but also poses a choking risk, so be careful when feeding your dog a baguette.
Also, never give them a whole loaf to play with; that is way too much bread for your dog and could lead to an upset stomach.
You can give your dog breadsticks, depending on the brand and size. Breadsticks can pose a choking hazard; it’s best to opt for a variant that has been specifically made for dogs.
Also, be sure to avoid onion or garlic-flavored breadsticks or ones with a salty crust, as these ingredients are dangerous for your dog.
Challah is a plaited loaf of bread that is traditionally baked to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath.
This white bread is okay for your dog to eat but try and make sure it doesn’t have any poppy seeds on top.
While these seeds aren’t toxic for your dog, they contain morphine and codeine, which can harm the central nervous system of your pet if given in excess.
Although quite dense, basic cornbread that is made using wheat flour, cornmeal, milk, and eggs is safe to feed your dog in moderation.
It is best to make your own cornbread as then you can control the amount of salt and sugar added and be sure not to include any toxic ingredients such as onions and chives.
Kinds of Bread That Dogs Cannot Eat
Most bread is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. However, there are a few types of bread that dogs should avoid.
You must be aware of this to keep your dog safe and away from the dangers that some bread can pose.
1. Pumpkin Bread
Avoid giving your dog commercially made pumpkin bread as it can contain some ingredients that are toxic for dogs.
Pumpkin bread normally contains spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and anise, which can be dangerous for your dog.
If you want your dog to benefit from the many nutrients pumpkin contains, rather make your own bread at home.
2. Multigrain Bread
Although safe for most dogs to eat, some pets might have a negative reaction to the high gluten content of multigrain bread.
As multigrain bread also contains numerous grains, it can cause allergies which can be difficult to identify.
In addition, many of the toppings that are typically used on bread, such as maple syrup, jam, and bacon, can be extremely unhealthy for your dog.
3. Raisin Bread
Raisin bread should never be fed to your pet, as raisins are toxic to dogs.
While experts cannot pinpoint what exactly makes the fruit highly bad for canines, symptoms of toxic ingestion are considered serious.
These include lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration. In some cases, dogs can suffer from kidney failure which is fatal.
Even small amounts of raisins can be toxic to dogs, so it’s important to keep them out of their reach. If your dog does eat raisins, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Raisin bread also typically contains added sugar and shouldn’t be fed to your pet.
4. Buttered Bread
Avoid giving your dog buttered bread as you would eat. Buttered bread contains added fats that can harm your dog’s digestive system.
Too much fat could even lead to more serious issues such as pancreatitis.
Brioche is a small, sweet bread. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog sweet bread because they have lots of added sugar which is bad for your dog.
They also typically include ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate and raisins.
While plain focaccia bread is safe for dogs, unfortunately, most of the focaccias you buy at the store come loaded with other ingredients, like onions, garlic, and feta which shouldn’t be fed to your dog.
Pumpernickel is a type of sweet rye bread. This heavy bread is typically made with wheat dough and coarsely ground rye.
While plain pumpernickel bread doesn’t contain anything toxic to dogs, it’s also full of empty calories, so feeding your dog this bread could put him at risk of becoming overweight.
8. Soda Bread
Soda bread is a bread that uses baking soda as a raising agent rather than yeast.
It is typically baked with raisins or dried currants, so you should avoid feeding it to your dog as these ingredients are poisonous to your pet.
What Can I Put on Bread For My Dog?
When feeding bread to your dog, it’s always best to keep it as plain as possible.
But did you know that dogs can also enjoy eating bread with some sort of spread on it, provided that it doesn’t contain toxic ingredients?
Here are some ingredients that you can add to a small piece of bread that’s safe for your pet.
1. Bread with Peanut Butter
Dogs can eat peanut butter, provided it is xylitol-free. Xylitol is a form of artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs.
Bread with peanut butter is a tasty treat loaded with nutritional benefits. The peanut butter will supply your pet with healthy fats, protein, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin.
2. Bread with Cheese
Dogs can eat cheese. However, cheese is high in fat, which can be unhealthy for dogs if taken in excess.
In addition, cheese can be hard to digest for dogs who experience lactose intolerance.
If you want to give your dog cheese, it’s best to do so in moderation and opt for a dog-friendlier, low-fat, unprocessed variety.
3. Bread with Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins A and B12, and iron. They can also help to keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.
When feeding your dog eggs, it’s important to cook them thoroughly to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Are foods made with bread safe for dogs?
Be careful of feeding your pet bread products made for human consumption.
As mentioned, these often are loaded with toxic ingredients for dogs, such as raisins, chocolate, onions, and garlic.
They can also have added sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals. Some artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be extremely toxic for your pet.
Also, the high sugar content of these foods can cause tooth decay, weight gain, and even diabetes.
How Much of Bread Can a Dog Eat?
While there is no definitive answer, giving your dog a small piece of bread as an occasional treat instead of a daily snack is generally safe.
Remember that all treats and snacks should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s caloric intake.
So you need to avoid giving your pet large amounts of bread, as it can cause him to experience gastrointestinal upset.
Consult your vet for advice on how much carbohydrates are safe for your dog based on size, age, activity levels, and overall condition.
What are the Dog Treats that Feature Dog Biscuits?
If you don’t have much time preparing homemade recipes containing bread, you can consider looking for commercial dog treats that feature dog biscuits.
Here are some of our favorites.
- American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats
- Buddy Biscuits Original Oven Baked with Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- SmartBones SmartSticks Peanut Butter Chews Dog Treats
Can Dogs Eat Moldy Bread?
No, dogs shouldn’t be given moldy bread to eat as it can be dangerous for dogs.
Moldy bread contains mycotoxins, poisonous compounds that can cause serious health problems in dogs, including liver and kidney damage.
In some cases, mycotoxins can even be fatal.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten moldy bread, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.
While most dogs will recover from eating moldy bread without any lasting effects, some may require hospitalization and intensive care.
As a result, it’s best to keep your dog away from moldy bread.
What Can I Give My Dog as an Alternative for Bread?
If you’re looking for dog treats that have more nutritional value for your pet, then you can try feeding the following healthy veggies that can be used as substitutes for bread.
- Potatoes: Plain-cooked potatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs. They contain Vitamin B6, C, iron, and magnesium, essential nutrients for your dog’s immune and nervous systems.
- Sweet Potatoes: You can also give your dog mashed or baked sweet potatoes as dog treats. Sweet potatoes support a healthy digestive system. They’re also low in fat and essential vitamins such as B6, C, and A.
So, Can My Dog Eat Bread?
Yes, your dog can safely eat bread, provided it’s plain white or wheat bread that doesn’t contain toxic ingredients like chocolates, onions, garlic, or raisins.
Bread should also be served fresh and free from mold to your pet. Moldy bread contains poisonous compounds that can be dangerous for dogs.
Just like other dog treats, bread should only be given to your pet in moderation. It’s also best to consult your vet before introducing a new food like bread to your dog.
This is because dogs with certain diseases, like obesity and diabetes, might not do well on a diet high in carbohydrates and calories.
Does your pet love bread? We’d love to hear about your furry family member and how he enjoys his bread in the comments below.