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Can Dogs Eat Bread? Is Bread Safe for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

can dogs eat bread

If your household is like most, there is probably always a loaf of bread sitting around on the counter or in the fridge. Bread is the perfect addition to meals at any time of the day, and it makes for a good snack, too. As a dog owner, you might wonder whether you can give your dog a piece of bread when it looks at you with those cute begging eyes. So, is it OK to give bread to dogs? Yes, but…

Like many things related to your dog’s diet, the short answer isn’t the whole story, and there are other considerations. Are there any health problems to worry about? And how much bread should dogs eat? The answers to these questions and more can be found below!

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Dogs Can Eat White and Wheat Bread

White and wheat bread is not necessarily dangerous for dogs unless they eat an entire loaf, in which case, they may end up with a pretty bad belly ache for a while. An occasional piece of plain bread is OK for your dog and might even provide them with some extra nutrients to help round out their regular diet. But keep in mind that white bread doesn’t offer much more than some simple carbohydrates. Eating too many simple carbs could lead to the development of problems like heart disease and diabetes not only for you but for your dog, too.

A better option is to feed your dog whole grain bread that offers a good source of vitamins, trace minerals, and antioxidants. Whole grain bread won’t spike your pooch’s blood sugar like white bread can, and it will better help satisfy hunger until the next mealtime comes around. Just because a loaf of bread claims to be whole wheat doesn’t mean that it really is. You should read the ingredients label and make sure that the first ingredient on the list specifically says whole wheat or whole grain.

can dog eat bread
Image Credit: Demkat, Shutterstock

Dogs Should Never Eat Bread That Includes These Ingredients

Your dog should not eat bread with a lot of extra ingredients or fillers to ensure that they don’t have any adverse reactions to it. For example, bread with raisins in it could lead to kidney failure and even death if your pooch scarfs a piece down. You should also avoid feeding bread that contains the following ingredients:

If the bread you’re enjoying happens to include any of these ingredients, be on the safe side and resist the temptation to share it with your pup. Reach for a dog treat or a plain piece of bread instead.

Keep Raw Yeast Dough Away from Fido

Cooked bread may be OK to feed your dog, but yeast dough that hasn’t yet been cooked should be kept away from your pooch at all costs. When a dog eats raw dough with yeast in it, the yeast stays active and continues to expand in the dog’s belly. Active yeast can create metabolic acidosis and other serious problems. If your dog does ingest raw yeast bread, you should contact your veterinarian immediately and be prepared to take your dog for professional treatment.

raw bread dough
Image Credit: dolfinmagikpro, Pixabay

Fun Serving Ideas Your Pooch is Sure to Love

Like humans, dogs like a little variety in their diet. So, instead of feeding your dog plain old bread, consider sprucing the snack up a little bit. You can sprinkle some cinnamon on the bread to relieve arthritis and help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Most dogs love the taste of cinnamon and won’t complain if they find some on their slice of bread at snack time. Here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Make a Banana Sandwich – Thinly slice half a banana and then place the slices on a piece of bread. Fold the bread in half and serve it to your pup. Bananas are an excellent source of several nutrients your dog needs like potassium and vitamin B6.
  • Create Wrapped Carrot Treats – Shred a carrot and place the shreds on a piece of bread. Roll the bread up and use a little water to seal the ends. Your dog will love this treat and benefit from the healthy digestive system that the carrots help it maintain.
  • Bake Black Bean Treats – Cut some bread up and mush the pieces together with a can of black beans to make a “dough”. Then roll the dough into several little balls and press the balls down on a sheet pan to make flat discs. Then bake the discs in your oven at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the treats start to crisp up. The black beans in these treats will provide your pooch with some extra protein and fiber among other important nutrients.

If your dog likes crunchy treats, you can always just put a piece of bread in the toaster and cut it up to use as treats for the day.

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A Few Final Thoughts

The truth is that bread isn’t an essential food for dogs. So, if you don’t want to feed it to your dog, don’t feel bad about it. Your dog can gain any health benefits that whole grain bread would provide through their own high-quality dog food and other nutritious treats. If you decide to feed your dog bread, don’t overdo it. A piece of bread once in a while is fine. But feeding your dog bread every day could lead to them eating less of their own food that has all of the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.

If you’ve ever fed bread to your dog, how did he react to the treat? We would love to hear your experience in the comments section below!

Featured Image Credit: Demkat, Shutterstock

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