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Can Dogs Eat Bread? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dog Eat bread

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maja Platisa

In-House Veterinarian, DVM MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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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 they look 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 can 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, unless they have an allergy to wheat. But keep in mind that white bread doesn’t offer much more than some simple carbohydrates and does not benefit your dog’s health in any way. Eating too many simple carbs could lead to obesity over time, and this is known to increase the risk for certain diseases, such as respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes.1

Other types of bread made from grain like rye may also be safe as a small occasional snack, unless your dog has grain allergies. 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 there are no other ingredients, such as raisins, which are toxic for dogs.

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 instead.

Another important consideration is to never give your dog old bread that may be moldy, as this can cause serious digestive issues because, while in the presence of mycotoxins produced by the fungus, the dog may exhibit severe neurological signs.

Keep Raw Yeast Dough Away From Fido

Baked bread may be OK to feed some dogs occasionally and in moderation, 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 ethanol, leading to alcohol intoxication and a life threatening bloat, alongside 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 bread, consider sprucing the snack up a little bit. Consult with your veterinarian before offering your dog bread or food rich in carbohydrates, especially if your dog has underlying medical issues, such as diabetes, or is suffering from obesity.

Here are some ideas to consider:
  • Make a Banana Sandwich – Thinly slice a part of a banana and then place the slices on a small piece of bread. Fold it in half and serve it to your pup. Bananas are an excellent source of several nutrients, like potassium and vitamins.
  • Create Wrapped Carrot Treats – Shred a carrot and place the shreds on a small piece of bread. Roll it 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 small number 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. Just remember to avoid using the liquid from the black bean can, as it’s packed with salt and additives that may be harmful to your dog. Using fresh or dried beans after soaking them overnight and cooking them is safer.

If your dog likes crunchy treats, you can always just put a small piece of bread in the toaster and cut it up to use as treats for the day. But remember bread should just be an occasional treat for your dog, if one at all, as there are better and more nutritious alternatives, and some dogs may be allergic to wheat and grain.

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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The truth is that bread is far from an essential food for dogs, and it will not bring them any health benefits. They will gain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals by eating their high-quality dog food and other nutritious dog treats. If you decide to offer your dog a bit of 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 digestive upset, obesity, and them eating less of their own food. Also keep in mind that some dogs have food allergies and may not tolerate wheat or other grain used for making bread.

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

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Demkat, Shutterstock

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