Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Bread is the most consumed food in the US, and it is a little underwhelming to hear that it isn’t something a bit tastier like pizza or hot dogs. Nevertheless, it is one of the most essential things we all consume daily. If you hang out with other dog owners, you probably heard or saw at least one time that someone’s dog ate bread. It begs the question - Should dogs eat bread? Is it safe for them? Well, here is what you need to know about dogs and bread.
Is bread safe for dogs?
The shortest answer to that question is - yes. Plain white bread is usually quite safe for dogs. It shouldn’t cause any gastrointestinal upset or any other problems. There are some things you should keep in mind if you are thinking about feeding your dog bread. It is a filler food, and it doesn’t provide additional nutrients that aren’t already in your dog’s diet. Make sure you treat it like a treat and don’t overfeed your dog on bread.
There is one more thing you should know; it is packed with carbs. Carbohydrates can be healthy in moderation. They are a great source of additional energy our puppies need to play and explore, but carbs are also fattening. If you think your dog is a bit overweight or even obese, you should avoid feeding them bread.
Can bread be dangerous for dogs?
While plain white bread might not be dangerous or toxic for dogs, there are some exceptions to this rule. There are some types you should avoid in wide circles. Also, there are some things you should keep away from your dog, like bread dough.
Making bread means mixing dough, and if you are an expert bread maker, you know that dough needs to rise. If your dog gets ahold of bread dough, you should know that inside their stomach makes a great environment for rising dough. It is warm, draft-free, and moist.
The problem is that the dough will continue rising in your dog’s stomach, which will cause severe stomach distress and might even cause bloat.
The worst thing is - that is not the biggest problem. The yeast in the dough will release ethanol, which is alcohol that is toxic for dogs. The same reason dogs should never drink alcohol is why they should never eat bread dough. If that does happen, check the signs for alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning will include:
- “Drunken” movement
- Depressed nervous system
- Elevated heart rate
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should treat them as a medical emergency. If you suspect your dog got ahold of dough, make sure you contact your vet immediately.
Other types of bread unsafe for dogs
Humans love putting different things in bread to make it taste better. There are plenty of bread-based treats like donuts, pretzels, and other tasty things we love, but if you plan on sharing any with your dog, make sure you avoid these things. Here are some potentially fatal ingredients you should strictly avoid giving your dog with bread;
- Chocolate - Chocolate goes great with bread. Different recipes include adding chocolate to bread, and all of them should not be given to dogs. Chocolate is toxic to them, and giving them some can have tragic consequences.
- Garlic and onion - Other than worsening their breath, garlic and onions are toxic for dogs. They destroy their red blood cells and cause anemia. Be careful if you are making things like garlic bread.
- Nuts - Some nuts are safe for dogs to eat, but most of them have high-fat content and should be given in moderation. Macadamia nuts are extremely toxic and should never be given to dogs.
- Raisins - Raisins are something all dog owners fear. Although they can go well with some types of bread, they can cause kidney failure if given to dogs. If you have raisins at home, make sure your dog cannot get ahold of them.
- Artificial colors and sweeteners - Artificial colors and sweeteners are not the best options for your dog. Some like xylitol are highly toxic, and you should never give them to your dog. It is a popular sweetener that is included in many kinds of toothpaste.
Are there any health benefits for dogs eating bread?
There are some situations where bread can help, and it can be helpful if you don’t have anything else at hand. If your dog swallows a sharp piece of bone or a piece of wood, a tiny piece can help and prevent gastrointestinal perforation. But you should check that with your vet first.
Some owners believe that giving your dog bread can help with diarrhea, and part of that is true. You should provide them with bread that has a high fiber content like whole-wheat bread. Although, the pumpkin would be better for that. It is high in fiber, which will add bulk to your dog’s stool and soak up the additional liquids.
There is also a widespread belief that plain, white bread will ease stomach problems like vomiting. Some dogs might feel better, but Merck Veterinary Manual suggests you prepare a meal of deboned, skinless chicken and white rice, which will surely ease your dog’s stomach problems. The best thing to do is give your vet a call and ask for professional advice.
How to safely give bread to your dog?
If your dog loves bread and you would give some to them, there are ways you can safely do that. Make sure you don’t overfeed them because, in the long run, your dog will gain weight. Obesity can lead to pancreatitis, which is not a pleasant thing to endure.
Stick to plain white bread, or if you are thinking about spicing things up, you can prepare some banana bread for your dog. Just keep in mind not to include anything potentially dangerous for your dog.
World Dog Finder team