A food staple found in every kitchen, bread makes up a large part of the human diet. Whether you like to make toast, sandwiches, or just spread peanut butter on a slice of bread, you’re probably wondering whether you can share a bite with your pooch.
So, can dogs eat bread? Yes, dogs can eat small amounts of plain white or brown bread as an occasional treat. However, some types of bread contain added ingredients that may be toxic to dogs. Don’t feed your dog bread that contains raisins, onion, garlic, macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, or artificial sweeteners.
In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of feeding bread to your dog and help you decide whether you should share a slice of bread with your pooch.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Bread?
Dogs can safely eat bread in moderation, as an occasional treat. Plain white or wheat bread is completely safe for dogs to eat as long as they don’t have a wheat allergy.
Plain bread generally won’t cause digestive upset, and you can feed a small amount to your pooch. As long as your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients from a complete and balanced diet, they can have a bite of bread once in a while, as a treat.
Benefits of Bread for Dogs
Feeding your dog bread won’t harm their overall health as long as you use bread as an occasional treat. If you decide to feed bread to your dog, choose whole-grain bread since it can offer nutritional benefits to your pooch.
The biggest benefits of feeding whole wheat bread to your dog are:
1. Whole Wheat Bread Builds Muscle
Not only is whole wheat bread an excellent source of complex carbs, but it’s also high in plant-based protein. Surprisingly, a single slice of whole wheat bread can contain up to 5 grams of protein which helps build lean and strong muscles (source).
Dogs need a high protein diet to stay healthy and thrive, and feeding your dog whole wheat bread can be a good way to add more proteins to their diet.
2. Bread Promotes Healthy Digestion
Whole wheat bread is a great source of dietary fiber which aids in digestion and promotes gastrointestinal health. Eating fiber-rich foods can be extremely helpful if your dog suffers from constipation and can regulate their bowel movements.
Fiber also supports healthy gut bacteria and has a prebiotic effect that may improve your dog’s digestive health and boost their immune system.
3. Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and minerals found in whole wheat bread can vary greatly, depending on the manufacturer and what they decided to add for enrichment purposes.
Keeping that in mind, most types of whole wheat bread contain small amounts of iron, potassium, manganese, and B vitamins. And although bread doesn’t contain high levels of vitamins and minerals like fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s still a source of essential nutrients.
Risks of Feeding Bread to Dogs
While bread isn’t toxic, feeding it to your dog isn’t a completely risk-free endeavor. Before you decide to include bread in your dog’s diet, you’ll need to understand all risks.
The most common downsides of feeding bread to dogs are:
1. Uncooked Bread Dough
If you like making homemade bread, keep the uncooked bread dough out of your pup’s reach. Bread dough can be extremely dangerous for dogs and cause serious health problems.
When ingested, the bread dough will continue to rise inside your dog’s stomach, distending it and releasing toxic levels of ethanol into your dog’s bloodstream. The rising dough can also cause bloat, which can become a life-threatening condition (source).
However, the biggest danger of uncooked bread dough is alcohol toxicosis caused by the ethanol released from the yeast. If there is a chance that your dog has eaten bread dough call your vet immediately and look for any symptoms of alcohol poisoning, including:
- Unsteady, drunken gait
- Elevated heart rate
- Low blood pressure
2. Toxic Ingredients
While plain white and wheat bread are completely safe for dogs to eat, not all types of bread are made equally and some contain toxic ingredients.
Before you decide to feed bread to your dog, check the ingredients list and avoid bread that contains raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, onions, and garlic, or artificial sweetener xylitol.
All of these ingredients are toxic to dogs and can even prove fatal if consumed in large amounts. So, if you enjoy eating garlic bread or raisin bread, keep it out of your dog’s reach and never share it with them.
How Much Bread Can a Dog Eat?
You should consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet, including feeding them bread. Besides giving you a green light, your vet will also tell you how much bread your dog can eat based on their age, activity level, size, and pre-existing health problems.
If you decide to feed bread to your pooch, choose plain white or wheat bread and feed it in moderation, as a treat. Don’t forget, treats should only make up to 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake (source).
How to Feed Bread to Your Dog?
Dogs can eat bread, as long as it’s plain and free of artificial sweeteners and toxic ingredients.
Popular ways to feed bread to dogs are:
- Feed plain bread as a snack
- Cut a slice of bread and mix it with your dog’s food
- Cut bread into bite-size pieces and feed it as a treat
Why Does My Dog Like Bread So Much?
Most dogs won’t refuse a slice of bread, even if it’s completely plain and doesn’t have added ingredients or peanut butter. If your dog wants a bite every time you’re eating bread, chances are that they really like the flavor.
Since bread is safe for dogs to eat, you can share a bite of plain bread with your pooch once in a while. Just remember, no matter how much your dog likes bread, feed it only as an occasional treat.
Plain white, wheat, or brown bread is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, as a treat. Although bread contains a lot of carbs, whole wheat bread can be a good source of protein and dietary fiber.
If you decide to feed bread to your pooch, read the ingredients label first to make sure there are no toxic ingredients or artificial sweeteners. If your dog happens to steal uncooked bread dough, call your vet immediately and look for signs of alcohol poisoning.