Can Dogs Eat Bread Or Is This Staple Food Dangerous?

can dogs eat bread

Can dogs eat bread? Wheat bread and plain white bread is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. But, some dogs are allergic to the ingredients in bread. So, be cautious when first giving your dog this human food.

Too much bread as a treat can contribute to health problems like obesity in dogs. And some types of bread can be more harmful than others. As can ingredients often paired with bread in sandwiches. As long as they have a well balanced diet, dogs do not need to eat bread. But, white and wheat bread are safe in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Bread?

Generally, plain wheat or white bread is safe for dogs to eat and they will not have any problems if they eat a small piece. Plain bread is a high-carb food. It is relatively low in protein, fiber, fat, vitamins, and minerals. So, bread doesn’t offer any nutrients that aren’t already found in your dog’s regular food.

Bread is a popular base for many human foods. So, you’ll find bread with added ingredients all over the place, such as garlic bread, banana bread, and bread with nuts and seeds. Whilst plain wheat or white bread is safe enough for dogs in small amounts, added ingredients can be dangerous. And, as a high carb food, too much bread can lead to obesity in dogs.

can dogs eat bread

Bread and Dogs

Can dogs eat bread in all instances? Most dogs are completely fine eating a little bread. But, just like humans, some won’t respond well to bread. In fact, dogs can be allergic to wheat, and gluten intolerance can be found in some breeds. So, the first time you give your dog bread, only give a small piece. Watch your dog carefully for any symptoms of stomach upset afterwards.

Bread is low in nutrients and vitamins, but very high in carbs and calories. So, this food doesn’t really add much to your dog’s diet. Plus, too many bread snacks can lead to weight gain and obesity.

When is Bread Bad For Dogs?

There are many instances where bread can be bad for dogs. As we just mentioned, too much bread can lead to weight gain and obesity. So, bread should not be given regularly. Especially to dogs who are getting everything they need from their normal food, and dogs who are already overweight.

On top of this, many bread recipes include ingredients that are toxic for dogs. For instance, raisins, garlic, and the sweetener xylitol are all toxic to dogs. But, they are all ingredients that can be added to bread and bread-based desserts. So, only ever give your dog plain white or plain wheat bread. Always check there are no toxic ingredients in the foods you offer your dog.

Another instance where bread is bad is when it is uncooked. Bread dough contains yeast and will rise in the right conditions. Your dog’s stomach is a great place for bread dough to rise. But, this leads to a number of problems, such as mimicking and causing bloat, and alcohol toxicosis.

Can Dogs Eat Wheat Bread?

Wheat bread is also known as wholemeal bread. It’s made from flour that is milled from whole wheat grains. Generally, like white bread, wheat bread is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. But, there must be no additional ingredients, and it must be completely cooked. And, some dogs may be allergic or intolerant to the ingredients in wheat bread. So, monitor your dog closely the first time you give them wheat bread.

Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?

Banana bread is a popular, sweet, cake-like bread that contains mashed bananas. Some banana bread recipes will be safe for dogs. But, banana bread often includes sugar, raisins, or even chocolate chips. Too much sugar is bad for our dogs. It can lead to obesity and other health problems. And, ingredients like raisins and chocolate chips are actually toxic to dogs. If your dog eats banana bread that contains these ingredients, it can become very sick.

Before feeding your dog banana bread, check the ingredients thoroughly. And, make sure to only feed small amounts to avoid weight gain.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

Garlic bread is another popular twist on normal bread. But, this snack can be very dangerous for our dogs. Garlic is toxic to dogs. Make sure to always keep garlic bread out of your dog’s reach. If your dog eats garlic bread, speak to your vet straight away.

Can Dogs Eat Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a type of bread made with flour from rye grain. It is generally lower in gluten than white bread. Like wheat and white bread, rye bread likely won’t hurt your dog in small amounts. But, they may have an intolerance. And, some rye breads can have additional ingredients like seeds and nuts, which can be harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Bread Dough?

Dogs should never be given uncooked bread dough. Any bread that you give your dog should be completely cooked all the way through. Bread dough will expand in your dog’s stomach, leading to bloat, gastric obstruction, or ethanol toxicosis. Dogs that have eaten bread dough may display symptoms such as: vomiting, blindness, and hypothermia.

If you make your own bread at home, make sure to keep rising dough out of your dog’s reach.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Bread?

If your dog has eaten a small amount of plain bread, you don’t need to worry too much. But, if it’s the first time they’ve tried bread, monitor them to make sure they are okay. You will need to take more action if your dog has eaten bread that contains any toxic ingredients. Or if they have eaten raw bread dough. If your dog eats either of these, call your vet straight away for more advice. And watch carefully for any symptoms of sickness.

Take your dog straight to the emergency vet if your regular vet is closed or unavailable.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Much Bread?

If your dog eats any toxic ingredients or any bread dough, follow the advice above. But how do you know if your dog has eaten too much normal bread? If your dog shows any signs of being sick, stop feeding them bread. They could have an allergy, or could just have eaten too much. Your vet is the best person for more advice if your dog appears sick after eating too much bread in one sitting.

On top of this, too much bread over time can lead to weight gain. So, don’t offer this snack too often. Check your dog’s weight regularly. And, if you notice they’re getting fatter, speak to your vet about a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Can Bread Treat Sickness In Dogs?

Some people choose to eat bread or toast when they are feeling unwell. But does this extend to our dogs? Generally, it is not recommended to give your dog bread when they are sick. The first action when you notice your dog is unwell is to take them to the vet. Most vets will recommend a plain diet of food like cooked chicken and boiled rice for sick dogs. If you want to feed your dog bread, speak to your vet about whether it will actually help their problem.

Should I Give My Dog Bread?

Plain bread is, in most cases, safe to give your dog. But, you should not make it a regular or large part of their diet. Too much bread can lead to obesity. And bread doesn’t offer anything nutritionally that your dog’s food doesn’t already provide. If you’re keen to share this snack with your dog, make sure there are no extra ingredients that could hurt your pet. And, watch them carefully the first time they eat it, in case they are allergic.

How to Prepare Bread for Dogs

The best way to offer bread to your dog is to give a small amount completely plain. You can also offer your dog some toasted bread. But, this could be too dry for them. Never give your dog bread with any additional ingredients, especially those known to be toxic to dogs.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

Alternatives to Bread for Dogs

Can dogs eat bread? Yes. But, bread doesn’t offer much in terms of nutritional value for our dogs. So, you may want to look into other foods that are better to share. Here are some links to our other food guides. Make sure to always check a new food is safe before offering it to your pet.

  • Potatoes
  • Pork
  • Tuna Fish

Can Dogs Eat Bread Summary

Bread is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. But, additional ingredients can be dangerous. Dogs should also never be given bread dough. Too much bread can cause weight gain in dogs. But, most dogs will enjoy sharing this occasional snack with you. Does your dog like bread?

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References and Further Reading

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website