Can Dogs Eat Bread?

As humans, bread is often considered a staple of our diets, but can our dogs eat bread too? Find out all you need to know on whether bread is good for dogs and the types to avoid with our guide.
can dogs eat bread
can dogs eat bread
can dogs eat bread

Bread is a staple for many humans, with some of us consuming on a daily basis. Whether it’s toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch or a big slice of crusty bread to go alongside a stew for dinner, it’s versatile and common-place in our diets.

As a nation of dog lovers, we love to treat our dogs and owners often fall victim to our pet’s best puppy dog eyes as we tuck into our food. Hence the question: can dogs eat bread? The answer is that it’s always best for dogs to be fed a high quality, species-specific and complete diet. However, we’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know – is bread good for dogs and are there certain types to avoid more than others?

Can dogs eat bread?

Yes and no. A small and occasional treat of plain white or brown bread is unlikely to cause too much of a problem. However, you should not feed this if your pet has known dietary sensitivities or is prone to stomach upset. There are some types of bread which may be toxic to your pooch due to added extras such as nuts – macadamia nuts in particular are toxic, but all nuts are high in fat, which isn’t good for dogs.

Plus, breads with chocolate chips, raisins, onions, garlic will be toxic and some dessert bread may also contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. Always be sure to double-check the ingredients first and if in doubt, don’t feed to your pet. It’s important to remember that treats should only make up 10% or less of your dog’s diet and always be given in moderation.

dogs and bread

Is bread good for dogs?

No, bread isn’t good for dogs. It is of no nutritional benefit to them, as they will get the right balance of everything they need from a high quality pet food.  High-carbohydrate treats like bread can also lead to weight gain. Some dogs suffer from wheat allergies or intolerance, so if this is the case with your dog, be sure to avoid bread entirely.

Dogs can’t have uncooked bread dough

Uncooked bread dough can be very hazardous for dogs. The dough can actually rise inside their warm stomachs leading to bloating and even blockage. This can lead to severe distension of the stomach. The bread dough can also release ethanol, a form of alcohol, during the yeast fermentation process. Ordinarily this would evaporate during the baking process, but in your dog’s belly this will enter the bloodstream. Levels of ethanol can be so high that they lead to alcohol toxicosis.

Do not feed your dog uncooked bread dough, and if your dog has ingested any you should contact your vet straight away for advice. If you notice any of the following symptoms after your dog has eaten bread dough, contact your vet as an emergency:

  • Unsteady gait – may appear almost ‘drunken’
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Distended abdomen
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Retching or vomiting
  • In severe cases, you dog may fall into a coma
giving bread to a dog

How can I feed my dog bread?

Our advice would be to avoid feeding your dog bread. If you chose to give your dog bread, only feed in small quantities as a treat. Remember that some bread contains ingredients which can be hazardous. Instead, opt to feed healthy dog treats such as cooked lean meat.

It’s also important to remember that our dogs have different dietary needs compared to people. While it might be common for us to have a dry piece of toast to settle an upset stomach, it doesn’t offer the same advantage for dogs. If your dog has stomach upset, a bland diet of boiled chicken breast and rice is best without added oil or salt, but always contact your vet for advice before trying home remedies.

Now you know the answer to the question: can dogs eat bread? Find out more about dog health and nutrition.