Your sweet, good boy has been eyeing your sandwich for a while now. You want to jump off and make them one of their own, but then you wonder, can dogs eat bread?
There are definitely certain types of bread that are suitable for dogs. But not everything we eat can be given to dogs with no consequences.
Bread is one of the human foods that can be fed way too. Soft to the touch and easily tearable, it might be very tempting to pass it on to your pup as a treat. In this 5-minute read, you’ll discover what to remember while feeding your dog bread.
Is Bread Suitable For Dogs?
YES, dogs can eat bread. However, it’s the artificial flavoring and toxic ingredients that you need to worry about. Plain white or whole wheat bread fed in moderation is a great choice.
You must ensure that all the bread is free of toxic ingredients such as raisins, nuts, sugar, etc. These ingredients can cause severe damage to their bodies.
Remember, dogs do not share a similar digestive system. Whatever human food satisfies our needs can be lethal for them. So, before you feed them to your beloved puppy, you must consider all options and consequences.
Are There Any Health Concerns About Feeding Your Dog Bread?
Bread treats may seem harmless to your good boy. But sadly, that is not the case. As mentioned above, doggos and hoomans do not have similar digestive systems. Your favorite grilled cheese sandwich… should NOT be given to dogs.
Commonly available bread, which can contain harmful components that can harm dogs. A few of them are:
1. High sugar
Excessive sugar in bread can cause several dog diseases. Their blood sugar levels can spike up dangerously if the intake is high.
If your dog is diabetic, it can be hazardous. Their metabolism does not work efficiently to process high sugar content.
2. High calorie content
Bread, mainly white bread, is high in calories. High-caloric foods are very unhealthy for humans themselves. Dogs have even more sensitive stomachs. Too much bread can lead to obesity, heart conditions, and flexibility issues.
3. Allergic reactions
Dogs have allergies to certain foods and food components, such as gluten, wheat, etc. The allergic reactions can include gastric problems and skin conditions.
Note: Allergic reactions can vary for each dog. It can range from slight nausea to even fatal reactions. Consult your veterinarian about allergies before introducing your dog to any new food.
4. High fat content
Bread made with fatty substances like butter or vegetable oil can lead to pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas. It can be excruciatingly painful. It leads to loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
This would require immediate medical attention. If conditions get worse, your poor fur companion might need surgical intervention.
5. Toxic ingredients
Bread may contain toxic components such as artificial flavors, sugar, and sweeteners like xylitol. Xylitol is poisonous to dogs. It will cause a sharp decrease in blood sugar (Hypoglycemia), seizures, liver damage, etc.
These components should be avoided at all costs to prevent fatalities.
6. Yeast consumption
One of the key ingredients in making bread is yeast. Raw dough is not okay for humans themselves. If your pup consumes raw, uncooked bread dough, its yeast can cause bloating, stomach aches, etc.
Again, like any other human food, consult a veterinarian before introducing it to your dog. A new addition to your pup’s diet can create a nutritional imbalance.
What Types of Bread Are Good For Dogs?
Now, you cannot ignore those puppy eye sparkles, can you? A yummy sandwich is a must now! So, what safe options are available to make your pup a delicious ham sandwich? Here are a few:
1. Plain bread
Go for plain white or brown bread. Avoid sugar or artificial flavors, sweeteners, raisins, or nuts. Dogs do not require any extra flavors.
Whole wheat bread is an even better option because of its high fiber content.
2. Bread with low preservatives or additives
Look for bread containing essential ingredients such as flour, water, and yeast.
Avoid giving them raw, uncooked bread dough, though. The yeast can react in their stomach and cause gastric problems and stomachaches.
3. Multigrain bread
These are generally healthy for dogs and nutritious. However, look for ingredients such as seeds, nuts, or spices. Watch out for grain allergies that your dog might have (article).
These would work fine for an occasional ‘Good Dog’ sandwich. But do not make it a regular part of their diet.
4. Wheat Bread
Wheat breads are among the most commonly available breads in the market. Plain sugarless wheat bread in moderation is an excellent choice for your dog.
Now, let us explore the various breads available in the market and see whether they suit your pups!
i. Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread might be your favorite time pass food. But your dog can only consume it if it is cooked. Uncooked sourdough bread is a fermented bread. This produces ethanol during fermentation. Ethanol ingestion can cause alcohol toxosis.
ii. Garlic bread
Your Domino’s garlic bread might make your dog drool, but KEEP THAT AWAY FROM THEM. Garlic is highly toxic for dogs. Moreover, garlic bread contains several fatty substances, such as oils and butter. These can lead to obesity.
iii. Rye bread
Rye flour is not harmful to dogs. So, rye bread in moderation is completely fine. But it should not become a regular habit. It is high in fiber. Excessive consumption will lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Gingerbread itself is not toxic to dogs. Ginger is beneficial for them, unlike garlic. But gingerbread usually contains nutmeg, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. So, be very cautious with grandma’s Christmas cookies.
v. Banana bread
Banana bread often contains highly toxic ingredients such as chocolate, nuts, and a lot of sugar. These should be avoided at all costs. If you can find banana bread without these ingredients, your pup will unlikely suffer any weird consequences.
And you must pay attention to their allergies as well.
vi. Pumpkin bread
Pumpkin bread, like most other fancy breads, may contain fatty components such as oils and butter. This can spike up a dog’s cholesterol and blood sugar levels or cause obesity.
A treat once in a while is not harmful, but it SHOULD NOT be a part of their regular diet.
vii. Bread crust
Bread crust is not dangerous to dogs in any way but is not nutritious either. Too much bread crust will have a similar effect to white bread.
Can You Make Dog-Friendly Bread at Home?
Dog-friendly bread is simply bread with the least amount of ingredients. Your batter should contain only flour, water, and yeast.
Stay away from spices, seeds, nuts, and dry fruits. Do not use sugar or artificial sweeteners, either. So, how to add it to your dog’s treats?
There are plenty of ways to add bread to your dog’s meals. You can:
- Put their vet-recommended wet food between two slices of bread.
- Put peanut butter in a sandwich as a little treat.
- Put sausages or bacon in a piece of bread and roll it up.
Bread or any human food should never exceed 10% of your dog’s diet. It should never replace your dog’s well-balanced regular meal.
Imagine you were busy preparing some picnic baskets. Then you look away for a minute. This, right there, is an OPPORTUNITY for your dog to steal some of the peanut-butter-jelly sandwiches.
If your dog ingests a large quantity of bread, check for symptoms such as vomiting, loose stools, lethargy, etc. Seek medical help immediately.
Bread does not come under one of the most notorious human foods, so it can be consumed. But as discussed above, you cannot feed your dog bread in large quantities.
A piece or two once in a while is the only acceptable ratio.
Note: It’s good to size your bread in pieces relative to your dog’s size and eating habits. Small dogs can easily choke on large food chunks. Keeping all the precautions in mind will keep your dog healthy. You can use some of it for obedience training as well!
Frequently Asked Questions
Plain, white, or brown bread is the best for dogs. Ensure it contains no spices, seasonings, dry fruits or seeds. Whole wheat bread adds to the benefits by being high in fiber.
Yes, dogs can have rye bread with no seeds. Rye is not particularly toxic for dogs. So, it is safe for consumption in moderation.
Dogs can be allergic to wheat, quinoa, barley, rye etc. All dogs are different and so are allergies. So, it is always recommended that you consult your veterinarian for what you should look out for.
Sourdough treats are a perfect option for dog treats. These are specifically made for dogs and contain dietary components such as eggs and oats.
Pumpernickel bread contains grains and natural sweeteners such as molasses, which are not very harmful to dogs. But they are also high in calories. So this can lead your dog to become overweight and give rise to other health conditions. Small portions can serve as a good treat.