Bread tastes the best when served freshly baked. And when you’re having your fill of bread, whether it’s plain white or brown bread, french toast, or garlic bread, it’s tempting to share this with your friend pooch. The question is – can dogs eat bread? Is bread safe for dogs to eat?
Well, you might say that this is a no-brainer since you’ve seen a lot of dogs eat bread and feel A-okay after. But then again, some foods aren’t toxic to dogs but would slowly ruin your dog’s body without you knowing.
If you want to know if bread is among the healthy foods worth adding to your dog’s diet or if it’s one of the silent killers your dog ought to avoid, read on.
Dog Food Guide, after all, has the knack for answering any dog-food-related and can-dogs-related questions that are racking every dog owners’ brain.
Need-To-Know Bread Facts
A staple food that has been around for ages, it isn’t surprising to know that this has existed since the Neolithic period – about 10,000 years ago. And given its long history, bread has gone through a lot.
Before the invention of rubber erasers, rolled-up bread was once used to rub out graphite. In medieval times, bread was also used as a trencher or absorbent plate fed to the poor and dogs.
It’s also interesting to know that the rich preferred white bread over darker-colored ones back in the day. However, these days, brown bread is a lot more expensive than white ones given its nutritional value.
Now, since we’re on the topic of nutrition, you probably know that not all breads are created equal. Given the various types of bread, some indeed are more healthy compared to others.
Premade Plain White Or Wheat Bread: Which Is Better?
If your answer is wheat bread, then you’re not entirely correct. It’s always good to know the difference between the two and what makes one better than the other.
Most breads are created using flour made from wheat grain. The difference lies in how each type is processed.
Wheat grain comprises three parts: the bran or the hard outer layer, the germ or reproductive part of the grain, and the endosperm – the starchy portion. Whole grains have all three, while refined flour gets rid of the bran and germ and keeps the starchy part.
When it comes to bread, store-bought white bread is often made using refined flour. On the other hand, wheat bread can be made using regular wheat flour or whole wheat flour. The former, like refined flour, does away with the germ and bran, while the latter is made of whole grains.
When it comes to its nutrient profile, white bread may be deemed “pure,” but it’s high in carbohydrates and sugar and lacks essential nutrients. Whole wheat bread, on the one hand, is high in fiber and protein. It also contains selenium, manganese, and other nutrients.
Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Now that we’ve discussed all the need-to-know facts about bread, let’s get down into business and answer your question: Can dogs eat bread?
The short answer here is YES; dogs can eat bread but only as an occasional treat. And by occasional, we don’t mean once a day.
If you plan to feed your dog bread, make sure to give it to your dog once in a while. Don’t include this in their regular diet. Instead, giving your dog a balanced diet should be your priority.
Why Feeding Bread To Your Dog Is Bad
Yes, your pet dogs can eat bread. Bread is a food that is not toxic to dogs and is safe for dogs to consume, but it is not also 100% healthy or good for dogs.
So, if you want to keep the health of your pooch in check, make sure to know all the risks before deciding to add this to your dog’s diet. Good thing, we have everything you want to know here.
It Is Loaded With Carbs
Carbohydrates aren’t harmful to dogs. In fact, many dog food products contain carbs. However, problems arise when you feed your dog too many carbs.
A slice of white bread contains around 13 grams of carbohydrates. Eating too much of this stuff can lead to health problems. Among the most common are obesity and diabetes.
Bread May Contain Toxic Ingredients
When choosing bread, it’s not only a choice between plain white and brown bread. There are times wherein you have to pick between raisin bread, garlic toast, or flatbread.
True, the options are endless, and many contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs. So, the next time you go bread shopping, watch out for these ingredients.
Raisins. Raisin bread is such a yummy snack, but your pet dog is better of without this. Raisins (as well as grapes and currants) are deadly to dogs. While some dogs can eat a few pieces without feeling any adverse effects, some may already experience poisoning after consuming a few. Its toxic effects include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and, if worst comes to worst, kidney failure.
Nuts. Those nuts are small, but they’re loaded with fats and calories. Letting your dog eat nuts (think peanuts and cashew) is fine as long as it’s done in moderation. Almonds and pistachios, on the other hand, are not toxic, but there are a lot of risks involved. Macadamia nuts, however, are dangerous for dogs to eat.
Feeding your dog a small amount can already lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness. Eating a whole lot of macadamia nuts, though, is considered a medical emergency and will already require the assistance of your vet.
Chocolate. Who can resist the melt-in-your-mouth taste of bread with chocolate chips? For sure, you can’t, but your pet dogs must. Chocolate and dogs, unfortunately, are a deadly combination.
According to MedicineNet, a 22-pound dog can already die from eating 2.25 oz of baking chocolate. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, stomach upset, seizures, and heart failure.
Garlic & Onions. Garlic and onions just give bread an added oomph. But feeding these types of breads to your dog is not recommended. Feeding your dog high doses of garlic and onion will not only lead to an upset stomach but can also cause anemia since consumption of these can damage your dog’s red blood cells.
It May Have Xylitol
A lot of food products, nowadays, contain xylitol. This includes sugar-free gum, peanut butter, and baked goodies. If the bread (or the peanut butter filling) you’re eyeing has sugar-free written on it and uses artificial sweeteners, then there’s a possibility that it contains xylitol.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs, and consumption causes a sudden decrease in the blood sugar levels of your pooch. If this happens, symptoms like weakness, incoordination, and seizures may follow.
It May Cause Food Allergy
Although rare, your dog might be allergic to wheat. If your dog has a wheat allergy, then you should not feed your dog any type of wheat-made bread. Thankfully, wheat-free alternatives like gluten-free bread exist.
Raw Bread Dough Is Harmful To Dogs
You heard it right. Raw bread dough is deadly to dogs, especially dough that contains yeast. Why?
For one thing, when the dough is eaten uncooked, the yeast in the bread dough continues to rise even when the dough is already in your pet dog’s stomach. This can put pressure on their stomach and tear the tissue inside.
Apart from that, the yeast found in the bread dough also produces ethanol. And since ethanol is a type of alcohol, eating raw bread dough can lead to alcohol toxicosis – another condition that requires the expertise of your vet.
Busting Bread Myths
As you can see, although bread is safe for dogs, feeding your dogs bread isn’t 100% risk-free. There are, however, a few benefits.
One of which is that it serves as a great energy booster given its carb content. If you choose to feed your pet dog healthier alternatives like those made of whole wheat, your dog can also enjoy a fiber-rich treat that can give them the feeling of fullness. Plus, it can also aid digestion.
Apart from those, you’ve probably heard about the other uses of bread. Here are two popular ones. Read on to find out whether these are facts or simply myths.
Give Your Dog Bread If They Have An Upset Stomach
If your dog’s stomach is aching, it’s best to give them a bland diet of white rice and boiled chicken. If this does not work, then the next step is to seek your vet’s expert advice.
My Dog Swallowed Something Sharp, Let’s Give ‘Em Some Bread
If your pet swallowed a sharp object like a bone shard, some would say that the bread serves as an excellent “padding” to protect your dog’s tract from getting punctured.
Well, this is more of a myth rather than a fact. Instead of giving your dog bread, contact your vet right away if your dog starts to vomit or feel pain.
Tips On How To Feed Bread To Dogs
Want your dog to eat bread? They sure can! Bread is a food that your pet can eat as an occasional treat. But since there are a couple of health risks involved, make sure to keep these tips handy:
- Start small. Your dog might be allergic, so it’s always safe to give small bites and then check for any adverse reaction.
- Portion control. How much bread can dogs eat? Like any treat that is not part of your dog’s diet, small amounts should be given on rare occasions.
- Check the ingredients. This applies to any type of food product, whether it’s dog food or bread. Make it a habit to check its components and ensure that the kinds of bread you’re giving your dog do not have anything toxic like raisins.
- Plain bread is the best. The best course of action is to serve it plain (even for toast) to avoid any unwanted accidents. If your dog isn’t allergic to grains, choose the healthier type like whole wheat.
- Wheat allergy? No problem. Consider dog-friendly gluten-free bread if your dog is allergic to wheat.