Can Dogs Eat Bread Safely?

Written by Austin S.
Published: June 15, 2022
Image Credit Demkat/Shutterstock.com
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For many of us, we consume bread almost every day, and it has become an integral part of our diet. Be it toast bread, sandwich, or any form, it goes well with humans and provides some necessary nutrients we need. 

Most dog owners know how excited dogs get at the sight of bread. Your dog won’t let you rest until it has some of the bread you are eating. Dogs love to try out what humans eat. But the question is, can dogs eat bread? If a dog consumes bread, are there any side effects? Or what are the health benefits a dog can get from bread?

People have different opinions on this, that is why in this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about feeding your canine buddy bread. 

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Can Dogs Eat Bread? 

Yes, dogs can eat bread. It contains essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fiber, fats, etc., needed for your dog’s development. However, it would be best to feed your dog with bread occasionally and in moderation.

Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Bread

Here are some of the benefits of feeding your dog bread. 

Bread Eases Constipation

Fiber is an essential nutrient contained in bread. And fiber is well known for improving digestion in humans and is the same for dogs. The fiber mixes with water and increases the volume of your dog’s stool to ensure an easy passage. Hence, constipation is relieved. 

Bread Eases Stomach Upset

A little amount of white bread could be given to your dog if it has a stomach upset. The stomach upset could be due to ascorbic acid in your dog’s stomach, leading to pain and discomfort. The starch present in bread could help absorb the ascorbic acid. However, you should consult your veterinarian to know the correct quantity. 

Bread Energizes Your Dog

Carbohydrates and sugar are present in bread in significant proportions. When your dog consumes bread, the carbohydrate is well broken down into glucose which energizes your dog and makes it active. 

Bread Pads Indigestible Foreign Objects 

Your canine might ingest some indigestible foreign objects like sharp bones and sticks unknowingly. And this could lead to a lot of discomfort and pain because your dog might experience an intestinal blockage. So feeding your dog bread in small quantities could help bind the foreign objects, making them pass through the tract easily. However, you should contact your veterinarian to know the correct quantity of bread to give your dog. 

Bread Reduces Abdominal Pain 

Bread can also help reduce your dog’s abdominal pain. It contains nutrients that could help minimize the pain, especially white bread. 

Nutritional Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Bread

The following are the nutritional benefits of feeding your dog bread: 

Carbohydrates  

All forms or types of bread are highly rich in carbohydrates and sugar. When your dog consumes bread, the carbohydrate is broken down into glucose. The body then absorbs the glucose produced to provide energy for your dog. 

Fiber

Bread is an excellent source of dietary fiber for your dog. Fiber helps in regulating and controlling the digestive system of your dog. In cases of indigestion, feeding your dog bread in little quantities could help your dog’s digestive tract function properly. Asides from this, fiber could also help your dog maintain a healthy weight and also blood sugar control. 

Fat

Fat is also present in bread but in moderate amounts. Fats also provide energy for dogs. Fats help in controlling various body functions. 

Vitamins 

Bread also contains some necessary vitamins needed for your dog’s development. Vitamins are also helpful for healthy skin maintenance in dogs. 

Iron

Iron aids the formation of red blood cells in dogs. It also helps build and maintain a healthy immune system in dogs. 

Other nutrients present in bread include: 

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Folic acid 

Side Effects of Feeding Your Dog Bread

Bread in and of itself isn’t toxic for dogs. It could only cause problems for your dog when it is in excess. Bread is higher in carbohydrates than in protein, and dogs require diets that are richer in protein than carbohydrates. Below are some side effects of feeding your dog bread, especially when it’s in excess.

Unhealthy Weight Gain

As much as you are feeding your dog bread to relieve stomach pain, you should also know that bread could lead to unhealthy weight gain when in excess. Unnecessary weight gain could put your dog’s health at significant risk. It could lead to obesity, heart problems, and high blood pressure. 

Tooth Decay

Bread contains sugars that usually attach to the teeth and gums of dogs. These sugars could lead to tooth problems such as tooth decay. The sugars will attract bacteria which will cause the teeth to decay with time. 

Wheat Allergies

Some dogs are sensitive and allergic to wheat because it contains gluten. This allergy is why many dog owners avoid feeding their dog wheat bread, even though it is a healthier option. If you notice that your dog is allergic to wheat, you could feed it white bread instead. 

Harmful Bread Ingredients For Dogs

Some ingredients in some bread could be very harmful to your dog. They include: 

Bread Dough

If your dog happens to ingest bread dough, it could lead to bread dough toxicosis (bloat). Dough naturally expands, and this will cause the stomach of your dog to expand, leading to vascular distention. And the supply of blood to the walls of the stomach will be affected. Respiratory issues could also set in. 

Alcohol is also formed in your dog’s stomach, leading to alcohol toxicosis. There are several symptoms of alcohol toxicosis. They include: 

  • Bloated stomach filled with gases 
  • General body weakness
  • Seizures
  • Inability to control the bladder
  • Coma in severe cases 

Request immediate medical attention as soon as you notice that your dog has consumed bread dough to prevent further complications. 

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are harmful to your dog’s health. Therefore, feeding your dog bread containing garlic and onions could harm their health. The red blood cells of your dog could be damaged because it contains a dangerous organic compound known as n-propyl disulfide. It also causes hemolytic anemia. 

Raisins

Raisins are known to be extremely toxic to dogs. So it would be best if you don’t feed your dog bread containing raisins. It could lead to kidney failure in dogs. Hence, seek urgent medical attention if your dog consumes bread containing raisins. 

Nuts

Nuts contain quality nutrients needed by your dog, but it is advised that you avoid feeding your dog containing nuts. They are high in calories and fats, leading to pancreatitis and obesity. 

Xylitol

Some bread contains an artificial sweetener known as xylitol. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs and could lead to low blood sugar, liver failure, and even death in severe cases. 

How Much Bread Should Be Fed to Dogs?

It would be best to feed your dog bread in moderation, and it shouldn’t become a regular constituent of your dog’s diet. When the bread is taken in excess, your dog’s health could be at significant risk. It is advised that bread shouldn’t be more than 5% of your dog’s diet. The amount of bread you feed your dog also depends on its size and breed. More giant dog breeds will consume more quantity of bread than smaller breeds. 

Conclusion

Bread isn’t harmful or toxic to dogs but must be fed in moderation. You should also ensure the bread you feed your dog doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. 

Here are other “human foods” you can safely feed your dog. They can serve as treats and are considered healthy for your dog’s consumption.

We also recommend the following delicious, nutritious, dog-safe treats:

  1. PupCorn Plus Chicken & Cheddar Cheese Dog Treats
  2. PupCorn Plus Chicken & Cheddar Cheese Dog Treats
    • Available in 5 sizes
    • Made with real chicken and Cheddar cheese
    • 100% free from artificial flavors and preservatives
    • Contain prebiotics and probiotics to support your dog's healthy digestion.
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Tender Beef Dog Treats
  4. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Tender Beef Dog Treats
    • Designed for training
    • For dogs of all sizes
    • Includes DHA to support cognitive development
    • Free from by-product meals, corn, wheat, and soy
    • Also free from artificial dyes and colors
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Life Essentials Chicken Freeze-Dried Cat & Dog Treats
  6. Life Essentials Chicken Freeze-Dried Cat & Dog Treats
    • A wholesome, simple formula
    • Contain freeze-dried cooked chicken breast
    • USDA-approved ingredients
    • High-protein and low-calorie
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Petco Brand - WholeHearted Grain Free Peanut Butter Dog Treats
  8. Petco Brand - WholeHearted Grain Free Peanut Butter Dog Treats
    • Feature a satisfyingly crunchy texture
    • Made with real peanut butter
    • Ideal for dogs of all sizes
    • Available in 10-ounce, 20-ounce, and 2.5-pound bags
    Check Amazon

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.