If your dog is like most, you can’t really leave a loaf of bread out unattended around him or her. Dogs will absolutely go after any bread product, taking it as quickly as they can and enjoying the fruits of their labor. That leads to the question, of course, of whether or not it’s actually safe for dogs to eat bread.
Can Dogs Safely Eat Bread?
Let’s go ahead and get one big worry out of the way – nabbing a slice of bread from the counter definitely almost certainly isn’t going to hurt your dog. As long as the dog doesn’t have any kind of allergies to gluten or any other product in the bread, he or she is going to be just fine. While your dog probably shouldn’t have bread with every meal, a bit of bread in moderation won’t do any harm.
The fact that bread doesn’t hurt your dog does not, however, mean that it’s actually doing your dog any good. Bread’s basically just a filler food for dogs, not really giving them any unique nutrients while packing in plenty of calories. Bread’s an awful lot like it is for humans when it comes to dieting – one of those things that probably need to be mostly cut out for those who are trying to lose weight.
Are There Risks to Feeding Your Dog Bread?
We’ve established that feeding your dog bread isn’t going to do them any good, but that it’s probably not going to hurt them. That doesn’t make bread risk-free, though, and you’ll absolutely want to know whether you’re running any risks with the specific types of bread that you are feeding your dog.
The first thing you need to know is that while bread itself is usually fine for dogs, the same cannot be said for bread dough. Bread dough needs a warm and moist environment to rise – something that you’ll struggle to find in a kitchen, but that you would easily find inside a dog’s stomach. Yes, this means that bread dough could actually continue to rise in your dog’s stomach.
Bread dough is a very toxic food for dogs. Unlike bread itself, rising dough can both cause physical pain for your dog as his or her stomach distends and it can release toxic ethanol that will be absorbed into your dog’s blood. While the physical issues are certainly nothing to ignore, the truth is that you will have many more problems from the resulting alcohol toxicosis that comes from the ethanol.
Alcohol toxicosis is definitely a serious condition. Your dog could become weak, depressed, or could even have trouble moving around. In worst-case scenarios, your dog could have seizures or even fall into a coma. As such, you should contact a vet if you ever think that your dog could have eaten raw bread dough.
Look at Bread Ingredients
Avoiding bread dough is easy. What’s harder, though, is avoiding the ingredients that can come in some bread. The good news, again, is that dogs aren’t generally going to be hurt by these types of bread if they don’t have some kind of gluten intolerance. The bad news, though, is that many other kinds of bread are actually toxic to dogs.
The most important type of bread to avoid is raisin bread. Raisins are highly toxic to dogs, with some dogs definitely having a harder time with them than others. You shouldn’t let your dog anywhere near raisins (or grapes) for that matter, so any kind of bread product that has raisins in it needs to be kept far away from your dog. In fact, you should avoid feeding your dog anything that’s touched raisins just in case.
Likewise, garlic bread can be bad for your dog. It’s not quite as dangerous as raisin bread, but it can cause issues ranging from general weakness and pain to diarrhea and vomiting. Any bread that has macadamia nuts in them needs to be avoided as well for the potential of causing pancreatitis, as does any other kind of bread that contains nuts or seeds.
Finally, you’ll want to look out for any bread that uses the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Xylitol can be present in multiple products including peanut butter and it’s absolutely toxic for dogs. This can be an especially big problem for dogs who rely on peanut butter sandwiches to take pills, and it’s an issue you’ll need to look at if you’re going to feed your dog any kind of baked good that makes use of peanut butter in its ingredients list.
Can Bread Help a Dog’s Upset Stomach?
If your dog has an upset stomach, it’s natural to want to find a good way to settle it as quickly as possible, Many people believe that bread can do the job very well, but the truth is that you’ll actually want to use something like rice and chicken for this job instead.
Bread might not be dangerous, but remember that it’s just another filler food. Bread has a reasonable amount of calories, so you may end up causing your dog other problems even if you’re trying to make him or her feel better. It’s usually a better idea to find good food for sensitive stomachs instead of giving your dog bread on a regular basis. As much as your dog might love bread as a treat, he or she will be happier with a healthy stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much bread can a dog eat?
A dog can certainly eat as much bread as he or she can grab at a time. If you’re wondering how much bread a dog should eat, though, the answer is very little. Bread is fine to give to your dog from time to time as a treat, but it’s definitely not something that should be part of your dog’s diet. Not only is it harder to digest than you might imagine, but bread is full of empty calories that can cause your dog to put on weight and that could eventually lead to conditions like diabetes.
2. Does bread give dogs diarrhea?
Bread, when given in moderation, should not give your dog diarrhea. While it’s probably not the best food in the world for your dog to have all the time, it’s actually not all that hard on a dog’s stomach most of the time. If your dog is getting diarrhea every time you give him or her bread, you should both stop giving your dog bread and you should make sure that you check to see if your dog has some kind of gluten allergy or intolerance.
3. Why does my dog like bread so much?
Honestly, your dog likes bread so much because it tastes good. Dogs tend to go after foods that make their taste buds happy, something that bread does very well. This is generally helped by the fact that bread isn’t toxic and most plain bread don’t have anything in them that can hurt a dog. Just because your dog likes bread, though, doesn’t mean that you should give your dog bread too often – doing so can cause your dog to gain a lot of weight and might even lead to health problems in the future.
4. Can a dog eat toast with butter?
Dogs can eat toast with butter, though you shouldn’t be too surprised if your dog gets sick after. The toast part is fine and should only be given to dogs in moderation. The butter itself might be a problem, though, as most dogs lack the ability to properly digest dairy. Your dog might be fine if he or she just has a bit of butter from time to time, but you should still keep an eye out to make sure that he or she doesn’t get sick.