Dog eating a loaf of bread in the grass

Can Dogs Eat Bread? Yes, And…

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Every dog owner is familiar with the voracious appetite of their pup. Many dogs are eager to sample human food and will beg for whatever meal you are eating in front of them. While giving in to their pitiful demands can be tempting, it’s essential to first confirm what dogs can and can’t eat.

One common food that dogs will ask for is bread. Whether it’s bread in a sandwich or a tasty dinner roll, there’s a good chance your dog will appreciate the smell of fresh bread just as much as you do.

While plain bread with no artificial additives is safe for dogs, there are many factors to consider before allowing your dog to eat bread. Read on for a complete guide on how to safely feed bread to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Bread?

Yes, dogs can eat bread.

Generally speaking, it is safe for your dog to eat bread. Most loaves of bread are made with the basic ingredients of salt, water, flour, and yeast, none of which are dangerous for dogs to consume when baked. Avoid feeding your dog raw bread dough, as the active yeast can cause issues when ingested.

Types of Bread to Avoid

Although most types of bread are safe for dogs to eat, there are several bread varieties that your dog should avoid. For instance, you should not let your dog eat bread that has garlic or onions. Garlic and onions are both toxic to dogs.

Similarly, do not give your dog any bread that has raisins in it. Grapes are quite poisonous to dogs. Some dogs can safely eat one or two grapes, but others can become severely ill from even a small portion of grapes, so it is better to risk it.

Other ingredients to be mindful of include nuts, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate. You should research the safety of the particular type of nut in the bread before giving it to your dog, as several nut varieties are toxic to dogs. Also keep an eye out for the sweetener xylitol, which can cause serious illness in your dog.

Chocolate is dangerous for dogs. If the bread in question has chocolate chips or chocolate flavoring, do not feed it to your furry friend.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding My Dog Bread?

Even with bread that doesn’t have toxic ingredients, you should still be cautious about feeding it to your dog. A healthy dog should have a diet of mostly protein. Too many carbohydrates can have negative effects on weight and blood sugar (learn more about ideal weights for your dog at various ages using our puppy weight calculator to estimate dog weight).

It’s also important to keep in mind that many dogs have wheat or gluten allergies. Giving your dog a sample taste of your brioche roll would be a less than ideal way of finding out if your pup has a food allergy or sensitivity.

Finally, bread can be bad for a dog’s dental health. The sugars from the bread can cause tooth decay, leading to a long list of potential medical complications for your dog.

Based on these potential health complications, it is advisable to avoid feeding your dog bread, or at least giving your dog bread in extreme moderation.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

It is safe to feed your dog bread in cautious moderation. There are many added ingredients for bread that can be dangerous for dogs, so you should always check the ingredients first.

Overall, even if the bread is safe for your dog, it is not going to be a healthy addition to your pet’s diet. Bread is a tasty treat once in a while, but you should not make a habit of feeding it to your dog regularly.

Wondering about other human foods and whether they’re safe for dogs to eat? We have a series of guides on this very topic to help you determine whether dogs can eat bell peppers, zucchini, watermelon, avocados, or shrimp.

Of course you’re likely interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s health, in addition to having questions about what your dog can and can’t eat. We happen to have a ton of resources on these very topics!

One is our guide which will teach you to add fiber to a dog’s diet, along with or our guide to choosing the high fiber we dog foods. If you’re looking into signs of upset stomach in dogs we have a guide for that as well, and we can even help answer how quickly does a dog digest food?. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best dog food automatic feeder.

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our dog growth calculator can help you determine adult dog weight calculator, and our dog sizes by weight chart can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight and size, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts which can answer questions like how big is a goldendoodle puppy?, how big is a great dane puppy?, how big is a golden retriever puppy?, how big is a chihuahua puppy?, or how big is a labrador puppy?.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.