Can Dogs Eat Bread? What About Toast?

Bread is one of the most popular food items all over the world, and it has been so for thousands of years. There are countless ways for us humans to eat bread, but what about our pet dogs? Surely you’ve thought about giving your dog some bread, but can dogs eat bread?

In short, the answer would be yes, but only in small amounts. Eating bread in large amounts can have a number of ill effects on your dog’s health. There are also some types of bread (like garlic and raisin bread) that are not okay for dogs to eat even in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Bread? Only as an Occasional Treat

While plain bread is not toxic to dogs, you do not want to feed your dog a lot of bread at once or make bread a regular part of your dog’s diet. While bread can offer dogs important nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium, it doesn’t cover all of their nutritional needs.

can-dogs-eat-breadIt would be a very bad idea to let your dog to fill up on bread not only because it wouldn’t provide your dog all of the nutrients she needs, but because bread is high in carbohydrates. While dogs don’t need to have any carbohydrates in their diet[1], having some carbohydrates in a dog’s diet usually does not cause problem. However, eating a large amount of bread or other carbohydrate rich food can cause problems for your dog.

For one, eating carbohydrate rich food can increase the risk of bloat in dogs. Bloat can be a life-threating condition, so it’s not something to take lightly.

For two, carbohydrate rich food are high in calories, and bread is no exception. A single slice of bread contains 75 calories. Medium-sized dog usually only eat around 1000 calories a day, and small-sized dogs even less. If you’d feed your dog a few slices of bread, then that would already make up a considerable amount of her daily calorie intake, but wouldn’t provide your canine with all the necessary nutrients. Regularly feeding your dog bread can also lead to weight gain and obesity.

Types of Bread That Are Dangerous to Dogs

So, plain bread is safe for dogs in small amounts, but you might be wondering about other types of bread as well? Can dogs eat garlic and onion bread? What about raisin bread?

Dogs cannot eat the following types of bread, not even a little bit is safe:

  • Chocolate bread – Chocolate is poisonous to dogs[2], so it’s not safe for dogs to have anything that contains chocolate, including chocolate bread. As even a small amount of chocolate is poisonous to dogs, make sure you do not give your dog any bread with chocolate. Always check the ingredients before giving something to your dog.
  • Garlic bread – While garlic bread does taste amazing, it’s something dogs cannot enjoy. Garlic too is poisonous to dogs.
  • Onion bread – It’s the same story as with garlic bread, onion is poisonous to dogs, so onion bread too is not safe for dogs.
  • Raisin bread – It seems like dogs really cannot have anything good, because grapes and raisins too are toxic to dogs[3], raisin bread is another type of bread that is not safe for our canine friends.

Can Dogs Eat Molded Bread?

If you notice mold spots on your bread, then naturally you do not want to eat it. So, you might think about giving the molded bread to your dog who doesn’t seem to be very picky about her food. However, is it safe for dogs to eat molded bread? The answer is no, the mold can contain poisonous substances, and is therefore not safe for dogs. If you notice mold spots on bread, then it’s best to just throw it away.

Can Dogs Eat Toast? What About the Toppings?

can-dogs-eat-toasted-breadPlain toast is safe for dogs, but you do not want to feed your dog an excessive amount of toast at once. Toast is usually made out of plain white bread, and as we already discussed earlier, it’s not good for dogs to eat a lot of bread at once.

As we often eat toast with toppings, you might wonder whether a certain topping is safe your canine friend. For one, Nutella and other chocolate spreads are not safe for dogs. Toast with butter is not good for dogs, but butter is not toxic to dogs either, so if your dog had some toast with butter, then there’s no need to panic. A little bit of peanut butter is okay for dogs, so occasionally giving your dog a toast with peanut butter would be fine. Salty food pastes like Vegemite and Marmite are best left out of a dog’s diet because of the excessive sodium content.

Never Give Your Dog Burnt Toast

If you are wondering whether it would be okay for your dog to eat burnt toast, then know that it wouldn’t. Over cooking or burning a toast leads to the formation of acrylamide, which is a dangerous compound that can cause cancer and nerve damage in dogs and other animals[4]. Eating burnt toast is dangerous for us human as well, so if you burned your toast, it’s best to just throw it away.

Can Dogs Eat French Toast?

As long as the French toast only contains classic French toast ingredients (eggs, milk, bread, cinnamon, sugar) it would be safe for your dog to have a little bit of French toast. So, there’s no need to worry if your dog ate a little bit of French toast. It’s still best not to make a habit out of sharing French toast with your four-legged best friend, though. For one, French toast contains sugar, which is not good for dogs. For two, as a lot of dogs are lactose intolerant, the milk from French toast might upset your dog’s stomach.

Bread Dough Is Dangerous to Dogs

If you like to bake bread at home, then you need to make sure that your dog never eats any unbaked bread dough. That’s because bread dough is toxic to dogs. If a dog would eat unbaked bread dough, then the dough would continue to rise in the dog’s stomach, which can lead to a dangerous condition called bloat[5]. Also, the fermented yeast would produce alcohol in your pet’s stomach, which could cause alcohol poisoning.

Wheat Allergy in Dogs

Wheat allergy is one of the most common food allergies in dogs. And as wheat flour is the main ingredient of most breads, you have to be careful when introducing bread to your dog’s diet.

When feeding your dog some bread for the first time, it’s advised to only giver her a little bit and then wait and make sure she doesn’t show any signs of a food allergy.

The common food allergy symptoms in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, skin rash, itching of the skin and obsessive licking. If you notice any of these signs after feeding your dog some bread, it’s likely that your dog is allergic to wheat and should not be fed bread or other food times containing wheat. To be completely sure that it’s wheat that is causing the allergic reaction, it would be for the best to consult with a veterinarian.

Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat Bread

The answer to the question “Can dogs eat bread?” is yes. Most types of bread are safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. It is, though, recommended not to feed your dog bread on regular basis. That is mainly because bread contains a lot of carbohydrates, which are difficult for dogs to digest. As some types of bread contain food items that are toxic to dogs, it’s important to always read the list of ingredients and make sure that the bread is safe for your pet before giving her a piece.

References:

  1. Dogs and Carbohydrates — A Surprising Secret Revealed.” Dog Food Advisor. Web. 16 May 2016.
  2. Dogs and Chocolate.” Pet Poison Helpline. Web. 16 May 2016.
  3. Grape and Raisin Toxicity in Dogs.” Wikipedia. Web. 16 May 2016.
  4. Can Eating Burnt Toast Cause Cancer?” Science Focus. Web. 16 May 2016.
  5. Bread Dough.” Pet Poison Helpline. Web. 16 May 2016.

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