Can Dogs Eat Bread?

In short, the answer is yes, dogs can eat bread safely in moderation, as long as it’s fully baked and doesn’t contain toxic ingredients like raisins, garlic, seeds, or chocolate.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to provide them with any nutritional benefits, so it’s not something we advise feeding your dog. But the good news is that if they get their gnashers on some, it’s unlikely to harm them.

So, does this mean dogs can eat seeded bread and sourdough bread too? Unfortunately, not. Read on for more information on the types of bread that are safe for dogs, such as if dogs can eat garlic bread or buttered toast.

We’ll also cover how much bread they can eat and potential risks to be aware of if your dog eats the wrong kind of bread or raw bread dough. You never can be too safe, when your pooch is likely to come across enticing bread scraps.

Can Dogs Eat Bread

Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Bread?

The short answer to the question “Can dogs eat bread?” is yes. Dogs can safely eat bread in much the same way as humans in moderation. Plain white and wheat bread are generally safe for dogs to eat, provided they don’t have any allergies, and it usually does not cause any stomach upset.

Feeding your dog bread as a treat now and then won’t hurt them, as long as they are fed a complete and balanced diet and get plenty of exercise. It also won’t help your canine.

Bread is essentially a filler food and does not contain any nutrients not already supplied by your dog’s food. As anyone who has ever considered going on a diet knows, bread is full of carbs, which can put your dog on the path to obesity if you are not careful.

Can Dogs Eat Bread Dough?

While a slice of bread is fine, yeast-based bread dough is dangerous for dogs and can cause bread dough toxicosis.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the dog’s stomach “promotes expansion of the dough mass and production of ethanol by the yeast.” In effect, the warm, moist environment of a dog’s stomach causes the yeast to rise.

This causes bloat, which can lead to gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition. Alcohol intoxication can also occur because of the dough’s fermentation process.

If your dog eats any yeast-based bread dough, you should call your veterinarian and take your dog to an emergency vet immediately.

Symptoms of bread dough toxicosis include:

  • Dry heaving
  • Abdominal distention (bloat)
  • Decreased activity
  • Impaired gait and reflexes
  • Incoordination
  • Disorientation
  • Weakness
  • Leaning, resting, or reclining
  • Hypothermia
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

How Much Bread Can Dogs Safely Eat?

While some of us may love snacking on slices of bread in one sitting, it’s a totally different story for our canine companions. In fact, it may even surprise you how much (or little) bread they can eat! Or in this case, should eat.

“I wouldn’t give more than a couple bites on occasion (i.e. a few times a month),” Robinson says. “If you give too much, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even a blockage, as the yeast can cause the bread to expand.”

Bread can also cause weight gain in your dog if fed often. A slice of bread, depending on the kind, is typically 100 calories. It’s best to keep your dog’s size in mind, and portion accordingly.

How can I feed my dog bread?

Our advice would be to avoid feeding your dog bread. While it’s fine in small doses as a snack, it offers no benefit to your dog and in some cases, bread contains ingredients that can be hazardous. Instead, opt to feed healthy dog treats such as fresh vegetables and cooked lean meat instead.

It’s also important to remember that our dogs are not like us.

It’s common for us to have a dry piece of toast to settle an upset stomach, but it doesn’t offer the same advantage for dogs. If your dog has stomach upset, a bland diet of boiled chicken breast and rice is best, but always contact your vet for advice before trying home remedies.

Now you know the answer to the question Can dogs eat bread? Find out more about feeding your dog, and what you can add to their diet with our article on Can dogs eat strawberries.

Types of Bread Your Dog Can Eat

Yep — Dogs can eat bread, but this carb-heavy treat should be shared in moderation and only after you’ve checked the ingredients first. While feeding your pup plain white bread as an occasional treat is perfectly safe, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Bread is low in fat and high in carbs and offers few nutritional benefits. Carbohydrates — broken down by the body into sugar — turn into fat if unused, which isn’t ideal for keeping extra pounds off your pup. Depending on the type of bread, it can provide some light dietary benefits.

Whole-grain wheat, sourdough, and rye offer additional nutritional benefits for dogs and make great alternatives to white bread.

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat bread has a higher nutritional value than white bread, with fewer calories and more vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron. Whole wheat bread is not only better for your pup, but the higher fiber in whole wheat bread can aid in relieving constipation.

Rye bread

Rye bread is a denser whole-grain bread that contains less gluten than wheat bread. As an occasional treat for your dog, it’s a healthier choice as long as it’s whole grain.

Keep an eye out on the label to ensure you’re getting the healthy stuff. Rye has more fiber than wheat and is known to be more effective at treating constipation.


Dogs can also eat cornbread, a non-yeast bread that’s a good source of phosphorus. As an occasional treat, cornbread is safe for dogs. But cornbread is high in carbs, sodium, and sugar and lacks the benefits of other whole-grain bread.

If your pup has allergies, gluten intolerance, or a sensitive stomach, bread might not be a good choice for them. Each dog is an individual, so if you’re unsure, it’s better to check with a pro.

“Before feeding your pet any human foods, remember to always check with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist.

Every pet is different so what may be okay for one may not be okay for another,” says Dr. Lindsey E. Bullen, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital.

“It is also important to keep pets with chronic illnesses or diseases on their prescribed diet, as any deviation could result in sickness and a trip to the ER.”

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