Dogs love begging for a bite of our bread when they see us munching on this snack in the kitchen. It’s even more appealing to them if the bread has butter on it because of the aroma and richness of taste.
But can dogs eat bread and butter? Both bread and butter contain little to no health benefits for your dog, so it’s important to know how safe they are for our pets’ consumption.
We share with you a comprehensive guide on whether or not dogs can, or should, eat bread and butter, and how to feed it to them.
Is Bread Safe for Dogs?
Plain white or wheat bread in small quantities shouldn’t harm your dog, provided that they do not have a wheat allergy and do not have any issues in their stomach.
Make sure that they are also fed a complete and balanced diet along with bread and are not solely relying on this snack to keep them full.
If your dog has a wheat allergy, going gluten-free might be a better option. But make sure that this allergy is diagnosed by the vet. Your dog will miss out on some nutrients if you give them a grain-free diet immediately, so seek their advice first.
Bread is essentially a filler food and does not contain any nutrients that are not already supplied by your dog’s food. It’s full of carbs and calories, which can cause obesity in the long run.
Watch what Dr. Mike has to say about obesity in our pets.
Aside from keeping canine consumption of bread in moderation, always check the ingredients of the bread. Do not give any type of bread to your dog that contains the following:
- Raisins. Usually found in pastries and other baked goods, raisins are very toxic to dogs. Some dogs can tolerate them, but it’s best to keep it away from your furry friend.
- Garlic. Garlic can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness to them. Don’t let your dog give in to its appealing aroma!
- Xylitol. This artificial sweetener which is found in some brands of baked goods is also poisonous to dogs.
- Nuts. Some nuts are safe for your dogs, while others like macadamia aren’t. Nevertheless, avoid all kinds since they may lead to conditions as mild as an upset stomach, or as severe as pancreatitis
- Chocolate chips. While it is not fatal, chocolate can cause illnesses because of caffeine and a chemical called theobromine.
When giving homemade bread to your dog, avoid the uncooked dough since it might rise and expand in their stomach, resulting in bloating. The yeast in bread dough may also release ethanol that causes alcohol poisoning.
Some signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs include neurological depression, distended abdomen, elevated heart rate, unproductive retching and vomiting, and low blood pressure.
Is Butter Safe for Dogs?
Many dogs are naturally attracted to the flavor and richness of butter. This kitchen staple is used in many different dishes and snacks.
Your dog can consume butter but only in small portions and only if your dog is not lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly digest milk-based products including butter and cheese. Its symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, bloating, and flatulence.
While butter is not toxic to dogs, it may also cause obesity because of its high caloric density. And most store-bought butter contains almost nothing in the way of nutrients.
Butter is composed entirely of fat and has very few health benefits for your dog. Some naturally cultured butter products are higher in Vitamin A and B12, although these nutrients are easily found in other healthier foods for dogs.
There are two main types of butter: salted and unsalted. Salted butter adds far too much sodium to your dog’s diet, making unsalted butter a much safer option for your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Bread and Butter?
Now that you know both bread and butter are not toxic to your dog, can you combine them and offer them as a treat to your furry friend?
The answer is yes, but you should keep it as small as possible.
To recap, you should only give bread and butter in small portions to your dog if:
- They are not allergic to wheat.
- They are not lactose intolerant.
- The bread does not contain raisins, garlic, xylitol, nuts, and chocolate chips.
- The bread is well-baked, as the dough can cause alcohol poisoning.
- The butter is unsalted.
As mentioned, both bread and butter are high in calories yet offer few health benefits.
The most important thing to consider when giving bread and butter to your dog is to keep the portions small and offer it as an occasional treat instead of a whole snack or meal.
A slice of plain white bread with butter has approximately 116 calories. That might be too much and will leave no room for other healthy treats for a toy-sized dog breed.
Here’s a rough estimate of how many calories a dog needs in a day, so you can determine for yourself whether you should give your dog this occasional treat.
- Small breed: 342-576 calories
- Medium breed: 781-1145 calories
- Large: 1313-1926 calories.
Give Bread and Butter in Moderation
While it’s non-toxic, bread and butter provide little essential nutrients for your dog and predispose them to weight gain and obesity.
That is why you should only offer it occasionally to your dog in small portions, depending on their size and dietary requirements.
Aside from keeping the portion as small as possible, make sure that your dog is not allergic to wheat and is not lactose intolerant.
Also, avoid toxic ingredients in bread such as garlic, xylitol, chocolate chips, and others.
Lastly, make sure not to give bread dough to your dog, and ensure that the butter is unsalted to avoid too much sodium in their system.