If you’re reading this post, you have done a great job of doing your research first before giving any type of food to your dog!
It can be so tempting to give them bread under the dining table or have them take a bite of your snack.
Sourdough bread is made by introducing a sourdough starter to flour and water, allowing it to ferment, then baking it.
You’re likely wondering, can dogs eat sourdough bread? Will it hurt them? Or is it healthy?
Sourdough bread has more health benefits than other types of bread, but it also has some potential health risks to your dog.
Find out if sourdough bread is safe for dogs and learn the potential dangers of sourdough bread to your dog.
What is Sourdough Bread?
Basic sourdough bread only needs four ingredients. These are flour, water, salt, and naturally occurring live yeast. It begins with a sourdough starter that will cultivate live yeast for a distinct, tangy flavor.
To create the starter, flour and water are combined to ferment over several days. After about five days, the live yeast and lactic acid bacteria in the flour are finally leavened and can be added to the bread dough.
Compared to white bread, sourdough bread has more proteins, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics.
It has minerals like iron for red blood cell production and metabolism. It also has selenium for the immune system.
Sourdough is also rich in B vitamins for the proper function of the nervous system and the regulation of metabolism.
What we love about sourdough bread is that it has more protein than an egg, making it a sneaky way to increase your protein intake.
It also has prebiotics and probiotic-like benefits which make it easier to increase vitamin and mineral absorption.
The lactic acid bacteria in sourdough has antioxidant benefits that protect the body from illnesses.
Is Sourdough Bread Safe for Dogs?
Sourdough bread indeed has more health benefits than regular white bread, but can dogs enjoy these advantages?
As with other types of bread, sourdough bread is not toxic to dogs, as long as they do not have wheat and cornmeal allergy.
It should also be consumed in small amounts since bread adds calories to their diet without too many nutrients. Do not replace a specialized diet for your dog with human food like sourdough bread.
In short, you may feed small amounts of sourdough bread to your dog. But don’t make it a habit.
Knowing what’s in the bread as well as your dog’s tolerances will be useful when it comes to food and treats.
Dangers of Sourdough Bread
What should you watch out for when you feed your dog some sourdough bread?
Here are some of its dangers to your furry friend.
When left unbaked, sourdough bread dough can increase in size in your dog’s stomach and cause bloating and pain.
When the dough rises in your dog’s body, their stomach becomes filled with gas, causing severe pain and potentially deadly conditions as it worsens.
Look for some of these signs of bloating in dogs:
- Distended belly
- Foamy saliva
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Agitation or vomiting
- Extra attention to the stomach
- Inability to vomit.
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, consult your vet right away.
During the fermentation process of sourdough bread, ethanol is being produced and less than 2% remains after baking.
But if the bread is not baked properly, consuming sourdough bread may cause alcohol poisoning in dogs.
From there, the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and may cause a drop in their blood sugar, body temperature, and blood pressure. This all depends on their size, health, and weight.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Ataxia or loss of bodily movements
- Difficulty breathing
Is your dog showing any of these signs after eating sourdough bread? Call the vet immediately and explain the symptoms.
Grains and wheat are important to your dog’s diet, but if they have a diagnosed wheat allergy, feeding sourdough bread to them is not a great idea.
However, this condition is rare, so don’t go grain-free immediately just because of your assumption. Instead, let your vet rule out other suspects like animal meat, dairy, etc.
Some dogs are allergic to wheat because gluten is hard to digest in the gut. In fact, 30% of us humans, who are omnivores, can’t even digest it properly.
With a rapid digestive system and a microflora completely unadapted to plant food, they don’t do so well at digesting plant forage.
Sourdough bread is often sprinkled with cornmeal. Corn is not part of the canine diet, many dogs have trouble digesting it, and most cornmeal these days is made from nutritionally poor, mass-produced corn.
Many dogs develop an allergy after repeated exposure to cornmeal.
Here are symptoms to look for:
- Coarse coat
- Ear infections
- Flaky or itchy skin
- Weight problems.
If your dog is experiencing any of these after eating sourdough bread get them checked out at your vet. You may need to switch them to a grain-free or gluten-free diet and stop feeding sourdough bread to them.
Check out Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food! It’s free from corn, wheat, artificial flavorings, and coloring so that all the nutrients from the meat, fruits, and veggies are maximized.
This dog food is made from real pasture-raised beef for your dog to have lean and strong muscles.
It is also highly digestible and good for their gut health because of the prebiotics it contains. We also recommend this family-owned brand because all the ingredients are sustainably sourced.
So, Should You Give Sourdough Bread to Your Dog?
Unless your dog is allergic to wheat, cornmeal, or other types of grain, then you can give your dog sourdough bread in small quantities.
Human foods should not replace a specialized diet for dogs and bread only adds calories without enough nutrients.
Don’t make it a habit to give them these kinds of foods. Know what’s in the bread as well as your dog’s tolerances when it comes to food and treats.