Wholemeal, wholegrain, multigrain, sourdough, rye, and more. With so many types of bread available, how are we to know which ones are safe for our dogs to consume?
Bread in itself is not toxic, but there are so many things to consider before feeding it to dogs! We will focus today on wholemeal bread.
Can dogs eat wholemeal bread?
Find out what makes it different from other types of bread and if wholemeal bread is safe for your dog. We also share information on dog grain allergies and the risks of giving bread dough to your dog.
What is Wholemeal Bread?
Wholemeal bread is often confused with whole grain and multigrain bread, but they are all different from each other.
Wholemeal bread, also known as brown bread, is made from whole grains that are milled to a fine texture for a brown look.
Compared to white flour, wholemeal flour is richer in fiber, making it more nutritious for your dog. It also has more vitamins and minerals but has a higher GI than wholegrain bread.
On the other hand, whole grain bread contains the whole grain:
- The bran (outer layer)
- Endosperm (starchy middle layer)
- Germ (nutrient-rich inner part).
Like wholemeal bread, it is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Whole grain bread also has a dense wholemeal flour base and well as lots of grain and seeds.
The main difference it has with wholemeal bread is its lower GI.
Lastly, multigrain bread is usually white bread with some added grains. It has lower fiber content and higher GI than wholemeal bread.
Can Dogs Eat Wholemeal Bread?
Wholemeal bread is not toxic to dogs. In fact, it is much healthier than white bread and multigrain bread. However, it is not recommended for your dog since some variants contain nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds can cause problems for our furry friends. Only macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, but too much of any kind can lead to health issues like pancreatitis.
Salted nuts may also lead to water retention and other complications, and some nuts, like almonds, are potential choking hazards.
Another concern with wholemeal bread is it can add too many calories to your dog’s diet.
If your dog is overweight, talk to your veterinarian about moderating their diet and discuss a plan to keep them healthy, happy, and active.
Wholemeal bread also contains wheat and should be avoided if your dog has a wheat allergy.
Other toxic ingredients that can be found in wholemeal bread include:
- Raisins. Although research has yet to pinpoint which substance in the dried fruit causes reaction, raisins are very toxic to dogs. They can lead to sudden kidney failure and death.
- Garlic. Your dog may love the smell of garlic, but it can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness to them.
- Xylitol. Even small amounts of this artificial sweetener can lead to hypoglycemia, seizures, and even death in dogs.
- Chocolate chips. These sweets may cause vomiting or diarrhea in dogs, as well as an irregular heartbeat and internal bleeding.
Dog Grain Allergy
If your dog has allergies, it is simply their body’s way of protecting them from potential harm.
The body finds it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat.
Some symptoms of grain allergies in dogs include:
- Itchy skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Chronic ear infections
- Obsessive licking/chewing of feet
- Inflamed, red paw pads
- Gastrointestinal upset.
There are various types of grain, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, and certain beans. Each dog differs when it comes to grain tolerance. Some need them for a healthy coat, while others can get an infection caused by allergies.
Don’t be quick to assume that your dog has grain allergies as it will require professional consultation with a vet to diagnose a grain allergy in your dog.
A physical exam, blood work, intradermal skin testing, and other procedures may be recommended by your vet.
Benefits of Bread for Dogs
If your dog is not allergic to wheat or other types of grains, and the bread is free from toxic ingredients, there are a few benefits they can get from bread.
- Reduces pain. If your dog has mild abdominal pain, bread can help reduce it since the nutrients in the can settle a stomach.
- Helps digestion. Wholemeal bread specifically has a large amount of fiber that can bulk out fecal matter and increase the number of healthy bacteria in their gut. Healthy bacteria help with churning stomach or irritable bowel syndrome in dogs with high anxiety.
- Helps with swallowed foreign materials. If your dog ever swallows threads, bone shards, or sticks by accident, bread can help alleviate the discomfort and avoid intestinal blockage. Make sure they are also drinking water for the item to pass through naturally.
Always go for plain bread without fruit, nuts, or seeds, and feed it to them in small quantities. Or you can also make one your own! BBC Good Food has a recipe for brown bread that is guaranteed delicious.
All you need is:
- 400g brown bread flour
- 100g white bread flour
- 7g dried yeast
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter.
Is Bread Dough Safe for Dogs?
Bread dough can be deadly to dogs for many reasons. It will continue to expand until it is baked, so if it gets in your dog’s stomach, intestinal blockage may occur. This can only be treated by high-risk surgery.
Bread dough also releases ethanol which moves through your dog’s stomach to their bloodstream, leading to alcohol poisoning.
So, Can You Give Wholemeal Bread to Your Dog?
Unless it has toxic ingredients or your dog is allergic to grains like wheat, then you can give wholemeal bread to your dog.
In fact, it is much healthier than white bread!
Remember only give your dog small quantities as a treat, and not every day.