An integral part of our human diet is bread. We can eat it any time of the day and in a variety of ways. It is only natural that our dogs might be yearning for the same human foods.
You can give them bread occasionally but it shouldn’t be part of their daily diet.
So how much bread can a dog eat? Is a bite too big or small? What happens if they eat a whole loaf?
We share with you a comprehensive guide on how much bread your dog can eat, the health benefits of bread for dogs, and more.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Bread?
Plain white or wheat bread is not toxic to your dog, as long as they do not have a wheat allergy.
Dogs can eat bread, provided that they do not overindulge since this food is loaded with carbs.
Aside from being free from a wheat allergy, dogs can eat bread as long as it doesn’t have the following toxic ingredients:
- Raisins. Raisins are poisonous to dogs even if they’re good for us humans. Make sure to keep these dried fruits away from your pets.
- Garlic. The smell of garlic bread may be irresistible to your dog, but it can cause severe damage to their red blood cells if they consume too much.
- Xylitol. Before giving a peanut butter sandwich to your dog, make sure the peanut butter is free from this artificial sweetener.
- Nuts. Some nuts are safe for your dogs, while others, like macadamias, aren’t. If you want your dog to stay safe, avoid all kinds of bread that have nuts.
- Chocolate chips. Some kinds of bread may have chocolate flavoring or chocolate chips. Don’t let your dog consume these because they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even a heart attack.
You should also make sure that the bread is well-baked since bread dough can lead to alcohol poisoning from the ethanol produced.
Here are some signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs:
- ataxia or loss of bodily movements
- difficulty breathing
Health Benefits of Bread on Dogs
In general, bread is low on nutrients and high in calories, so it provides very few health benefits.
Here are a few benefits of giving your dog a small amount of bread.
Helps with Upset Stomach
Experts say that bread is good for dogs with an upset stomach.
When they accidentally eat something with sharp points and edges, eating bread allows the foreign material to pass more safely through their stomach.
It’s also helpful when they have eaten a long piece of string, yarn, thread, or similar objects.
If your dog has other types of abdominal pain, bread can help reduce it since the nutrients in the can settle a stomach.
However, if your dog is allergic to wheat or gluten, you can fix your dog’s upset stomach with a bland diet of rice and boiled chicken instead of using bread.
Sourdough Bread Nutrients
Sourdough bread is richer in proteins, vitamins and minerals, and prebiotics than white bread.
It has minerals like iron for red blood cell production and metabolism. It also has selenium for the immune system.
The lactic acid bacteria in sourdough have antioxidant benefits that protect the body from illnesses.
Wholemeal and Whole Grain Bread Nutrients
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 only difference it has with wholemeal bread is its lower GI.
Bread Crust Benefits
The bread crust is the most well-baked part of the bread.
According to the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, bread crust has antioxidants and fiber that can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Beware of overcooking bread though, as it can lower the level of antioxidants and cause cancer because of the carcinogens.
How Much Bread Can Dogs Eat?
The ratio of calories to nutrients in bread is not very ideal, even with the healthiest type like whole-grain and wholemeal bread, and their crusts.
To avoid bloating and obesity, you should be cautious when giving your dog bread.
There are no specific guidelines as to how much bread you should give your dog.
Experts are more concerned about making sure the bread is well-baked, has no toxic ingredients, and your dog being free from allergies to wheat or gluten.
So, it is best for you to only give a few pieces of bread to your dog occasionally, like a bite or two.
Never give them a whole loaf of bread since as could lead to intense stomach ache and bloating.
Here are some signs of bloating in dogs:
- distended belly
- foamy saliva
- rapid or shallow breathing
- agitation or vomiting
- extended stomach
- inability to vomit.
If your dog is allergic to wheat or gluten, then you shouldn’t give them bread at all. Switch to a grain-free or gluten-free diet instead.
Try Purina Beyond’s Grain-Free Adult Wet Dog Food. It offers the nutrition your dog needs without gluten and grains.
This brand purposely chooses each ingredient for a natural dog food so that it is rich in vitamins and minerals.
They also use real meat, poultry, and fish as their top ingredient, sourced from their trusted farms.
Feeding bread to your dog all the time can lead to obesity.
It shortens a dog’s life and makes them more likely to develop diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.
One Slice is Enough!
There are no exact recommendations by experts on how much bread dogs can eat.
But it is agreed that you should only give a few pieces of bread to your dog occasionally, like a bite or two.
Of course, this is only applicable if your dog is not allergic to wheat or gluten.
You also have to make sure that the bread does not contain any toxic ingredients like chocolates, garlic, nuts, etc.
Remember, moderation is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy.