October 19, 2020 3 min read
Bread is, in our humble opinion here at Cooper's Treats, the best. It's one of humanity's great culinary creations, and there's no wonder it's a staple in diets around the world. But while bread is fantastic for humans, can you give bread to dogs?
Unless there are any allergies that would make bread problematic, it's generally fine to feed it to your dog. That said, bread obviously comprises a very wide range of food from white bread to banana bread to cinnamon raisin toast, so the real answer is that it very much depends on the type of bread you're giving to your dog. And of course, as with all snacks, bread should only be given to your dog as part of a well-rounded diet.
Unfortunately bread isn't particularly good for dogs. If you choose a whole-grain bread that's made with high-quality ingredients, then you will have some vitamins, nutrients and fiber than can make it a decent snack. A loaf of white bread, though, isn't good for dogs at all. It's high in sugar, full of carbs and will often lead to minor stomach issues like gas if eaten in significant quantities.
That doesn't mean that you can't ever give it to them - a few pieces every now and again as a treat is fine if part of a balanced diet. Still, there are lots of better snacks that your pup will enjoy just as much, so typically it makes sense to keep bread consumption to a minimum.
One big risk that many people are unaware of is that for those who like to bake their own bread at home, giving dough to your dog is an absolute no-no. Your bread dough will rise inside of your dog's stomach, and the yeast in it will release ethanol, which can cause alcohol poisoning. If your dog has eaten your freshly made bread dough, call your vet right away.
The other potential issue with bread dough is bloat. If you're not familiar with bloat, it's a very dangerous condition of the stomach that almost always leads to death in dogs.
The ingredients in bread are key. Breads with high sugar and salt content are obviously problematic, while those with lots of fiber are better.
It's important never to forget that some breads have ingredients that make them downright dangerous. If your banana bread has chocolate chips in it, it needs to stay away from Fluffy at all costs. Similarly, some sweet types of bread contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. If your bread has any kind of peanut butter in it, beware - peanut butter often contains Xylitol as well. You should also keep an eye out for raisins (which are particularly dangerous to some dogs, even if they only eat a handful of them), onions, garlic and some dangerous nuts that may be in your bread.
One thing we should note is that there is a somewhat common misconception that if your dog has an upset stomach that some plain bread is a good solution (likely because as humans we often eat some plain toast when recovering from a stomach bug). In general, it's better to give your dog plain, boiled chicken and a bit of rice than bread. And, of course, if you're not sure then it's always better to err on the side of calling your vet.
They definitely can, but it's not what we would call a nutritionally sound snack (unlike our excellent and healthy Pupsicle Mix!). You also have to be vigilant about what's in your bread - if you get used to giving your dog pieces of bread here and there, it's easy enough to tear off a little piece of garlic bread and forget that the garlic is dangerous for your pup. In our opinion, it's better to stay away from bread and stick to fruits, veggies and meats.
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