Can Dogs Eat Bread? Effects of Bread for Dogs as Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Bread_ Effects of Bread for Dogs as a Dog Food

Dogs can eat bread. Plain white or brown bread is safe for dogs as long as they are not gluten or wheat intolerant. Bread is rich in carbohydrates that help boost energy in dogs. It also has decent amounts of dietary fiber that can help with dogs’ digestion.

However, bread is calorie-dense and should be given in moderation to avoid the unhealthy weight gain that can cause issues to a dog’s overall health. Dogs should not consume flavored bread as it may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. It also offers no nutritional value to dogs; hence it’s better as a treat for dogs.

What are the Benefits of Bread for Dogs? 

These are the benefits of bread for dogs:

  • It relieves constipation: Whole grain bread is rich in dietary fiber, which can help improve digestion in dogs. It binds with water and adds volume to dogs’ stool, making it easier to pass and relieving constipation in dogs.
  • It can soothe upset stomachs: Giving a small amount of white bread to dogs experiencing gastrointestinal upset can help offer relief. The abundant starch in bread absorbs the ascorbic acid that irritates the dogs’ stomach, relieving pain and discomfort. 
  • It supplies energy: Bread is high in carbohydrates and sugar, which are essential for energy provision in dogs. The carbohydrates are metabolized and broken down into glucose for energy.
  • It pads indigestible foreign objects: Dogs may sometimes swallow foreign objects such as sharp pieces of bones, thread, or sticks which can cause intestinal blockage, pain, and discomfort. Feeding small slices of bread to dogs can help bind or pad the swallowed objects, allowing them to pass through the digestive tract naturally.
  • Reduces pain: Giving a modest piece of bread to dogs with mild abdominal pains can help minimize the pain. Although white bread works better, both white and brown bread have nutrients that settle the stomach. 

What are the Harms of Bread for Dogs? 

These are the harms of bread for dogs:

  • Unhealthy weight gain: Overeating bread can lead to too much weight gain, which causes many health issues, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint problems.
  • Tooth decay: Bread is rich in sugars that can attach to the teeth and gums and cause problems to a dog’s teeth. Sugars attract bacteria to the teeth causing tooth decay. This can progress to periodontal disease.
  • Allergies: Although wheat bread is more nutritious and healthier, it may cause allergic reactions to dogs sensitive to gluten. It is best to switch to rice bread or coconut flour bread for these dogs.

When Should a Dog Eat Bread? 

Dogs can eat bread at any time of the day. Bread is a rich source of easily digestible carbohydrates that dogs can break down and process into energy. 

Bread can be given to dogs at bedtime to help improve their sleep. This is because bread supplies the necessary carbohydrates needed to facilitate the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is essential for the regulation of sleep patterns in dogs and humans as well.

A dog with an upset stomach can eat a small piece of bread to relieve pain and discomfort. The starch abundant in bread absorbs the gastric acids irritating the stomach, hence calming it.

Bread can also be helpful to dogs experiencing constipation to offer relief. The fiber content present in bread can help digestion and relieve dogs of discomfort.

How Much Bread can a Dog Eat per Day? 

Bread should be given in moderation and never as part of a dog’s regular diet. It is best offered as an occasional treat every once in a while and in minimum quantities. This is because bread is high in sugars, fats, and carbs which can cause canine obesity if taken in large amounts. This can lead to several other health concerns, including pancreatitis, diabetes, and joint problems. Generally, bread should not make more than 5% of a dog’s regular diet.

A slice of bread (25 g) has about 67 calories. Average adult dogs need 25-30 calories per pound of weight. The amount of bread that can be given to dogs varies with breed and size of dogs. As such, bigger dogs such as a German shepherd can eat more bread than smaller dogs like Maltese dogs.

The table below shows dogs’ approximate total calorie needs per day and the calories treats should supply.

Approximate Daily Caloric Needs for Average Dogs

Dog’s 

Weight

Total Calories per day – including treats 

Allowed Calories of all Treats per day

( 5% )

10 lbs 

200-275 

10-14

20 lbs 

325-400 

16-20

30 lbs 

500-575 

25-29

50 lbs 

700-900 

35-45

70 lbs

900-1050

45-53

90 lbs

1100-1350

55-68

Using the table above as a guide, dog owners can ensure that they give their dogs appropriate treats to supplement their daily caloric requirements.

If you are feeding bread for the first time, be keen and watch out for any symptoms such as vomiting that can indicate gluten sensitivity.

Which Nutrients from Bread are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health?

The beneficial nutrients from Bread for dogs are listed below.

  • Fiber: Bread, mainly whole grain bread, provides a healthy source of dietary fiber. Besides helping to maintain a healthy digestive system for dogs, fiber is also essential in controlling dogs’ blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Fiber also helps keep dogs fuller for longer hence aiding in healthy weight maintenance for dogs.
  • Carbohydrates: Regardless of the type, bread is rich in carbohydrates and sugar. These are essential sources of energy for dogs that keep them moving. Carbohydrates are broken down into starch which is then absorbed into the body to provide energy for dogs. One slice of bread has between 13-17 g of carbohydrates.
  • Calcium: Bread is fortified with calcium, which can help dogs maintain healthy bones and teeth, ensure normal blood clotting, control muscle contractions, and facilitate proper nerve and cellular functioning. A 100 g of bread contains up to 260 mg of calcium.
  • Fat: Bread contains a moderate amount of fats. These are excellent sources of energy for canines. They can help regulate normal body functions, aid in nutrient absorption, and help reduce inflammation in dogs. A slice of white bread contains 0.6g of fat, while brown bread has 0.7 g.
  • Iron: Bread is also fortified with iron which helps in red blood cell formation. These blood components are tasked with transporting oxygen throughout a dog’s body. Iron is also vital for maintaining a healthy immune system, concentration, and energy. Bread contains 3.6 mg of iron in every 100 g.
  • Vitamins: Bread contains some B-vitamins, including vitamin B1 (thiamin) and B3 ( niacin). These vitamins help aid the release of energy from food, maintaining proper skin, coat, and eye health in dogs. 
  • Folic acid: Bread has a good amount of folic acid, also known as vitamin B folate. This mineral fosters red blood cell production, and it’s necessary for normal metabolic functions in dogs. A slice of white bread has 35 mcg of folic acid.
  • Magnesium: This works with calcium to build and maintain strong bones in dogs. It also assists in ensuring healthy heart and muscle functioning.
  • Zinc: This mineral is necessary for the development of new cells and enzymes, in addition to aiding in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in dogs’ meals. It is also helpful in wound healing. A 100 g of bread contains 0.8 mg of zinc.

The nutritional profile of 100g of bread is given below:

  • Calories: 265
  • Fat: 3.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol : 0
  • Sodium: 491 mg
  • Potassium: 115 mg

Which Ingredients of Bread are Risky for Dogs? 

The following ingredients, if included in bread, are risky for dogs:

  1. Nuts 
  2. Raisins 
  3. Onions and garlic
  4. Xylitol 

Nuts

Although they are nutrient-dense treats, nuts are not recommended as they are harmful to dogs. They are high in fats and calories, which can cause pancreatitis and obesity. 

Raisins

Raisins are highly toxic to dogs as they can cause kidney failure in dogs. Raisin bread, including the part that does not contain raisins, should never be fed to dogs. There is no safe amount of raisins for dogs since even a single one can significantly harm them. Ensure you seek immediate medical attention if your dog eats raisins.

Onions and garlic

Giving dogs onions and garlic can prove harmful to their health. These ingredients contain a chemical known as an an-propyl disulfide, which damages dogs’ red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that’s highly toxic to dogs. Ingesting even a small amount of this sweetener can lead to fatal health issues such as low blood sugar, seizures, or liver failure.

Can Bread Affect a Dog’s Mood? 

Yes, bread has a good effect on a dog’s mood. Eating bread can help ease tension and anxiety to calm the dog down. This is due to tryptophan, which aids in the creation of the hormone serotonin. This hormone is responsible for boosting the feelings of happiness in canines.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Bread? 

Yes, fully weaned puppies, regardless of their breed, can eat bread safely. However, this should only be given in minimal quantities to avoid causing harm. Being rich in carbohydrates, bread can supply the energy that puppies require to fuel their activity. It also has other minerals and vitamins that can improve the overall health of puppies.

Can Old Dogs Eat Bread? 

Yes, bread is safe for old dogs to consume. As dogs advance in age, their body functions, including metabolism, change, making them prone to indigestion and constipation. Giving old dogs a small piece of bread can help improve their digestion and relieve them of constipation.

Bread is also a good source of energy for old dogs. It is rich in carbohydrates that dogs can break down into energy they require to keep moving. Additionally, bread contains other essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, and B-vitamins that are vital for boosting the health of aging dogs. 

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Bread in Different Amounts? 

Yes, different dog breeds can consume bread in different amounts based on their size and weight. Dogs’ nutritional and calorie needs vary widely depending on their sizes. Since large breed dogs are bigger, they have a higher daily calorie need and can eat more bread than small breed dogs.

For instance, a large dog such as a Labrador, with an average weight of between 50-80 pounds, can eat more bread than a Pomeranian that weighs 3-7 pounds. This shows that different dog breeds have varied daily calorie, vitamin, and mineral requirements.

The breeds below can eat more bread daily:

  1. Australian Shepherds: These dogs weigh 40-70 pounds and have an average daily calorie need of about 1500 calories. They can have up to 75 calories from bread.
  2. German Shepherds: These large dogs have an average weight of 50-90 pounds and require 900-1350. Hence, their calories from bread shouldn’t exceed 90 calories. 
  3. Boxers: Boxers are 55-70 pounds in weight and require 100-2400 calories daily. The ideal calories from bread should not go beyond 120.

The dog Breeds below can eat less Bread than other dog Breeds daily.

  1. Pomeranians: These small dogs have an average weight of 10 pounds and need between 300-400 daily calories to keep them moving. Bread can supply about 20 calories. 
  2. Pugs: Pugs weigh between 14-18 pounds and have a daily calorie need of about 750 calories. Bread can give them up to 40 calories.

Which Dog Breeds are Bread More Beneficial for? 

Bread is generally beneficial to all dogs regardless of their age, size, or breed. It provides an important source of energy that keeps dogs moving. It also provides other nutrients that dogs require for optimal health. However, dogs prone to gastrointestinal issues can benefit greatly from eating bread from the fiber in bread.

Which Dog Breeds are Bread Less Beneficial for? 

Bread is not less beneficial to any dog breed. However, it can become less valuable if it’s not given in moderation or contains harmful ingredients such as raisins.

Which Bread Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs?

Bread is considered generally safe for dogs to consume. However, some bread varieties are unsafe and shouldn’t be fed to dogs.

The list below are some safe and unsafe bread recipes for dogs;

  1. Banana Bread
  2. Wheat  Bread
  3. Garlic Bread
  4. Sourdough Bread
  5. Rye Bread
  6. White Bread
  7. Pumpkin Bread
  8. Pita Bread
  9. Breaded Chicken
  10. Breaded Shrimp

Banana Bread

Banana bread is made with mashed bananas and wheat flour. Bananas are not toxic to dogs.

Can dogs eat banana bread safely?

Yes, dogs can eat banana bread but in moderation. This is because it is high in sugars and fats and can lead to tooth decay, pancreatitis, diabetes, and obesity in dogs.

Wheat Bread

Wheat bread is made from ground wheat flour. It is a good source of energy and fiber for dogs.

Can dogs eat wheat bread safely?

Yes, dogs can eat wheat bread, provided they are not gluten sensitive. However, whether white or brown, wheat bread should be given in minimal quantities to avoid health problems.

Garlic Bread

Garlic is harmful to dogs as it contains n-propyl disulfide, a chemical that causes oxidative damage to a dog’s red blood cells.

Can dogs eat garlic bread safely?

No, dogs cannot eat garlic bread as it can cause hemolytic anemia, leading to kidney or heart failure.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is made by introducing a sourdough starter to flour and water and ferment before baking it.

Can dogs eat sourdough bread safely?

No, sourdough bread is not recommended for dogs as it can cause bloat. This can lead to distended stomachs in dogs.

Rye Bread

Rye bread is made with rye. It contains more fiber and micronutrients such as B-vitamins than other types of bread.

Can dogs eat rye bread safely?

Yes, dogs can safely eat rye bread in moderation if they do not have wheat allergies or grain sensitivities. 

White Bread

White bread is made from wheat flour from which the germ and bran have been removed. Since it’s highly processed, white bread is low in nutritional value.

Can dogs eat white bread safely?

Yes, plain white bread that doesn’t have additional ingredients that may be toxic is safe for dogs. However, it should be given in minimal quantities.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is made with such as anise, nuts, cloves, and nutmeg. Although pumpkin is not toxic to dogs, these ingredients can harm them.

Can dogs eat pumpkin bread safely?

No, dogs should not eat pumpkin bread due to its inclusion of ingredients that can cause great harm to them.

Pita Bread

Pita bread is a form of flatbread made using wheat. It can help improve dogs’ digestive systems and is excellent for teething puppies.

Can dogs eat pita bread safely?

Yes. Dogs can eat pita bread safely. However, it should not contain toxic ingredients such as raisins, garlic, and chocolate chips.

Breaded Chicken

Breaded chicken consists of bread crumbs and other ingredients, including seasonings and flavors.

Can dogs eat breaded chicken safely?

No, breaded chicken contains too much fat and other ingredients, which can be toxic to dogs. Hence, dogs cannot eat breaded chicken.

Breaded Shrimp

Breaded shrimp is made of bread crumbs and shrimp which are deep-fried. It’s hence high in fats and oils.

Can dogs eat shrimps safely?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat breaded shrimps due to their high-fat content. Too many fats can cause serious health issues such as obesity and pancreatitis in dogs.

Which Dog Food Brands Do Use Bread within Dog Foods? 

The following dog food brands include bread in their recipes;

Ian’s Dog Food: This dog food brand includes bread crumbs in the recipe Ians Natural Foods Bread Crumbs – Panko – Italian Style – Gluten Free 

Benefits

  • Has no preservatives and artificial flavors or colors
  • Great for gluten-sensitive dogs

Blue Buffalo: Blue buffalo is dedicated to offering balanced nutrition for dogs. Some of their recipes include bread crumbs as ingredients;

Benefits

  • Offers nutritionally complete meals for dogs
  • Includes high-quality carbs for an excellent source of energy to keep dogs moving

Which Dog Diseases Can Affect Dogs’ Bread Eating? 

Although bread is safe for dogs, certain diseases can affect dogs’ bread eating. These are some of these diseases include:

Allergies: Bread is usually made from wheat. Some dogs are sensitive to gluten which is present in wheat. Such dogs should never be fed on bread as it can cause health issues. 

When feeding bread for the first time, it’s important to be careful and watch out for any adverse reactions that indicate allergies. The following are the symptoms of allergies in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of hair
  • Skin infection
  • Lethargy
  • Feet licking
  • Skin and ear infections
  • Itchy skin

Diabetes: Bread is high in carbohydrates and sugars; hence it’s not recommended for dogs that suffer from diabetes. The high sugars can cause a spike in dogs’ blood sugar levels, causing type 2 diabetes or worsening the condition in dogs that already have it. As such, it’s crucial to give bread in minimal amounts or avoid it altogether if your dog is prone to diabetes.

Pancreatitis: Feeding bread to dogs with overweight issues or those prone to obesity is not a good idea. Bread is rich in carbohydrates which can pack extra calories on dogs causing them to gain unhealthy weight. Too much weight can cause various health issues, including pancreatitis, joint and heart problems.

Can Dogs Eat Bread When Sick? 

Yes, dogs experiencing stomach upsets, constipation, or even diarrhea can benefit from eating bread. This is because bread has a high starch content and fiber that helps soothe the stomach and improve digestion in dogs.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Bread? 

Yes, anemic dogs can eat bread and benefit from the iron present in it. Iron is crucial for red blood cell formation, which facilitates the transportation of oxygen throughout a dog’s body.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Bread? 

Yes, plain bread with no seasonings and other additives is safe for dogs with kidney disease. Minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and potassium present in bread are great for kidney health.

Can Dogs Eat Bread to Help With Diarrhea? 

Yes, bread can be very beneficial to dogs with diarrhea. This is because it has fiber that aids digestion and adds volume to stool, thus relieving diarrhea.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Bread? 

Yes, bread is safe for nursing dogs. Bread has various nutrients such as potassium, iron, manganese, and others that can benefit both the puppy’s and the mother’s health.

What Else Can Dogs Eat Together with Bread? 

Here you can see the food options that can be eaten with bread by dogs.

  1. Butter
  2. Cheese
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Eggs

Butter

Butter is a dairy product that’s made from milk cream. It’s high in calories and saturated fats. It also has moderate amounts of proteins, vitamins A & D, sodium, and potassium. Butter should be given in minimal amounts occasionally as a treat. Too much butter can cause issues such as digestive upsets, pancreatitis, and unhealthy weight gain.

Cheese

Cheese is a dairy product made from milk, salt, some good bacteria, and enzymes. Cheese is protein-packed and contains vitamin A and B-complex vitamins plus fatty acids. Low lactose cheese varieties like cheddar, cottage, and mozzarella cheese are great options for dogs. However, it should be fed in moderation as too much can have negative health impacts on dogs.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is an excellent source of proteins and healthy fats, vitamins B, E, and niacin. Dogs can eat plain unsalted peanut butter that does not have xylitol or any other artificial sweetener. However, it should be given in moderation to avoid health problems such as pancreatitis and obesity.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition for dogs as they are rich in proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals which are crucial for dogs’ overall health. Dogs can safely eat plain, cooked eggs in moderate amounts occasionally as treats. Dogs should not eat raw eggs as they risk contracting salmonella.

What are Bread Dog Food Recipes? 

The following are some dog bread food recipes you can try for your dog:

  • Banana Bread: This is an easy-to-make dog treat. It needs wheat flour, milk, cinnamon, mashed bananas, honey, and eggs.

To make this, mix all the dry and wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly mixed. Put the dough in a loaf pan, preheat the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes.

  • Banana Zucchini Dog bread treat: This is a healthy treat made mainly with bananas and grated zucchini. You’ll need mashed bananas, peanut butter, eggs, oat flour, cinnamon, and zucchini.

To make it, make a dough by mixing flour with all the other ingredients. Roll out the dough, cut into desired shapes, and transfer into a baking sheet. Then, bake for about 18-20 minutes, calm, and serve.

  • Taralli Dog Bread Treat: This classic dog treat will need wheat flour, cornmeal, soy flour, baking yeast, eggs, vanilla, olive oil, anise seeds, and melted butter.

Make a dough using all the ingredients apart from eggs, butter, and anise seeds to make it. Spread the dough with the eggs, melted butter, and anise seeds. Roll and cut into desired shapes and bake for 45-60 minutes.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.