Can Dogs Eat Bread?

Victoria Lynn Arnold
By Victoria Lynn Arnold. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Dec. 15, 2022
gray pitbull looking at bread dough on the counter

NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

Have you ever wondered, “Can dogs eat bread as a treat?” Are some breads safe for dogs, while others aren’t? Maybe your counter-surfing dog swiped a package of buns when you weren’t looking—will she be OK?

Although most breads aren’t toxic to dogs, some breads contain ingredients that are toxic and can cause dogs serious harm. And raw, yeast-based bread dough is actually very dangerous and should never be fed to a dog. Here’s what to know before giving your pup any bread.

Is Bread Bad for Dogs?

Humans love bread. We use it for all sorts of meals at home, and sometimes our pups get a taste of it. A typical piece of white or wheat bread isn’t toxic to dogs, and eating a little here and there won’t hurt them.

But bread doesn’t give our pups much nutrition, either. And because bread is filled with carbs, there’s really no reason to feed your dog bread. In fact, eating bread regularly over time can cause obesity or even diabetes in your dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Bread Dough?

While a slice of bread is fine, yeast-based bread dough is dangerous for dogs and can cause bread dough toxicosis.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the dog’s stomach “promotes expansion of the dough mass and production of ethanol by the yeast.” In effect, the warm, moist environment of a dog’s stomach causes the yeast to rise. This causes bloat, which can lead to gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition. Alcohol intoxication can also occur because of the dough’s fermentation process.

If your dog eats any yeast-based bread dough, you should call your veterinarian and take your dog to an emergency vet immediately.

Symptoms of bread dough toxicosis include:

  • Dry heaving

  • Abdominal distention (bloat)

  • Decreased activity

  • Impaired gait and reflexes

  • Incoordination

  • Disorientation

  • Weakness

  • Leaning, resting, or reclining

  • Hypothermia

  • Seizures

  • Coma

  • Death

What Types of Bread Can Dogs Eat?

While some breads are completely fine and safe for dogs to eat in moderation, there are others that contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Keep your dog away from breads that contain any of the following:

There are also ingredients that, while not toxic, aren’t very good for our four-legged friends. Avoid feeding your dog anything that contains large amounts of:

Can Dogs Eat Wheat Bread?

Yes. Unless your dog has a wheat allergy, plain wheat bread is safe in small amounts. 

Can Dogs Eat Sourdough Bread?

Yes. As long as the sourdough is completely cooked, a small piece should not harm your dog. But if the sourdough is raw, it can cause serious health problems. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

No. Garlic is toxic to dogs, and many recipes contain onion—another toxic ingredient.

Can Dogs Eat Banana Bread?

No. While bananas are safe for dogs, many banana breads contain not-so-nice ingredients like sugar, raisins, macadamia nuts, or nutmeg. All of these can cause problems for your pup.

Can Dogs Eat White Bread?

Yes. Unless your dog has a wheat allergy, plain white bread is safe in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Rye Bread?

Yes. Unless your dog has a wheat or grain allergy, plain rye bread is safe in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Bread?

No. Pumpkin is a dog-safe snack but, just like banana bread, pumpkin bread commonly contains toxic ingredients such as nutmeg.

Can Dogs Eat Pita Bread?

Yes. As long as the pita bread is completely plain, does not contain any toxic ingredients, and your dog doesn’t have a wheat or grain allergy, it’s safe in small amounts. 

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread?

No. Not only does gingerbread contain a large amount of sugar, but it also often contains nutmeg.

What To Do if Your Dog Ate Bread or Bread Dough

If your dog eats any amount of yeast-based dough, call your veterinarian right away. You should also contact your vet if your dog eats a piece of bread that contains any toxic ingredients.

But if your dog snatches up a slice of sandwich bread, a piece of pita, or any other bread that’s fully cooked and free of toxic ingredients, she should be completely fine. That said, if she got into an entire package of hamburger buns, she might experience some mild stomach upset. Always call your vet if your dog gets into anything she shouldn’t.

Featured Image: iStock/Aleksandr Zotov

Victoria Lynn Arnold


Victoria Lynn Arnold

Freelance Writer

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