On any given day at the park, you're sure to see at least one person feeding bread to the birds. From ducks to geese to pigeons that seem to eat just about anything, birds clearly love to carb load. But what about our furry friends that live inside with us? Is bread safe for our cats? How about our dogs? Before we start tossing little cubes of bread for our dogs to eat, let's see if it's indeed safe.
Can dogs eat bread?
Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat bread, but, like humans, bread should be consumed in moderation. If your dog does not have any allergies, small amounts of plain white or wheat bread are fine for him to enjoy.
Although plain bread is an acceptable treat for dogs, they should always have a complete and healthy diet. Bread should not be a staple in your dog's diet and should be fed only in moderation.
Are there any concerns with feeding dogs breed?
Bread is filled with carbohydrates and doesn't provide any additional nutrients. Too much bread can lead to obesity in your dog. So again, treat bread like a treat and make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise.
If you feed bread to your dog, it must be plain and unseasoned. Flavored bread may contain ingredients that are toxic to your pet such as garlic or onions. Because of this, it's best not to feed dogs bread from your plate that may have mixed with other ingredients that are potentially harmful. Beware of other ingredients — such as raisins and nuts — that could be found in breads or other baked goods. Raisins are toxic for dogs and nuts can lead to upset stomachs and pancreatitis.
Even more damaging to dogs is bread dough. Dogs should never ingest raw dough. The yeast in the dough will rise in your dog's stomach and release toxic levels of ethanol into his bloodstream.
Does bread have any benefits?
It is believed among many dog owners that bread is helpful in treating a dog's upset stomach. If your dog accidentally swallowed something with sharp edges like a broken bone or a stick, it is believed that bread can help the dog pass the dangerous material smoothly.
Although this is sometimes true, there are better alternatives. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends feeding your dog a bland diet of rice and boiled chicken to help with upset stomachs.
If your dog ingests something sharp and dangerous, consult a veterinarian right away. Get professional advice before administering home remedies.
Plain white or wheat bread is just fine to feed your dog as an occasional treat. Make sure any bread that your dog eats does not contain toxic ingredients like garlic, onions, raisins or nuts. If your dog ingests one of these toxic ingredients or ingests raw dough, consult your veterinarian immediately. Look out for your pet's general health as well as his waistline and go easy on the carbs!
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.