What may seem like a harmless snack of bread or cookie dough can turn into a painful and expensive stay at the veterinarian for an animal. Certain foods contained in some types of doughs, such as chocolate, certain spices, as well as excess dairy, salt, and sugar, are harmful to animals when ingested. It's always safest to keep a close eye on your dog while you're busy baking in order to prevent her eating anything she shouldn't.
Yeast Bread Dough Danger
When ingested, yeast bread dough can be toxic to animals. The warm temperature inside an animal's stomach will cause the yeast dough to expand, making it difficult or impossible for the animal to vomit. As the dough continues to rise and expand, it produces alcohol, which is also very harmful to animals. The rising bread dough can cause an animal to feel intense bloating, disorientation and pain.
What to Do if Ingested
If you notice that your animal has ingested bread dough, seek medical attention as soon as possible. In certain cases, the animal may vomit (or you may induce vomiting) before the bread dough has had a chance to fully expand, so the animal may not need to see a veterinarian. However, if the dough has expanded, and the animal is in pain, a veterinarian may need to surgically remove it from the animal's stomach.
Tips to Prevent Ingestion
Keep your animal away from the kitchen when handling bread dough or other raw pastries. Keep ovens, refrigerator and pantry doors closed at all times. Feed your animal safe and healthy pet treats to take away its temptation to eat people food. Dispose of unused dough immediately in a sealed garbage can to prevent your animal from going through the trash and eating potentially toxic food.
Other Dangers in Some Doughs
If you dough contains chocolate, it's even more dangerous to dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine that can cause an animal's heart rate to increase and over-stimulate its nervous system. If ingested, chocolate can cause seizures and potentially death. Many animals are lactose intolerant, so milk and other dairy products can cause significant digestive problems. Nutmeg and cinnamon are common spices used in baked goods, and can be harmful to animals if ingested in large doses.
By Gisela Chavez
About the Author
Based in Colorado, Gisela Chavez has been writing and editing since 2004. Her editorial experience ranges from editing technical documents to editing for "The Bloomsbury Review." She earned a professional writing certificate from the University of Colorado, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish.