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The quick answer: Yes, plain bread is safe for dogs to eat, under the following conditions:
- Only in small portions
- Not on a regular basis
- As for raw dough, that’s a big no
Bread is a common staple in the American diet, and some even consume it with every meal. Plain white or wheat bread is generally safe to share with dogs, and it doesn’t have any harmful side effects.
Benefits of bread
There aren’t any nutrients in bread that your dog isn’t already getting from a balanced diet. Though small amounts of bread here and there won’t cause your dog any harm, it also doesn’t have any added benefits to speak of.
Hazards of bread for dogs
Bread dough is toxic: Plain bread is pretty harmless in moderation, but uncooked bread dough can be very dangerous, and dogs should never be allowed to eat it. If a dog eats dough, the bread will continue to rise in their stomach which can cause painful bloating. At the same time, yeast dough off-gases toxic amounts of ethanol which will be absorbed into the bloodstream and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of alcohol toxicity include disorientation, weakness, depression, seizures and coma.
Moderation: A small scrap of bread is unlikely to cause harm, but too much bread in one sitting can leave your dog with a tummy ache. Additionally, regular consumption of bread can ultimately lead to weight gain and obesity, so it’s best to moderate your dog’s intake of bread.
Spices, flavors, and toppings: Not all breads are created equal, so if your dog has eaten bread, make sure it’s free of toxic components. Foods like garlic, chocolate and raisins are all toxic to dogs, plus other spices or ingredients could give your dog an upset tummy. Additionally, a piece of bread with butter or oil could also cause tummy troubles, or worse. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid sharing any flavored or buttered breads with your dog.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.