In short, dogs can have a very limited amount of bread without suffering from any serious issue. Bread is non-toxic to dogs. However, this does not mean you should give your dog bread too often. We will explore the benefits and drawbacks of sharing bread with your dog below.
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Signs of a Dog Liking Bread
Most dogs will probably like bread and want to eat as much of it as they can, all of the time. While your dog can eat a small bite of bread here and there without issue or safety concerns, your dog should not be consuming bread in large quantities or very often. Bread is chewy and mild in flavor, and if you are eating it, your dog will want a taste too.
If you give your dog a bite of bread, you can tell right away if they like it or if they are not crazy about the flavor. If your dog eagerly eats the bread and it appears like they want more because they are begging, it is safe to say your dog likes the bread, or at least wants to eat it because they see you are eating it as well.
Your dog may also drool a lot, lick their lips, bark, whine, cry, or howl for more when they want it. Many dogs will also paw at you, stare at you eagerly, look alert and put their ears up and/or forward, and they may even jump up at you and the food as well.
- Wag tail
- Lip licking
- Paw raised
- Ears up
- Pawing at your leg for more bread
- Spinning in circles excitedly
- Excessive drooling and lip licking
History of Dogs and Bread
Bread then was a bit different than what we enjoy today, though. Grains were picked and dried before they were ground into a flour-like powder. This grain flour was then mixed with water to form a paste and then cooked over or on very hot rocks. This would yield a flatbread, which was then eaten plain or paired with other foods like meat or veggies.
The fluffy and doughy bread we know today is a much more modern practice for bread making. Yeast was discovered and introduced to bread making in Egypt around 300 BC and then later, items like baking powder and baking soda were used as well.
Although bread was a very common food and people from most economic statuses would consume bread, dogs and other animals likely found their nutrition from other sources. Meats and fish made up a dog's diet, along with other veggie or fruit scraps from humans they would scavenge.
Science Behind Dogs and Bread
If you give your dog too much bread, they can also become bloated. Bloating can be painful and even life-threatening to your dog, which is reason enough to keep bread treats to a small minimum. Some even feel that avoiding bread all together is the safest and best way to go.
Speak with your vet about the issues occasional bread may cause if given to your dog and make the decision with them if it is ok to feed it to your pooch or if you should avoid giving bread to them.
Training Dogs to Eat Bread Safely
Much of store-bought bread can contain a lot of extra sugar, sodium, or even artificial sweeteners. You will want to avoid this bread because these are even more unnecessary ingredients you should not feed your dog. Furthermore, most conventional bread contains a lot of fake preservatives, colors, flavors, and toxic chemicals.
If you do want to treat your dog to a small piece of bread that you happen to be eating, you are better off giving them whole wheat or whole grain bread over white bread. White bread is even more processed and contains absolutely no nutritional value. Whole wheat and grain bread at least contain healthy whole grains that your dog is better off eating.
For example, if you happen to eat a piece of whole grain bread with some peanut butter that doesn't contain added sugar, especially toxic sugar like xylitol, you can safely give your dog a small nibble. This should not be a daily occurrence, though. Stick to once a week or even just once or twice a month.
There are many other ways to treat your dog to some of your favorite foods that are much better for them. For instance, share some carrots, blueberries, apples, bananas, or steamed broccoli with your pup. These are much denser in nutritional value and have less of a chance to cause any issues for you or your dog in the future.
How to React If Your Dog Eats Too Much Bread:
Speak with your vet right away.
Take any remaining bread away from them.
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Bread:
Seek out bread that doesn't contain chemicals and preservatives.
Avoid bread with lots of added sugar, sodium, nuts, raisins, or chocolate.
Avoid white slices of bread.
Never give them a lot or feed them bread often.