Is White Bread Good For Dogs? How Much is Too Much?

dog eating a loaf of white bread

Although white bread is not toxic for dogs, it’s also not considered good for them. White bread is a filler food that provides little nutritional value. A slice every once in a while is ok, but white bread should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet. 

When my dog was a puppy, he once ate an entire loaf of French bread. I had bought it at the store the night before and left it on the counter in the kitchen while I was at work. 

He managed to get through his puppy gate and made his way into the kitchen, devouring the French bread. 

Not only did I come home to a complete mess in the house from the puppy running rampant and doing whatever he wanted, but I had no French bread to go with dinner. To make matters worse, I was now worried about whether my dog would be sick from the bread.

I did a little research and quickly felt better knowing that white bread was not bad for dogs. In fact, white bread is probably the one you have to worry about least. 

In case you’re in the same situation and wondering if the bread your dog just ate is bad for him, or you’re just curious whether it’s OK to give him the occasional end of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we have the answers for you below.

Can Dogs Eat White Bread?

Yes. white bread is considered safe for dogs. It’s not particularly healthy, but plain white bread is not toxic to dogs. They can easily digest it, and unless they eat a lot, like an entire loaf, you won’t know the difference.

If they eat a lot of bread in one sitting, just like with anything new in their diet, they may develop an upset stomach or even diarrhea. But this isn’t usually the case, and they should recover quickly if they react badly to it.

Is White Bread “Good” For Dogs?

Not really. Bread doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value. It’s a filler food. But if it’s given in moderation, it’s not bad either. 

Bread can be given in small amounts as part of a well-balanced diet. But remember that all treats combined should not exceed more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. This ensures that most of their calories come from commercial dog food, which is formulated to give them the right amounts of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, packed with the essential vitamins and minerals they need. 

It might be fun to give a piece of bread as an occasional treat to your dog now and then, but it shouldn’t be given too often or in excess. 

Monitor how much bread you’re feeding your dog because it can lead to weight gain. Bread is a very carb-heavy food and it’s easy to accidentally feed your dog too many calories when giving them people-food as treats. 

If you want to give your dog bread as an occasional treat, just monitor his weight and make sure he’s getting enough exercise to counteract the extra calories.

What’s the Best Way to Feed My Dog White Bread?

The best way to serve bread to your dog is plain, with no toppings. Skip the butter and spreads. That will only add to the calories that you’re feeding and contribute to weight gain. 

Your dog doesn’t need the added fat, and he’ll be more likely to end up with an upset stomach if you add to the bread. 

Serve bread sparingly, in moderation. Your dog will love it as a quick treat, even if it is plain.

Your dog does not need a sandwich with all the works. In fact, be careful about feeding him the last few bites of your sandwich. There could be toppings in there, like onions, that are not good for dogs to eat. 

If he steals your sandwich off the plate, it’s unlikely to do any serious harm, but it’s not good for him.

White Bread is Safe – What About Other Breads?

White and wheat bread are both relatively harmless for your dog. There’s nothing inherently toxic within them that will make him sick. 

Some dogs do have wheat allergies, which could cause an adverse reaction to any kind of bread, but that isn’t all that common. If you’re worried about a wheat allergy, talk to your vet.

Avoid specialty breads that might contain ingredients that are bad for your dog. Any garlic or onion loaves should be avoided. Raisins are toxic to dogs, so make sure to never give your dog bread that might contain them, like cinnamon raisin bread. 

Not all dogs react as badly to raisins, but even if you’re just thinking about giving your dog a small piece that doesn’t contain any raisins, it can still be bad for them. It’s best to keep them away from your dog altogether, just to be safe.

Anything with high-fat content can also lead to an upset stomach for your dog. So, anything cheesy, buttery, or bread that contains nuts and seeds can irritate your dog’s stomach. 

Macadamia nuts are the biggest worry when it comes to nuts, but even some harmless nuts can have a high-fat content that can irritate your dog’s stomach. 

When in doubt, don’t feed it to your dog. He may have the biggest puppy dog eyes when begging for a piece, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

You can feel confident in feeding your dog white bread sparingly, but it’s best to keep the rest for yourself.

What About Bread Dough?

In recent years, baking homemade bread has become very popular. If you’ve joined the bandwagon and are making your own bread at home, make sure not to feed your dog any of the dough. This can be a very serious mistake.

Why Is It Bad for Dogs?

An important part of making bread is allowing the dough to rise. The yeast in the dough needs a warm, moist environment to stay active and help the dough form into an airy, fluffy loaf. You know what a prime environment is for rising dough and thriving yeast? Your dog’s stomach!

Not only can eating bread dough lead to bloating and discomfort for your dog as the dough expands, but it can cause alcohol toxicosis. 

When the yeast metabolizes the sugar in the bread dough, it releases carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol enters your dog’s bloodstream and can be toxic to him. If you think your dog has eaten some bread dough, call your veterinarian right away.

The Bottom Line

You can incorporate bread into your dog’s healthy, well-balanced diet, but do it sparingly. White bread is okay for dogs to eat in moderation. Still, it doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value and can cause your dog to gain weight.

You can give your dog the occasional end of your sandwich, but be mindful of the toppings. The best way to give your dog bread as a treat is in small pieces, with no toppings or spreads. Avoid breads with additional ingredients that could be toxic to your dog, like raisins or garlic, and never feed your dog bread dough.

Most likely, the worst thing that will happen if your dog grabs your sandwich off the table is an upset stomach. Depending on what’s in the sandwich, the high-fat content might irritate his gastrointestinal system, but the symptoms typically won’t last very long. If you’re worried about him recovering, you can always feed him a bland diet for a few days, or give your vet a call if symptoms don’t improve.

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