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For centuries, wheat bread has been an integral part of the human diet. It’s one of the most common staples globally, usually served with cheese, eggs, jam, and French onion soup. But can dogs eat wheat bread safely? Is it as healthy for dogs as it is for humans?
In moderation, yes, dogs can eat wheat bread. It’s non-toxic and can be quite filling. However, as a frequent snack, it poses few risks.
Generally, wheat bread isn’t beneficial for dogs. It’s essentially filler food because it doesn’t contain any vital nutrients or minerals dogs need in their daily diet. Plus, it’s full of carbs. So the fact that wheat bread is marginally healthier than white bread doesn’t apply to dogs.
If you’re planning to share a slice of bread with your dog, make sure it’s plain. Avoid wheat bread with chocolate chips, raisins, nuts (especially macadamia nuts), onions, and garlic. All these ingredients are harmful and may potentially be deadly for dogs.
Also, beware of wheat bread that contains a sugar preservative called xylitol. While safe for humans, it’s toxic to dogs. Even tiny amounts can cause serious health issues like hypoglycemia, liver failure, and seizures.
Foods that contain xylitol include peanut butter, candy, ketchup, and pancake syrups. It’s also found in certain baked goods like cookies, cake, and, yes, wheat bread. It’s always worth checking the bread’s ingredients list before feeding it to your dog.
If you enjoy baking your own wheat bread, make sure your dog isn’t around. Raw dough is extremely dangerous to dogs as it causes bloat, gastric-dilatation volvulus, and alcohol toxicity through the fermentation of yeast.
Dogs suffering from alcohol toxicosis show the following symptoms:
- Unsteady gait
- Distended abdomen
- Elevated heart rate
- Unproductive retching and vomiting
There’s also the case of allergies. Although uncommon, some dogs are allergic to wheat. Symptoms associated with wheat allergies include itchy skin, ear inflammation, diarrhea, anal itching, constant flatulence, seizures, and vomiting.
Unfortunately, no. Wheat bread has little to no health benefits for dogs. Some dog owners believe that wheat bread alleviates symptoms of gastrointestinal upset. While true in some instances, there are a ton of other healthier foods that can help a pup’s painful tummy.
Although wheat bread doesn’t contain any health benefits, it can be used to “pad” and dislodge bone fragments from a dog’s throat in mild situations. If your dog is gagging, pawing restlessly at his mouth, and seems in distress overall, skip the bread and immediately take him to the vet.
Freshly baked plain wheat bread, although safe for dogs, doesn’t contain any nutritional benefits. It has a ton of carbs that can be hazardous to dogs if fed in excess. To prevent obesity-related issues, avoid feeding wheat bread to dogs.