My Dog Ate a Loaf of Bread: Should I Worry?

Check For These Signs

Most dogs won’t show any symptoms at all besides possibly bloating. Bread isn’t exactly something you want to feed your dog on a regular basis, but a dog who accidentally eats a loaf of white, wheat or rye bread might be able to digest it naturally.

Dogs aren’t supposed to have too many carbohydrates, which bread is rich in. That’s why they’ll usually get bloated or experience strong gas after eating a loaf.

After a period of time, your dog should be able to pass their gas and be done with any problems related to the bread. You’ll want to watch out for any more serious symptoms, however, especially if you have a smaller dog.

If you know the type of bread that your dog ate, then check the ingredients list. Onions, raisins, xylitol and a number of artificial dough conditioners may be toxic to most dogs.

These are commonly found in specialty breads, and they potentially kill a dog if they’re eaten in a large enough amount.

Potential Problems

In most cases, dogs won’t develop any major problems at all and shouldn’t show symptoms for more than maybe a day. Any of the following signs, however, should be treated as a serious issue:

  • Purging: Dogs who’ve eaten bread with raisins or onions in it might start to vomit uncontrollably
  • Heavy breathing: Garlic bread can cause shock in some dog breeds, which usually starts with labored breathing
  • Abdominal pain: Some dogs might be so sore that you can’t touch them or, alternatively, they might retreat to a corner and whine
  • Intoxication: Yeasty breads can turn to alcohol in dog’s digestive track and make them tipsy
  • Shaking: Xylitol is poisonous to dogs, and it can make them shake or shiver
  • Fever: A dry warm nose is the first sign of fever in dogs
  • Brightly Colored Stool: This is a sign that your dog may have ingested bread or cake that has artificial dye in it

You’ll also want to pay close attention to your dog’s stool to see if there’s any bits of plastic or other inorganic material in it. This may suggest that your dog also ate part of the wrapper that the bread came in.

What to Do?

Observe your dog for a little while and give him or her extra water. Sometimes dogs might not want to drink too much until they pass gas while others might drink a whole lot of water to try and help things along.

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Give your dog some extra attention if they seem uncomfortable, but don’t touch them if they’re bloated. In most cases, any negative symptoms shouldn’t last very long.

In fact, your dog might not have any ill effect at all from eating bread, especially if it was plain. Some dogs tolerate it remarkably well.

If you already know what kind of bread they ate, then you can figure out what was in it and whether or not there were any ingredients in there that could prove harmful to a dog. Otherwise, you’ll want to take the time to track down the rest of the loaf your dog was eating and find out if there was anything harmful in it.

Do I Need to See the Vet or Go to the Emergency Animal Hospital?

Dogs who ate plain bread may not have to be taken anywhere, but you’ll certainly want to take your dog to the vet’s office if he or she consumed bread with onions in it. The same goes for any dog that’s consumed bread with raisins or other foreign material.

Watch your dog for any sign of shakes, shivers or even behavior that seems like they might be intoxicated. This could be a sign of your dog going into shock, which might mean you’ll want to take them to an emergency animal hospital if you live in an area where there is one.

Strange behaviors could also be a sign of having consumed yeast-laden bread, which is an emergency as well. This kind of bread can produce alcohol in a dog’s intestines, which has the effect of getting them drunk to a certain degree.

Safe Alternatives to Eat

While you shouldn’t give it to them often, plain types of bread usually don’t cause too many problems for dogs. You might want to consider doggie treats that are bread-like in texture if your dog really wants something like this.

Consider giving your dog some homemade-style dog treats, which should help to satisfy their taste for this kind of food. There are several businesses that you could get these kinds of treats from that are licensed and inspected, so their products are at least generally safe.

Meat-based treats that are meant for dogs are another good alternative, especially if you have a dog that’s sensitive to any sort of grain and doesn’t feel right after eating it. Certain types of dog food have grains in them, so you’ll want to be cautious when shopping for this kind of animal.

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Pet owners who have very sensitive dogs may consider switching to a natural dog food and completely eliminating all types of human food from their diet.

Can Dogs Eat Bread?

While dogs shouldn’t be given bread on a regular basis, it usually doesn’t do much harm if they accidentally sneak a loaf or eat something that you dropped on the floor. They shouldn’t eat any style of bread that contains onions or an added sweetener, however.

There are a few situations where giving your dog plain bread might be a good idea. Veterinarian Jennifer Coates opined that a piece of natural bread with nothing on it could help to settle a dog’s stomach and even help them pass objects like string or yarn.

Breeders from the AKC as well as those from several veterinary organizations have recommended giving dogs plain white or wheat bread if they’ve accidentally swallowed something sharp. A piece of bread could encase the foreign material so that they don’t develop an ulcer from one.

Nevertheless, you’ll want to talk to a veterinary expert in any of these cases. Avoid giving your dog bread in any quantity otherwise, since there is a high risk of them getting gas from it.