Can My Puppy Eat Bread?

Having a new puppy around the house is always a thrill, no matter your age. Silly, crazy, and bursting with vitality, puppies have so much energy it’s often hard to keep up with them!

Of course, for energy, puppies need nutritious food filled with the proper vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to grow and mature. That means high-quality puppy chow and, occasionally, other nutritious foods and treats. That got me thinking about a question I often hear from new puppy owners, namely, “can my puppy eat bread?”

The answer is that, yes, puppies can eat bread. Of course, as with humans, it’s always best to give them bread in moderation. Any type of bread is usually OK, as long as the puppy eating doesn’t have any allergies (which are relatively rare). However, keep in mind that bread isn’t an optimal food for puppies. It should be seen as an occasional snack rather than a regular part of their diet.

Knowing that puppies can eat bread, you might have several other questions about this typically human food and feeding it to your pup. (I know I did!) If yes, read on. I’ve got the answers you seek below.

Does the Kind of Bread Matter?

When feeding bread to a puppy, the kind of bread doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients in the bread. For example, plain white and wheat bread is generally safe for puppies as long as it doesn’t have ingredients that can make them sick. (More on those below.)

Plain or whole wheat English muffins, for example, are fine for a puppy to eat, as are croissants, breadsticks, challah, brioche, and other types. Again, the kind of bread, generally, doesn’t matter as long as there are no ingredients that can make your puppy sick due to toxicity.

What Ingredients in Bread Can Make a Puppy Sick?

So we’ve established that puppies can, indeed, eat bread, as long as it doesn’t have any ingredients that can make them sick. The question, then, is what are those ingredients, and in which breads are they most often found? Let’s take a look:

Raisins

Bread with raisins is very problematic for dogs, although veterinarians don’t quite know why. Even a few raisins can lead to kidney problems for some dogs, including acute kidney failure and even death. (That goes for grapes, too.) 

Garlic and Onions

Some breads have garlic and/or onions baked into them, which are both toxic for dogs and puppies. That’s because both of these members of the allium family contain an ingredient called thiosulfate. Thiosulfate, while not a problem for humans, can cause damage to a puppy’s red blood cells, which can then cause a severe (and sometimes deadly) health problem called hemolytic anemia

Large Nuts and Seeds

Most nuts aren’t toxic for dogs but are, instead, high in fat. The problem, of course, is that too much fat can lead to obesity and problems with your puppy’s pancreas. Another problem with nuts and seeds, though, is that larger ones can be a choking hazard. Macadamia nuts are the most problematic as they, typically, are the largest.

Chocolate

We all know that chocolate isn’t healthy for dogs. Bread with chocolate baked inside is thus not healthy either and can make them sick. The reason is a chemical ingredient in chocolate called theobromine. Puppies and dogs can’t metabolize this chemical, which is why it makes them sick.

Xylitol

An artificial sweetener, xylitol is toxic for puppies and adult dogs alike. Indeed, even a small amount of xylitol can cause seizure, liver failure, and hypoglycemia in puppies, and more significant amounts can be deadly.

What Kind of Bread Can a Puppy Eat?

There are many different kinds of bread, it’s true. Most bread, however, is made with the same basic ingredients, namely flour, yeast, water, and salt. Flour is the only ingredient that (typically) changes between the different types of bread. 

That being said, some breads use butter and eggs, also, which add to their fat and cholesterol content. Brioche bread is an excellent example of this. Bagels use high-gluten flour due to its extra protein, which is what makes them chewy. Still, as long as they don’t contain the toxic ingredients we looked at, they should be fine in small amounts.

Can Puppies Eat Wheat Bread?

Yes, puppies can eat wheat bread, as long as it doesn’t have the toxic ingredients we’ve talked about today. As with humans, wheat bread is likely a better, healthier choice for your pup. That being said, any type of bread should be given to your puppy in small amounts and only as an occasional snack. 

Can Puppies Eat Sprouted Bread?

Yes, they can, and it’s very healthy for them. As with humans, sprouted seeds and grains can help boost “good” bacteria in your puppy’s digestive tract. It also increases the digestive enzymes in their stomach, allowing them to digest their food.

Can Puppies Eat White Bread?

Yes, puppies can eat white bread that doesn’t have any of the harmful ingredients we looked at above. As with humans, though, a lot of white bread can be detrimental to their health, primarily due to the high amount of carbohydrates it contains. 

Can Puppies Eat Multigrain Bread?

Multigrain bread is considered safe for dogs as long as it’s devoid of the toxic ingredients I mentioned today. One crucial factor to keep in mind, though, is that bread, no matter what type, doesn’t really add any nutritional benefit to your pup’s diet. Bread is also high in calories and fat, which can be problematic for dogs that are prone to obesity.

Can Puppies Eat Bagels?

Yes, they can, but in tiny amounts. The reason why is that bagels, as I mentioned earlier, use high-gluten flour. This is refined gluten that, when eaten, breaks down into a thick, sticky paste in their intestines. It can then stick to their colon and prevent your pup from absorbing healthy nutrients from other foods they eat.

When Can Puppies Have Bread?

Veterinarians recommend not giving a puppy bread until after it’s been weaned, typically about 6 to 7 weeks of age. The reason why is that when they’re still relying on their mother’s milk for their food, a puppy’s digestive system isn’t ready for solid food.

Also, even after they’re weaned, vets say that bread of any kind shouldn’t amount to more than 5% of a puppy’s regular diet. More than that and problems with obesity can be the result.

Final Thoughts

“Can my puppy eat bread?” is a question I hear all the time. The answer is that, yes, puppies can eat bread, but it should be given to them in moderation and with great care to check the ingredients and make sure there are none in the bread you feed them that are toxic.

Please see my other blogs if you have more questions about what to feed your puppy and when. They have valuable information to help you make sure your puppy grows up to be a healthy, happy dog!