Can Dogs Eat Bread?
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There is a widespread belief that dogs can't eat bread. Perhaps it is the reason you don't see many dog sandwiches being sold in pet shops. While there are many different types of bread, it is most commonly made from flour, water and yeast. It is also known for its high carbohydrate content. While there are many foods which are prohibited for consumption by dogs, bread is not one which is toxic to them.
To answer the question, dogs can eat bread. However, whether or not they should is a different matter. To explain further, this AnimalWised article on can dogs eat bread? investigates canine nutrition to see what food benefits them (as well as what to stay away from).
Is it a bad idea to give bread to dogs?
Dogs are omnivorous animals which can maintain a varied diet to benefit from the different types of nutrition different foods provide. However, a dog's nutritional requirements are mainly based on the consumption of high quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Other nutritional components may be present in their diet, but they will only be needed in moderation. Carbohydrates are one of the latter category. Therefore, even though your dog may be able to eat bread, it should not be the basis of their diet. This is because the predominate form of nutrition for dogs is protein, not carbohydrates.
In the digestion process, carbohydrates are most commonly converted to sugars. This is why a high intake of carbohydrates will increase blood glucose levels, making a dog more prone to such conditions as canine diabetes. Also, but no less important, incorporating too many carbohydrates into a dogs diet can lead to obesity. Being overweight can lead to a dog being susceptible to many other health conditions.
It is not just bread which is a source of carbohydrate. Other foods such as pasta, and rice are also carb-rich foods. When consumed in a moderate way, they can help maintain a balanced diet and encourage metabolism. Introducing these foods in the right way is essential. This is why we provide some tips in the next section on how to offer bread to your dog without compromising their overall health.
What types of bread can I offer my dog?
If you are wondering what type of bread you should offer your dog, the type of bread (bun, sliced, baguette, etc.) isn't as important as the ingredients. Just as with humans, you should not offer your dog bread which has preservatives, dyes or additives. Commercial bread is that which we buy from many bakeries and supermarkets. It often contains high levels of salt and refined sugar, two ingredients which are harmful to the health of dogs. Some breads may also contain dairy products such as milk yogurt and butter. Although usually OK in small amounts, they can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs.
If you choose to prepare some homemade food for your dog, you should choose high quality bread. This is often bread made with flour from whole grains, cereals, oats, rice, barley or flax. These are all preferable to wheat flour. You should also avoid those which use a heavy biological fermentation process in the form of yeast or chemical alternatives such as baking powder. If you want to use something a little different and healthier you can try beer yeast, which offers its own benefits for your dog's digestion.
Last, but not least, we should not add any salt or sugar to bread made for dogs. If you are making bread which you will eat as well and want it to be a little sweet, add honey. Otherwise, your dog won't care if it is sweet or not. If you want a savory bread, instead of adding salt you can add something beneficial such as turmeric. Although it should be noted this is to be used in moderate doses.
Homemade banana and oatmeal bread for dogs
If you want to incorporate some homemade recipes into your dog's diet, you can't go wrong with this bread. Making your own bread means you can ensure it is free from preservatives as well as providing the comforting smugness of having done something productive. This bread contains the benefits of three of its ingredients: oats, banana and cinnamon. We don't use eggs, milk or wheat flour so this bread will not hinder digestion. In fact, it will benefit it and ensure they will not have an adverse reaction.
The oatmeal provides high fiber content which facilitates intestinal transit, relieves stomach pains and prevents constipation. The banana is one of the fruits recommended for dogs because it is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. These are essential to strengthen their immune system and improve their resistance to disease. Finally, we highlight this bread's digestive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties found in the cinnamon (not to mention flavor).
How to prepare oatmeal banana bread for dogs
For this dog bread recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 2 cups of fine organic oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Here is the step-by-step method for our recipe:
- First, peel the bananas and cut into chunks.
- In a blender or food processor, add the slices of banana with the water, honey, cinnamon and oil. Blend into an even consistency.
- Add the oatmeal and baking soda before mixing well in a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC/350 ºF and pour the mixture into a bread tin or mold.
- Bake for about 40 minutes and check if it is done by placing the blade of a knife into the center of the bread. If the knife comes out clean it is done, if not leave in for a little longer.
- Before serving ensure the bread has reached room temperature.
This oatmeal banana bread for dogs can be offered as an occasional treat if your dog has a special occasion or as a reward during training. This is because dogs need a healthy and balanced diet to maintain their overall health.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Dogs Eat Bread?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.