Is it OK to give my dog bread?

Some dogs just love bread – from a few stolen sandwich crusts to a half-eaten burger in a bun. But is bread bad for dogs? And with lots more of us choosing to go gluten-free, should our dogs be following suit? Here’s everything you need to know about giving bread to your dog .

Can dogs eat bread?

can dog's eat bread

Plain white or brown bread is generally safe for dogs to eat. But bread can be high in sugar and calories – and that can make your dog put on weight and impact their overall health. So if you do give your dog bread, it should only ever be a small amount as an occasional treat. Ideally, they should avoid it altogether, and stick to a balanced, complete diet that gives them energy, B-vitamins, and insoluble fibre from other, more dog-friendly, sources.

While plain bread varieties are examples of human food dogs can eat, flavoured bread is a different story. These are often full of ingredients that are harmful or toxic to dogs – like raisins, onions, seeds, nuts or cheese.

Read more: What foods are harmful to dogs? 

Aren’t dogs carnivores?

It’s a common misconception that dogs are only supposed to eat meat. It tends to come from the knowledge that dogs are descended from wolves. But thousands of years of evolution and selective breeding mean these species now have very different nutritional habits. Domestic dogs evolved to eat our leftover food scraps, so they’re omnivores – they can eat plants and meat.

Related blog: Why do dogs need carbohydrates?  

Is gluten-free better for dogs?

Only dogs with a genuine wheat allergy benefit from avoiding gluten. For other dogs, it means losing out on a valuable source of energy, fibre and important nutrients. Unless there’s a health reason to avoid gluten, we recommend keeping wheat and other grains on your dog’s menu.

Even if you think your dog has an allergy, don’t be too quick to go grain-free. Most food allergies in dogs are related to animal proteins. Unless all the evidence points to grain, it’s best to rule out more common culprits – like beef, eggs, dairy and soya – first.

If this process of elimination leaves grain as the prime suspect, you’re best to cut out wheat, and only wheat, next. Other grains – like maize, oats and rice – are highly nutritious and less allergenic. So cutting these from your dog’s diet should be a last resort.

Related blog: Does my dog have a food allergy? 

Does bread give dogs an upset stomach?

Unless your dog has a genuine wheat allergy, eating a small amount of bread is unlikely to upset their digestion. However, dogs who already have a stomach upset might want to give bread a miss – some plain rice or boiled chicken can be easier on sensitive stomachs

Will eating yeast make my dog’s skin infection worse?

They may share a name, but the yeast in your dog’s food and the yeast that lives on your dog’s skin are different. There’s absolutely no link between your dog eating yeast, and suffering from a skin infection.

In fact, we often include brewer’s yeast in our food. This is a dried, non-active yeast that comes from the fermentation of beer. It’s one of the best sources of natural B vitamins, which support digestion, metabolism, and the nervous system. And it keeps your dog’s skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver healthy too. Yeast is also a ‘complete protein’ – it contains all ten of the essential amino acids your dog needs to get from their diet.

Remember: treats still count! Get to know everything about dog weight management and why it is important.

Got a question about what dogs can eat? Our veterinary and nutritional team is here to guide you through the facts and dispel the fiction. Get their advice at

4 thoughts on “Is it OK to give my dog bread?”

  1. Lucky had a very bad yeast problem a few years ago , and this lead to her scratching her skin raw under her front legs. This in turn lead to me changing her to a raw food diet , but I worry constantly that she is not getting a balanced diet , would changing her to help prevent the yeast infection coming back , and would it give her a proper balanced diet .I would also like to know if she could have the salmon baked treats you have ???? Thanks in advance

    • Hi Paula,

      Sorry to hear Lucky has suffered with yeast infections. Please contact our Customer Experience Team: They will be best placed to advise you on food recommendations. We have an in-house Vet and Nutritionist team who will be able to support you with additional information and help you find the right diet for Lucky.


  2. Hi all
    I have tried out the Tails dog foods and this is my input with my dog after using their receipts ……my dog x Jack Russel Black and now at 10yr old has a grey/white face has in the past never liked dog tin foods, we’re not wealthy people so it would of helped had he liked them but we put him on Hi-lite a moist, soft pellet type food he eat this for 4 yrs no problem then came stomach problems, we tried a few others like Harringtons dry hard nut and still with the soft highlite as it seemed he always tried to eat the hi-lite first, great at first then he went off the Harringtons but it seemed to help at first then tummy problems but just wouldn’t eat after a while and lost weight and still had tummy troubles every 2/3 days eating and 2/3 days sick, it seemed during this period he would love anything different but only for a day or two then goes off it, then we found a dry hard nut, eat them at first then eats them when he wants to, he hasn’t gone off them as yet but he went mad after the dog chews medium size half in mornings and half tea time 6.00pm he loves them and would eat more if he could, the tummy problems have reduced to a weekly period, but he still has to take half a steroid (advice of Vet) when he starts to get the loud squelching tummy sounds that stops within 3 hrs after taking his I/2 a tablet that would be approx be half a tablet every 3/4 days, it’s like a miracle that half a tablet, so although the food is helping, (so did the hi-lite at first) he is starting to go back to where we were and yesterday he would not eat his dog chew until I gave him half a tablet and then eat it 5.00pm
    I would love help from some one if you have any ideas, there is one horizon that all my dogs died between 7/12 years of age so he he’s only got 2/3 years left, hopefully more as I will miss him but for him it might be a blessing


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