Dogs are known to chew on and eat just about anything mainly because they use their mouths to explore their surroundings. Some of these things they eat may be harmful and could cause serious health issues.
So, should you be worried if your dog eats a loaf of bread? Well, yes and no. Read on to learn more.
Is Bread Harmful to Dogs?
Bread can be harmful to dogs if it contains certain ingredients. It can also strain their digestive system if too much is consumed. Still, it can offer a couple of benefits to your furry little pal when given in moderation. Let’s take a look at some situations where bread can come in handy.
When Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach
One way to provide relief to your dog if it has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is to give it a small portion of white bread. Its high starch content will absorb the gastric acid (which causes stomach problems), providing relief.
However, keep in mind that the bread cannot cure your dog’s upset stomach. It only offers temporary relief. So it is crucial to visit a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
When Your Dog Accidentally Swallows a Sharp Object
Dogs can swallow foreign objects, including sharp objects such as needles.
Such objects can cause severe damage to its body as they travel through their gastrointestinal tract. For one, they can perforate the stomach, esophagus, or intestines, causing the contents inside these organs to spill into the nearby body parts.
If this happens, your dog will be in serious trouble.
An effective way to prevent this from happening is by giving your animal some bread. The bread protects your pup’s esophagus from being damaged by the sharp item if it ends up vomiting either naturally or as a result of being given some medicine by the vet.
It encases the sharp object as it goes through the gastrointestinal tract, preventing it from damaging any organs along the way.
When Your Dog Ingests a Linear Foreign Object
Things like threads or a string of yarn can seem harmless, but they are quite dangerous if your dog ingests them.
If your pup swallows such, it may accidentally get attached somewhere along the gastrointestinal tract. When that happens, the peristaltic movement of your dog’s intestines may cause the thread to wrap itself around the intestines. This will eventually lead to the string damaging the intestines.
Giving your pup some bread right after it ingests a piece of thread or string will enable it to travel down the gastrointestinal tract without causing any damage.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Eats A Whole Loaf of Bread?
If your dog chowed down a whole loaf of bread, there are a lot of factors that will determine whether or not you should be worried. Let’s look at a couple of them.
The Size of Your Dog
If you have a larger dog, it shouldn’t experience any harmful side effects since it has a bigger stomach. This allows it to accommodate and digest the bread with ease.
However, if your pup is a smaller breed, it may experience some discomfort. This is because it has a smaller stomach, so holding an entire loaf of bread can be pretty challenging, considering that the dog’s digestive system takes a while to digest food.
That is why it is advisable to keep an eye on your dog during the first 48-72 hours after it has eaten the bread. If you notice that it is exhibiting any abnormal gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and regular vomiting, it is best to take your pup to the veterinarian.
If the Bread Had a Wrapper
Unlike humans, your dog is likely to eat bread together with its wrapper. If it has, then it is recommendable to visit the vet immediately. This is because the wrapper may have obstructed its stomach or intestines, causing some serious health complications.
If the Bread Had Toxic Ingredients
We prefer some ingredients in our bread or any other type of food that may be toxic to your dog. If the bread your pup chowed down had high amounts of any of the below ingredients, take it to your vet immediately.
Garlic contains a compound called thiosulfate. While it is not toxic to humans, this compound can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to a condition known as hemolytic anemia.
According to a recent study, around 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of a dog’s overall body weight create a toxic reaction in its blood. While a whole loaf of garlic bread may not contain this much garlic, regularly consuming garlic bread may lead to this health condition.
What’s more, some dog breeds quickly react to even a small amount of garlic. That is why it is essential to consult your vet if your pup eats a loaf of garlic bread.
Another toxic food item is raisins. These dried fruits contain mycotoxin or salicylate, which decreases the blood flow to a dog’s kidneys, causing acute kidney failure.
Unfortunately, even a single raisin is quite toxic to a dog, which makes an entire loaf of raisin bread dangerous to your pup.
These nuts are known to cause serious health issues in dogs, such as intense shaking in the limbs, making them unable to walk, diarrhea, vomiting, among others.
According to experts, dogs can begin exhibiting these symptoms even if they ingest as little as ½ an ounce of macadamia nuts per 2 pounds of their body weight.
So, if your pup ate a whole loaf of bread with macadamia nuts, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian.
While bread has some digestion benefits to dogs, too much of it can be quite dangerous. So it is important to keep them away from your pup. And if you have to give it some, do so in moderation. After all, bread doesn’t add any nutritional value to your dog’s body.