The staple of most households across America bread makes up a huge part of our diet and German Shepherds seem to love it too. I’ve lost count of the amount of times when walking through the park you’ll see an owner giving their dog a piece of their sandwich or a slice of bread. Everybody else is doing it, it must be ok, right?
So, can my German Shepherd eat bread? Yes – in moderation! Just like human’s German Shepherds can eat plain white and wheat bread. They are both perfectly healthy for your German Shepherd to eat as long as they don’t have allergies that would cause them to get an upset stomach.
Feeding your German Shepherd bread as a treat will not cause them harm as long as you’re also providing them with a balanced diet and giving them plenty of exercise. Bread as a carbohydrate is nutrient scarce for dogs and does not provide anything beneficial to their diet. Too much bread and you can set your German Shepherd on the route to obesity.
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Is it safe for my German Shepherds to eat bread?
As we already know German Shepherds can eat plain white and wheat bread, these both, for the most part, are generally safe for your German Shepherd to eat however as always the short answer doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Bread is not toxic for dogs however certain types of bread can be.
Before allowing your German Shepherd to have any bread you should always check the list of ingredients to ensure there is none of the following in the bread –
- Nuts – All nuts are not good for dogs, the worst being Macadamia nuts which are incredibly toxic.
- Raisins – Raisins are deadly to dogs and can quickly cause Kidney Failure.
- Onions/Garlic – These, and indeed all members of the Allium family are toxic for dogs and can cause anemia which destroys the red blood cells.
- Xylitol – This sugar sweetener is found in a lot of sweet breads and can reduce glucose levels which can cause liver failure.
I bake a lot, can I feed my German Shepherd the left-over dough?
Bread Dough is one of the most harmful foods your German Shepherd could eat, this is because their stomach provides the ideal conditions to allow bread to rise and expand. The rising bread can lead to Stomach Bloat, which is a life-threatening condition in dogs (Source American Kennel Club, WebMd). This is just the start of the problems, the yeast will release ethanol into the bloodstream which can quickly cause alcohol poisoning in your German Shepherd. If you suspect your dog has eaten any Bread Dough you should immediately dial your vet and get your German Shepherd in for a check up however the following are also symptoms you GSD may start to display within the first two hours of eating bread dough
Increased heart rate
Once again if your German Shepherd eats any bread dough immediately seek veterinary assistance.
Does Bread Provide any health benefits to my German Shepherd?
Bread is the great settler for humans, heavy night out a slice of bread will soak everything up. Stomach feeling a little queasy, some plain toast will settle it right down. For dogs it is not quite the same however there is three occasions when bread can be beneficial to your dog.
1 – Your German Shepherd has eaten something with sharp points or edges
If your GSD has been chewing on a bone it may have got a little carried away and broken the bone into little shards which it then accidently swallows, these shards can do damage as they travel through the digestive system. If your dog has swallowed shards giving them a large meal of bread can help the encase the bone shard allowing it to pass through the rest of the system safely. Bread can also help in the same way if your dog ends up vomiting the shards out.
2 – Your German Shepherd has eaten string or thread.
If your German Shepherd eats a long piece of string or thread often one side of the thread will get stuck somewhere in the intestinal tract. This can cause the string to gradually over time cut into the intestinal wall and cause peritonitis. Eating bread after ingesting string can cause the bread to clump onto the string and help it pass through the digestive system.
3 – Your German Shepherd has a mild tummy upset
If your German Shepherd has a mild stomach upset, then bread can help to soak up some of the acidity in the stomach and help to settle their stomach down.
- German Shepherds can eat bread in moderation
- They should only eat plain white or wheat bread
- Check the bread does not contain nuts, raisins, onions/garlic or Xylitol
- If your dog eats Bread Dough phone a vet immediately
- Bread can help your dog’s digestive system if they have eaten string, something sharp or have an upset tummy
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