Medically reviewed by Dr. Erica Irish
Can French bulldogs eat bread? As devoted dog owners, we often find ourselves questioning whether it’s safe to share our favorite human foods with our furry companions.
The short answer is yes. French bulldogs can eat certain types of bread in moderation.
However, before feeding your loyal companion a carb-filled treat like bread, it’s important to consider the potential health benefits and harmful ingredients found in some types of bread.
Ultimately, it’s better to avoid feeding your Frenchie bread. It’s easier to avoid the habit of offering bread as a treat then to try and break it later.
This post will explain the reasons why bread isn’t the best choice for French bulldogs, including better treat options for your beloved companion.
Can Bread Be “Healthy” For French Bulldogs?
Although some types of bread are better than others, the reality is that your dog would have to eat a lot of it to gain any nutritional benefits.
In the meantime, your dog would gain so much weight that any nutritional gains would be offset by the risks of obesity.
That said, plain white bread and wheat bread are considered safe for dogs, but only in moderation. Dogs with a wheat allergy should not be fed any type of bread.
What Type of Bread Can My Frenchie Eat?
Some types of bread, like those made with pumpkin or sweet potato, can offer added nutrients and antioxidants that support overall wellness.
The small number of vitamins and minerals found in bread, such as Vitamin B and iron, can contribute to your French bulldog’s nutritional needs.
Bread shouldn’t make up a significant portion of a dog’s diet.
Plain, unseasoned whole wheat bread
Whole-wheat bread is generally a better choice compared to white bread because it contains more fiber and nutrients. Look for options with minimal additives, preservatives, or added sugars.
Making homemade bread allows you to have full control over the ingredients. You can choose healthier options, like whole-grain flour with minimal salt, and avoid potentially harmful additives.
Plain White Bread
Very small amounts of plain white bread could be a delicious treat for your hungry Frenchie. Moderation is key because French bulldogs tend to gain weight easily, which can create a host of medical problems.
13 Reasons to Avoid Feeding Bread to a French Bulldog
As pet owners, we want to keep our dogs happy and healthy. That usually involves exercise, training, socialization, and a balanced diet.
The occasional treat, including plain white bread, is okay as long as it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like chocolate chips or xylitol.
There are many reasons to avoid feeding bread to a French bulldog, including:
1. Empty Calories
Bread is generally high in calories and low in nutritional value. Feeding too much bread can contribute to weight gain and obesity in French bulldogs.
2. Digestive Issues
Although rare, wheat and gluten found in many types of bread can be difficult for French bulldogs to digest. It may cause gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
3. Allergies or Sensitivities
French bulldogs, like other dog breeds, can develop allergies or sensitivities the wheat or gluten in bread. It should be noted that allergies to wheat and gluten in bread are rare in dogs.
Food allergies often manifest in the skin with symptoms that include extreme itchiness.
Skin allergies can leave a dog vulnerable to bacterial infection due to excessive itching that leaves the skin open, raw, and bleeding.
4. Dietary Imbalance
French bulldogs require a balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. Bread alone does not provide the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals essential for their well-being.
Feeding too much bread can lead to an unbalanced diet.
5. Spike in Blood Sugar
Bread contains carbohydrates that can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
6. Nutritional Deficiencies
If bread becomes a significant part of a French bulldog’s diet, it can potentially replace other more nutritious food options.
This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and an inadequate intake of essential nutrients.
7. Risk of Obesity
Excessive bread consumption can contribute to weight gain and obesity in French bulldogs. Sadly, obesity puts them at risk for various health issues including joint problems, heart disease, respiratory difficulties, and a reduced lifespan.
8. Potential for Choking
French bulldogs are brachycephalic breeds (short-muzzled).
Their anatomy makes them more prone to choking. Although bread is soft and easy to chew, too much at once can get gummed up inside the dog’s mouth, turning it into a choking hazard.
9. Unnecessary Additives
Many types of bread, especially store-bought varieties, contain added sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients that may be toxic to dogs.
10. Yeast Toxicity in Raw Dough
The yeast in raw bread dough can be dangerous if swallowed by a dog. The reason is because the stomach provides a warm and moist environment where the yeast will ferment.
During fermentation, yeast dough produces alcohol and carbon dioxide byproducts. The accumulation of these substances can lead to:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Gas accumulation and bloating
- Intestinal obstruction
If you suspect your dog has consumed raw bread dough, seek immediate veterinary attention.
The veterinarian can assess the situation, provide appropriate treatment, and take necessary steps to reduce the risks associated with yeast toxicity, alcohol poisoning, and potential complications like gastric dilation and volvulus (bloat).
In severe cases, raw bread dough can expand enough to cause swelling in the stomach.
As this happens, pressure builds on the surrounding organs, potentially causing discomfort, difficulty breathing, and abdominal pain.
The worst-case scenario would be the development of bloat, a condition where the stomach twists on itself, leading to a blocked blood supply and potential organ damage.
Bloat is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical care.
12. Toxic Ingredients
Any bread that has added an artificial sweetener can be toxic to dogs. Xylitol, for example, is a common ingredient found in many store-bought baked goods.
Before dishing out slices of bread to your dog, consider what other ingredients may be lurking.
Things like macadamia nuts and chocolate chips, for example, are two potentially toxic ingredients that should be avoided.
Potential toxins include:
- Some types of rye bread may contain raisins or currents as an ingredient for added flavor. Raisins can be toxic to dogs, potentially contributing to kidney failure.
- Onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia. Think twice before offering your dog a piece of garlic bread!
- Excessive salt in bread can lead to health issues such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and high blood pressure in dogs.
- Artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, are highly toxic to dogs and can lead to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, liver failure, and even death.
- Some multi-grain varieties of bread may contain walnuts, macadamia nuts, or almonds. These may pose a choking hazard for small dogs. They also contain high levels of fats or oils that can cause digestive upset and worsen or cause pancreatitis.
- Some breads may have seeds on top or contain ingredients like poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Small amounts are not usually harmful to dogs, but large quantities can irritate a dog’ digestive system.
- Some breads or rolls contain dairy products like milk, butter, or cheese. While small amounts of dairy are usually fine for dogs, other may develop lactose intolerance.
- Commercially produced breads may contain artificial additives, preservatives, or flavorings. This can lead to an allergic reaction in some dogs, including skin irritation and digestive issues.
13. Creates a Bad Habit
French bulldogs make great companions. All they need is your love and attention to be happy. They need a moderate amount of exercise and a healthy diet.
The problem with feeding bread to a French bulldog is the likelihood that they are going to want it all the time.
The next thing you know that small amount you first started feeding your dog gradually becomes a bigger portion.
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While French bulldogs can enjoy bread as a tasty treat in small quantities, it’s essential for pet parents to exercise caution.
French bulldogs are prone to food allergies. Common allergens include beef, chicken, dairy products, and grains like wheat and corn. If your dog has an underlying food allergy, bread may not be the best treat option.
Food allergies can manifest as skin irritations, gastrointestinal issues, ear infections, and even respiratory problems.
The bottom line is to exercise moderation when feeding your French bulldog anything other than his or her regular food. Small amounts once in a while are usually fine, but it’s best to stick to healthier food options when possible.
Aaron, Marc. “25 Bad Foods That Are Poisonous and Toxic to French Bulldogs.” French Bulldog Owner, 18 Apr. 2020, frenchbulldogowner.com/foods-bad-poisonous-toxic-french-bulldogs.
“Bread Dough.” Pet Poison Helpline, www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/bread-dough. Accessed 10 July 2023.
“Can Dogs Eat Bread? Read Before You Feed | Purina.” Can Dogs Eat Bread? Read Before You Feed | Purina, www.purina-arabia.com/articles/dogs/feeding/what-dogs-eat/dogs-eat-bread. Accessed 10 July 2023.
GWALTNEY-BRANT.SHARON. “Bread Dough Toxicosis in Animals – Toxicology – Merck Veterinary Manual.” Merck Veterinary Manual, www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/food-hazards/bread-dough-toxicosis-in-animals. Accessed 10 July 2023.