Is Sourdough Bread Good for Dogs to Eat?

How do you like to eat sourdough bread? With spreads like peanut butter, cheese, or jam, or do you make a Tukey sandwich with it? Regardless of how you want to devour sourdough bread, there is no denying that it is a healthier alternative to white bread. Plus, its taste is heavenly.

But, when you are a pet parent, you know that your fur baby does not leave your side when you crunch on your snack. Before you share your sandwich with it, naturally, you want to know, can dogs eat sourdough bread?

Let’s learn about it!

Can dogs eat sourdough bread?

Yes, dogs can eat sourdough bread, but in a tiny amount. Raw sourdough bread is toxic to dogs as it continues to ferment in their stomach, which can cause a health emergency. Although cooked sourdough bread is not as bad as uncooked, it should be given in small quantities.

You are enjoying a tasty meal in peace, and your beloved dog pops up with its poppy eyes, requesting you to share a bite with it. Who would not give in to those dreamy eyes? But before you give in to your dog’s not-so-innocent demands, remember that not all human foods are safe.

Although sourdough bread has its distinct taste and some health benefits for humans, they do not provide any substantial nutritious value to dogs. So, feed sourdough bread to your canine occasionally, that too in a tiny amount. 

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Let’s find out what sourdough bread is and how it is made!

What is sourdough bread made of?

Sourdough bread is different from other breads as it is a slow-fermented bread. Unlike other breads, it does not use yeast to rise. Instead, it is made of sourdough starter, which helps the dough rise. Sourdough starter is water and flour combined, which ferments over several days. It is added to sourdough bread as it acts as a leavened agent.

Making sourdough bread is tedious, but its’ nutritious value makes the wait worth it. Sourdough bread is rich in vitamins, minerals, and a good source of protein. Besides, the lactic acid bacteria act as antioxidants and prevent illnesses. Still, do not give your dogs more than a tiny amount, or else you will have to consult a vet.

Now we know sourdough is not for dogs. How about we dig into the dangers of sourdough bread for dogs?

What are the dangers of sourdough bread for dogs?

  • Yeast allergy
  • Alcohol toxicity
  • Weight gain
  • Celiac disease
  • Upset gastrointestinal tract

Yeast allergy

Do you see your furry friend licking, nibbling, scratching their ears, or gnawing at their feet? Beware! Dogs are sharp, and they might do so in secret.

These are symptoms of yeast allergy in dogs. Although yeast is not directly added to sourdough bread, it is formed through fermentation. Some dogs can be allergic to it. Yeast generally dies at 1400F; sometimes, a little residue is left, which can trigger allergy.

Alcohol toxicity

Since the sourdough bread is fermented, ethanol is produced, and around 2% remains in it even after baking. It can cause alcohol toxicosis and can havoc on dogs’ respiratory systems. However, it largely depends on the dog’s weight and the amount of alcohol your pup has consumed. Some signs of alcohol toxicity are:

  • tremors
  • loss of bodily movements
  • staggering
  • difficulty breathing
  • diarrhea
  • tremors
  • disorientation

Weight gain

Sourdough bread is heavy on carbs, and while dogs need carbohydrates, excess of it can result in obesity. Weight gain in dogs leads to several health issues, including cardiovascular, arthritis, and hypertension. If not taken care of immediately, these health issues can become severe.

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Celiac disease

Gluten or gliadin allergy is a dog’s reaction to the protein in wheat. Many dog breeds are prone to gluten intolerance, and feeding them sourdough bread can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or hives.

Below are the signs of wheat allergy in dogs:

  • ear infection
  • chronic GI disturbed
  • skin issues
  • loss of appetite/sudden weight loss
  • poor fur/coat

Upset gastrointestinal tract

Consumption of more than the recommended quantity of cooked sourdough bread can disturb your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms include:

  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain

Uncooked sourdough bread may have bacteria residues and trigger gastrointestinal tract issues.

Remember that a small quantity of sourdough bread occasionally does not result in serious health concerns. You must ensure that your beloved pup does not go overboard while having sourdough bread.

Why is uncooked sourdough bread dangerous for dogs?

Raw sourdough bread expands in dogs’ stomachs and continues to ferment exactly as it does in the oven. Ethanol is a type of alcohol produced when sourdough bread is fermented. Since uncooked sourdough bread ferments in dogs’ stomachs, it produces ethanol, which is toxic to dogs.

If your dog eats raw sourdough bread, it may show excessive drooling., hyperactivity, bloating, slow reactions, or restlessness. Plus, consuming uncooked sourdough bread can lead to other health issues. So, if you find out that your four-legged animal has eaten raw sourdough bread, take it to a vet immediately.

How can I stop my dog from eating sourdough bread?

Do not eat the sourdough bread in front of your dog. Keep the bread away from your dog’s reach. Also, train your beloved pup not to eat anything on its own.

Small chunks of sourdough bread are fine for your canine friend’s digestive system. But if you let the bread out in the open, it will eat it in abundance. Thus, you need to practice caution.

Is sourdough starter bad for dogs?

Yes, it is highly toxic to dogs. It can produce ethanol, and it may enter your dog’s bloodstream, leading to multiple health issues. Moreover, sourdough starters can trigger allergies and cause other problems.

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Sourdough starter is a combination of flour and water which ferments for several days. The ecosystem of lactobacillus bacteria and yeast is a food hazard for dogs. So, avoid feeding sourdough starter in any way to your pup.  

Related FAQs to whether dogs can eat sourdough bread

Can dogs eat bread?

Yes, dogs can eat bread; however, it does not add any nutritional value. Instead of making it a staple food item of your dog’s diet, give them bread occasionally. Also, ensure that you provide them with the bread which is not toxic to them.

What bread is bad for dogs?

Although dogs can eat most types of bread, they do not offer any value. Avoid giving bread that contains nuts, raisins, artificial sweeteners, or spices.

What bread can dogs eat?

  • Wheat bread
  • Multigrain bread
  • Oat flour bread
  • Coconut flour bread

Is sourdough bread healthier than white bread?

Yes, sourdough bread is a nutritious alternative to commonly used white bread. White bread does not provide any significant nutrients, only carbohydrates. Therefore, switching to sourdough bread for humans is a better option.

Can dogs eat sourdough pretzels?

No, dogs cannot eat sourdough pretzels. One pretzel contains almost twice the amount of salt recommended for dogs. Plus, small chunks of sourdough bread are safe for dogs, whereas in a pretzel, more sourdough is used, which can be dangerous.

Can dogs eat sourdough crackers?

Yes, they can, but occasionally. Sourdough crackers have a high content of sodium, fat, and carbohydrates. An excess of these elements can upset a dog’s stomach and result in various health issues.

Final thoughts on if sourdough is safe for dogs!

Sourdough bread is a staple item in many countries. While it is safe and nutritious for humans, it can lead to health issues in dogs. When you keep a furry companion with you, you must learn about safe and toxic food for your beloved animal. Cooked sourdough bread is fine for dogs in small amounts; however, uncooked is a big no! If you must feed sourdough, give it a little of it and avoid feeding it uncooked.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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