Dogs and bread are often a contentious mix – some dog parents are ok with it while others avoid it. So, who is right? Can dogs have rye bread or is it dangerous and unhealthy?
The quick answer is that rye bread is generally ok in small doses but isn’t recommended overall. And that’s not counting some pre-existing conditions your dog may have such as grain and wheat allergies, and more. The exact recipe of the rye bread is also important as some of the possible extra ingredients can be outright harmful or toxic for a dog.
So, let’s go into a bit more detail below.
Can Dogs Have Rye Bread?
Most dogs can as long as you don’t go overboard with it. Like other types of bread, rye bread doesn’t really have any significant nutritional value for dogs so this isn’t in any way something your canine pet needs. However, as long as your dog doesn’t have any health problems and predispositions, giving him a bit of rye bread as a treat should be ok. To find out if such health problems and predispositions exist – consult with your vet first.
Why Is Bread Bad For Dogs?
Similar to other types of bread, rye bread can lead to some issues such as:
- Rye bread allergies, namely wheat and grain allergies
- Weight gain
- Gastrointestinal problems
- The toxicity of certain spices or other ingredients often added to rye bread
Some of these issues – namely allergies and certain toxicities – can be triggered even after just a single bite. Other problems, on the other hand, such as weight gain and GI issues, are mostly a matter of overeating. So, if your dog isn’t allergic to grains and wheat, and if you’re careful about what’s in your rye bread, giving a couple of bites to a healthy dog shouldn’t be the end of the world.
Rye Bread Vs Plain Bread
So, are there any benefits of rye bread dogs can take advantage of? As a matter of fact – yes. Rye bread is richer in micronutrients and overall fiber content compared to most plain bread. This makes it a much better (or less worse) option for dogs.
However, many people take this to mean that rye bread is good for dogs. Unfortunately, that’s still not the case. It’s just somewhat more acceptable – so much so that a healthy dog shouldn’t have a problem with the occasional rye bread bite or two.
Learn more about: Can Dogs Have Banana Bread Or Is It Toxic For Them?
Can Dogs Have Rye Bread As A Regular Part Of Their Diet?
As a part of their food? No – bread of any kind should not be given to a dog as a part of its main meals. Instead, those should be focused on more standard canine foods such as meats and certain vegetables.
As a treat, however? Yes, a healthy dog with no allergies can eat the occasional rye bread treat or reward. Just make sure there aren’t any toxic spices or ingredients in the bread.
Some dogs really love bread such as rye bread which makes this an excellent training treat or a great reward for good behavior. Again – just make sure not to give your dog too much of it.
How Much Rye Bread Is Ok For Your Dog?
Assuming good health and lack of allergies, the amount of rye bread your dog should be ok with depends on your dog’s size and weight. A mini dachshund, for example, really shouldn’t be given more than one or two small bites every other day. This becomes especially important when you consider how prone to obesity Doxies are.
A larger and more physically active breed like the Labrador Retriever, on the other hand, can easily eat several larger bites of rye bread every other day. After that, just give your dog plenty of exercise to run those empty calories out of its system, add some highly nutritional and healthy food as a part of its main meals, and everything should be fine.
What Are The Symptoms Of Grain and Wheat Allergies In Dogs?
Your dog’s reaction to wheat or grain allergies can vary. However, in any case, you will see at least one – usually more – of the following symptoms:
- Skin itching
- Dry skin and dandruff-like flakes
- Rashes and skin bumps
- Minor or major hair loss
- Chewing and licking of the paws
- Red and inflamed paw pads
- Constant ear infections
- Continuous GI issues
Encountering any of these problems alone isn’t a sure-fire sign of allergies. Each of these can be caused by other issues or can be a problem in and of itself. However, if you see one or more of those shortly after giving your dog bread of any kind – including rye bread – you should definitely consider the possibility of wheat and grain allergies.
What To Do If Your Dog Has An Allergic Reaction Or Develops A Different Problem?
First and foremost, you should contact and/or visit your veterinary specialist. If the symptoms are minor, you’ll usually need to just stop the intake of grain/wheat products and everything should be fine. In case of more serious symptoms and health problems, your vet will likely prescribe a medication to subdue to issue. From there, recovery should be easy as long as you’ve removed all wheat/grain products from your dog’s diet.
In Conclusion – Can Dogs Have Rye Bread, Why, and Why Not?
Most dogs can have a bit of rye bread as long as they are not allergic to wheat and grain (or anything else in it). However, even when your dogs can tolerate those foods, bread of any kind – even the generally healthier rye – isn’t something dogs eat. It’s just not suitable for their metabolism and doesn’t give them the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
So, for a non-allergic and healthy canine, the occasional rye bread treat should be acceptable. However, even then you should keep this treat to a minimum. Instead, you can give your dog other meat- or veggie-based treats that are much healthier and equally delicious to canines. Even just with commercial dog foods/treats today there are literally thousands of options out there so we don’t need to resort to giving our pets bread.