Food

Can Dogs Eat Breadsticks? Crunchy Queries

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Author: Jacob Kay

Breadsticks make for a tasty snack for humans, but can our pets enjoy them as well? Many pet parents have wondered if it’s okay to toss their dog a breadstick.

The bread itself is not inherently dangerous for dogs, but there are some important considerations to make before freely sharing breadsticks with your pup. The goal is for both owners and dogs to feel comfortable with the answer to the question “Can Dogs Eat Breadsticks?

In this article, we’ll discuss the possible risks and benefits of dogs eating breadsticks. We’ll cover the nutritional value of breadsticks for dogs, any choking hazards or digestive issues they may cause, and what circumstances should prompt you to avoid giving your dog breadsticks altogether.

Can Dogs Eat Breadsticks

Are Breadsticks Nutritious for Dogs?

When it comes to breadsticks and dogs, there are a few nutritional considerations to keep in mind. On the positive side, breadsticks can provide dogs with carbohydrates for energy and a small amount of protein. However, breadsticks contain very little of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are vital components of a balanced canine diet.

Are Breadsticks Nutritious For Dogs

Most breadsticks are made from enriched wheat flour, yeast, salt, sugar or honey, and cooking oil or butter. For dogs, the carbohydrate content can be helpful for energy in small servings, but too many breadsticks can lead to obesity and related health problems. The fats added from oil and butter improve flavour but have minimal nutritional value.

So when feeding the occasional breadstick, look at it as a starchy treat that satisfies your dog’s cravings rather than a healthy, nutritious food choice. Moderation is key, and breadsticks should not replace balanced dog meals or snacks that contain essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and more. Speak with your veterinarian before making any abrupt changes to your dog’s diet.[1]

Possible Dangers of Feeding Dogs Breadsticks

Possible Dangers of Feeding Dogs Breadsticks

While breadsticks can be safe for dogs in moderation, there are some potential hazards to be aware of. One risk with any chewy or crunchy human food is choking. Breadsticks can present a choking risk, especially for smaller dogs or aggressive chewers.

Their long, dry shape and tough texture make large pieces difficult to properly chew and swallow. Always monitor your dog when feeding breadsticks and consider smaller pieces or softer sticks.

Beyond choking, the wheat and yeast ingredients in breadsticks may cause digestive upset in some dogs. Signs can include vomiting, diarrhoea, gas, and abdominal pain or bloating. These symptoms may indicate a food intolerance or sensitivity.

Lastly, spices like garlic, onion, chives or raisins sometimes added for flavour can be toxic for dogs. So always check breadstick ingredients first and never feed flavoured varieties to your pet. When in doubt, plain breadsticks are the safest option. But, can dogs eat breadsticks safely?

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Breadsticks

While breadsticks come with some risks, you can safely allow your dog to enjoy this snack in moderation. Here are some tips:

Portion Size:

  • Start with feeding smaller pieces of breadsticks to your dog to measure toleration.
  • Limit to 1-2 breadsticks per feeding.
  • Adjust the amount based on your dog’s body type and weight.

Read the Label:

  • Avoid flavoured breadsticks with onion, garlic, raisins, and chives.
  • Check carbohydrate count if your dog has diabetes.
  • Look for whole grain varieties without enriched flavours if your dog has grain allergies.

Supervise Your Dog:

  • Remain present while they eat to monitor chewing and behaviour
  • Teach your dog to “sit” and “stay” while feeding as part of training

Pay attention:

  • Stop feeding immediately if you notice signs of choking or intestinal distress.
  • Consult your vet if symptoms persist beyond a day.[2]

Should Certain Dogs Avoid Breadsticks Entirely?

Should Certain Dogs Avoid Breadsticks Entirely

While most healthy dogs can enjoy an occasional breadstick safely with proper precautions, there are some instances where avoiding breadsticks altogether may be the wisest approach.

Dogs with gluten or wheat sensitivities, allergies, or celiac disease should not consume breadsticks since they contain gluten from flour. Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin irritations may occur. These dogs require gluten-free snacks instead.

Overweight dogs or dogs with diabetes should limit carbohydrate-heavy foods like breadsticks to small amounts only very rarely or avoid them entirely when managing these health conditions. Too many breadsticks can restrain weight loss or blood sugar control.

Elderly dogs with significant dental disease or difficulty chewing should also avoid breadsticks. Their tough texture coupled with weakened teeth or jaws can prevent safe consumption. Owners may opt for softer breadstick alternatives.

Of course, if your dog has ever shown signs of intolerance to bread products in the past, refrain from retesting with breadsticks again. When unsure if breadsticks are appropriate, have a conversation with your veterinarian for tailored feeding advice based on your dog’s unique health status and needs.

FAQs

Can I give my dog plain breadsticks from the grocery store?

Plain breadsticks without added spices or flavours are safest. Check the label first to ensure there are no onion, garlic, raisins, or other ingredients toxic to dogs. Whole grain or standard enriched flour sticks can be fed in moderation.

How should I prepare breadsticks for my dog?

Break breadsticks into bite-sized pieces before feeding to reduce choking risk. You can also soak sticks in broth or dip them in peanut butter to soften the texture. Cutting them up helps dogs chew and swallow the pieces more safely.

Will breadsticks hurt my dog’s digestive system?

In moderation, most dogs tolerate breadsticks well. However, dogs prone to grain allergies or sensitivity may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, gas, or bloating. Discontinue feeding breadsticks if these symptoms develop. Consult your vet if the issues persist beyond 24 hours.

Can dogs eat breadsticks?

Breadsticks are high in carbohydrates, so they are typically not recommended for diabetic dogs who need to manage their blood sugar levels carefully. Vets may advise diabetic dogs to avoid breadsticks or only have a very small portion on rare special occasions.

How many breadsticks should I let my dog eat?

Stick to 1-2 small breadsticks per feeding for medium or large dogs. Small dogs should have portions sized down accordingly. Too many can lead to obesity or other health issues. Moderation is key when feeding people food like breadsticks.

Conclusion

When fed responsibly, breadsticks can be a fine way to surprise your dog with an atypical treat. Most healthy pups can tolerate small amounts with no adverse effects.

However, breadsticks offer minimal nutritional value and do pose some risks if given excessively or carelessly. Key considerations are your individual dog’s health, any ingredient sensitivities, and the supervision required to prevent choking or overreacting.

Hopefully, this article gave dog owners a balanced perspective on the safety of breadstick consumption and an answer to the question, “Can Dogs Eat Breadsticks?“. While not toxic breadsticks don’t deserve a regular place in your dog’s bowl.

A special occasional nibble from your plate is perfectly reasonable for dogs without grain issues or weight problems. Just be sure to check labels for dough conditioners and flavours, monitor your dog, and adjust portions or frequency if any concerns arise. With prudence and moderation, both you and your dog can safely enjoy this popular snack.

References:

  1. Can Dogs Eat Bread? Read Before You Feed | Purina
  2. Can Dogs Eat Bread? | American Kennel Club
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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