Garlic bread is a delectable accompaniment to many Italian-American dishes. This flavorful and filling style of bread makes practically any meal satisfying, and your dog will certainly want to sample a piece while you are having dinner. With this in mind, can you feed your dog garlic bread?
Garlic bread should never be given to a dog due to the many harmful ingredients the bread contains. In addition to toxic garlic, garlic bread also contains high concentrations of fat, sodium, and gluten that can cause weight gain in dogs and heart and kidney issues. Sprinkled chives are also toxic to dogs.
Any dog owner knows that dogs are very curious eaters and love begging for table scraps during a meal. Some items are okay in moderation, but garlic bread is certainly not one of these. This guide will explore everything there is to know about garlic bread and its overall safety for dogs. Read on to find out more.
How Is Garlic Bread Made?
Garlic bread is made with either sliced French toast or any other type of hardened, sliced bread. Butter or oil is slathered on the top of the bread slice, followed by additional seasonings and possibly cheese.
Garlic is added to the bread slice either as powdered garlic extract or by rubbing sliced garlic along the top of the bread to deposit garlic flavoring. The bread may also be topped with shaved cloves (onions) and salt and pepper to increase the flavoring.
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Is Garlic Bread Bad for Dogs?
Due to the range of ingredients on garlic bread that are bad for dogs and a couple of which can be fatal to dogs, garlic bread is certainly a bad idea as a snack for dogs.
In addition to the main concerns, bread, in general, is also bad for dogs since it contains gluten that causes weight gain and can aggravate allergies in dogs. Let’s take a close look at all the ingredients in garlic bread to determine how dogs react to each.
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What Ingredients in Garlic Bread Are Dangerous for Dogs?
Before we get into every ingredient, it should be pointed out that garlic bread can be made in various ways. Some versions of this bread come with cheese, usually parmesan or mozzarella, whereas some versions of garlic bread leave the cheese off.
Some garlic bread may contain spicy seasonings or come sprinkled with pieces of garlic, whereas other versions stick to powdered garlic. Green chive shavings may be sprinkled on top or not. But the main concern of the dish, and the only ingredient that makes the bread live up to its name, is garlic, and this ingredient is never okay for dogs. Let’s take a look at the main ingredients.
Garlic is a bulb that grows on flowering plants from the allium family. This ingredient adds a burst of robust flavor to practically any dish and even has some health benefits for people.
But these benefits are the exact opposite for canines. Garlic ingestion in dogs can lead to a condition known as hemolytic anemia. This condition occurs due to the oxidative damage that garlic causes in dogs’ red blood cells.
It is not completely understood why this happens, but garlic brings about this condition in dogs that can eventually lead to death due to completely poisoning a dog’s entire system. The amount of garlic (no matter its form) on a piece of garlic bread is likely enough to trigger this condition in dogs.
2. Butter or Oils
Butter and any oil used to coat the bread are high in fat. Dogs ingest and store fat much easier than people, and the fat in butter can cause immediate weight gain in dogs.
Although something like olive oil is not as bad as butter, this is still a bad idea for dogs since this is a form of empty calories and unhealthy fats outside of what dogs typically need.
No matter the type of cheese added to garlic bread, dairy products are not good for dogs outside of very small amounts occasionally. Cheese can lead to constipation in dogs and, like butter or oil, can lead to immediate weight gain due to the excess fat in the product, which dogs are not used to normal eating. Too much cheese and fat from cheese could even lead to pancreatitis in dogs, a condition affecting the pancreas that could prove to be fatal in the long run.
Garlic bread, depending on how it is made, can be packed with sodium. If the bread is made using garlic powder, the extra sodium in the powder, especially when combined with the garlic, can be fatal to dogs. Garlic bread can also contain excess sodium from cheese and butter; too much sodium can lead to issues with a dog’s kidneys and possibly even its heart.
Not all dogs are sensitive to gluten, but since dogs do not need gluten for survival, this shows that the ingredient found in bread serves no nutritional purpose for dogs. For dogs with gluten sensitivity, too much gluten can lead to possible issues with a dog’s small intestine.
Such conditions can lead to rampant diarrhea, weight loss, and even diminished coat health and fur elasticity. Gluten intolerance in dogs is very similar to gluten intolerance in people with celiac disease.
The condition causes masses of gluten from something like garlic bread to remain dormant in a dog’s intestines, which thereby causes a dog’s system to fight against rejecting the substance since it cannot register any nutritional value from gluten.
6. Chives or Onion Extract
Chives, similar to green onions and in the same family of plants, are also from the allium family that contains garlic. Onions are similar to garlic in that the vegetables attack a dog’s red blood cells and bring about hemolytic anemia. Onions and garlic should be treated with the same level of caution around dogs.
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Can You Feed Your Dog Garlic Bread?
With all of this in mind, it is never a good idea to feed your dog garlic bread. The garlic alone is dangerous enough to make this food off-limits to dogs in every possible circumstance. Along with chocolate, garlic and onions are the most lethal types of food to give to dogs. There is also way too much fat and sodium in garlic bread for dogs.
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My Dog Ate Garlic Bread. What Should I Do?
If your dog has eaten either an entire slice or a small bit of garlic bread, you should call your veterinarian immediately. If it is after office hours, you should at least call an emergency vet and get their opinion. It is hard to say if you should immediately rush your dog to a veterinarian.
But you should call and suggest their guidance and opinions. Some dogs may get sick or withdraw from eating garlic bread. It cannot be said that garlic or onion will immediately cause your dog to die.
After speaking with a vet, if they suggest you monitor your dog’s behavior, ensure you watch them closely for the rest of the day. If your dog becomes very sick, consider taking them to the vet or an emergency vet.
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What Can I Feed My Dog Instead of Garlic Bread?
While enjoying garlic bread, you can easily give your dog its favorite treats so they will not feel left out. You could also consider making your dog some apple slices with peanut butter in case they want to have something beyond their usual treats. It is hard not to give in to a dog’s begging, but something like garlic bread is off-limits.
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Conclusion For “Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread”
In summary, dogs cannot and should not eat garlic bread. Garlic, onion, and any ingredient from the allium family of plants can lead to the toxicity of a dog’s system. Garlic bread is also loaded with fat and salt and, depending on your dog, could also trigger intense gluten sensitivity from the bread. Consider feeding your dog some safe treats instead while you eat.
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You can learn more about what you can or cannot feed your dog when it comes to human food by watching “Human Foods That Are Good For Dogs” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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