Can Dogs Eat Sourdough Bread? 

By Britt Kascjak

No, dogs cannot eat sourdough bread. Cooked sourdough bread can make your dog very ill. But, it’s even more dangerous when it’s uncooked. In large amounts, the yeast contained in the bread can cause serious health problems. This includes bloating or even alcohol poisoning! To keep your dog safe, keep your sourdough bread out of reach. 

Is Sourdough Bread Safe for My Dog?

Are you considering sharing some delicious sourdough bread with your dog? Has your dog stolen sourdough bread off your counter and you’re worried he’ll be sick?

Before breaking off a piece for your dog, you may want to think twice.

This common baked bread can cause some serious, potentially fatal, health problems.

Can Dogs Have Sourdough Bread?

Any time that you are considering offering a new food to your dog, you should weigh the benefits and risks.

There aren’t enough benefits to warrant feeding it to your dog when it comes to sourdough bread. There are safer alternatives with far greater benefits to offer.

Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread for Dogs

Sourdough bread does offer more nutrients than white bread. This includes higher levels of iron, selenium, and B vitamins.

But, these levels aren’t high enough to outweigh the potentially fatal risks.

Health Risks of Sourdough Bread for Dogs

Is sourdough bread bad for your dog?

If your dog eats a single bite of cooked bread, they likely aren’t going to have any serious issues. It may leave your dog feeling ill, depending on his tolerance of bread.

But, the same can’t be said for uncooked sourdough.

Dangers of the dough

Sourdough breads are known for using wild yeast to naturally rise. But, that process of fermentation can cause some serious problems for your dog.

Alcohol Poisoning

Fermentation produces a type of alcohol called ethanol. Not only does this potentially lead to bloat, but the alcohol itself is toxic to dogs.

Signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Staggering or disorientation
  • Slow reflexes or an inability to react
  • Tremors or seizures

If your dog is showing any signs of alcohol poisoning, contact your veterinarian.

Try to provide them with as much information as possible. This includes how much sourdough your dog ate as well as anything else he ate or drank that day.

They will be able to provide you with recommendations for the next best steps.


Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This can put an unsafe amount of pressure on the surrounding organs, limiting blood flow.

In time, this loss of blood to major organs can cause shock and, ultimately, death.

The gases created during the fermentation process of the bread dough can lead to GDV. The more your dog eats, the greater the risk.

Warning signs of bloat in dogs include:

  • Drooling
  • Foamy saliva
  • Retching but unable to vomit
  • Hard, swollen abdomen
  • Excessive panting or rapid, shallow breathing
  • Pain when the abdomen is touched
  • Restlessness, agitation, or pacing

This condition can quickly turn fatal. If you notice any warning signs, get your dog to the nearest veterinarian or emergency clinic.

Grain and Wheat Allergies 

Wheat and grains make up a large number of the most common food allergies. 

Allergies can present as stomach upset, itchy skin, or ear infections. 

Not every dog is sensitive to wheat and grains. But, it’s a good idea to watch for signs of discomfort if a dog eats large amounts. 


The salt content in sourdough bread isn’t extremely high. But, if your dog manages to eat a lot of the bread, it can lead to trouble. 

Consuming too much salt can cause the muscles to lose the water that is needed to function. 

This can lead to headaches, dizziness, seizures, or coma. 

The level of salt included in sourdough isn’t likely going to be fatal, but it could leave your dog feeling rough.

What Happens if Dogs Eat Sourdough Bread?


If your dog eats cooked sourdough bread, the risk is significantly lower. But, there is still a risk of trouble.

The bread may still make your dog feel a little gassy.

In more serious cases, this excess gas could lead to problems with bloat.


The yeast in uncooked sourdough bread is still actively fermenting. For this reason, the risk is much higher for bloat or alcohol poisoning.

This should be considered a serious risk and warrants a call to your veterinarian.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Sourdough Bread?

How to best respond if your dog eats sourdough bread will depend on whether it’s cooked or uncooked.

If your dog eats cooked sourdough bread, he is less likely to have serious problems.

Offer your dog clean, fresh water and watch him for signs of illness. If you notice any signs of bloat or alcohol poisoning, seek help immediately.

But, if your dog eats uncooked sourdough bread, the risks are much higher.

Contact your veterinarian. Let them know how much sourdough bread your dog consumed and be sure to mention that it was uncooked.

They may recommend bringing your dog in right away for observation. Or, they may have you watch your dog at home.

If you are caring for your dog at home and notice any changes, update your vet immediately.

Is Sourdough Starter Bad for Dogs?

Yes, sourdough started can be very bad for your dog. This starter, like raw dough, is actively fermenting.

It carries a high risk of bloat or alcohol poisoning.

If you are caring for a sourdough starter, keep the raw dough safely stored up and out of your dog’s reach.

Can Dogs Eat Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard is the part of the starter that is removed before feeding.

This means that it is the same thing as a sourdough starter.

When removing discard from your starter, store and dispose of it safely. Make sure that your dog can’t access it.

Can Dogs Eat Plain Sourdough Bread?

A small bite of cooked sourdough bread likely isn’t to cause any problems. But, it may still make your dog ill.

The safest choice is to avoid feeding sourdough bread to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Rye Sourdough Bread?

Like plain sourdough bread, rye sourdough bread is likely safe in small amounts. But, only if it has been cooked.

There is still a chance that it can leave your dog feeling ill.

While it may be safe, it’s better to avoid letting your dog eat rye sourdough bread.

Can Dogs Eat Sourdough Crumpets?

Sourdough crumpets are still made through the process of fermentation. This means that they still carry the risks associated with sourdough bread.

Your dog can likely eat a small bite of a cooked sourdough crumpet without any problems.

But, there is still a risk of illness. This risk increases greatly if he consumes the uncooked dough.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Sourdough Bread?

While cooked sourdough bread may not cause any issues, it’s safer to avoid it entirely.

If you’re looking to treat your dog to something similar there some other human foods you can consider. Try a baked treat with whole grains or oats instead.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.