Can Dogs Eat Rye Bread?

Rye bread is safe for dogs - but beware of certain ingredients.
| Updated: December 19, 2023
Can dogs eat rye bread image of sliced rye bread

Rye flour by itself is not toxic to dogs, but it also has no nutritional value – so while it’s safe for your pup to have as an occasional treat it should never replace a normal balanced diet. Keep in mind that not all rye breads are created equal in the eyes of your dog. Some recipes contain ingredients that are unhealthy, toxic, or downright fatal.

Plain Rye Bread is Safe for Dogs

The good news is that plain rye bread, without added ingredients, is generally safe for dogs to eat – in moderation.

Plain rye bread does not contain any toxic substances that could harm your dog. While it can provide some carbohydrates and fiber, it is not a complete or balanced food for dogs and should not replace their regular meals. Rye bread is also high in calories and carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and diabetes if fed too often or in large amounts.

As an occasional treat, in small portions, rye bread can make a great treat for your pup.

Dogs with Wheat or Grain Allergies


Even though plain rye bread is considered safe, if your dog has wheat allergies it’s best just to avoid the bread altogether.

Most dogs do not have any wheat or grain allergies (less than 1%), it’s actually more common for a dog to be allergic to a protein source than a grain.

In the rare event that your dog has a grain allergy, you may notice symptoms like:

  • Itching
  • Ear Infections
  • Dry Skin
  • Gastrointestinal Upset
  • Hair Loss
  • Bumps or Rashes
  • Obsessive Paw Chewing

Some Common Ingredients are Toxic to Dogs

Many rye breads contain additional ingredients to change or improve the taste to suit the preferences of different people. For example, some rye breads may have raisins or nuts, while others, like gluten-free rye bread, often include cocoa powder.

It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients before offering anything to your loyal pooch.

  • Garlic and Onions: Different rye breads frequently contain garlic or onions, both of which are toxic to dogs. Onions and garlic contain n-propyl disulfide, a compound that causes damage to the red blood cells in dogs and cats.
  • Cocoa Powder: Everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but you might not know that cocoa powder has more theobromine (the toxic component) than regular chocolate. As little as 4oz can be fatal to a dog. Dark ryes and gluten-free rye bread often use cocoa powder to alter the color or enhance the flavor.
  • Raisins: Some rye bread, like the “Black Russian,” a raisin pumpernickel bread, contains raisins. Raisins are highly toxic to dogs, potentially causing acute liver failure.
  • Nuts: Walnuts and pecans are often used in many varieties of rye bread. Both nuts contain a toxic chemical called Juglone, which dogs are extremely susceptible to. Juglone can also be toxic to humans, but only in high doses which is why we can safely eat these nuts.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Sometimes artificial sweeteners are used to make rye bread. A common one, Xylitol, is very toxic to dogs.
  • Caraway Seeds: Almost all commercially produced rye bread contains caraway seeds. Dogs can eat caraway seeds safely in small amounts, but if they are consumed in high quantities it can cause caraway poisoning. As long as your dog only eats rye bread in moderation they should be fine with these. If they eat a whole loaf you should consult your veterinarian.

Before Sharing Rye Bread with your Pup


If you want to share some rye bread with your dog go ahead! Just make sure to check the ingredients beforehand and don’t overfeed them. You might also want to cut off any excessively hard crusts to prevent a choking hazard.

If you notice your dog displaying signs of illness or discomfort after eating rye bread, quit giving your dog the bread and contact your vet.


Can dogs eat rye bread every day?

No, dogs should not eat rye bread every day, as it can cause weight gain, diabetes, and nutritional deficiencies. Rye bread should only be given to dogs as an occasional treat, and in small amounts.

Can dogs eat sourdough rye bread?

Sourdough rye bread is a type of rye bread that is made with a fermented dough, which gives it a sour taste and a chewy texture. Sourdough rye bread is not toxic for dogs, but it may cause some digestive problems, such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea, due to the yeast and bacteria in the dough. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving sourdough rye bread to your dog, or only give it in very small amounts.

Can dogs eat rye bread with peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a popular treat for dogs, as it is tasty and high in protein. However, peanut butter is also high in fat, sugar, and calories, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs. Moreover, some peanut butters may contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is toxic for dogs. Therefore, if you want to give your dog some rye bread with peanut butter, you should only do it occasionally, and use a small amount of natural peanut butter that does not have xylitol or other additives.

Chase Roseberry Author Image
Chase Roseberry

Chase’s life has been a remarkable journey into the world of animals. From his time spent working with an equine Veterinarian, raising exotic snakes, and live coral aquaculture, his diverse background fuels his passion for the animal kingdom.

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