Is Sourdough Bread Bad for Dogs?

by Heather

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely wondering if the sourdough your dog just ate will hurt him, or if sourdough is bad for dogs. First, let’s talk a little about sourdough.

Sourdough bread is made by introducing a sourdough starter to flour and water, allowing it to ferment, then baking it. Ethanol is produced during fermentation, and less than 2% remains after baking.

There are two ways that sourdough can seriously harm or kill your dog, and both involve unbaked bread.


If your dog ate unbaked sourdough dough, he could be in trouble. This type of sourdough is very bad for dogs. The dough may continue to ferment in his stomach, which could lead to bloat, a health emergency. More seriously, according to the AKC, the ethanol produced during that fermentation could lead to alcohol poisoning. Your dog may become depressed, slow-moving, weak, and show an unsteady or “drunk” gait when walking. This is absolutely an emergency and he needs to be rushed to the vet, ASAP. Call ahead on your way to let them know you’re coming and what they can expect.

If your dog ate baked bread, breathe a sigh of relief. He’s not out of the woods, but likely he will be little more than uncomfortable. Depending how much he ate, he may be extra gassy, have a distended belly, or be a little restless. It may simply pass, but if you’re ever worried, give your vet a call.

If your dog ate bread, baked or unbaked, follow the decision chart below to help you decide what action to take.

After reading this, it may go without saying, but always keep your proofing dough far out of your dogs’ reach!

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Nikki December 17, 2019 - 8:38 pm

Thank you for letting me know. I give some cooked sourdough to my dogs but not much. They seem fine but I also don’t give them more than 2 bites. I’m glad to know I shouldn’t do it anymore.

leavenly December 17, 2019 - 8:47 pm

I’m sure it’s okay if it’s only every so often! The real danger is if the dough isn’t cooked. I used to leave my proofing dough on the counter but now I’ll put it far from the dogs’ reach!


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