Can I give my dog bagels if they see me eating one and start begging for a piece? Your dog’s diet is important, and while they can eat a lot of human foods, bagels might not be one of them. We take a look at whether giving your canine friend bagels is a problem, and why.
There’s a difference between giving your dog an entire bagel, or a small piece of bagel from the snack that you’re eating. But is even a small amount of a bagel enough to harm your dog? And are they any flavors that are better than others to give to your dog? What about onion bagels, cinnamon bagels, blueberry bagels, or cream cheese bagels? Is there any difference? Let’s dive in and find out.
What are bagels?
From their origins in Poland’s Jewish communities, the humble yet delicious bagel (also known as beigel, beugel, or baygal depending where you are) is now popular all over the world. Its name originates from the German word for “bracelet”.
New York in particular is one of the most prolific bagel-eating cities, with a dazzling variety of flavors to suit all tastes – sweet or savory – from plain bagel to poppy seeds to cinnamon.
Essentially a round, chewy bread roll with a hole in the middle, the bagel looks like a more bread-like donut. They typically have a glazed sheen due to the process of boiling the dough before baking.
Can dogs eat bagels?
Despite how much we love bagels as humans, this food isn’t ideal for your dog to eat, especially if you’re giving them regular bagel treats. An occasional bagel nibble can quench your dog’s curiosity, but don’t give them regular bagel snacks.
Many dog owners regularly share bagels with their dogs – but this can lead to serious issues (e.g. diabetes and obesity) for our canine friends. Feeding your dog even a tiny piece of bagel can turn this into a habit of them always wanting to have bagels when you eat them, which is a slippery slope.
A bite or two won’t make most dog’s sick. But leftover bagels aren’t recommended for dogs, as they’re not a healthy treat and have no nutritional value.
In general, bread isn’t at all suitable for dogs – especially bread made with white flour. Plus, bagels can contain other ingredients that are unhealthy, or even harmful for your dog. Bagels aren’t a substitute for quality dog food.
Can dogs eat white flour?
One of the reasons that a dog eating bagels isn’t a good idea, is that they’re made with white flour. Many dogs have wheat allergies, so eating a bagel can lead to a bad allergic reaction and even death.
White flour is high in carbohydrates and low in nutritional value. So giving bagels as part of your dog’s diet, or any other breads, cakes, or biscuits made with white flour can affect your dog’s red blood cells, make them sluggish and overweight, and potentially cause diabetes. Avoid feeding them anything with white or heavily processed flours
As white flour is also high in gluten, this can cause health issues and digestive problems which wreak havoc on your dog’s intestines and colon, preventing them from absorbing the nutrients they need from their animal based protein diet.
If you’ve been feeding white flour products to your dog, and you notice that they’re developing bloat, itchy dry skin, ear inflammation, skin infections, fur loss, or excessive feet licking – see your veterinarian to get your dog checked.
Alternative flour options for dogs
You’ve probably seen dog biscuit treats and doggie birthday cakes for sale – and you might be asking yourself how these are okay for dogs to eat, when bagels aren’t.
Most dog treats are made with different types of flour such as whole wheat, buckwheat, or nut flours which are suitable for dogs in small amounts. Always be sure to read the ingredients of any dog biscuits or treats before you buy them to check that white flour isn’t included, especially if your dog has allergies.
Are bagels bad for dogs? What about a plain bagel, or one with poppy seeds?
As part of a balanced diet, humans can safely indulge their urge for that morning bagel fix.
But depending on the size, flavor, and brand of bagels – the average bagel can hide around 600+ calories, and that’s not including the toppings we add to them!
Plain bagels are the least problematic, but sugary bagels and poppy seed bagels all add up when we eat them regularly.
So they’re not exactly healthy for us, let alone feeding bagels to our furry friends.
Can your dog eat bagels if you just give them a tiny bit? If you do give them a taste, it’s essential to ensure that it’s a plain bagel. Non plain bagels with toppings, additives, or spreads could be harmful.
Human food should never replace your dog’s normal diet . If your dog ever displays common symptoms of allergies or gastric upset after eating a bagel, seek advice from your vet, as this could mean bad news for your pup, such as gluten allergies.
Fillers and toppings, dough, raisins, and onions
Most of us load our bagels up with cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, and other toppings. But giving your dog bagels with these additional toppings can make this even worse for their health.
While plain bagels can be harmful to your dog in quantity, many flavored bagels contain ingredients like raisins, onions, and garlic which can be dangerous for your furry friend.
Common bagel ingredients that can harm your dog:
- White flour dough
- High fructose corn syrup
- Poppy seeds
- Onion and garlic powder or seasoning
Common bagel toppings that can be bad for your dog:
- Bacon – fried, fatty, and very salty for dogs
- Peanut butter – in small quantities this is okay, but check that it doesn’t contain Xylitol which can harm your dog
- Cream cheese – this is okay in small amounts, unless your dog has a lactose allergy
- Blueberries – high in sugar, which can cause problems for your pup
- Mustard – can cause stomach upsets
- Grapes, raisins, prunes – all of these are a definite NO for dogs!
- Pickles – most dogs aren’t a fan, but the pickle brine is too salty for your dog
- Onions – any type of onion topping can upset your dog’s stomach and cause blood imbalances that can lead to anemia and liver damage
- Smoked salmon – while some salmon is good for dogs, smoked salmon isn’t one of them. It can contain excess sugar, and dangerous parasites and bacteria for your dog.
- Mushrooms cooked in any type of onion, garlic, or salty sauce
- Jelly or jam – this is mostly made of sugar, which isn’t good for your dog
- Chocolate spreads – chocolate is a big no no as it’s toxic, plus most spreads either contain too much sugar or artificial sweeteners that aren’t safe for dogs
- Marmite – this is incredibly high in salt, so while your dog can enjoy a tasty lick of this – it shouldn’t be fed regularly to them
Do bagels make dogs fart?
If you’ve been feeding your dog bagels and noticing they’re passing a lot more stinky gas than usual – it’s probably caused by the high amounts of carbohydrates in the bread, especially if your dog has wheat allergy or intolerance.
So if you give your dogs things like bread, crackers, or biscuits, you might notice them farting more often. In addition, foods like peas, milk, beans, spicy food, and high-fat snacks can cause gassy stomach problems for your pet.
Are any dog breeds particularly sensitive to eating bagels?
Any breeds that have a tendency towards weight gain should avoid being given even the tiniest morself of bagels to prevent obesity. These breeds include:
- Basset hounds
- English bulldogs
Some breeds are also prone to dry, itchy skin which can become irritated by eating white flour products.
Are any human foods safe for dogs?
Certain foods that we eat can be beneficial for your dog to give them an extra nutrient boost and support their immune system and joint health. Introducing people foods as a treat to give your dog variety from his same old dog food now and then is fine, but your dog’s diet should consist of healthy treats, meat protein, and meat-based foods that are specific to keeping their health in top condition.
It’s not a good idea to feed dogs processed human food, so stick to raw, fresh, and natural human treats wherever possible. Dogs can enjoy a whole range of human food, including fruits and vegetables like bananas, green beans, and broccoli are both safe and beneficial to your dog.
In summary – can I feed my dog bagels?
You should avoid giving your dog bagels. While giving them a small bite of plain bagel occasionally shouldn’t harm them, letting it become a habit is a bad idea, and never let them near an entire bag!
Bagels aren’t a healthy human treat for dogs, and there’s very little benefit to loading your dog up on heavy, refined carbs.
In addition, the extra flavorings and additives in most bagels, plus the toppings and fillers you might add to your bagel before eating can be harmful to your dog’s health. Many brands contain excess salt, sweeteners, onion, garlic, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and other harmful ingredients that can make your dog sick.
Even if your dog has no negative effects from eating bagels in the short term, these health problems can compound over time leading to diabetes, obesity, and gastro intestinal issues that are expensive to treat, and often painful for your dog.
Instead of feeling tempted to give your dog a bit of poppy seed bagel, opt for natural, healthy snacks such as chicken feet, or a few chunks of dog-friendly fruit such as dragon fruit or pineapple if you want to give them a bit of variety in their daily diet.