Can Dogs Have Pumpernickel Bread?

Pumpernickel bread is nutritious and chewy—a perfect snack for breakfast or as an in-between meal.

Your dog may want to sneak into the kitchen when it sniffs the amazing aroma of pumpernickel bread.

Having the dog’s interest at heart, you want to give it a slice, but you wonder if it’s healthy.

Many dog owners often find themselves at this crossroads, especially regarding what is healthy for their dogs.

So can dogs eat pumpernickel bread?

No, dogs should not have pumpernickel bread.

It has high calories that could lead to obesity, and it’s not nutritious for the dog.

However, a slice once in a while will not harm your furry friend.

This article will look into the effects, when to serve, and other food options, but let’s first know what pumpernickel bread is.

Can Dogs Have Pumpernickel Bread

What is Pumpernickel Bread?

Pumpernickel bread is a German bread traditionally made with coarsely ground rye berries.

It has a dark, dense, and slightly sweet taste that many compare to coffee.

While there are several different ways to make pumpernickel bread, most recipes use a combination of unbleached white flour and dark rye flour. 

The darker color of the bread comes from a long baking time at a low temperature.

In the United States, due to its popularity among those who follow gluten-free diets, pumpernickel is also available in gluten-free varieties.

Effects of Pumpernickel Bread on Dogs

  • Allergies 

Dog’s skin can be affected by wheat allergies in several ways.

The most obvious sign is itching.

If your dog is constantly scratching after eating pumpernickel bread, it’s a good bet that he has an allergy.

Your dog may also have scaly, crusty, or even weepy or smelly skin.

Moreover, he may have hot spots because of  chewing on his skin making it sore and infected.

  • Obesity 

As with humans, dogs are not immune to the effects of extra calories.

If you overfeed inactive dogs with pumpernickel bread, they will become overweight.

Dogs become obese when they consume more calories than they need.

Obesity can cause serious health problems in dogs, including heart disease and diabetes.

  • Liver damage

Pumpernickel bread may contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener.

Dogs that consume large amounts of xylitol may develop liver damage, which takes several days to show up.

Acute liver failure caused by xylitol consumption is often fatal.

Harmful ingredients in Pumpernickel for your Dog 

Some ingredients in pumpernickel bread may pose health challenges to the dog.

Ensure you check the package to know if there is any toxic ingredient.

  • Xylitol 

The effects of xylitol on dogs can be severe.

Symptoms of xylitol toxicity in dogs include weakness, tremors, and seizures.

These symptoms can quickly lead to liver failure and death even if left untreated. 

The danger of xylitol is that it causes a rapid insulin release in dogs, triggering a sudden drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).

The hypoglycemia can then cause vomiting, disorientation, and loss of coordination.

  • Garlic 

Garlic is toxic to dogs.

The ingestion of large amounts of garlic can cause damage to the red blood cells, resulting in anemia.

It’s a condition in which the red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replaced, leading to a shortage of red blood cells. 

In severe cases, garlic poisoning can be fatal and may require a blood transfusion.

However, if treated early enough, the prognosis is good.

  • Raisins 

Raisins contain an unknown toxin that can cause severe kidney failure in dogs.

While all breeds are susceptible, small and toy breeds appear more vulnerable than larger dogs.

  • Chocolate 

Chocolate contains a chemical compound known as theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs.

Canines’ internal organs cannot process theobromine effectively, making them vulnerable to this toxin.

The level of danger depends on how much chocolate your dog consumes and how much it weighs.

How Much Pumpernickel Bread Can Dogs Have?

It’s best not to give dogs pumpernickel bread altogether.

However, if you can’t resist your pup’s borrowing eyes, a slice is okay but make it once in a while.

Ensure the dog has no allergies by giving a small piece, then observe if there are any allergic reactions.

Avoid giving pumpernickel bread to obese and inactive dogs as it adds more calories to their bodies.

Generally, don’t make a habit of giving your dogs pumpernickel bread.

It will cause health problems in the long run.

What You Can Serve Dogs Instead of Pumpernickel Bread

Here are some healthy foods that you can share with your four-legged companion.

  1. Bananas: An excellent source of potassium and fiber, bananas help keep your dog’s digestive system regular. 
  2. Oatmeal: A good source of fiber and protein, oatmeal is another great choice for keeping your dog’s digestive system regular. It can also help alleviate some skin irritations.
  3. Eggs: A good source of protein and amino acids, eggs are a healthy snack for dogs in moderation. Just make sure you remove the shell before serving them. 
  4. Fish: Fish is full of protein, but it also has omega-3 fatty acids, good for your dog’s coat and joints. Just make sure you cook the fish before serving it to your pup.
  5. Blueberries: A natural source of vitamins C and antioxidants, blueberries are great for your dog’s immune system.
  6. Chicken: Chicken is an excellent source of protein, which helps dogs build strong muscles and tissues. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Chicken is also rich in amino acids that support healthy growth and development in dogs. 


We hope this article was helpful.

Pumpernickel bread is not fit for dog consumption, but if you must share it with your dogs, give them sparingly.

When buying pumpernickel bread, check the ingredients instead of exposing your fluffy friend to health problems.

If your dog has found its way to the kitchen and stole some pumpernickel, relax and observe if it shows any symptoms.

Discontinue feeding them when they show any side effects. 

Megan Turner

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