Bread baking has become a popular at-home hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic. While homemade bread is delicious for humans, it can be dangerous for both dogs and cats if the raw dough is consumed.
Uncooked bread dough contains uncooked yeast. According to an article by ASPCApro, "Raw, uncooked yeast ferments the carbohydrates in the dough, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide. This process can continue in the stomach, leading the animal to become disoriented, bloated (potentially leading to GDV), and ataxic (aka impaired coordination) —and just like people, alcohol poisoning can be fatal for pets."
After a pet consumes raw bread dough, owners will see symptoms similar to those of human drunkenness in their animal. Additional symptoms include acidosis, tremors, respiratory depression, and vomiting. The severity of symptoms can vary based on the amount of raw dough ingested.
The quickest way to treat raw dough consumption is to induce vomiting within an hour of the animal’s exposure and call your vet immediately. Owners should not induce vomiting if the animal is already showing symptoms of poisoning. If vomiting is not a viable option, contact your local vet or the 24-hour ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 for further assistance.
A key part of bread baking is giving it time to rise. Be sure not to leave your dough out to rise in an area that is assessable to your animals, including tables, stovetops, and countertops. Pet owners do not need to worry if their furry friend gets into a packet of yeast before it is mixed with other ingredients. There is no danger with yeast consumption straight out of the package, as it needs a source of sugar to ferment.