Can Dogs Eat Yeast and Raw Dough?

Whilst raw dough isn't particularly healthy for humans; we aren't going to die if we eat a little bit.

But does that apply to our pets? Can dogs eat dough? No!

When they do, it expands and causes bloating or a distended stomach. Both of which can be fatal. 

What ingredient in raw dough causes this problem? Yeast. 

Activated yeast gives the dough its fluffiness and lightness. As a living organism, it thrives in warm, moist environments and transforms carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol. 

This fungus will flourish in your dog's stomach, producing more and more carbon dioxide until the belly expands and bloats. 

Sidenote: There's a difference between nutritional yeast and yeast. 

So, does that mean dogs can eat nutritional yeast? No! 

Can dogs eat yeast? No!

It doesn't matter which variant it is; they are both toxic.

can dogs eat yeast dogs activated yeast


  • Anxiety
  • Ataxia (loss of movement control)
  • Bloating of the Abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhoea
  • Disorientation
  • Drooling
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Excitement - which changes to Depression
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Rhythm Problems
  • Heavy panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increase in Total Body Acid
  • Inebriation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Slow heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Death can occur due to:

  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood sugar
  • Metabolic acidosis 
  • Respiratory distress

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Extreme bloating is called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Any gas created by the yeast doesn't pass like most digestive gas. Consequently, there is a lot of pressure in your dog's digestive system, which can be very painful and uncomfortable. 

During the stomach's expansion, the stomach lining might rupture. Doing so can cause damage to the diaphragm and the cardiovascular system. 

If your dog has eaten yeast or raw dough, it's paramount they get treated as soon as possible. Roughly a quarter of dogs with GDV die, even with treatment. 

Alcohol Poisoning

What about the alcohol produced? Yeast is an essential part of fermenting various alcoholic beverages. As well as carbon dioxide, yeast produces ethanol - the component in beer and cider that determines the alcoholic content. 

Dogs, like humans, can experience alcohol poisoning. The side effects will depend on how much ethanol your dog has ingested, and the fullness of their belly. 

If you see your dog displaying signs of either GDV or alcohol poisoning, take them to the vets immediately. Both these conditions are fatal. The quicker you treat them, the higher the chance your dog will survive.

can dogs eat raw dough yeast poisonous gdv alcohol poisoning

Top Tips:

  • Because of these life-threatening side effects, dogs can't eat yeast or any raw dough.
  • If you make your own bread, leave it to rise entirely out of your dog's reach. 
  • If alcohol poisoning is left untreated in dogs, it can be fatal. Between this and the GDV, raw dough is a definite no for dogs. 

Treatment Plan

If your dog is suffering from GDV, your vet will attempt to stabilise your dog, decompress the stomach and, if necessary, perform surgery. It will return the stomach to its original size. 

If your dog has alcohol poisoning, your vet will also try to stabilise them.

It might include inducing vomiting, readjusting their body temperature and providing appropriate ventilation. 

After that, your vet will most like your dog IV fluids to hydrate them and speed up the decontamination process. The aim is to reduce the toxicity level as quickly as possible to minimise the effects on your dog's health.