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I've been making pizza dough about an hour ago and a small piece dropped to the floor and my labrador of course ate it before I managed to clean it.

The entire batch weighed almost 700 grams (1.5 pounds) and contained less than a teaspoon of instant dry yeast.

It made sense to me this might be a problematic snack for a dog and indeed all Google results say this is extremely dangerous as the yeast don't die inside their stomach and just keep multiplying and bloating them up. But, it didn't mention whether quantities make a difference, and it seems like they should as I think there is live yeast on many foods and things in our environment and dogs or us don't get dangerously bloated all the time.

So if a medium-large dog ate perhaps less than 10 grams of dough which contained perhaps 0.01 to 0.02 grams of instant dry yeast, about 5.5 hours after their last meal (in regards to how empty their stomach might have been), is it likely to pose them danger or not? It is midnight here and I need to decide whether to be prepared to call an emergency vet; in the meantime my dog is sleeping.

Thank you.

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  • @Stephie My notion would be that at least in regards to how much nutrients were available for whatever amount of yeast in that small piece of dough, it shouldn't be enough to produce a great amount of gas. But as the yeast apparently don't die in the dog's digestive tract, will food it might meet on the way or consumed later (tomorrow's breakfast) make for a possible nutrient source for these retained yeast and they could over-ferment at that point?
    – TLSO
    Jul 27 at 22:07
  • every thing contains yeast,air soil and water so a small amount of dough will not do any harm to your pet.this is unless your pet is treated with antibiotics then yeast can in some cases survive in the intestines of your pet and cause problems. Jul 29 at 17:02
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    @trond hansen He was actually on antibiotics for several days two weeks ago due to a bite wound, but that's probably nothing to worry about.
    – TLSO
    Jul 30 at 18:56
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In general, eating yeast or unbaked yeast dough is considered an emergency for dogs. See the Pet Poison Helpline for more information.

The reason for that is that usually a dog that gets access to some bread dough will gobble down a large amount of it (as much as is available or fits into their stomach). The big yeast ball in the stomach does continue to rise, which now puts pressure on the stomach walls. In result, the dog will try to vomit the excess volume, but the stickyness of the dough may prevent that. The dog is stuck with an ever increasing volume of dough in its stomach that it cannot get rid of.

The distention of the stomach walls can cut off blood flow and lead to tissue death. In addition, yeast produce ethanol (alcohol), which is also poisonous for dogs.

Since in your scenario the dog only ate a very small amount of dough, there is no risk of bloating and the amount of ethanol produced is also very small. I haven't found any reliable or scientific sources, but I find it unbelievable that yeast could survive stomach acid and continue to ferment the content of the intestine.

In the "eat all the dough" scenario the sticky mass of the dough protects the inner portions from the stomach acid, but the acid still digests the outer layer and all the yeast contained in it. If the ball of dough is very small, the acid will dissolve it completely and kill all the yeast in it.

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  • Thank you, that's a clear explanation.
    – TLSO
    Jul 28 at 8:37
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As Stephie said, I wouldn't worry too much about this, since you're coming to the wrong conclusions here (at least to my knowledge). A few years back, one of our Huskies (~20kg back then) snagged a significantly larger piece of dough and nothing happened.

  • Dogs' stomach acid is significantly more aggressive than the human equivalent. So while the yeast would stay active for a bit, they still wouldn't magically survive forever.
  • Yeast need something to ferment, which is typically sugar or other carbohydrates; both things you wouldn't consider being too common in dog food. If you're worried about the next breakfast, just skip it.
  • There's still the rather slim chance part of the yeast might make it further down the digestive tract and get stuck there, but again: the amount, etc. is simply too low.

So overall I wouldn't worry. As mentioned, yeast can be found in nature, too. Just keep an eye on your dog and look for any signs of distress or abnormal behavior just in case, but overall: don't worry.

And remember, a certain amount of bloating is natural and something the body can deal with, too. While it can increase the chances for gastric torsion, it wouldn't trigger one by itself.

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  • Yeah, as I mentioned I thought all these suggested symptoms could be an over estimation on many cases for several reasons, but no veterinarian or dog website talked about quantities and straight away stressed how dangerous this is. Anyway my dog is looking fine so far.
    – TLSO
    Jul 28 at 6:28

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