A staple food around the world, rice is grown everywhere except for Antarctica. Apart from humans, various animals benefit from this ever-present food crop, including birds, fishes, and other woodland creatures.
As such, dog owners can’t help but ask themselves: Can dogs eat rice? Is rice good for dogs?
As fur parents who prioritize the health of their pet dog, you know full well that human food is not always an excellent pet food option for our dog. In fact, some of the healthiest “people” food is unsafe for dogs.
Fortunately, rice is among the food products that your pet dog can safely consume. But, like most foods, there are things you need to consider before letting your dog snack on these starchy edibles.
Enter Dog Food Guide.
A trusted info site when it comes to various dog foods, our team is also here to answer all your “can dogs” questions. When it comes to your “can dogs eat rice?” query, we are here to give you the benefits and risks of rice for your dog and more.
Can Dogs Eat Rice?
The short answer here is Yes.
As previously mentioned, dogs can eat rice. Unlike their carnivore feline pals who are strict meat-eaters, your dog is an omnivore who can process the nutrients found on both animal and plant food sources (including rice).
If this is not enough reason to convince you that dogs can eat rice, here are a few more:
- Rice is included in many commercialized, AFFCO approved dog food products.
- Most vets advice dogs with stomach problems or GI distress to go on a bland diet that includes rice.
So now that you know that rice is safe for dogs, don’t give your dog that bowl of rice just yet. Although it relieves GI upset, this grain product should be given in small portions and should not be included regularly in your pet dog’s diet.
Health Benefits And Risks Of Rice For Dogs
Rice may be simple, but it remains to be the most popular grain on the planet. Once used to put together the Great Wall of China, rice comes in different colors, sizes, and varieties – from white to black, short-grain to long-grain, and from Jasmine to Basmati. Affordable and easy to store, this is a must-have, especially among Asians.
Now, we all know that rice is brimming with carbohydrates – around 80% of its total weight (in dry form). With its high carbohydrate content, this makes rice an excellent energy source.
What you probably did not know is that rice also contains protein. Apart from protein, rice is also a great source of vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin D, B-vitamins, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and iron.
Despite all these good things, unfortunately, letting your dog eat rice comes with risks. One of these is that it contains arsenic – a highly toxic compound for you and your dog.
According to VCA Hospitals, long-term exposure to arsenic can cause nerve damage and weight loss to dogs.
Brown Rice Vs. White Rice: Which Is Healthier For Your Dog?
Some might think that rice is all the same. If this is you, then you’re mistake.
Fact is, the most common types of rice – brown rice and white rice – do not only differ in terms of color, but they also vary widely in nutrient content.
Wondering what the difference between the two is? Read on to find out.
White Rice And Its Effects On Dogs
Yes, white rice is equivalent to brown rice minus the bran, husk, and germ (the part of the rice that contains most of its nutrients).
According to Medical News Today, white rice and brown rice come from the same type of grains. White rice, however, is processed to lengthen its shelf life and improve its taste and quality. Sadly, all these are achieved for a price – lesser nutritional value.
Despite the reduction of nutrition content, white rice still comes in handy in certain situations. Since dogs have various needs, you’ll discover that the benefits below work for specific conditions:
Low in fiber. If your dog is having GI distress or diarrhea, giving them a low-fiber diet like white rice with shredded chicken breast will allow their tummies to settle down.
Low in potassium and phosphorus. Dogs diagnosed with kidney diseases are recommended to eat white rice. Since their kidneys are less able to regulate these nutrients, eating food products high in potassium (like brown rice) may lead to complications like a heart attack.
Weight gain. Same with humans, dogs are at risk of gaining weight if they overeat rice. As such, it is crucial to follow the 10% rule and make sure that the amount of treats your pet dog eats (including rice) does not go above 10% of their daily calorie intake.
Increases blood sugar levels. Compared to whole grains, white rice’s glycemic index is higher. Eating foods with a high glycemic index score will cause your dogs’ blood sugar levels to shoot up after a meal. This also increases their chances of getting diabetes.
Effects Of Brown Rice On Your Pet Dog
Rice is indeed good for dogs – whether white or brown. But, we can’t deny that brown rice is considered king when it comes to health benefits. Compared to its refined counterpart, these hearty whole grains’ carbohydrate- and protein- levels are higher.
So, if you’re wondering if you can give your pet dog brown rice, the answer is a big YES. Dogs can eat brown rice. Check out all the good stuff it provides below:
High in fiber. Dogs with weight issues, high cholesterol levels, and constipation will do well with a diet high in fiber like brown rice.
Improves heart health. Vitamin D and B – both are found in brown rice in higher quantities – are needed for a dog’s heart to function correctly.
Presence of antinutrients. Brown rice contains phytic acid – an antioxidant that also inhibits the body from absorbing essential minerals.
Practical Tips on How To Feed Rice To Your Dog
Name your favorite rice dish. Most likely, your fave dish won’t work for your dog unless you like it plain. Yes, simple, unseasoned rice is the way to go if you are planning to add rice to your dog’s diet or meal.
Also, we’ve mentioned above that rice may contain arsenic. Good thing, there are a couple of tips dog owners can follow to reduce the levels of arsenic in rice.
- Wash rice before cooking it.
- Cook rice using plenty of water.
- Basmati and Jasmine rice may be a better option.
Word of Advice: Before we part, keep in mind that your dog is unique. Thus, your dog might react differently when given rice for the first time. This is why getting your vet’s opinion matters a lot.
Below we have compiled easy DIY recipes which you could whip up for your beloved pet. Enjoy!
Homemade Dog Food
- 3 lbs Ground beef (7 cups cooked crumbled ground beef)
- 2 cups Uncooked rice
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 28 oz Beef stock (optional) + ½ cup water 28 oz = 3.5 cups, add ½ cup water for the proper ratio to make rice
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh broccoli, shredded or cut finely or a 12 oz frozen bag
- 2 cups Fresh carrots, shredded or cut into small coins 2 large carrots
- 2 cups Sweet potato, small cubes or shredded 1 large sweet potato
- 2 cups Fresh spinach
- Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer for about 30 seconds under cold water. It removes starches that makes rice sticky.
- Use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 2 cups water, which you can scale up or down. (check your rice package instructions.) Feel free to swap in beef, chicken, or vegetable broth for better flavor.
- Bring the stock/water to a boil, add rice and salt. And if you want to add a pat of butter, it makes rice taste even better. Cover the pot and simmer for 18 minutes on low and don't remove the lid! (brown rice takes 30 minutes)
- Check the rice, and if done turn off the heat, replace the lid, and let it rest for several minutes in the steamy pan. Use a fork to fluff it up!
Make Ground Beef and Veggies
- Brown and crumble 3 lbs of ground beef in a large skillet. Place in a large bowl with the drippings.
- Chop, shred, or process all the veggies. My dog is a small dog and prefers the veggies finely shredded in a food processor. You can use a knife or a box grater works too.
- In a large cast-iron pan or skillet, briefly sauté carrots, broccoli, and sweet potato until just soft for a few minutes on medium. Place into the large bowl.
- In a large bowl with ground beef, add warm rice, warm sautéed veggies, and fresh spinach. Mix well with a large spatula. Let it cool and serve!
Portion 4-5 cups of Homemade Dog Food per zip lock bag, and store in an airtight container or larger zip-top bag in the freezer. Pull out one small bag per week, and reheat a serving for your dog in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Chicken, Cheddar, and Brown Rice Dog Treats
- 1 Small chicken breast boiled & cut into bits
- 1/2 cup Cooked brown rice cooled
- 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 1/2 cups Flour
- 1/2 cup Chicken broth add more if needed
- 1 Egg beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cook the chicken breast in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Cut into pieces and set aside to cool.
- Combine the leftover cooked brown rice, cheddar cheese, and cooled chicken in a food processor; pulse until finely minced.
- Place the flour in a large bowl and add the chicken broth and whisked egg; mix until nearly combined.
- Add the chicken mixture and mix until well combined; adding a bit more broth if needed.
- Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough to approximately 1/4″ thickness and use a small dog bone cutter to cut out treats.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet an inch apart. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Allow them to cool on a rack completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Gourmet Dog Food Recipe
- 1 lb Chicken or Turkey
- 5 cups Brown rice
- 4 cups Veggies – Carrots, Broccoli, sweet potatoes
- 3 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Daily Multivitamin in powdered form optional
- Place your coconut oil in your pan.
- Cut up Chicken/Turkey and pan fry.
- Place rice into a separate pan and boil.
- Mix Rice and Veggies of your choosing into your mixture.
- Stir until mixed.
- Add your powdered nutritional supplements. *Optional*
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Green Beans
Is rice good for dogs everyday?
Your dog can eat cooked rice every day, but remember there has to be a balance of the nutrients your companion needs, which are protein, fat from meat or oil, calcium, essential fatty acids, and carbohydrates.
What kind of rice can dogs eat?
Both white rice and brown rice are good for dogs. Brown rice is brown because it still has the outer layers or hull and bran parts of the grain than white rice does, Dempsey explains. That means it is more fibrous than white rice, and it also retains natural oils. Brown rice can spoil faster when it's stored.
Is rice good for dogs in dog food?
Top brands use rice in their dog food because it's an excellent source of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate works as an energy source for your dog, providing him with the stamina he needs, whether he's a competitive athlete or a couch potato. Plus, rice is easy on your dog's digestive system.
Is Rice or Oatmeal better for dogs?
Plain rice is the way to go—your dog will still find it delicious. Use whole grain oatmeal and steer away from quick oatmeal. In particular, do not give your dog flavored instant oats that may have a lot of added sugar, or even sweeteners, like xylitol, that are toxic to dogs.
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