Rice is one of the most popular food crops with over half the world eating it daily. However, you might be wondering if it’s healthy or even safe for dogs to eat rice given all the low-carbohydrate diet trends on the market. Luckily, rice is not bad for dogs and it’s often found as an ingredient in many specialty dog foods. Rice is even safe for puppies to eat in moderation. For healthy dogs, brown or wild rice is preferred over white rice because it contains more nutrients and fiber. You should not give your dogs uncooked rice. To help you, we’ve compiled this guide on the reasons dogs can eat rice safely.
Is Rice Good For Dogs?
Dogs can eat rice and it’s often found as an ingredient in organic or vegan dog food. Rice is a great alternative to low nutrient fillers used in commercial pet food. Most of the cheaper commercial pet food is loaded with fillers that you wouldn’t want to put in your own body.
While dogs can have rice every day, it is a high-calorie food so you should only give it your canine companions in moderation. Rice should not exceed 10% of your dogs’ daily caloric intake.
Not all rice is created equal. For example, brown rice is a whole grain that contains more nutrition than white rice. In fact, all white rice started off as brown rice but was processed to have its husk, bran, and germ removed. This substantially increased its shelf life but many essential nutrients were lost in the process. To help offset some of this loss, white rice is artificially fortified with nutrients.
Despite its name, wild rice is not actually rice at all. It comes from a species of grass that produces seeds that are similar to rice. Wild rice was grown and harvested by Native Americans and 3 out of the 4 strains of wild rice are native to North America.
Rice can be good for dogs to eat when prepared properly and the right type is served. Brown or wild rice is generally recommended over white rice for healthy dogs. White rice is easier to digest so it is preferred for dogs with a history of gastrointestinal problems.
Health Benefits of Rice For Dogs
There are several key health benefits that rice provides. Rice is high in carbohydrates, a valuable source of energy, with very little sodium, cholesterol, or harmful fats. Rice is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iron, fiber, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. Furthermore, the starch in rice helps keep your dogs’ bowels healthy, and since rice is low in sodium, it is ideal for dogs that have heart issues. Brown or wild rice is the best option as they are not processed.
Compared to white rice, brown rice is higher in calories but also provides more protein, dietary fiber, fatty acids, manganese, selenium, and magnesium. However, white rice has more folate and is easier to digest. In fact, white rice is sometimes recommended to help treat diarrhea in dogs because its high in starch.
Adding Rice To Your Dog’s Diet
The easiest way to add rice to your dogs’ diets is to mix rice with their dry or wet dog food. However, many dog owners are making their own pet food at home, from scratch, using rice as one of the main ingredients. You can cook meals for your dog using rice, sweet potato, lean meat, broccoli, and carrots.
For larger dogs, you can simply cook all your ingredients, mix them together, and give them to your dogs in their bowls. However, for smaller dogs, it’s a good idea to mince everything together with a food processor or blender to help eliminate any potential choking hazards.
If you choose to cook your dogs’ meals, it’s important to remember to leave out salt, oil, and other seasonings that you’d normally add when cooking food for yourself. Common spices or ingredients like garlic, nutmeg, butter, or onions are bad for dogs to eat and can even be toxic for them.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Rice
Rice is safe for your dogs to eat and many dog food brands include it as an ingredient. In fact, rice has more nutrients than products that use fillers. Some pet stores may also carry “raw” food, which is similar to dog food that you would make yourself. “Raw” food is made with healthy ingredients and the nutritional facts only include ingredients that you should have no trouble pronouncing, such as rice. Feeding your dogs food that contains healthy ingredients is the first step towards having happier pups!