Can Dogs Eat Rice?

Dog Health Recent February 16, 2022
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Can Dogs Eat Rice?

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You may have noticed rice is a featured ingredient in several dog foods on the market today. Some dogs eat rice every day, because its part of the ingredients in their kibble, meaning it is safe for your dog to eat. Not only can dogs eat rice, it has been known to help with upset stomach problems.

However, rice on its own should not be your dogs only meal, but as part of a assorted diet that offers all the nutrients your pups needs. Dogs can eat rice in moderation as long as it’s cooked plain, without any seasoning or flavors, and as long as it is included as part of your dog’s balanced diet.

Is Rice Good for Dogs?

Rice is full of many essential nutrients, but there are a few differences between different types of rice grains. The whole grain version known as brown rice leads the way in nutritional value. It is higher in vitamins and fiber when compared to white rice.

When compared to brown rice, white rice cooks faster, it’s easier for dogs to digest and it’s been used to assist with upset stomachs in pups. Meaning dogs can sometimes not tolerate other foods well due to allergies or gastrointestinal problems.

There can always be side effects to giving your dog rice. A dog eat rice safely as long as you understand they should not have too much of it or stay on a strict rice diet for an extended period of time. If you’re considering adding more rice into your dog’s diet at any point in time, make sure you understand both the risks and benefits.

Regardless of the type of rice you choose to feed your dog, it’s always a good idea to watch out for any reactions to rice, especially if you’re introducing it for the first time in their diet. Allergic reactions are rare, but if you notice things like hair loss or constant scratching, be sure you contact your vet for help.

Your dog should get all the nutrients he needs from his complete and balanced dog food. If you are feeding your dog commercial dog food, look at the ingredients on the bag because in many cases, rice is already listed and should not be added in addition to his food to ensure he does not gain weight. If you are only feeding a small amount of rice with your pups regular dog food then you do not need to worry about additional nutritional value. Instead of rice, you may also consider adding hard boiled eggs to increase protein.

Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Rice

Rice is an inexpensive food and there are many health benefits to feeding your dog rice. Your dog may feel more full with less food, which can help them not eat as much. Rice also contains calcium which can help your dog maintain healthy teeth and bones as they get older.

A diet that includes rice can encourage the production of insulin in dogs who have diabetes mellitus. This may be helpful for dogs who are experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome before, if caught early.

The carbohydrates found in rice also provides energy needed by your dog after long periods of eating nothing at all. Rice is typically recommended for dogs who are sick, can’t eat other foods because of allergies, or who are recovering from surgery.

Types of Rice Your Dog Can Eat

As we have already mentioned in this article, rice is good for dogs. However, as a dog owner you may be concerned with the type of rice you give your furry friend.

There are many varieties of rice, and one should be a good fit for your dog. Let’s look at the types of rice that you can feed your dog.

Basmati rice is long-grain white rice that’s rich in carbohydrates. It is good for treating diarrhea and gastrointestinal upsets.

Brewers rice (named because it is often used in the brewing industry) is broken pieces of white rice. Nutritionally speaking, brewers rice is a great source of energy and provides protein and minerals.

Brown rice is more nutritious because of the bran, giving it a higher fiber content, but this means it is also harder to digest. It’s a complex carb and burns more slowly, stabilizing blood sugar for longer. The higher fiber allows overweight dogs to feel full for longer as well as helps treat constipation.

Jasmine is a long-grain, softer rice that comes from Thailand. It is a less starchy rice, making it less sticky as some short-grain rice.

White rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, starch and can soothe an upset stomach. Starch does not get digested until it reaches the small intestines, feeding useful bacteria that promotes regular bowel movements and then bulks up loose stool. White rice is also high on the glycemic index, with one-third of a cup containing 70 calories. It’s a fast-burning carb that can raise blood sugar levels. Dogs with diabetes or overweight dogs may not tolerate white rice as well. Dogs with candida or yeast issues should not have white rice either because candida and yeast feed off sugars produced from carbohydrates.

Wild rice is the most nutritious type of rice and is packed with fiber and antioxidants. It is a favorite among dogs because of the nutty flavor.

How to Feed Your Dog Rice

As we have mentioned, rice is a healthy addition to your dogs diet, but it should be consumed in moderation due to extra calories and carbohydrates that can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

When feeding your dog rice, make sure it is fully cooked and then cooled. Rice can be boiled or steamed until tender but do not add any oils, butter, salt or seasonings. If you are feeding rice to your dog in addition to his meal, feed no more than about a quarter cup for a large dog and just a tablespoon or two for a smaller dog.

If you are feeding your dog rice as part of a bland diet for upset stomach, it is usually mixed with a small amount of lean protein, such as shredded chicken or turkey. It is best to feed small amounts at a time, and only for a short period because it is not a complete and balanced diet.

It is always recommend that you speak with your veterinarian before giving your dog rice or any other type of new food to give you a better understanding of your dogs needs.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Rice?

Your dog may actually have a bad reaction to rice and should be taken off of it if you notice vomiting or itchy skin. Other symptoms can include; inflamed paws, dry skin, skin rash, and hair loss.

When you remove rice from your dog’s diet, his chances of a full recovery is very good. When the allergen is no longer in your dog’s system, the symptoms should cease and he should return to his normal self. His immune system will stop over-reacting and return to normal.

Final Thoughts

Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal or as added nutritional benefits to his meals. If you are interested in making your dog’s food yourself or just want to include it to fill your pup up, then you may want to talk to your veterinarian to make sure that you are using the right type of rice in the right amount to fulfill all of your dog’s nutritional and caloric needs.

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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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