Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice
Most of us think about dogs as carnivores. The truth is, dogs are omnivores, which means they eat basically everything. Seeing brown rice on the list of ingredients of your dog’s food makes more sense knowing that they are omnivores. You would be surprised how many owners are on the fence about feeding their dog brown rice. A common question we get is, “Can dogs eat brown rice?” Stick with us for a bit and you will learn all you need to know about dogs and brown rice.
The shortest possible answer to the question, “Can dogs eat brown rice?” is - yes. Brown rice is not only safe for dogs to eat and digest, but it is also very beneficial. Brown rice is a grain, and with the rising popularity of grain-free dog food, many owners forgot how valuable grain is for dogs.
Brown rice is very good for dogs. That is precisely why many large dog food manufacturers include it in their dog food recipes. Dogs can get all sorts of benefits from brown rice, and the best way to include it in your dog’s diet is by feeding them dog food that already contains brown rice in its recipe.
There are other ways you can include brown rice in your dog’s diet. If your dog seems to enjoy their food that doesn’t include brown rice, you can feed it to them separately. However, you have to be careful of the amount of brown rice you feed your dog. Large breeds, like the Golden Retriever or German Shepherd, can have ¼ of a cup. Small dogs, like the Manchester Terrier or a Maltese, can have no more than a tablespoon of brown rice in their meal.
Grain can offer many benefits to your dog, and brown rice is one of the best possible grains you can include in your dog’s diet. Of course, the benefits it will provide won’t mean much if you overfeed your dog on it. Make sure you stick to recommended amounts.
Brown rice is packed with healthy nutrients. It contains different vitamins, minerals, and plenty of carbohydrates. It has a great nutritional value. Some of the best things brown rice can offer your dog are;
- Vitamin D - The most important thing vitamin D does is controlling the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the dog’s body. This vitamin is essential, and vitamin D deficiency will lead to different health issues in puppies and senior dogs.
- Vitamin B - B vitamins are considered as building blocks of the body. They are necessary for overall health and well-being. B vitamins directly impact different processes in the body, and the most important ones are cell metabolism, brain functions, and energy levels.
- Calcium - Calcium is an essential mineral dog’s body needs to grow and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Some studies have even directly linked calcium and vitamin D with reduced risks of diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.
- Iron - Iron is another essential mineral that the body needs. Iron is vital for hemoglobin production, which is necessary for producing red blood cells. Dogs with iron deficiency can develop anemia.
All foods can cause a bad reaction if they are not fed moderately, and brown rice is no different. It can cause some gastrointestinal upset, but only if you give too much brown rice to your dog. Rice is often given to dogs with diarrhea, but the better choice is white rice. Brown rice has higher fiber content, which might stimulate their digestion. Another reason why you should avoid overfeeding your dog on brown rice is its high carbohydrate content. If dogs eat too many carbohydrates, they will gain weight and could become overweight or even obese. Dog obesity is a severe problem that affects more than 50% of American dogs.
There are only two safe ways to prepare brown rice for your dog - steamed or cooked. When cooking or steaming brown rice, avoid using any spices. Things like salt, butter, or oil can cause gastrointestinal upset, and dogs cannot digest these things. Make sure you give your dog only plain, steamed, or boiled rice.
There are some debates when it comes to the optimal amount brown rice dogs can eat. Most experts agree that 2 - 3 servings a week is more than enough. That way, you can control the amount of carbohydrates your dog will eat and make sure your dog reaps all the benefits brown rice can offer them.
One serving of brown rice should not be more than 10% of overall dog food intake. Never substitute the dog’s regular food for brown rice, and make sure you don’t go for the cheapest product. If you can, choose organic brown rice that wasn’t treated with pesticides.
World Dog Finder team