Can Dogs Eat Rice?
Supplementing your dog’s food with human food can help them in many ways. Many people make their own dog food, using a variety of ingredients. Rice is a food that you can safely give your dog.
You can mix it in with their regular food or use it as a base when making your own. Rice is already often used in commercial dog food, already. They add necessary carbohydrates to their diet.
Dogs and Rice
There is a long list of foods you should and shouldn’t feed your dog. Rice is one of the foods that are okay for dogs to eat. But there are still some important things to know about rice and what is best for your dog.
Before adding rice to their food, read the label. If there is already a high content of rice in it, skip adding it. While carbohydrates are important for active dogs, it can also cause inactive dogs to gain weight.
Brown rice has more nutrients in it due to it still having a coating. It has not been processed. However, it can cause more problems with dogs that have digestive or gastric concerns.
White rice is much better for dogs with frequent diarrhea or other gastric problems. Brown rice is harder for them to digest, however, it is higher in nutrients.
Which Rice is Best
When cooking rice for your dog, don’t mix in anything with it. Plain rice is the best. Then, you can add it to other ingredients for their meals. Don’t add salt, seasoning, or other grains unless you know your dog can handle them.
However, you can add a bit of plant oil, like sunflower oil, to keep the rice from sticking together. It also aids in digestion and does add omega-6 to their diet.
Cook it until it is soft and fully cooked. Undercooked rice can cause some dogs problems while trying to digest it. Regardless of what you do with it, it should not make up more than 10% of their diet.
Benefits of Rice-Based Dog Food
You can add cooked rice to your dog’s wet or dry food. It will make the food stretch further, and help give them carbs and fiber. You can also use it as a base of you prefer to make your own dog food.
If you are just introducing rice into your dog’s diet, make sure you check with your vet first. On approval, add a little bit of rice to their food or let them have a bit or two of rice on its own.
Using rice when making your own dog food lets you put whatever you want into it. You know your dog is getting natural foods instead of processed foods that can contain a lot of things you don’t want your dog eating.
Making Your Own Dog Food
Some of the easiest and most nutritious foods for your dog food can include:
- High-quality protein of various meats, like beef, chicken, or lamb. You can also use seafood, dairy, like cheese, yogurt, or eggs.
- There needs to be fat, as well, which can come from the meat or added healthy oils.
- Vegetables. Most dogs will eat any cooked vegetable. There are a few they shouldn’t have, like onions, garlic, asparagus, and any you think will upset your dog.
- Carbohydrates that come from grains and a few vegetables, like carrots.
- Calcium which will come from certain vegetables and dairy products
- Essential fatty acids that can be found in vegetable oils, egg yolks, and fish oils.
All the foods should be prepared without seasoning. Steam the vegetables, cook the rice plain, and don’t use yogurts with fruit or added flavors or sugar. Cook the meat without seasoning, as well.
Roast the turkey, chicken, or beef in the oven or use a slow-cooker or Dutch oven to cook it. When it has cooked and cooled, chop it up or better, use your food processor to mince it.
You may want to use leftover foods from your meals to make the dog food, but they need to be unseasoned. If you are planning this ahead of time, add the seasoning for the family at the table, but leave it unseasoned when cooking.
Likewise with leftover take-out food. You may be thinking about using leftover rice from Chinese food take out. Even plain rice might contain ingredients like salt, unknown oils, or MSG.
Buying precooked deli meats or poultry can also contain a lot of sodium, nitrates and other ingredients even people should avoid. These should not be used for your dog food recipes. If you buy the meat or poultry already ground, make sure it isn’t seasoned.
Always check with your vet before drastically changing their diet. Dogs can have food allergies, just like people do. They can also have negative reactions to certain foods.
It can depend on the type of dog you have, their background, like if they were a rescue and you don’t know much about their past, or the age of the dog. Introduce small amounts of new foods with their regular foods and see what happens.
Rice is a great base for dog food and a great way to give them more fiber and carbs. While it is okay for them to have it every day, keep the amount they have to a minimum. If your dog is older or inactive, you don’t want them to gain weight.
Other Foods to Learn About
There are a lot of foods dogs can eat but just you need to be careful. We have a few more articles that you may find useful and I have linked them below. Be sure to check back as we are always adding more wonderful content about our favorite four legged friends!