Can dogs eat rice? The answer is yes they can. In fact rice is said to help if your dog is suffering with diarrhea. The rice will absorb the excess liquid in your dog’s bowels making for less runny poop.
Rice is also packed with carbohydrates and a little bit of protein, both great for energy and strength. Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the true benefits and any precautions of your dog eating rice.
Can Dogs Eat Rice – The Benefits
Well we have already mentioned one health benefit. If your dog has an upset stomach and his stool is less than solid a bit of cooked rice mixed in with his dog food is said to help.
Beyond the fact rice will be able to absorb excess liquids with your dog’s intestines, rice is also high in fiber so your dog will benefit from the stool binding nature of that too. Brown rice contains slightly higher amounts of fiber due to the fact the rice bran is still attached. (This is what gives it its brown color).
Although white rice does contain fiber, the bran has been removed meaning the fiber count is lower.
Another reason you might want to increase your dog’s fiber intake is if your vet has suggested that your dog lose weight. A high fiber diet is said to help control weight gain, as the fiber rich foods help keep your dog fuller for longer. This essentially means he will eat less.
Other benefits of feeding your dog rice is the high levels of natural carbohydrates that it contains. If you have a dog that takes lots of exercise, carbohydrates will help create that much needed energy when your dog is being active. Carbs are an easy source of energy as the body turns this into sugars that are readily accessible and burn quickly.
Can Dogs Eat Rice – Any Precautions
One issue to consider when feeding rice to your dog, is the flavorings that come with it. If you are scraping rice from your dinner plate into his bowl, did your meal contain other ingredients that would amount to bad dog food?
For instance, left overs from a Chinese take away could mean the rice was cooked in garlic or onions – two highly toxic ingredients for canines. The rice will have been cooked in oil, again not the best type of dog food. And if sweet and sour sources or other rich flavorings high in E numbers and preservatives have tarnished the rice, your poor dog will have stomach issues in no time.
Can Dogs Eat Rice – Potential Allergies
While rice allergies in dogs are far from common, there have been some reported cases. To combat this you should only feed your dog a small amount of rice the first time they ever try it. A good rule of thumb is to always introduce new dog foods slowly, whether that be a change of dog food brand and product, or as in this case, foods meant for humans.
Symptoms of rice allergies in dogs include itchy skin, hair loss, hot spots and ear infections.
If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has eaten any rice, take him to the vet as soon as you can. Again, such allergies are rare so do not pose a significant threat.
We’ve covered it all really. Rice can be good for dogs, brown rice with its high fiber even better. Don’t over do it however, moderation and a balanced dog food diet is key. If feeding your dog rice for the first time, do so in a small amount and watch for any signs of an allergic reaction.