If brown rice is your favorite meal, you may be wondering whether your furry friend can occasionally have a taste of the same.
The short answer is yes; dogs can eat brown rice. Since they are omnivores, dogs can eat brown rice from time to time.
Brown rice is nutritious and can be a valuable addition to your dog’s diet. You can also mix it with other foods for taste. Here is everything you should know about brown rice for dogs, including the precautions.
Brown Rice Nutritional Value Facts
Brown rice is a highly nutritious whole grain. In some places, brown rice is also referred to as wild rice, unpolished rice, long-grain rice, and orzo.
Compared to white rice, brown rice has low sugar levels, making it an incredible option for people and pets with high sugar levels. However, it contains other vital nutrients which make a great meal.
Here are the main nutrients in brown rice.
196g of brown rice contains:
- Calories – 218
- Total fat – 1.6g
- Total carbohydrates – 46g
- Potassium – 154mg
- Sodium – 2mg
- Fiber – 3.6g
- Iron – 5.8%
- Calcium – 1.5%
196g is equivalent to one cup of brown rice. Depending on your dog’s age, this amount may be small, enough, or excessive. Consult your vet for more directions on the best brown rice to serve your furry friend.
The Health Benefits of Brown Rice for Dogs
Rice is a staple diet for many people, and there’s a chance you will give your dog brown rice occasionally. Here are the main health benefits of this meal for dogs:
- Brown rice contains fiber which improves the digestive system of your dog
- Brown rice has multiple minerals like phosphorous, calcium, and iron, which strengthen bones and teeth
- Brown rice has vitamins that keep the nerves healthy and increase the body’s immunity
- Brown rice has plenty of carbohydrates and proteins, which your dog needs for energy and a healthy body
- Brown rice has strong antioxidants which can boost the dog’s ability to fight diseases
Every packed brown rice has a list of nutrients. Go through them keenly to ensure the rice your buy and feed your dog contains vital nutrients.
Adding Brown Rice to Your Dog’s Diet
Usually, manufacturers indicate preparation instructions, including how to mix brown rice with other diets easily. However, you should mix brown rice with other nutrient-rich foods, like proteins, so your dog feeds on a balanced diet.
You should only serve your dog cooked brown rice only. During preparations, boil or steam it and avoid butter, ghee, and other products which add calories.
Also, start small with your feeding if the dog is new to brown rice feeding. By feeding small amounts, you will easily notice your dog’s reaction to the diet and decide whether to continue or discontinue it.
Best Practices for Feeding Brown Rice to Dogs
Here are a few tips to ensure your furry friend enjoys brown rice and that you minimize the side effects:
- Mix brown rice with proteins to offer a completely balanced diet
- Don’t add seasons or spices while preparing brown rice for your dog
- Add a little salt or avoid it completely
- Prepare a simple meal with no garlic or other ingredients which may be allergic or toxic to your pet
- Start small and increase the serving quantity with time
- Watch for side effects, like digestion issues or vomiting
Lastly, consult your vet if you are unsure about feeding your dog brown rice. Report any side effects as well for quick help.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice For Dogs. Which Is Better?
Both brown and white rice are great additions to your dog’s diet. The only difference is that brown rice has its hull intact, which means it contains more fiber. Since brown rice is not processed like white rice, it may be harder to digest than white rice.
Brown rice may be an excellent option for your dog if you need a high dietary fiber diet, need to reduce cholesterol in the body, or your dog has high blood pressure. Nevertheless, both options are great for dogs, and you can interchangeably include them in the dog’s diet.
The Risks of Brown Rice to Dogs
Here are the main risks of brown rice:
Brown rice has a coat around it that stores most nutrients. This coat can sometimes interfere with the digestion process and result in stomach upsets because your dog takes too long to digest the hard upper coat. This digestion risk mostly happens when you feed your dog too much brown rice.
Easily avoid this problem by feeding brown rice to your dog in moderation. Also, ensure your dog takes excess water after eating brown rice to ease digestion.
Some dogs may show allergic reactions like hair loss and itchy skin after eating brown rice. Inform your vet immediately if you notice any abnormal signs.
Healthy Alternatives to Brown Rice
There are other healthy whole grains that your dog can safely take and enjoy. Besides brown rice, you can also feed your dog with the following:
- Whole wheat
All whole grains are nutritious. However, each dog reacts differently to a new diet, so you should be cautious when introducing a new diet. Always consult your vet before introducing new whole grain to your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the commonly asked questions about feeding dogs brown rice.
When should I avoid feeding brown rice to my dog?
Avoid brown rice if your dog is allergic to whole grains or has gastrointestinal issues. Brown rice may also be unwanted if your dog’s diet already has many other foods rich in carbohydrates. Excess carbs to your dog may bring nutritional imbalance and affect your dog’s health.
Can dogs take brown rice every day?
Yes, a dog can feed on brown rice daily, provided it’s a complete or balanced diet. Including proteins and even fruits in a bowl of brown rice meal ensures your dog gets the wanted nutrients. However, daily brown rice to dogs should be in moderation to prevent your dog from excess weight gain.
Can my dog be allergic to brown rice?
Yes, some dogs have allergic reactions to brown rice on rare occasions. The main signs of an allergy are ear infection, hair loss, and itchy skin. You can discontinue the diet if the allergic reactions persist.
My dog does not digest white rice. What should I do?
It’s common for dogs with sensitive stomachs to have digestive issues after eating brown rice. If this is the case with your dog, try feeding smaller amounts, followed by lots of water, to ease digestion. You can replace brown rice with pumpkin and other foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Brown rice is a nutritious diet you can add to your dog’s healthy meal plan. However, avoid adding spices and excess fats during preparations. A simple, boiled, or steamed brown rice is enough for your furry friend, especially if you serve it with proteins. Consult your vet before introducing brown rice to your dog’s menu.