Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Wild Rice?
Rice is consumed worldwide and is a staple in many people’s diets. Chances are, your dog is already eating at least some rice, as it is a common ingredient in many dog food formulations. Rice helps add fiber and bulk to food while also being better than surgery fillers and sweeteners. But is rice safe for your dog when cooked separately? Let’s find out the benefits and possible risks of feeding your dog rice. But put your mind at ease right from the start- most dogs enjoy cooked rice with no issues.
What Types of Rice are Safe for Dogs?
Can dogs eat wild rice? While rice can be added to your dog’s diet as a natural and healthy treat, not all varieties are equally nutritious and beneficial. Here are a few varieties of rice you can safely feed your pup:
- White rice — White rice is the cheapest yet also most nutritionally poor type of rice available, there is minimal fiber and nutrients and more sugar in this rice than any other type. Eating white rice is simply piling on empty carbs for your dog, but it is much easier to digest for dogs with stomach issues or other feeding concerns.
- Brown rice — If your dog is not dealing with any sort of stomach issues, brown rice is the perfect option for feeding. It is high in fiber and vitamins and can help overweight pups feel fuller without adding on a lot of empty calories. It also helps regulate metabolism and can help speed up fat loss and muscle growth.
- Wild rice — This type of rice is best fed to dogs in its raw, cooked form with no additives or spices. As a whole grain, wild rice is rich in fiber and antioxidants. The nitty taste of this rice is loved by many dogs, making wild rice a great option as well. It can be added to dry or wet food to bulk up serving sizes while still being healthy.
With these three rice options, you are sure to find a tasty and healthy option that your dog will love.
Nutritional Value of Wild Rice
The nutritional content of wild rice that has been cooked with nothing else added to it is a healthy treat for most dogs. According to the USDA a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked wild rice has the following nutritional information:
- Calories: 101
- Fat: 0.3g
- Sodium: 3mg
- Carbohydrates: 21.3g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Sugars: 0.73g
- Protein: 4g
What health benefits does rice provide for dogs?
So, the answer to the question of ‘can dogs eat wild rice’ is a resounding yes. In fact, there are some key benefits that your canine family member could enjoy if wild rice is added to their diet on a regular basis.
1. Source of Extra Long-Term Energy for Dogs
Rice provides dogs with ample carbohydrates, which their bodies use for energy. Wild rice is slower to break down, so it provides your pup with more energy. This rice helps your dog avoid dangerous energy fluctuations that can occur with more carbo-loaded foods where the energy is burned off quickly, and the energy ‘crash’ afterward can be much more severe. Compared to other sugary options, wild rice is a healthy option to protect your dog’s health.
2. Promotes Healthy Digestion and Bowel Movements
Stomach upset, constipation, gas and bloating, and other digestion-related issues are common among many breeds of dogs. Adding wild rice into your dog’s diet can help reduce the chances of these sorts of issues becoming a problem for your pup. The natural fiber and starches in this race help feed the beneficial bacteria that live in your dog’s stomach. Over time, it can provide digestive support and benefits for dogs of all ages and breeds.
3. Excellent Boost For Improved Brain Activity
There are studies that also indicate that feeding dogs whole grains like quinoa and wild rice can help improve their mental sharpness and intelligence. Compared to other foods, wild rice is relatively low in fats and cholesterol, which have been shown to affect brain health in dogs negatively. This is especially true in younger pups and in senior dogs as well. Dogs are smarter, more active, more playful, and more engaged when fed whole wild rice regularly.
4. Countering High Blood Pressure
Once your dog hits the eight years old mark, their risk of hypertension significantly increases and continues to do so for the rest of their lives. To combat this disease that can go undetected for years, a combination of rice and other dietary changes can genuinely help to extend their lifespan. The added fiber, trace nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and other compounds found in wild rice help support overall health and vitality.
Final Thought Regarding Wild Rice for Dogs
If you give your dog wild rice, be sure to let your veterinarian team know so they can offer advice and guidelines tailored to your dog specifically. In most cases, dogs love rice and can gain many benefits from it so long as pet owners ensure it’s served in moderation. Wild rice should not be the bulk of any dog’s daily diet. Ideally, your dog’s diet should be founded on meat-based proteins with rice added as a special treat now and then.