Rice is found in many human foods, so you may be wondering whether brown rice is safe for dogs. Read on to learn what you need to know about brown rice for dogs.
Rice is a popular ingredient in many human foods. You can find rice in cuisines around the world like Mexican dishes, Indian foods, Chinese foods, and more. You may even boil rice in your household on a regular basis.
While rice is a nutrient-rich food for humans, many dog parents wonder if their furry friends can enjoy this food too, even in small amounts. If you’re wondering whether your dog can have brown rice, this guide has everything you need to know.
Brown Rice for Dogs: Good or Bad?
The simple answer is, yes. Your dog can eat brown rice. However, it may not be your first nutrition option for whole grains. Here’s why.
Many dog parents choose brown rice over white rice because it has a lower glycemic index. In other words, white rice can lead to higher blood sugar levels than brown rice.
Keeping your dog healthy involves giving them ingredients that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, so many look to brown rice as an alternative.
However, it’s not always the best ingredient for your dog’s digestion. Brown rice has a coat around each grain made up of seeds. This is where the nutrients are stored. While this coat is vital for carrying nutrients, it can be difficult for your dog to digest, leading to an upset stomach and GI discomfort.
Brown rice also tends to be less processed than white rice, making it more difficult for your pup to digest.
Lastly, both brown rice and white rice are packed with carbs. While your dog needs a healthy amount of carbs to use as fuel for energy and growth, overconsumption of carbs can lead to weight gain. Your dog’s food is already likely packed with the carbs they need to thrive, so it’s rarely vital not to feed your dog too many carbs in addition to their regular food.
If you’re considering giving your dog rice, check your dog food label to see how many carbs are already in your dog’s diet. Some rice is alright for your pup, but too much can lead to an imbalance in nutrition.
When To Avoid Brown Rice
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, is experiencing gastrointestinal issues, or has been vomiting, having diarrhea, or experiencing unusual gas, bloating, or nausea, it’s best to avoid brown rice.
It’s also best to avoid brown rice if your dog’s diet is already rich in carbs. Too many carbohydrates in your dog’s diet can lead to a nutritional imbalance or even canine weight gain because lots of carbs typically means lots of calories.
What About White Rice?
Many people give their dogs white rice when they’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or other types of stomach upset. White rice helps calm the digestive tract and is bland enough that your dog can easily digest it, helping to soothe other digestive issues.
However, if your dog has diabetes, it’s important to be careful of how much white rice you give them as it may raise their blood glucose levels significantly. You may still be able to feed your dog a smaller amount of white rice to soothe stomach upset, or you can ask your vet for other ways to relieve your dog’s symptoms, naturally or with medication alike.
Other Grains Your Dog Will Love
There are many whole grains your dog can enjoy that are safe to eat and beneficial for their bodies. Grains carry a variety of nutrients that are important to your dog’s health, including B vitamins like riboflavin (vitamin B2) and thiamin (vitamin B1), E, magnesium, iron, protein, fiber, iron, and potassium.
While you can feed your dog brown rice, it may lead to stomach upset, it can be difficult to digest, and it may lead to an overconsumption of carbs when given alongside already nutrient-rich dog food. The decision to feed your dog brown rice is yours, but there are two alternatives that provide the same benefits without the risks.
Oats are an excellent whole grain that your dog can eat. They are known for being easily digestible, full of fiber, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants, and beneficial to your dog’s health. Oats are especially great for your dog’s skin and coat.
Quinoa is one of the best whole grains to look for on the dog food label. This superfood is packed with amino acids, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your dog will benefit from.
Grains To Avoid
Grains like wheat, gluten, corn, and soy can lead to stomach upset, irritation, and even allergic reaction if your dog is intolerant to gluten. Corn and soy specifically are often used as filler ingredients rather than ingredients that provide nutritional value to your pet.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid these grains.
It may be best to avoid brown rice, as well, if your dog has a sensitive stomach or eats a lot of carbs already. Luckily, there are plenty of dog food options that use whole grains like oats and quinoa instead of fillers or irritants.
Sundays food for dogs contains quinoa, USDA grade beef, and a range of fruits and vegetables so your dog gets the nutrients they need without the stuff they don’t.
Whole Grains, No Worries
While brown rice for dogs is generally safe and acceptable, it may cause stomach upset and be difficult for your pup to digest. If you notice discomfort or irritation, talk to your veterinarian about brown rice for your dog.
And, if you’re looking for whole grains you won’t have to worry about, try Sundays.
Looking for more dog parenting tips? Check out more pup advice here!