Can Dogs Eat Rice? Rice’s Nutritional Value as a Dog Food

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Yes, dogs can eat rice. Rice is not toxic to dogs and it contains some nutrients that can be beneficial for them. Plus, it helps settle an upset stomach.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start feeding your dog rice.

A white Pomeranian puppy by a rice field
A Pomeranian pup by a rice field

For example, dogs with certain health conditions like diabetes shouldn’t eat too much rice because it’s a high-carb food.

Keep on reading this guide to learn more about the benefits of rice, its nutrients, the best ways to serve it, as well as the risk of feeding too much rice to your dog.

What are the Benefits of Rice for Dogs?

A White dog with a rice meal
Candy, a cute dog, loves having her rice meals – Image source

Rice is a healthy, delicious grain for dogs, which you can add to their regular dog food. Here are some health benefits of rice for your canine.

  1. Rice helps soothe an upset stomach: White rice is rich in soluble fiber which can help promote stool formation for dogs suffering from diarrhea. It also contains probiotics which help support the good bacteria found in the small intestine, thus keeping the digestive system regular and healthy. It is for this reason that a simple rice and chicken diet is often recommended for dogs recovering from illness.
  2. Rice helps boost energy levels: The high carbohydrate value of rice can help to boost your dog’s energy levels. It also helps to improve cognitive development in young dogs. Puppies who eat rice have better memories and are able to learn new tasks more quickly. 

What nutrients in rice are beneficial for dogs?

Rice, particularly brown rice, is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

  • Fiber helps to regulate digestion. It also aids in maintaining a healthy weight by keeping the dog feeling full after eating. Fiber also aids in the prevention of certain diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. 
  • Vitamin B6, which is in some varieties of rice, helps to support hormone regulation and nervous system function. It also assists in the red blood cells production and regulation of potassium-sodium levels in dogs. A lack of Vitamin B6 may cause anemia and may negatively affect brain health.
  • Magnesium assists in energy production, helps regulate heartbeat, and aids in muscle function. 
  • Phosphorus: An essential nutrient for healthy joints and bones, brown rice has 150 mg of phosphorus per cup while white rice has 69 mg. Phosphorus works hand in hand with calcium to ensure your dog’s mobility, hormonal, and nerve function.

What are the Health Risks of Rice for Dogs?

A black Cesky Terrier with rice on its face
Alex, a Cesky Terrier, loves rice so much – Image source

Rice is not toxic to dogs. However, regularly feeding rice to your pet has certain risks, especially if not served properly.

  1. Allergic Reactions: If your dog has allergies or food sensitivities towards rice or grain, it’s recommended that you refrain your pet from eating rice.
  2. Food poisoning: Uncooked rice may contain Bacillus cereus, a bacteria often found in soil that can cause food poisoning in dogs. If you do choose to feed your dog rice, make sure to cook it thoroughly and remove any husks or other foreign objects before feeding.
  3. Choking: Raw rice or large clumps of sticky rice can cause choking, especially in puppies. 
  4. Difficulty with digestion: Raw rice, brown or white, is bad for dogs as their stomach can’t digest it. This could result in constipation or gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and abdominal pain. 

What’s in rice that is harmful to dogs?

Rice contains carbohydrates. When consumed in excess, it may cause a number of health problems such as diabetes.

This is because the carbohydrate content of rice gets converted to sugars in the body.

In addition, carbs can also promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, this may cause bad bacteria to outnumber good ones. 

White rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice.

Canines with pre-existing health issues, like diabetes, may find it difficult to consume white rice as it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

Brown rice also contains phytic acids which can hinder mineral absorption, although some studies also show that these acids can also help reduce the risk of some types of cancers.

Does all rice have the same effect on dogs?

No, not all rice is the same.

Plain white rice is the easiest for dogs to digest and so is often recommended for pets with an upset stomach as it helps to balance their digestion.

Brown rice on the other hand contains more fiber and a lower glycemic index and so helps your dog feel fuller for longer without spiking blood sugar levels. 

Be sure to speak to your vet as he will be able to advise on the best type of rice for your dog based on his health, energy levels, breed, and size.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Rice?

Some dogs may be allergic to rice. The symptoms of a rice allergy are similar to those of other allergies and may include itchiness, hair loss, ear infection, and gastrointestinal upset.

If you think your dog may be allergic to rice, talk to your veterinarian.

They will likely recommend avoiding rice in your dog’s diet and may also suggest other options for treating the allergy.

With proper treatment, most dogs can lead happy and healthy lives despite their allergies.

What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Much Rice?

If dogs eat too much rice, especially white rice, they may experience a spike in blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of serious high blood sugar condition include dehydration, cataracts, weight loss, obesity, enlarged liver, and depression. 

In extreme cases, persistent elevated blood sugar levels may indicate diabetes. And because rice is loaded with carbohydrates, giving him too much may cause weight gain.

While most dogs will recover from eating too much rice without any long-term effects, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian if your dog is experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms.

How Should Dogs Eat Rice?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback looking at cooked rice on chopsticks
Gus, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, tries eating cooked rice for the first time – Image source

Rice should always be cooked before giving it to your dog.

While uncooked rice isn’t poisonous for your pet, it won’t be digested so will just end up passing through your dog’s system exactly as it went in.

Opting for plain white or brown rice, that doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients like onions, garlic, or raisins, is the best for your dog.

Also, be sure not to add condiments like butter, jam, or cheese to your dog’s rice as this will up the fat content, and too much fat is not good for your dog.

To prepare rice for your dog, first, rinse the rice to get rid of extra starch before boiling it until it is tender.

It is best to cook the rice in plain water, being sure not to add any broth or salt as too much sodium content is not good for your dog.

You should consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new foods.

If rice is suitable for your dog’s age, weight, and health, he can provide advice on how much rice your pet can eat.

Is Rice a Good Treat for Dogs?

Yes, rice is a great snack for dogs. Packed with nutrients like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, rice has a range of health benefits for your pet. 

Homemade rice treats which include dog-safe fruits and veggies and proteins like chicken and egg are also healthier than commercial dog treats and often friendlier on the budget too. 

When should dogs eat rice?

The best occasion to offer white rice to your dog is when he needs a bland meal during a bout of gastrointestinal upset.

As mentioned, white rice is easy to digest and helps soothe an upset stomach.

Nevertheless, if you want to share rice with your dog for the first time, baking him dog-friendly rice cakes on 29 June, which is National Rice Day, is a good idea!

If you are serving rice to your dog for the first time, start out by giving him a small amount at first. In this manner, you can keep an eye out to see if he reacts poorly to rice.

Make sure to stop giving the food as soon as you see any digestive problems or behavioral changes from him.

When should dogs not eat rice?

Never feed rice to your dog if he is allergic to it. Rice should also be avoided by or limited for overweight canines or those with specific health problems, such as diabetes and obesity.

If you are unsure whether or not your dog should eat rice, speak to your veterinarian.

What Types of Rice Can Dogs Eat?

White rice in a bowl
A bowl of white rice

Dogs can eat most types of rice, including white, brown, and basmati.

However, it’s important to avoid serving them rice that is cooked with spices or other seasonings, as these can be harmful to their digestive system.

Additionally, dogs with allergies or sensitivities may do better on a gluten-free diet, in which case you will need to choose rice that is labeled as ‘gluten-free.’ 

1. White Rice

White rice is high in carbs and great for settling your dog’s upset stomach.

However, the carbs are very fast burning which means they can raise blood sugar levels.

White rice is thus not recommended for overweight dogs or diabetic dogs as they cannot tolerate high carbohydrates. 

Dogs that suffer from candida or yeast problems also can’t be given white rice as these yeasts feed off the sugars of carbohydrates. 

2. Brown Rice

Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice and higher in fiber, however, it doesn’t have the same effect on settling gastrointestinal issues as white rice does.

As brown rice digests slower than white rice it can sustain your dog’s energy levels for longer but some dogs may struggle to digest it due to the increased fiber content. 

This high fiber content does however help to regulate the gut and can relieve constipation.

3. Jasmine Rice

Jasmine is soft, long-grain rice that originates in Thailand.

It’s not as sticky as some long-grain rice as it contains less starch, but the sticky texture can pose difficulty for some dogs and make it a choking hazard.

Other than that, Jasmine Rice shares much of the same pros and cons as white rice.

4. Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is another type of long-grain rice. It is also rich in carbohydrates and is an excellent treatment for gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea. 

5. Wild Rice

Wild rice is the most nutritious type of rice. It is packed full of antioxidants and fiber and makes a great topper for your dog’s dinner.

Most dogs also love the nutty flavor of wild rice.

6. Red Rice

Red rice is known for its rich nutritional benefits. It is very high in antioxidants and magnesium, which will help to avoid many diseases for your dog.

It can also help relieve digestive discomfort for dogs in pain.

7. Sticky Rice

Sticky rice is safe for your dog to eat, but just be careful of choking.

In addition, sticky rice normally has a high starch content and is very easily digested, causing blood sugar spikes. For this reason, it is not recommended for pets with diabetes.

Foods Made From Rice Your Dogs Can and Can’t Eat

Sushi rice on a plate
Sushi rice – Image source

1. Sushi Rice

Plain white sushi rice is safe for dogs to eat. The next time you’re making or buying sushi, why not buy some pieces for your dog too?

Seaweed, sushi, and carrots are all perfectly fine for your dog to eat and can be rolled up with sushi rice to make a luxury treat for your doggo.

2. Rice Pudding

Rice pudding contains too much-added sugar that’s not safe for your dog to eat. It may also have added chemicals that shouldn’t be fed to your pet.

Feeding your dog rice pudding will negate the health benefits of rice due to the added sugars and calories.

3. Rice Cakes

You can share your rice cakes with your dog, provided they are plain and free from any seasoning or ingredients that are toxic to dogs such as onion or chives.

Rice cakes are a great crunchy snack to feed to your dog during training, just don’t overdo it and never feed your dog rice cakes in place of a balanced meal.

4. Fried Rice

It is not okay to feed your dog fried rice. Fried rice is high in fats which are not healthy for your dog.

Too much fat in your dog’s diet could cause obesity or could even lead to more serious issues such as pancreatitis, which can cause death.

5. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower is safe for your dog to eat but cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower contain isothiocyanate which if too much is consumed, can cause gut irritation.

Just like in humans, cauliflower can also cause excess flatulence.

6. Yellow Rice

Yellow rice is not safe for dogs to eat. Yellow rice is made with spices that can be toxic for your dog to consume, especially in large amounts.

7. Mexican Rice

Mexican rice normally contains chilies which are packed full of nutrients like fiber, and Vitamins A, C, K, and B6.

While chilies aren’t toxic for dogs their digestive systems aren’t used to spicy foods and so most dogs struggle to consume them.

Couple that with the fact that most Mexican rice also normally includes onions and it’s best to avoid giving your dog this type of rice.

What Can I Mix With Rice to Feed My Dog?

A bowl of rice and chicken soup
Rice and chicken soup – Image source

Ever considered mixing rice with other staple food in your kitchen? Here are some dog-friendly and non-so-dog-friendly foods that you can and cannot add to rice.

1. Chicken

Dogs can eat chicken. This type of meat is a fantastic, affordable lean source of protein for dogs and most pets love it.

Chicken that doesn’t have any salt or sugar added is great for dogs and a plain chicken and rice diet is often recommended by vets for dogs recovering from illness or surgery.

2. Beans

Rice mixed with beans is healthy for dogs, provided the mixture has no added seasonings or fats.

Beans have a range of health benefits for dogs, being a rich source of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and Vitamins A and C. 

However, beans can make your dog extremely gassy. The best beans to feed your dog are cooked, tender black beans, kidney beans, and green beans.

3. Eggs

Dogs can eat eggs. They’re an excellent source of protein, and they also contain vitamin A, riboflavin, and selenium.

Selenium is an important mineral for dogs because it has antioxidant properties and supports proper thyroid function.

In addition, eggs can help to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Feeding your dog eggs every now and then can help improve their overall health and well-being.

4. Gravy

Dogs should not eat gravy. Gravy made for human consumption is often high in fat and salt, which can be difficult for dogs to digest.

In addition, some gravies may contain onions or garlic, which can be toxic to dogs. Hence, it’s best to avoid giving them gravy made with these ingredients.

Else, if you want to serve gravy to your pooch, opt for one made with dog-friendly ingredients. 

5. Tuna

Tuna is high in fatty acids and protein, both of which your dog needs.

While small amounts of tuna are safe for your dog, tuna does have high mercury levels and so it shouldn’t be fed to your pet in excess.

Mercury poisoning can cause hair loss, nervousness, blindness, abdominal swelling, loss of coordination, tremors, vomiting blood, and watery or bloody diarrhea in dogs.

Are foods made with rice safe for dogs?

Always be cautious when offering your dog food made for human consumption that features rice.

Most food prepared for humans is loaded with toxic ingredients for dogs. These include onions and garlic.

They can also have added salt or sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals. 

For your dog’s best experience, offer only commercial dog food or treats made with rice. Else, make a rice-inclusive dog-friendly meal at home!

How Much Rice Can Dogs Eat Daily?

The amount of rice that dogs can consume in a day depends on their size and activity level.

Rice should be served moderately and should only make up to ten percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

Large dogs, on the other hand, may eat a ¼ or ⅓ cup of rice twice or thrice per week. If you give your dog too much rice, you can put him at risk of developing obesity or diabetes.

It is best to consult your vet to determine the specific dietary needs of your dog.

Rice is healthy food for dogs and can provide them with essential nutrients, but it’s important not to overfeed them.

Too much rice can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

What Dog Food Recipes Contain Rice?

A Chihuahua looking up, waiting for rice treat
Dave, a Chihuahua, waiting for his rice-inclusive treat – Image source

To offer your dog the benefits of rice, try making a homemade dog treat made with rice at home.

Other fantastic dog-safe foods like chicken and peanut butter are used in several tasty recipes.

Here are some fantastic, simple, at-home dog treat recipes you can follow.

  1. Rice & Peanut Butter Dog Treats
  2. Chicken and Wild Rice Dog Biscuits
  3. Chicken, Cheddar, and Brown Rice Dog Treats

What are the dog food products that include rice?

There are a variety of commercial dog foods that include rice in their formulas. Here are a few of our favorites that your pet might enjoy eating.

If you’re not yet ready to make big changes to your dog’s kibble, you may give him commercial dog treats that have rice on the list of ingredients.

Here are some good options that pair rice with excellent protein sources.

What Happens If Dog Eats Spoiled Rice?

If a dog ingests spoiled rice, he may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

If the rice was contaminated with bacteria, the dog may also develop an infection. 

In severe cases, the dog may need to be hospitalized in order to receive IV fluids and antibiotics.

If you think your dog has eaten spoiled rice, it’s important to contact your vet immediately.

They will be able to assess your dog’s symptoms and provide the appropriate treatment.

What Diseases in Dogs Can Rice Help?

Rice is a natural source of vitamins and minerals. This makes it an ideal food for dogs with an upset stomach or irritable bowel syndrome.

The high starch content of white rice helps provide relief for digestive problems as it’s easy to digest. 

For these reasons, many vets recommend adding rice to your dog’s diet if they are suffering from any of these health problems.

What are Other Foods That Dogs Can Eat Similar to Rice?

A dog eating an oatmeal
A doggo patiently waits for his oatmeal to be served – Image source

If your pet doesn’t like rice or is allergic to it, you can try feeding the following foods that can be used as a substitute for rice.

  • Oatmeal is a good source of Vitamins A and B, zinc, and iron. Additionally, the soluble fiber in oatmeal can help to improve irregular bowel movement. For dogs with allergies or sensitive skin, oatmeal can be a gentle alternative to wheat and other grains. 
  • Sweet potatoes are a healthy and delicious treat for dogs. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also contain fiber which can help to regulate digestion. In addition, sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and folate. They also contain several important antioxidants that can help to protect against cell damage.

Conclusion: So, Can My Dog Eat Rice?

Rice is a healthy grain that is good for your dog if given correctly. Most canines love the taste and texture of rice.

Not only is it tasty, but rice can also offer a number of health benefits, from boosting his energy levels to improving his digestive system. 

However, make it a point to give only plain, cooked rice to your dog.

Avoid flavored rice which can include sugar, salts, and various ingredients that are dangerous for your dog.

Also, serve it only in moderation as too many carbohydrates can cause spikes in his blood sugar levels.

Does your dog love rice? Do they eat it plain or do you incorporate rice into a delicious homemade treat?

Be sure to let us know more about your dog and his diet in the comments below.

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