Rice is a popular staple food for more than half the world's population. It is cheap, easy to store and simple to prepare. But can dogs eat rice too? The good news is that dogs can eat rice too! In fact, rice is a great source of highly digestible carbohydrates for dogs and is well tolerated by almost all pups. A healthy diet is important not only for us but also for our furry friends.
In our article, find out which type of rice your dog tolerates best and how to prepare rice properly so your dog can get the most out of the health benefits of this popular grain.
Benefits of rice for dogs
Rice belongs to a group of foods called cereal grains. Cereal grains are seeds of grasses that are grown and harvested for consumption. They include foods such as bulgur wheat, oats/oatmeal, maize, barley, millet and quinoa. As with human diets, what matters in pet diets is not the ingredients, but the nutrients those ingredients provide. Not all grains are nutritionally equal. Quinoa, for example, is rich in protein. Bulgar is rich in dietary fibre. Maize provides essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Rice is rich in carbohydrates, but it also contains protein and fibre.
It is also a great source of vitamin D, fibre and iron for your dog. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphorus levels, while iron helps form haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Rice is also a great source of fibre and calcium for your dog.
Rice is a good choice for gluten-sensitive dogs who have an immune reaction to gluten, as it provides important carbohydrates without gluten.
In general, rice is very good for a healthy and balanced diet for your dog as it contains valuable vitamins, nutrients and trace elements.
Rice as a special diet
If your dog has been prescribed a special diet, rice is ideal. Rice should not be eaten in large quantities by your dog, except in cases of diarrhoea. Rice is dehydrating. Theoretically, your dog could even eat rice every day. Cooked rice is generally easily digestible.
Which rice is good for dogs?
Generally, all types of rice are suitable for dogs. Roughly speaking, you can divide rice into long-grain and round-grain rice.
There is a suitable rice for every application. These types of rice are suitable for dogs:
- Natural rice
- Parboiled rice
- Basmati rice
- Thai rice
- Jasmine rice
- Risotto rice
- Whole grain rice
Whole grain rice provides the most fibre, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Can dogs eat white rice?
Yes! White rice - rice that has had the husk, bran and germ removed - is a healthy part of a balanced diet for dogs. Due to the absence of the husk, white rice contains less fibre and slightly more calories and carbohydrates than brown rice. It is easier on the dog's digestive system, making it a good choice for dogs with gastrointestinal problems or sensitive stomachs.
Simple white rice mixed with chicken is sometimes recommended by vets for dogs that have diarrhoea. The fibre and starch in white rice help bind stool and soothe the intestines.
Can dogs eat brown rice?
Less processed than white rice, brown rice retains the hull, bran and germ. It contains slightly less protein and carbohydrates, but more fibre than white rice. Brown rice has the same nutritional value for dogs as white rice and even contains more antioxidants.
However, due to its coarser texture, some dogs have difficulty eating brown rice. White rice is a better option for dogs with gastrointestinal issues.
How to cook rice for dogs
To prepare rice for your dog, whether brown or white, you need one cup of uncooked rice and four cups of water. Before you do anything, you should remove any excess starch from the uncooked rice. You can do this by putting the rice in a sieve with holes that won't let the rice fall through and running it under cold water until the water runs clear. Once the rice is clean, put it in a pot with the water and cook it on the cooker for 20 to 25 minutes.
Do not add anything extra to the rice, including salt, spices, oils, butter or stock.
Make sure you don't add onions or garlic, as these can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. Once the rice is cooked, let it cool before taking out a portion to mix into your dog's food. Always make sure that the cooked rice has cooled properly before feeding it to your dog. As rice is very high in calories, it should not make up more than 10% of your dog's diet.
How much rice should I give my dog?
To test how well your dog tolerates rice, you should start with a small amount. In general, dogs like rice, but usually not pure. However, if you mix it with meat or dry food, almost all dogs will love it. Dogs need a healthy, balanced diet with all the essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and trace elements. Depending on the age of the dog, you will need to adjust the amount. A puppy needs a completely different combination of food than adult dogs.
Our recommendation: Cooked rice with vegetables
To make the meal especially rich in vitamins and fibre, you can also add delicious freshly cooked vegetables to the cooked rice. Carrots, peppers, courgettes and kohlrabi are particularly recommended! You can also make rice pudding for your dog, as long as you cook it with water and no sugar.