Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

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Question: Can dogs eat quinoa? Or is quinoa bad for dogs?

Answer: With the recent surge and trend of people resorting to eating quinoa because of the healthy profile it boasts as one of the best and most popular gluten-free grains out there, dog owners are wondering whether quinoa is safe to feed their dogs as well.

The same way people are resorting to eating quinoa as a healthier alternative to other carbohydrate sources out there such as bread, the dog owner community always has Fido in mind and people often ask about whether replacing rice with quinoa in a dog’s diet is a good or bad thing to do.

And, since you’re here reading this article, you’re probably wondering just as well 🙂

So, is quinoa safe for dogs to eat? Or is quinoa toxic for dogs? Let’s have a look at what this cereal lookalike has to offer!

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

YES, dogs can safely eat quinoa!

As a matter of fact, quinoa is included as an ingredient in many super high-quality, premium dog foods out there, some of which you might be feeding your dog right now! 🙂

Some people will mistakenly tell you that dog food that contains quinoa is low quality because quinoa is a grain and grains in dog food means a low quality product, but quinoa does not fall under the category of grains. Quinoa is often referred to as a psuedo-grain instead.

So, if you’re considering giving your dog some properly prepared quinoa every now and then as a treat, then good news, as that’s perfectly fine for you to do.

How Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

You want to make sure to ONLY serve quinoa to your dog after you properly prepare it so it’s safe.

How exactly can this be done? By thoroughly washing the quinoa and cooking it.

Unwashed quinoa has a toxic chemical called Saponin all over it, and you definitely don’t want that anywhere near your dog.

So, never feed your dog uncooked quinoa because that’s the only way you ensure that it’s really easy for your dog to digest the quinoa they’re eating and that they don’t get intoxicated because of it.

Under-cooked quinoa will lead to severe stomach aches and a whole host of digestive problems in your dog, and I’m sure that’s something you don’t want to happen.

How Much Quinoa Can Dogs Eat?

If you’re reading this article, and given the fact that quinoa is a food that only recently gained huge popularity, then chances are you’ve never fed your dog any quinoa before.

If this is true, then you want to start off by seeing if your dog can tolerate eating quinoa or not, which can be done by giving them a tiny amount of cooked quinoa and observing how they react to it during the day.

This is especially true in the case of quinoa because of the very high fiber content it contains, which means that your dog will most certainly have diarrhea if you feed them too much quinoa all at once.

If your dog shows any adverse reaction such as vomit or has diarrhea, then you’re either giving your dog too large of a quantity of quinoa to eat at first or your dog’s system can’t properly digest quinoa. If this is the case, then you should stay away from feeding your dog any quinoa from now on.

However, if your dog doesn’t show any adverse reactions to eating a little bit of quinoa as a first test, then you can proceed to gradually increase the amount of quinoa you feed them from time to time, and build up your way to reach a stage where you feed your dog a moderate amount of quinoa (a general rule of thumb is a small spoonful of cooked quinoa mixed as part of a meal they’re eating) every once in a while as a well deserved treat.

One thing that must be made clear here (and for the second time in this article, as this is a very important point) is the mistake that many people make by assuming that quinoa is a grain, and abstaining from feeding it to their dog if they are allergic to grains.

Quinoa is not a grain, so it’s perfectly fine to feed some to your dog if they are allergic to grains, assuming they aren’t allergic to quinoa itself, that is.

Why Is Quinoa Good For Dogs?

Quinoa is:

  • A vegetarian food that contains one of the highest amounts of protein content and essential amino acids, both of which are a necessity for your dog’s diet. This makes quinoa an excellent source of carbohydrates if you’re looking to give your dog a treat or reward after something like a good training session or an exhausting bout of exercise.
  • Extremely low in fat levels, which minimizes the risks of your dog becoming obese or developing pancreatitis
  • Extremely low in cholesterol levels
  • Very high in fiber count, which is something you always want to ensure your dog is getting enough from in their day to day diet
  • Boosts cardiovascular system and helps prevent cardiovascular diseases
  • Decreases the possibility of your dog developing diabetes
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals such vitamin B12, vitamin E, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium
  • Rich in antioxidants which help in fighting cancer
  • Contains high levels of complex carbohydrates, which are the exact kind of carbohydrates you want your dog to be eating if they’re physically active and you want them to maintain a constant level of healthy energy throughout the day. Compared to other simple carbohydrate sources dog owners might consider feeding their dogs, such as white rice and potatoes, quinoa is a much better alternative.
  • An excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help your dog’s body fight against inflammations

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