Rice is one of the most popular foods around the world that forms a major part of many people’s diet, be that around breakfast, lunch or dinner time.
The likes of China and India are two of the top rice consuming countries out there (you can see that statistic over here) – China leads the list with an annual rice consumption of 146,000 million metric tons, while India comes second with an annual rice consumption of 98,500 million metric tons.
Now that’s a whole lot of rice!
However, rice has received quite a negative reputation as of late among the dog owners community, but is everything being said really true?
For the sake of dog parents like yourself who want to get the right facts and not be misguided with false information, this article covers everything you need to know about rice, and then some.
While it isn’t exactly the most popular of human foods that dogs jump up and down in excitement to eat, many dogs indeed do like to eat rice.
But the question remains, can dogs eat rice?
Table Of Contents
Can Dogs Eat Rice?
First and foremost, you must be aware that while this remains a not-so-common situation, some dogs out there are allergic to rice (any kind or color), and these dogs can by no means eat rice.
If your dog is allergic to rice and they do consume some, here are some symptoms you could expect them to show:
- Skin itch
- Loss of hair
- Infections, most commonly of which are ear infections.
Now, if your dog isn’t allergic to rice, then congratulations, dogs can indeed eat rice.
Rice Used In Dog Food Products
Just to further reassure you about this issue here, you can do some research about this for yourself by taking a look at the ingredients list of some of the most popular dog food brands you always see being promoted so heavily on the market.
After you do this quick little research, you’ll find that rice (with brown rice being used by the most reputable of dog food brands) is extensively used as an ingredient in many dog foods out there, sometimes as one of the most prominent carbohydrate sources on the list.
For example, take a look at the ingredients list we went over in this Fromm Dog Food review – you’ll see this particular point for yourself in one of the most popular dog food brands on the market.
So, if these companies that are feeding food to millions and millions of dogs around the country are doing so without these dogs getting sick from the decent amounts of rice in their products, then there must be some truth to the fact that rice isn’t toxic to dogs – wouldn’t you say so?
Well, not exactly.
The Issue Of White Rice VS Brown Rice
The higher grade dog food products produced by the bigger, more established names out there use brown rice rather than white rice in their dog food, while the lower grade dog food products produced by companies that are trying to save a few bucks here and there for profitability purposes use white rice instead of brown rice.
Again, take a look at this page we compiled about the best dog food for the money – you’ll find that a couple of options that made their way on the list make good use of white rice instead of brown rice. This way they’re able to lower their asking price.
What’s the difference between white rice and brown rice as far as your dog is concerned, you may ask? Well, there are quite a few actually, as not all rice is created equally when it comes to your dog.
Let’s have a look at the below comparison that shows what white rice can offer you and your dog, and what brown rice can offer you and your dog.
Is White Rice Good For Dogs?
First off, it must be said that both white rice and brown rice are both fine for dogs to eat.
Here are some advantages to feeding your dog white rice over brown rice:
– Speed: White rice can be cooked reasonably faster than brown rice
– Stomach problems: White rice is notorious for it’s ability to treat upset stomachs and diarrhea is dogs
– Chewing: White rice is easier to chew than brown rice
– Ease of digestion: White rice is much easier for your dog to digest than brown rice, but this also has a negative side to it as well, because this ease and speed in digestion also makes for a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels when compared to being fed brown rice.
– Cost: White rice is usually less expensive than brown rice, which is one of the main reasons that many consider white rice used in dog food products as useless filler (just like corn used in dog food products is also considered as useless filler).
Companies try to decrease their costs by using the kind of rice that offers way less nutrition to your dog so that’s a frowned upon practice by many.
Is Brown Rice Good For Dogs?
Meanwhile, here are some advantages to feeding your dog brown rice over white rice:
– Protein: Brown rice contains higher protein levels than white rice
– Starch: Brown rice contains lower levels of starch than white rice
– Nutritional value: Since brown rice does not go through the heavy processing that white rice goes through, brown rice is much more nutritionally rich than white rice.
Brown rice holds on to all of the vitamins, minerals and high fiber count, while white rice loses most of these profiles.
– Fiber: Being substantially higher in fiber than white rice (as fiber is virtually non-existent in white rice), brown rice obviously wins the round as far as this point is concerned.
This is why the majority, if not all, of dog food advertised as high fiber dog food makes very good use of brown rice in their ingredients list.
– Constipation: Since brown rice is rich in fiber, it can can go a long way in helping your dog overcome constipation
– Alzheimer’s: Brown rice contains neurotransmitter nutrients that greatly help fight against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss in general
How Can Dogs Eat Rice?
Whatever kind of rice you decide you want to feed your dog, make sure you cook it first (boiling it, ideally).
Here are the necessary steps you have to take to properly cook the rice for your dog to eat:
- Fill 1 cup of rice
- Put 4 cups of water
- Boil for 20-30 minutes
- When it’s done boiling and properly cools off, take some and mix it with some dog food or meat and feed it to your dog
One of the most popular small dishes people like to feed their dogs is cooked rice and chicken, which is an excellent stomach upset reliever.
People with dogs that have sensitive stomachs at home often resort to small bouts of rice and chicken because, just like this combination calms down your stomach and mine when it’s fairly sensitive, it does the same for your dog as well.
Many people also love to serve a small portion of cooked rice with a few cooked beans on top for their dogs, but make sure you read this article we wrote about feeding dogs beans before you go ahead and do so.
The last thing you should pay extra attention to is the fact that your dog must drink a lot of water with the rice they eat in order to avoid constipation.
How Much Rice Can Dogs Eat?
Although there are many benefits to dogs eating both white and brown rice (which we talked about above), rice shouldn’t be a regular meal for dogs.
Giving your dog only a small amount of cooked rice on occasions is just fine, with no more than 2-3 times a week being the safest option.
Dogs do best being fed good quality dog food that comes stacked with high levels of protein (which is exactly what they would be eating had they been in the wild and not domesticated) and the exact levels of carbohydrates and fats they need to survive and remain healthy.
Feeding your dog rice on a regular basis on your own will only mess with the amount of carbohydrates they’re getting in their diet, almost always leading in a rise in carbohydrate intake that will have a negative effect instead of a positive amount.
So keep it on a treat basis, nothing more and nothing less.
Why Should Dogs Eat Rice?
Now, we did talk about the differences between white rice and brown rice and the different benefits they both have to offer your dog, let’s talk about some of the benefits of feeding rice to dogs in general.
- Is an excellent source of carbohydrates for your dog, which helps give energy to the body and the brain.
- Is very low in fat
- Is very low in sodium
- Is an excellent source of vitamins, such as vitamin D
- Is an excellent source of minerals, such as niacin, calcium, iron, thiamine and riboflavin.
- Helps with the growth of useful bacteria in the body that improve bowel movements.
- Helps cure stomach ailments
- Improves digestion
- Can cure skin ailments
- Reduces bad cholesterol levels