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Rice has traditionally been used to help dogs suffering from stomach issues such as diarrhea to get relief. In this case, can dogs eat rice? Yes, they absolutely can. Plain white rice with no butter, salt, or any spices added can be very helpful to help ease this malady. In fact, rice is often added to regular dog food.
Gastrointestinal Distress in Dogs
Perhaps your furry friend has an upset stomach and you are looking for ways to help them feel better. What is good food for them that will help ease their gastrointestinal issues?
When you have a beloved pet you are always concerned for their health and safety. As a loving dog parent, you also may be searching for foods that your dog can eat, enjoy and digest. Since you are not a veterinarian, you are not always knowledgeable enough to know what is good for your pet and what will harm him or her. Can dogs eat rice?
What Type of Rice is Best to Feed Your Dog
Rice is a cereal grain and is a simple carbohydrate with only a few calories. It has no fats, salt, or cholesterol. Our domesticated dogs have descended from carnivores (meat-eaters) but today’s dogs are considered omnivores which means they can eat 25% of their diet consisting of plant products and grains. They still must eat 75% of their food that has animal proteins.
Rice itself is considered a staple food in over 100 countries and originated over 5,000 years ago. When considering if dogs can eat rice, they can eat all three major varieties, white, brown, and wild rice. Brown and wild rice are milled differently than white rice and are harder for your dog to digest. Therefore, white rice is considered the gold standard for the rice dogs handle the best.
Health Benefits of Rice for Your Dog
As a carbohydrate, rice is not specifically nutritious by itself. But it provides many health benefits for your dog. Here are its benefits:
- It is low in fat
- It is also low in sodium
- It helps soothe gastrointestinal problems in dogs
- Because it is high in carbs, rice boosts energy levels and can help with cognitive function as well
- It contains calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D supporting healthy bones
- Because it contains probiotics, it feeds good bacteria in a dog’s small intestines
- It contains antioxidants that help protect against disease and strengthen cognitive function in older dogs
- Fiber contained in rice helps to keep bowel movements regular
When Should you Consider NOT Feeding Rice to your Dog?
If your dog has allergies you may want to consider a possible reaction to rice. A specific one about which to be concerned can be a yeast allergy. If that is the case for your dog, you should consider checking with your vet before feeding rice to your pet.
How Much Rice Can you Feed your Dog?
Most dog foods provide a complete nutritional diet for your dog. Therefore you should consider that rice should not compose more than 10% of their diet. More than that could cause diabetes or weight gain in your pet. Unless otherwise directed by your vet large dogs should only get about 1/3 a cup two or three times a week, Of course, smaller dogs should get less.
Is Rice Safe For Dogs?
The final word on this is that in most cases, yes they can. Humans have eaten rice over many millennia and dogs can share that with them. However, remember that the best rice to feed them is plain white rice with no seasonings or fats.
This low-fat, low-fiber grain gives your pet lots of carbohydrates to soothe his or her stomach. It is very easily digested and it helps keep a dog’s immune system healthy.