Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice? (3 Pros and Cons)

can dogs eat brown rice?

In today’s post, we will be specifically covering some questions related to this ingredient, and specifically this question, “Can dogs eat brown rice?” In the sections down below, we will be looking at both sides of the arguments by listing healthy benefits and potential drawbacks.

Benefits of Brown Rice for Dogs

1. Provides a Healthier Diet

When it comes to your dog’s diet, you can use brown rice as one of your ingredients. Brown rice is a popular ingredient when it comes to dog food due to its property of being whole grain.

  • Whole Grain – Everything Is Intact / No Layers Removed

To make bread taste better, the grain’s outside layers are removed to produce white bread, but if you want a healthy diet, it is recommended that you use whole-grain products as much as possible.

2. Have Great Nutritional Values

There is a reason why whole-grain is a healthier choice since it contains great nutrients that are vital for your dog’s overall health. To give you some examples, I have listed the major nutrients that are present in whole-grain products.

  1. Different Types of B Vitamins (B1, B3, and B6)
  2. Folic Acid (Helps Body Form New Cells)
  3. Iron (Helps Blood Cells Carry Oxygen)
  4. Magnesium (Included in Over 300 Bodily Functions)
  5. Selenium (Strengthens Immune System and Thyroid Gland)

If you have any hesitation deciding on which type of rice to buy, brown rice is the way to go. If you want to go for a cheaper option, white rice should be your choice since brown rice is more expensive than white rice.

  • Brown Rice – Has Shorter Shelf-Life / Cost More In Transportation

Because it costs more in the transporting and processing stage, brown rice is naturally more expensive than white rice. However, if you can afford it, please keep in mind that brown rice is the healthier choice for your dog.

3. Adds a Natural Taste

Mentioned in the previous two sections, brown rice is an all-natural ingredient since it is less processed than most rice types. If you have ever ate brown and white rice, you probably have felt the difference.

  • Brown Rice – Nutty Flavor / Chewy Texture
  • White Rice – Mild Flavor / Soft Texture

I’m not sure if your dog appreciate the taste, but the texture of the food will definitely change depending on which rice type that you choose. If you dog is struggling with digestive problems, go with white rice since it has a soft texture!

Drawbacks of Feeding Your Dog Brown Rice

1. Measurable Levels of Arsenic in Brown Rice

If you recall earlier, whole-grain means the outer layer is still intact. Even though the outer layer contains healthy nutrients for your dog, it also tends to collect arsenic, which originates from car pollution.

  • Arsenic – Chemical Used in Car Batteries / Very Fatal for Dogs

Even though it is a minimal amount, brown rice contains higher level of arsenic than white rice. The outer layer of white rice gets removed during the processing stage while brown rice’s outer hull remains intact.

2. High Glycemic Index

This tends to be the case for many members in the rice family, and high glycemic index means that consuming brown rice will cause a quick spike in blood sugar, which doesn’t sound too good.

  • Quick Spike in Blood Sugar – Similar to Sugar Rush
  • Diabetic Dogs – Feeding Brown Rice Is A REALLY BAD IDEA

In short, your dog will experience a short burst of energy, which is followed by a steep decline that can lead to a crash. If your dog is diabetic, you need to choose ingredients that have a low glycemic index.

3. High Amounts of Carbohydrate

When considering your dog’s diet, the main ingredients should be protein/fats due to its canine diet. To give you a short insight, I have listed brown rice’s nutritional percentages.

  • 1 Gram of Fats
  • 2.6 Grams of Protein
  • 23 Grams of Carbohydrates
  • Small Amounts of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium

As you can see, the main ingredients such as protein and fats only take up 4% of the total 100 grams, which means you need to give brown rice to your dog in small amounts.

Do Dogs Digest Brown Rice Quickly?

Compared to white rice, the answer is no. If you recall, brown rice contains an outer husk while white rice do not. Since you have more stuff to digest on brown rice, your dog will not digest brown rice very quickly.

  • Brown Rice – Healthy, More Fibrous, More Time Needed to Digest

When it comes to dogs with upset stomachs, white rice is a popular ingredient to use since it is easy to digest and has a bland taste. If your dog if facing diarrhea or stomach upset, white rice is the way to go.

White Rice or Brown Rice for Dogs?

It depend on the situation. As we have talked about earlier, you can feed white rice to your dog if your dog is going through diarrhea or experiencing symptoms of upset stomach.

If you just want a healthy option, you can opt for brown rice, but keep in mind the drawbacks before you make your final choice.

How Much Brown Rice Should You Feed Your Dog?

Before fully implementing brown rice into your dog’s diet, it is a good idea to start with a small portion at first since brown rice might cause allergic reactions such as itchy skin, hair loss, and ear infections.

  • Rice Allergies – Rare But Quite Possible

The amount will depend on your dog’s size and metabolism, but a preferred amount is to serve a half cup of brown rice 2~3 times a week. Just by looking at your dog’s diet, brown rice should comprise 25 percent or less. 

Should You Be Feeding Your Dog Brown Rice Every Day?

With the drawbacks in mind, you can feed your dog brown rice every day but only in small amounts! If you are set on planning and prepping a daily meal for your dog, the amount should be between a spoonful for small dogs and one-fourth cup for medium to large-size dogs.

How Do I Prepare Brown Rice for My Dog?

If you have the necessary cooking utensils at home, you should prepare brown rice or white rice only in small amounts since cooked rice will spoil very easily even when it is stored in refrigerated, airtight containers.

  1. Either Steam or Boil the Brown Rice
  2. Put Water into the Steamer or Pot (2:1 for Water to Rice Ratio)
  3. Put Rice into the Steamer or Pot (Set to Boil)
  4. Normally Wait for 20 to 30 Minutes (Varies for Case to Case)
  5. After Getting to Your Preferred Texture, Drain the Water and Set it Aside to Cool

I think the best option is to include white or brown rice into your own diet and shave off a small portion of rice to your dog’s food bowl. As a pet owner myself, we have a tendency to do that sort of thing very frequently.

I hope that this article on can dogs eat brown rice was helpful. If you are interested, please visit the Dog Food Category!

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