Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice? Pros and Cons of Brown Rice for Dogs


can dogs eat brown rice?

As a pet owner, you might be faced with several difficulties if you want to venture out to food products other than your average dog-food. If you use logic and sense, you might be convinced that healthy foods for your diet might be the same for your dog, but be mindful that sometimes common sense is disapproved by science and research. In today’s post, we will be specifically covering some questions related to brown rice, and specifically this question, “Can dogs eat brown rice?”

Benefits of Brown Rice for Dogs

1. Provides a Healthier Diet

When it comes to feeding your dog, you can use brown rice as one of the ingredients. Brown rice is a popular ingredient when it comes to dog food due to its property of being whole grain. Whole grain means everything is included except a tough outer shell called a hull, so that is why people prefer brown rice over white rice due to the nutritions provided by the bran layer and embryo.

2. Includes Great Nutritions

If you are considering the nutritious aspect of brown rice, it is more superior than white rice since brown rice contains more fiber and natural oil due to the intact husk (bran layer and embryo). You can see all the ingredients in brown rice listed down below

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

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. For example, white rice is processed not only for its hull, but it is additionally processed to remove the bran layer and embryo. However, brown rice is less processed than white rice since you are receiving the whole product with the packaging (hull) removed.

Drawbacks of Feeding Your Dog Brown Rice

Even though we have covered several positive aspects of brown rice, we still didn’t look at the drawbacks of this ingredient. If you just look at the food properties of brown rice and white rice, brown rice wins the healthy race every time, but if you take a look at the drawbacks, you might just change your opinion.

1. Measurable Levels of Arsenic in Brown Rice

As you may know, arsenic is a toxic chemical that is used in car batteries, and if consumed, it can lead to different types of cancer. Due to the increased pollution, recent studies have proven that rice contains arsenic levels, and especially in brown rice since arsenic is collected in the outer hull.

In short, you will find higher amounts of arsenic in brown rice than in white rice since brown rice has the outer layer (bran and embryo) while white rice has the outer layer completely removed through processing.

2. High Glycemic Index (Quick Spike in Blood Sugar)

When feeding your dog brown rice, you need to note that brown rice has a high glycemic index, which means it will cause blood sugar to spike up quickly. Yes, you will get energy out of brown rice, but the high rise can lead to steep crashes which can lead to fatigue, headaches, and cravings.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t include rice if your dog has diabetes since you need ingredients with a low glycemic index. For anyone with diabetes, it is highly recommended to eat food that causes your blood sugar to rise slowly and decline even slower. Please keep this in mind!

3. High Amounts of Carbohydrate

When considering your dog’s diet, the main ingredients should provide protein and fats since a dog’s nutritional diet is different than humans. If you look at the nutritional profile, you will see that it contains the following amounts of each ingredient per 100 grams of brown rice.

  • 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. Since brown rice mainly contains carbohydrates, you should not include large amounts of it into your dog’s diet. To maintain a healthy balance, it is recommended to only include a small portion of brown rice into his/her routine.

Do Dogs Digest Brown Rice Quickly?

The answer is no. As previously mentioned, brown rice contains an outer layer called hull while white rice has its hull removed. Since it has an intact outer layer, brown rice takes a little bit longer to digest than white rice. Although your dog can eat brown rice, they will have a harder time with brown rice to digest than white rice.

When it comes to dogs with an upset stomach, veterinarians usually prescribe a bland diet to ease the stomach and reduce the number of vomiting. To fulfill that exact task, white rice is used since it has a bland taste and also easy to digest.

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. Even though grain allergy is quite rare, you might want to take a safe approach when adding a new ingredient to your dog’s diet.

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 since protein and fats should be the main ingredients of your dog’s diet.

Should You Feed 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?

Before we begin this section, I just wanted to make sure that we are talking about cooked brown rice since you can’t feed rice to your dog without softening it up, right? 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.

  • Either Steam or Boil the Brown Rice
  • Put Water into the Steamer or Pot (2:1 for Water to Rice Ratio)
  • Put Rice into the Steamer or Pot (Set to Boil)
  • Normally Wait for 20 to 30 Minutes (Varies for Case to Case)
  • 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, my dog usually begs in front of the table even though there is food on its bowl. Being a soft-hearted guy, I usually give them what they want such as pieces of fruit, vegetable, and even meat. If it worked in the past with other ingredients, why not try it out with brown rice?

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

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