We can always trust a bag of rice to be sitting in the pantry or accompanying a yummy dinner. A rich source of carbohydrates and flavour, this grain is loved by many hooman cultures. But can dogs eat rice? And, is rice good for dogs? Today we’ll dive deep into the rice bowl and explore the pros and cons of rice for dogs to equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision on whether adding rice to your doggy’s diet is in fact a pawfect option or whether it’s just fluff.
Deciphering the Doggy Diet
Before we answer “is rice good for dogs?”, we need to first unpack what a good doggy diet should consist of and whether rice fits into this equation.
The Basics of Doggy Nutrition
A pawfectly rounded doggy diet is similar to our own in many ways. Dogs, like us, are omnivores so can get all the nutrients they need from both plants and meat. Their meals should consist of a mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to provide them with everything they need to thrive. You can read our Ultimutt Dog Food Guide for the full breakdown of essential dog nutrition.
The Role of Carbohydrates
A dog’s body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose to provide them with the energy they need to run after other floofs at the park and play with their favourite toys. Carbs are high in grains including rice, and carry with them other nutritional benefits including fibre, B vitamins, iron, and minerals. Cooking grains is the best way to improve their digestibility so that all of these nutrients are delivered into your dog’s bloodstream more easily and with fewer tummy upsets.
Can Dogs Eat Rice?
So, can dogs safely eat rice? The answer is a resounding YES! Rice is a totally safe and nutritional carb source for your dog when fed in moderation and is a common ingredient in many complete dog foods.
Is Rice Good For Dogs? The Pros and Cons
So we know that dogs can eat rice safely, but is rice good for dogs? Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits and considerations when thinking about adding rice to your pooch’s diet.
Is Rice Good For Dogs: The Pros
- Healthy Energy Source: As we know, rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, providing a steady source of energy for your pooch. Rice is dense in calories which is great for active and working dogs such as farm pooches who have higher energy requirements.
- Gentle on Tummies: Cooked rice, in particular, cooked white rice, is considered one of the most gentle grains for a dog's digestive system. This is great for sensitive pooches or those with upset stomachs who need an easy-to-digest carbohydrate source.
- Fibre: Brown rice has a high fibre content which is impawtent for maintaining a healthy digestive system and promoting pretty poops.
- Gluten-Free: Rice is naturally gluten-free. Although gluten allergies are quite rare in dogs, some pooches are more sensitive to gluten than others so may benefit from eating a dog food with rice in it. The Irish setter is the only breed of dog that is known to be allergic to gluten due to their inherited gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Therefore if you have a dog of this breed you must avoid feeding them gluten.
Is Rice Good For Dogs: The Cons
- Excess Calories: Rice is dense in calories so feeding your pooch a bowl of rice as an addition to their normal diet may cause weight gain. If you feed your dog rice, make sure to work this into their total daily caloric intake to prevent them from packing on the pounds or developing dog obesity.
- Limited Nutrients When Fed on Its Own: Although rice is a good source of carbs and energy, by itself it lacks the nutrients your dog needs to maintain their overall health. Therefore it should only be one part of a balanced diet and not a dog’s whole food source.
White Rice vs Brown Rice: What’s the Diff?
When deciphering whether rice is good for dogs, we also have to consider the differences between white and brown rice.
Brown rice is considered a more nutritionally dense form of rice. It is a wholegrain meaning that it still contains the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain. With this, it contains more fibre, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. Whilst brown rice is more nutritionally dense than white rice, it is also harder to digest so may not be the best choice for those with sensitive stomachs.
White rice is a refined grain meaning that the brain layers have been removed so that only the starchy white endosperm remains. This makes it much more easily digestible and is therefore a better choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. Although the refined nature of white rice reduces its nutritional make-up, good quality white rice has B vitamins and iron added back into it, therefore still making it a nutritious carbohydrate source for dogs.
How To Feed Your Dog Rice
If you want to give your dog a ricey treat, the good news is that preparing rice for your dog is as simple as it gets. Boil the rice in water and ta-dah that’s it! Never add any salt or seasonings as these are difficult to digest for pooches and many seasonings and sauces contain harmful ingredients for dogs. Rice should only make up a small part of your doggy’s balanced diet so feed rice in moderation unless advised by your vet.
Save The Faff With Scrumbles Chicken and Rice Dog Food
The easiest way to feed rice to your dog is by picking them up a dog food from a trusted pet food brand (hint Scrumbles) that already contains rice. Make sure the food is labelled as “complete” so that you know that you can feed it to your dog daily and that it contains all of the nutrients that your pooch needs to thrive
Our Chicken and Rice Dry Dog Food is the pawfect way to feed your dog a delicious and nutritionally dense rice dog food that’s sure to keep them coming back for more.
With 60% free-run chicken and 20.3% digestible rice, it’s got everything your dog needs to keep them energised throughout the day as well as maintaining a sleek coat and healthy joints.
We also add gut-loving probiotics for pretty poops which also help to maintain a healthy digestive system.
It’s the perfect way to provide your dog with all the benefits of rice in a delicious and gut-friendly way!