Loving means sharing, and precisely because we love our dogs so much, we often want to share our favorite foods with them.
However, since a dog’s digestive system and body as a whole are different from a human’s, there are foods that we consider perfectly safe that can prove to be bad for a dog’s health. One important question that needs to be answered right now is whether feeding white rice for dogs is okay or not.
White rice is a staple in many households today. It is affordable, filling, and can be very delicious when paired with different kinds of side dishes. And because it is organic, many people consider white rice to be a healthier food option for dogs than commercial dry food. This is valid.
However, it is also a fact that white rice isn’t a part of a dog’s natural diet. Therefore, caution should be exercised when feeding your dog white rice in order to reap all the positives and none of the negatives.
We strive to provide an answer to many dog owners’ question regarding: “Is white rice ok for dogs?” This article is going to help you understand what benefits white rice has to offer to your dogs and how much white rice you can feed your dog to keep him healthy.
Moreover, we are also going to compare white rice with brown rice so you can pick the one that will benefit your dog the most in the long run.
Is White Rice Ok for My Dogs?
The answer to this question is: yes. The first thing you need to know is that the dogs are omnivores. Although dogs usually prefer to consume meat products, most kinds of vegetables and fruits are also perfectly safe for them.
Most probably, the commercial dog foods you purchase also contain rice and vegetables. Compared to those commercial dog foods, organic rice is healthier because it is very easy to digest. Whenever your dog has an “upset stomach,” this is a good option to help him get better.
Pros of Feeding White Rice to Your Dog
Apart from the main benefit mentioned above, white rice has many other health benefits to offer to your dog:
- It is an important source of energy for your dog. It energizes both the body and the brain, and many studies have demonstrated that it is a great source of carbs. Researchers discovered that a third of your dog’s food should contain healthy carbohydrates.
- It contains a low percentage of fat.
- It is low in sodium.
- It is considered a good source of vitamins. One important vitamin that your dog will receive when he eats white rice is vitamin D.
- Apart from vitamin D, white rice has a lot of minerals. For example, it is a great source of niacin, calcium, iron, and thiamine.
- It improves bowel movement because it contributes to the development of useful bacteria in your dog’s body. Feeding your dog white rice is also a method you can employ to combat diarrhea.
- In case your dog is dealing with a high cholesterol level, white rice will help lower it.
There is nothing wrong with adding white rice to your dog’s diet. What you should take into consideration though, is the amount of rice you include. A diet based only on rice can be harmful to your dog.
Cons of Feeding White Rice to Your Dog
Rice is quite high in sugar content. Feeding your dog too much rice can cause them to develop symptoms of diabetes—especially in older dogs. This is why it is very important to know the right amount and when to add it to your dog’s diet.
Another important thing to know is whether your dog is allergic to rice or not. It is very easy to check whether your dog manifests an allergic reaction or not when he eats rice. The most common symptoms are:
- Hair loss
- Itchy skin
- Ear infections
If your dog is allergic to white rice or if he is getting too old and you’re afraid that feeding him white rice will give him diabetes, consider feeding him brown rice instead. Brown rice is widely considered as healthier compared to white rice when included in a human’s diet. Let’s see if the same applies to a dog’s diet.
White Rice VS. Brown Rice
If it comes down to these two options, you might want to go for white rice.
Although it is true that brown rice provides more protein and less fat for your dog, white rice is the more popular option for a reason:
- White rice is softer, and thus easier to chew than brown rice. Therefore, it is also easier to digest. However, you should be careful with the amount. Because it is digested so fast, white rice can cause rapid fluctuations in your dog’s blood sugar levels.
- White rice is cheaper than brown rice. This is one of the main reasons why people tend to use white rice in their dog’s diet.
White rice also takes less time to prepare than brown rice, so it is more convenient. Below we are going to explain the best way to prepare white rice for your dog so he can reap all the benefits.
How to Prepare White Rice for Your Dog
Here you will find four easy steps that will show you how to prepare white rice for your dog:
- Measure 1 cup of rice and put it in a pan
- Add 4 cups of water
- Boil everything for a maximum of 30 minutes. Taste it after 20 minutes and see if it’s ready
- Once you are done boiling the rice, cool it off. You can then mix it with some side dishes
Best Side Dishes to Accompany Your Dog’s White Rice Meal
White rice makes such a good and fun meal not just because it is easy to prepare, but also because it can be mixed and matched with a variety of side dishes so your dog won’t grow bored of the taste.
If you plan to experiment, consider adding some of these healthy side dishes to your dog’s bowl of white rice:
It is an excellent source of beta-carotene. If you want to make it more fun and crunchy for your dog, you can freeze the slices.
Do not forget to remove the seeds before you slice it and put it in the freezer.
Does it sound weird to give popcorn to your dog? Popcorn is actually a great source of potassium and other elements that are pivotal to his bone development.
Also, as long as you do not add butter and salt when you prepare it, popcorn is very low in calories. Therefore, if you want to keep your dog’s weight under control, this is an excellent treat.
Most probably you have already noticed that many dog foods contain peas. This means that the dog food manufacturers’ research has shown that this vegetable can be very healthy for a dog.
It is a good source of vitamin B, potassium and phosphorous.
Apart from being a good source of beta-carotene, calcium, and potassium, parsley has another important role: it improves your dog’s breath. Therefore, the next time you notice that your dog has bad breath, you can try adding some parsley into his rice meal.
5. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium for your dog. However, you should be careful. As it is a dairy product, your dog could be allergic to it.
A dog’s digestive system is usually very sensitive to lactose, and so there are often cases where he develops an allergy reaction to dairy products. To be sure that you will not do any harm to your pouch, test his reaction with a small quantity first.
You can buy it either freeze-dried from the pet shops or fresh from the grocery stores. When you buy it fresh, you can cook it and then freeze it.
You can divide it into smaller portions and mix them into the rice. The broth obtained from cooking the liver can also be used to add flavor to the rice.
Liver contains all kinds of vitamins and minerals like B, A, and K, and iron. Even though it is so healthy, too much liver can be toxic to your dog.
As it contains a high quantity of vitamin A, it can be very harmful if fed to your dog in excess, so be careful.
Have you ever thought that your dog could eat pineapple? As we’ve mentioned before, dogs are an omnivore, which means that they can also eat fruits and vegetables.
Many dogs love pineapple because of how sweet it tastes.
Pineapple contains calcium and potassium, which are important nutrients for your dog. However, don’t mix pineapple with rice too often because both are high in sugar content.
8. Low Fat Meat
We saved the best for the last. White rice goes amazingly well with meat products. You can add any type of meat onto your dog’s rice meal—be it chicken, pork, or beef—as long as it is low on fat and you do not add any sauces or seasonings.
Apart from being one of the dogs’ favorite foods, meat is a great source of vitamin B and amino acids. These elements play an important role in supporting your dog’s metabolism.
Chicken and rice is a match made in heaven for your dog. This meal is very nutritional and easy to digest—perfect for when your dog has an upset stomach. Although, there is one important rule to take into consideration when you make such a combination. Always give plenty of water to your dog to avoid constipation.
With so many side dishes to enhance the flavor of your dog’s rice meal, he may love it so much that he keeps asking for it. But be aware that you should not give him white rice more than 2-3 times a week.
If you want your dog to always be energetic and remain healthy, his diet should include a balanced combination of protein, carbs, and fats. If you keep giving him white rice, his nutrient intake will skew too far onto an excess of carbs and sugar and a lack of fat.
In conclusion, you should not be afraid to include white rice in your dog’s diet. As long as you keep to the correct proportions, white rice will bring many advantages to your dog’s health.
If you include rice in your dog’s food, you provide him with all sorts of necessary nutrients for healthy development, including but not limited to phosphorus, iron, calcium, and carbohydrates.
Some dogs are allergic to white rice, but this is a once in a blue moon case. Moreover, in case your dog is not allergic to rice, it can even help him recover from other food allergies.
For example, your dog may develop an allergy to milk, whey, soy or other additives that many commercial dog foods contain. If your dog is no longer capable of consuming store-bought dog foods, your veterinarian will suggest that you replace it with white rice.
As we have explained above, it is perfectly safe to prepare white rice for your dog several times a week. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or other digestive problems, you can prepare a white rice meal for him more often because it can aid his digestion.
Although, be sure not to give him too much because it can have the adverse effect of constipation. You can easily avoid this problem by always ensuring that your dog has enough water to drink.