Brown rice is one of the healthiest whole grains out there. Compared to white rice, the brown variety has a lot more to offer in terms of nutritional value. It has six times more fiber and significantly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. If you are planning to include it into Fido’s diet, read this post first for further tips and information about giving rice to dogs.
Is Brown Rice Good for Dogs?
Yes, brown rice is a healthy kind of whole grain for canines. In fact, it’s used as an ingredient for dry dog food. You can find so many commercial pet foods with brown rice, but the natural brown rice is still the best choice for your buddy.
With brown rice, only the hull is removed so the bran and the germ are still there when it’s cooked. If your pet is used to eating white rice, he might notice the difference when you suddenly switch to brown rice. The latter is somewhat chewy and not as tender as the white variety. Still, it’s likely for your dog to like brown rice if he has a thing for foods that have a nutty flavor.
If you are planning to reduce your dog’s carbohydrate intake and increase his fiber one, brown rice is the perfect food to serve to your pet. A 100-gram serving of brown rice has 23 grams of carbohydrates, which is lower than that of the white rice that has 28 grams for the same amount. For the same quantity, brown rice also offers 2 grams of dietary fiber while white rice has none.
Risks in Giving Brown Rice to Dogs
A healthy dog can safely consume brown rice as long as it was cooked properly. The concern with this rice is that it’s harder to digest compared to white rice. Soaking brown rice is believed to be the best way to make it more digestible. Soaked brown rice also cooks faster than brown rice that was not soaked.
To soak your grains, put them in a pot that has a cover. For every cup of rice, there should be two cups of water. It should be kept in the refrigerator for roughly six hours or even overnight. Then cook it just like you cook your white rice. This technique lowers the cooking time from an hour to only 20 minutes or less.
Meanwhile, some dogs are allergic to grains. This can be immediately developed but it’s still possible that your pet has had it from years of being exposed to brown rice. More often than not, the allergic response to a certain food only develops after so many years.
All dogs could suffer from a food allergy, but there are breeds that are more prone to them. If your pet suddenly became itchy, has skin redness, and feet discoloration after eating brown rice, it is possible that he is hypersensitive to grains. Better stop giving brown rice if your pet displayed these symptoms.
Benefits of Brown Rice to Dogs
- It boosts energy naturally. Brown rice provides your dog with a steady release of energy throughout the day. It’s actually a good way to provide energy as it does boost the energy in a fast manner.
- It helps in maintaining normal bowel movement. This is the reason why veterinarians approve its use when dogs suffer from gastrointestinal upset.
- It improves cardiovascular health. Brown rice is packed with nutrients that are all beneficial for the heart. Aside from being a high-fiber source, it also contains high amounts of lignans and magnesium that prevents the risks of heart disease.
- It reduces the risk of diabetes. Because of the fact that brown rice provides a consistent release of energy, it does not cause the glucose levels to go up. It therefore prevents diabetes, which can affect dogs with a poor diet.
- It can boost immunity. Aside from a list of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in brown rice, it is also a powerful antioxidant.
- It promotes weight loss. Brown rice is a rich source of fiber that can definitely help if your pet is struggling to lose weight.
Brown Rice Recipes for Dogs
Looking for a way to include brown rice into your pet’s homemade dish? Take a look at our suggested recipes below. Just a word of caution, serve your brown rice in small portions especially if you are giving it for the first time.
- Brown Rice and Crockpot Chicken
A meal consisting of rice and chicken is the ideal kind of meat to give your dog when he is suffering from gastrointestinal upset. It can help in relaxing your dog’s gut while his body is still recovering.
- In a crock-pot, put a cup of brown rice then 2 cups of water.
- Add in half a pound of green beans, a piece of chunked sweet potato, and 3 pieces of carrots that were previously sliced.
- For some added protein, include two pieces of boneless chicken breasts.
- Cook on high for roughly 5 hours.
- Once done, allow the brown rice and chicken to completely cool before serving to your pet.
- Ground Beef, Rice, and Eggs
Ground beef or hamburger with brown rice is also another vet-approved combination when your pet seems to have an upset GI. The best part is that you can include any of your pet’s favorite veggie. You can add some carrots and even leafy greens to make it more nutritious and filling.
- In a pan, cook a pound of ground beef until it is brown.
- When cooked, drain off the excess fat from the ground meat.
- While your pan is still on low heat, add in 2 cups of cooked brown rice.
- Add around 2 cups of any vegetable of your choice, as long as it is not going to harm your dog.
- Crack in 2 large eggs into the mixture.
- Let the eggs coat the ground beef and the brown rice.
- Continue cooking until the eggs are done.
- Serve to your dog.
- Paella for Dogs
This dish is a complete meal for dogs. There is meat, grains, and veggies! The added olive oil also brings amazing benefits to our pets. It regenerates their dry skin areas, it can relieve itchiness, and it promotes optimal health. It is a healthy addition to a senior dog’s diet as it helps boost their immunity and eventually extend their life.
- Bring a cup of brown rice to a boil.
- While still boiling, add in 6 cremini mushrooms, half a teaspoon of tamari soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning.
- Add a cup of frozen peas.
- Stir in half a cup of sliced zucchini and 5 ounces of lean animal meat.
- Allow to cook for roughly 15 minutes.
- Transfer in your pet’s bowl and top with a tablespoon of hemp hearts.
Brown rice is a common ingredient in homemade recipes and commercial food for dogs. While whole grains like brown rice are definitely safe for doggies, still limit your serving. In fact, it is recommended that you only serve it to pets sparingly and not on a regular basis.
Brown rice is not as easy to digest as white rice. Somehow, you can make it tenderer by soaking it overnight. To make it more nutritious, pair it with high-quality meat or vegetables. You can include some carrots, zucchini, frozen peas, hamburger or ground beef, and lean meat.