Can dogs eat rice?

Yes, dogs can eat rice and it’s the perfect food to feed your dog when she has an upset tummy because it’s bland.  There are many different types of rice, including white, brown and wild rice, each of which provide different textures, tastes and nutritional values.

Dogs & carbohydrates

If you’ve read anything about whether dogs can eat carbohydrates before, you’ll know that there’s varying opinions about whether dogs should eat them. This naturally leads to confusion.  I’ve been reading about dog nutrition since June 2014, just before we brought Tiffin home – you can read about the evolution of mind.body.bowl which details where I began and my journey – and I have come to my own conclusions that I follow when deciding what Tiffin should eat and what Duke ate as he grew older.

I believe that:

  • dogs can eat carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and oats but they shouldn’t be a major component of their diets
  • some carbohydrates are more nutritional than others.  For example, my favourite carbohydrate for Tiffin is sweet potato and when choosing Tiffin’s main dog food I make sure that that it’s either free from carbohydrates or contains sweet potato.
  • dogs thrive by eating a varied diet and so a homemade meal containing white rice or white potato or treats containing a type of carbohydrate doesn’t worry me in the slightest.  To me its much more important that the foods or treats don’t contain preservatives, colourants and artificial stuff.
  • grains can often be the source of allergies so if your dog often gets ear infections, diarrhoea or scratches a lot and you’re feeding a dog food with rice or other grains in it, I recommend switching the food to a grain free one and see if it makes difference
  • bland grains such as rice and oats are perfect for dogs with upset or really sensitive tummies.  I always feed rice or oats to Tiffin when she’s ill (she hasn’t been ill for ages, touch wood) and when Duke was ill, I was also happy to feed him rice or oats knowing that they wouldn’t make things worse.

I think it’s important to come to your own conclusion about what’s best for your dog.  If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to comment below or send me an email.

Ricepedia

Rice is a carbohydrate which helps provide energy to the body and brain. If your dog is on the skinny side and struggles to maintain a healthy weight on a no-carb diet, rice may help your dog keep weight on.  Rice is low in fat and is a good filler for dog’s who are overweight and always hungry.  One of my beliefs, as mentioned above, is that dogs thrive on variety and so if your dog is underweight or overweight and would benefit from extra carbohydrates, I recommend rotating the carbs that you feed so that your dog gets a variety of nutrients.

White rice is best for when your dog has an upset tummy because it has less fibre in it than brown rice and so is easier to digest.  Try adding chicken or scrambled egg to the rice so that you’re dog is getting protein as well.

Overall brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. This is what I feed Tiffin (or wild rice as shown in the recipe below) because, compared to white rice, it:

  • contains more protein
  • contains less starch
  • contains more fibre
  • isn’t as processed and so holds onto its vitamins, minerals and fibre

As brown rice is high in fibre it may help your dog overcome constipation.

Chicken & rice pupcake recipe

I first made these pupcakes when Duke was alive and it was a horrible, wet and rainy weekend in Plymouth and so I thought they deserved a treat for being cooped inside.  You can see Duke and Tiffin waiting patiently for their yummy pupcakes below.

What makes the pupcakes healthy?

  • Chicken is an excellent source of protein which helps build muscles and support a healthy weight
  • Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal.
  • Parsley naturally freshens the mouth and alleviates bad breath.  
  • Rice flour is good for baking, and it’s a great for dogs who are sensitive to wheat products. It has a higher starch content that other flours which helps ingredients stick together.
  • Eggs are full of protein, vitamins and minerals.

These pupcakes are gluten free, low in fat and delicious!

Ingredients

Makes approximately 18 pupcakes

  • 200g Rice – I used wild and basmati rice
  • 200g Chicken – finely diced
  • A handful of fresh parsley – finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 1 large egg beaten

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 175ºC.
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes plus rice cooking time
  • Baking time: 25 minutes baking
  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions.  Drain well and place into mixing bow
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to rice and stir well
  3. Fill each cupcake hole with the mixture, and push down with the back of the spoon to make sure it is packed in tight.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until top begins to brown
  5. Allow to cool completely before giving to your dog.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

For more healthy dog treat recipes, click here

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