Even if you’ve taken over the preparation of your dog’s food yourself, you may not always know exactly what foods are best for your dog, and if you do, you may be left to wonder what portion size is most appropriate for your dog.
Well, I can tell you that if you begin searching through the latest dog food recipes, a huge portion of them will include rice as one of the main ingredients. Does this mean that your dog can or should eat rice every day? Let’s see if we can eke out a comprehensive answer to that question.
Can dogs eat rice every day?
Rice is an ingredient in many dog foods, both wet and dry. As a matter of fact, rice, in various forms, is listed as an ingredient in almost half of the kibble (dry food) available commercially for dogs and cats. Brown rice is listed as an ingredient in approximately 30% of the dry dog foods on the market and in approximately 15% of wet dog foods (canned-type, commercially-packaged foods).
Just this is enough reason to say — Yes, your dog can eat rice every day. However, it doesn’t stop there, as the comprehensive answer goes on.
Why can my dog eat rice every day?
There are several reasons why rice is a popular choice with dog owners. Here are a few of them.
Rice is quick and easy to cook.
Once you’ve cooked rice a couple of times, you can do it while sleepwalking. For white rice, it’s just 2 parts water to 1 part rice. You bring the water to a boil, stir in the rice, put on a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Then, take the pot off the heat and fluff it with a fork.
If you use other types of rice, for instance, brown rice, it has to cook longer than white rice. Always read the instructions on the package. There are also further varieties of rice, such as instant and par-boiled. The most nutritious type of rice to feed your dog is brown, red, or wild rice in its original state.
Many recommend soaking these types of rice for a while before rinsing and cooking to remove toxins that are said to still be present on rice in it’s original state.
Rice is beneficial for your dog in many ways.
There is more than one type of rice, and while each of them varies in nutrient content, a vast gap exists between the nutrients found in white rice compared to those found in rice with the bran still attached, such as in brown, red, and wild rice. Here is some important nutrient data.
The many carbohydrates in rice create energy that your dog can use to get them throughout their day, and these carbs can also improve your dog’s cognitive function. Rice is low in both sodium and fat, and it contains antioxidants that guard your body against both physical and mental illness in pets who are aging.
White rice is a rice that’s low in fiber, making it easily digestible. When prepared correctly, which is without salt and other seasonings, plain, white rice makes for a wonderful remedy if your dog has an upset stomach or diarrhea. On regular days, rice is or is part of a healthy, delicious, satisfying meal for your dog. White rice, while not considered very nutritious, contains enough phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D to promote bone health.
Brown Rice, Red Rice, and Wild Rice
The nutrients in rice are contained within the rice’s bran, so brown, red, and wild rice are richer in nutrients (vitamins and minerals) than white rice, which has had the bran polished away. The following health facts are true for brown, red, and wild rice.
The fiber found in brown, red, and wild rice improves your dog’s digestive system and supports normal bowel movements. The probiotics found in brown, red, and wild rice feed the good bacteria found in your dog’s intestines.
Your dog’s metabolism and their heart health are supported by vitamins B1, B6, and D, which are found in brown, red, and wild rice. The calcium and phosphorus needed for your dog to have healthy teeth and strong bones and ligaments are found there, as well, as is the niacin required for them to have healthy skin and properly-functioning nervous and digestive systems.
Also found in brown, red, and wild rice are vitamin B1 or Thiamine, the vitamin that supports your dog’s metabolism and cell production, and magnesium, which supports energy production and muscle movement. Selenium, an essential mineral that supports normal thyroid function and a healthy reproductive system and guards your dog against cell damage, and manganese, another mineral that serves to protect against free radicals which can damage your dog’s cells, are both found in brown, red, and wild rice.
Is there anything else to consider about feeding my dog rice daily?
While it’s fine to feed your dog rice every day, it’s important that rice not be the only thing you feed them. Your dog also needs plenty of protein, healthy fat, carbs, calcium, and essential fatty acids. They need a balance of nutrients in their daily diet to stay at peak health. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has this helpful article if you need help to plan a well-balanced diet for your dog.
Is it OK to feed my dog chicken and rice every day?
Yes, your dog can eat chicken and rice every day, but there are two things you must remember.
Do not use seasonings and spices of any kind when cooking the chicken and rice.
Your dog’s system cannot handle most spices. Spices will, at the very least, give them an upset stomach, and some, like salt and nutmeg, are toxic to your dog. Salt can cause your dog to become dehydrated very quickly, and nutmeg can create havoc with a dog’s nervous system and has even led to death in dogs.
Also, don’t add seasoning ingredients to your dog’s chicken and rice either. An ingredient such as garlic can upset your dog’s stomach terribly, and with some dogs, garlic can be toxic. Onions are toxic to all dogs and can damage their red blood cells.
Chicken and rice every day may not be enough.
While chicken and rice are better than just rice, the combination may still not place your dog where you need them to be on the overall nutrition scale. While rice contains the carbohydrates and chicken contains the protein, fat, calcium, and essential fatty acids, many professionals now believe that eating the same thing every day just doesn’t provide the body the nutrition it needs.
They believe instead that, while the same nutrients must be provided, they should be provided by a variety of sources. For instance, instead of your dog only getting their carbs from rice, every once in a while, they should eat a sweet potato, or fish or beef instead of chicken.
How much rice can a dog eat each day?
Rice should really make up less than 10-15% of your dog’s caloric intake, depending on your dog’s fitness level, and not every dog can eat rice every day, especially white rice. If your dog is overweight at all or diabetic, you should consult your veterinarian regarding their diet and get it under control.