Amaranth is a pseudo-cereal that is not technically classified as a grain. That is also the reason it has been gaining a lot of popularity among people because it is grain free. But what about dogs? Can dogs eat Amaranth?
To give our short answer to that question, no, it is a not idea to feed your dog Amaranth. Even though it is not a grain it is very similar to it. So, although it is fine in small amounts, it can be very harmful to dogs in excessive amounts since they are carnivores.
To further explain our short answer to the question, let’s talk a little about what Amaranth is and its potential benefits and harms to our loyal companions.
What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is a group of more than 60 different species of grains that have been cultivated for about 8,000 years. These grains were once considered a staple food in the Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations.
As already mentioned above, Amaranth is not technically a grain. It is a pseudo-cereal that is also grain free. It is also grain free and its fiber and antioxidant content is much higher than other grains such as wheat. That is also the reason why it has been gaining a lot of popularity lately.
But the fact that it is a better option for humans than more common grains doesn’t mean that it is a good choice for dogs. There are a lot of reasons that makes us think otherwise which we will get to below.
But before that let’s talk a little bit about the nutritional value of Amaranth to get a better idea of this grain.
Amaranth is different from the more common grains because its gluten free. That can make pet parents think that it is fine for dogs. However, even though it is gluten free and not technically a grain, its nutritional value resembles a lot to the conventional grains. That is one of the main reasons make us believe that it is not a good idea to include in a dog’s diet.
Another thing that differs Amaranth from the more common grains is the higher antioxidant content of it. It is true that it contains more antioxidants than other grains, however, there are a lot of other food that your dog can get his antioxidants from such as organ meats like liver and kidney.
So, Can Dogs Eat Amaranth?
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to say yes to the question of whether dogs can eat Amaranth. It is true that Amaranth is not a grain. However, since dogs are carnivores, it is not a good idea to include food other than meat and organ meat. Some vegetables and fruits can also be beneficial but the same thing can’t be said about Amaranth.
The main reason for that is that Amaranth has a high glycemic index. What that means is that it will increase your dog’s blood pressure to higher levels which can cause some health issues such as diabetes and weight gain. This is because dogs are not evolved to digest anything other than meat and meat organs which makes them unable to digest Amaranth.
And that is a recipe for health issues that we mentioned above. So, we always suggest our readers to feed their dogs a high protein diet that is full of red meat and organ meats. That doesn’t mean that dogs can’t benefit from carbs that come from carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits. However, we can’t put grains or even Amaranth in the same category.
That is why we believe it is a good idea to avoid it to provide a healthy life for your tail-wagger. It wouldn’t be harmful to your dog in small amounts if you use Amaranth in foods that you make but it is not a good idea to make it a regular habit of it.
When you feed Amaranth to your dog, it is always a good idea to check for the after affects. If you see some symptoms such as vomiting, it is a good idea to call your vet.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Amaranth?
All the reason we listed above makes us confident that it is not a good idea to feed Amaranth to your dog. Because even though it is not technically a grain its nutritional value is very similar to it. It is true that amaranth contains more fiber and antixodants than other grains but it has similar glycemic index to ther grains which is very harmful to dogs.
The reason it is potentially harmful to dogs is that it is digested like a grain which makes it turn to sugar. That is bad news because consuming a lot of products like that can make diabetes and weight gain.
Therefore, our suggestion for you is to avoid Amaranth altogether if it is possible. It won’t be harmful to your dog in small amounts. But it is a good idea to check for the effects when you feed it to your pup.