The question of whether certain carbohydrates are safe for dogs has always been a very common question among dog owners, and brown rice is one of them. Brown rice is an ingredient commonly used in dog foods. That is why in this article, we will explain the potential benefits and the safety risks of the brown rice for dogs.
Is Brown Rice Safe For Dogs?
Brown rice is entirely safe for dogs in moderate amounts. Because compared to white rice, brown rice is more nutritious and has more fiber content. Also, it has a low-glycemic index. But considering that it is a grain, it will still raise your pup’s blood sugar levels. That is why you should be mindful of the amount you’re feeding it to your pooch.
In this article, we will explain the potential benefits and risks of adding brown rice to your pup’s diet. But, to do that, let’s look at the place of carbohydrates in a dog’s diet.
Carbohydrates in a Dog’s Diet
We should start by mentioning that the carbs are not necessary for a dog’s diet. That is why their place in a pup’s diet can be controversial.
Some people say that dogs are omnivores and they benefit from the carbs. Some say that dogs are evolved from wild wolves, and protein should be the primary source of food in their diet.
Both sides have valid arguments in this case because it is true that protein should be the main source in a dog’s diet. Yet, that doesn’t mean dogs don’t benefit from healthy sources of carbohydrates.
In most cases, healthy carbohydrates come from vegetables and fruits. But, some grains like white rice and brown rice can be beneficial for dogs as well. Because unlike other grains, rice doesn’t contain gluten.
It is safe to say that both brown rice and white rice are not problematic ingredients. Because, most of the time, gluten is what causes allergies in dogs.
Nutritional Value of Brown Rice
Brown rice is different from white rice in the sense that it has better nutritional value.
First, we should start by mentioning that white rice is higher in protein and lower in fat, compared to white rice.
Also, brown rice has a higher fiber content compared to white rice. This is important because fiber is an essential mineral mostly found in vegetables, and it is very beneficial for digestive issues.
Other than that, unlike white rice, brown rice has a very high manganese content. It is a mineral that is very significant for your pooch to produce energy that he needs throughout the day.
Also, manganese has antioxidant properties. So, it is significant for your pup’s system to combat against cancer-causing free radicals.
Brown rice also has a relatively high magnesium content. Magnesium has various benefits to both humans and dogs. It is one of the best relaxants found in nature. Its deficiency can cause issues like stunt growth, muscle contraction, and cellular production.
Folate is another mineral found highly in brown rice. It is vital for the production of the blood cells.
Unlike white rice, brown rice also contains a moderate amount of vitamin B.
How Much Brown Rice Can a Dog Eat?
We already mentioned that brown rice has good nutritional value and can be beneficial for your tail-wagger. Yet, we should still remind you that brown rice has a very high carbohydrate content. So, if the moderate amount is exceeded, there might be some issues for your pooch.
Because, even though it has a lower glycemic index compared to the white rice, brown rice still has a high glycemic index. That means it will increase your pup’s blood sugar.
This is an issue because high blood sugar has negative effects on both humans and dogs. It can cause problems like diabetes and excessive fat gain.
That is why you should always be mindful of the amount that your pooch has in his daily diet.
Brown Rice for An Upset Stomach
Brown rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate, and that is why it is an excellent choice if your pup has an upset stomach. Also, since it is more fibrous than white rice, it can be more soothing than white rice for digestive issues.
Other than that, as we already mentioned, brown rice contains a high amount of manganese. It is a mineral that is known to be helpful for digestive issues as well.
So, if you have a pooch that is suffering from diarrhea or other digestive issues, brown rice can be a huge help and should be included in your dog’s meals.
For dogs that have diarrhea, we first suggest the owners fast their dogs for 12-24 hours. While this seems counterintuitive, it will help your dog’s gut to recover faster.
Because, when your pup’s gut doesn’t constantly digest food, it will have a chance to boost your pup’s immune system and improve your pup’s overall health by generating healthy bacteria.
After fasting your pooch, a meal with lean meat and brown rice (or even white rice) in a 50:50 mix will give your pooch a chance to recover from its digestive issues. Because both lean meat and brown rice will help ease gastrointestinal distress or diarrhea.
Brown Rice Allergy In Dogs
Just like humans, allergies can occur very often in dogs. Canines can get all kinds of allergies, from seasonal allergies to food allergies.
Unlike other grains like wheat or meats like chicken, allergies to brown rice are rarely seen in dogs. Yet, it is still among the foods that can cause allergic reactions in some pups.
Although the symptoms can vary and are hard to identify, some symptoms are common in most dogs. For instance, itchy skin, vomiting, and excessive gassiness can be signs that your tail-wagger has an allergy to brown rice.
If that is the case, we suggest you take the brown rice out of your dog’s diet. Also, if you feed your pup a dog food that contains brown rice among its ingredients, going for a recipe that doesn’t include brown rice in it can be a sensible thing to do.
Conclusion: Is Brown Rice Safe for Dogs?
All its nutritional value indicates that brown rice can be a good source of carbohydrates for your pooch. It also has benefits if your dog suffers from digestive issues such as diarrhea.
But, you should still keep in mind that brown rice is a source of carbohydrates. So, the amount that your pooch consumes should not exceed a certain limit because too much of any source of carbs can cause several issues that we mentioned above.
Also, even though it is not that common, some dogs can develop allergic reactions to grains and brown rice is one of them. If you see the symptoms that we mentioned above in your tail-wagger, you should go for another carbohydrate source instead of brown rice.