Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice? What You Need to Know!

Like most dog owners, you likely feed your furry family member a commercial dry or wet food during mealtime. Not only is it convenient, but it is also nutritious and tasty, so why not? You also probably enjoy giving your dog snacks and treats from time to time, and maybe even human food left over after dinner. Let’s face it: We all love to spoil our dogs, whether that means taking them on a ride in the car with us, going on a camping trip together, or simply sharing some of our food with them.

So, you may be wondering if your dog can enjoy the foods that you do, such as brown rice. Can dogs eat brown rice? Is brown rice safe for dogs? We will answer these questions and more in this guide. The short answer is sometimes. But when all is said and done, you will know when sometimes is, and should be able to decide whether feeding brown rice to your pooch is a good idea.

Divider 1

Is Brown Rice Healthy for Dogs?

Dogs are not carnivores like cats are. They can enjoy omnivorous diets with great health results. So, certain grains and produce can be included in their diet regularly without any serious side effects. Eating some produce and grains will not make them deficient in protein, and they can get many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will benefit their health overall as time goes on.

dog eating rice
Image credit: Khamduang NGEUNTHEPPHADA, Shutterstock

Brown rice is an excellent grain to incorporate into your dog’s diet, whether homemade or included in their commercial food’s ingredients list. Brown rice is full of fiber, which will help keep your pooch regular when it comes to bathroom breaks. This grain also packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. It is rich in minerals like thiamin and niacin and manganese. It also packs an impressive amount of protein, at 5 grams per 1 cup serving.

Is Brown Rice Ever Dangerous for Dogs?

Brown rice should not make up the bulk of your dog’s diet, or they may end up suffering from digestive problems. Also, brown rice does not provide all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that a dog needs to stay healthy as they grow older. Your pooch still must get a well-rounded diet that consists of meat and other vegetables too.

Therefore, brown rice should be served as an add-on to other sources of proteins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Dogs with gastrointestinal issues may have a hard time digesting brown rice, so you should try offering just a tablespoon or so at a time at first to see how well they handle it.

Brown Rice on plate
Image Credit: Pikrepo

Serving Suggestions

There are many interesting ways to serve brown rice to your dog! Of course, you can simply mix it in with their regular food at mealtime. You can also serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken and sweet potato cubes as a special dinner. Here are other fun options to consider.

  • Blend It Up — You can blend cooked brown rice, a little milk, a handful of spinach, and beans for a protein-rich snack that all dogs should love, especially puppies and seniors that do not have all their teeth.
  • Create a Casserole — Cook brown rice, then layer it with beef or chicken, corn, kale, and sweet potato slices in a casserole dish. Top the casserole with spirulina and ground flaxseed for a nutritious snack or meal that can be served alone or with commercial dog food.
  • Make Treat Balls — Who doesn’t love peanut butter? The same can be said for dogs. Mix a cup of brown rice with a ¼ cup of peanut butter, then make small treat rolls out of the resulting batter. You can offer the treats as-is or freeze them for later use.
Close up of beautiful dog eating from the bowl
Image credit: dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

Divider 2

Final Considerations

There is no rule that dogs must eat brown rice to stay healthy. Some people and even veterinarians think that dogs can live healthily without grains in their diet at all. However, grains like brown rice do not typically affect a dog’s health negatively. At the very least, brown rice will provide your pooch with extra nutrients and antioxidants that will support their health no matter what their regular diet is. What do you think about feeding brown rice to dogs? We would love to read all about your thoughts in the comments section down below.


Featured Image Credit: vm2002, Shutterstock