Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
Rice is such an easy food to cook. It goes with pretty much everything, it tastes great, and it brings a whole dish together. But can you give it to your canine companion? Is it safe food for your dog to eat? Is white rice or brown the way to go? So many questions.
You can mix rice with dog food, and white rice is recommended if your dog is suffering from an upset stomach. It is gentle on their digestive system, easy for them to eat, and can help ease the symptoms so that they are more comfortable.
But what about all the other questions? Scroll down and discover everything you need to know about your dog and rice.
White Rice vs Brown Rice
It’s certainly a source of debate in the canine world – which is better to give your dog when they have an upset stomach? The answer, white rice is the way to go.
White rice is much easier for dogs to chew when cooked thanks to its soft texture. This is especially true for older dogs who might have trouble with their teeth. It is also much gentler on the digestive system and an excellent choice for treating diarrhoea.
Why is that? Well, white rice is rich in starch – which your dog needs to help settle their gastrointestinal issues. The way in which it has been processed also makes it a lot easier to digest.
Brown rice contains way more nutrients and is healthier for your dog to eat in some ways. It contains fewer carbs, but it also takes a lot longer to cook. Furthermore, it can be pretty chewy to eat once cooked and might be less appetizing to your poorly pooch.
Due to the processing of brown rice, it is also a lot harder to digest and this is why it is NEVER prescribed for an upset stomach. This is because it retains its outer shell, a seed pouch that is home to all the nutrients. White rice loses this during processing.
Benefits of Adding Rice to Dog Food
The main benefits of adding rice to dog food are in regards to their digestive health. Nutritionally, rice does have something to offer your dog. They are mostly carbs and can be quite fatty if consumed in large amounts over an extended period of time.
However, white rice can be a good source of vitamin D, fibre, and iron. It can also regulate the calcium levels in their bodies as well as phosphorous. Rice is also a good source of energy, which is good for dogs who are recovering from diarrhoea and feeling a little low.
Many dog foods include rice in their ingredients not only because it is gentle on their digestive system, but also because it does have some nutritional value that’s beneficial to their health, development, and maintaining a strong immune system.
When to Call the Vet
If your dog has suffered from diarrhoea for more than 48-hours, you need to call the vet. It could be a sign of something more serious or a gastrointestinal illness that is not only potentially contagious to other animals in the home but causing them a lot of discomforts.
Got a dog that’s suffering from diarrhoea? We have a detailed guide on what might be causing it, what to do it help ease the symptoms, how to care for them while they are going through it, and more advice on when to call your vet.
How to Prepare White Rice for Your Dog
Getting rice ready for your pup is really simple. You prepare it pretty much the same way you would do it for yourself – just make sure you leave the seasoning out of it. Even a little pinch of salt can turn your dog’s stomach and undo your hard work to get them feeling better.
All they need is one cup, especially as they shouldn’t eat too much while they have a bad stomach. Cook this according to the instructions on the packet, then fluff it once cooked and leave it to cool. Always make sure it is cool enough to eat before serving it.
You can either give them the rice by itself or you can cook some plain chicken or white fish to go with it. These bland meats are ideal for settling the stomach and also giving them ample nutrition.
Remember that they need to return to their usual diet once they are better.
How Much Rice Do You Mix with Dog Food?
If you are adding rice to their dog food, they don’t need much. Once their stomach has settled, you can start slowly mixing their dry food in with the rice over the next few days. One cup of rice should be more than enough, but larger breeds may need two cups instead.
If you are mixing the rice with raw food as a standard, a quarter of a cup should be more than enough (less for smaller breeds). However, you should also ensure that the additional ingredient isn’t going to cause their diet to become unbalanced.
Can dogs be allergic to rice?
Absolutely, dogs can be allergic to rice. While it is not as common as grain or corn allergies, it still happens. If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating rice, make sure to stop feeding it to them and call your vet for advice:
- Itchy skin
- Hair loss
- Hot spots
- Ear infections (ongoing)
Can I add rice to raw dog food?
You can definitely add rice to raw dog food. It is down to personal preference, but white rice can help to firm up their stools to keep their glands clear. Make sure you consult with your vet before you make any changes to their diet.
Read here: Best Raw Dog Food Guide
So, white rice is the way to go. While you can feed them brown rice, it is much harder for them to digest and could cause stomach issues of their own. As always, make sure you speak with your vet before you give them rice or make changes to their diet.
Did you enjoy this guide to white and brown rice? If so, you should check out the rest of our canine care guides. We cover more on their dietary needs as well as taking a closer look at health, behaviour, and grooming.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.