Choosing the right diet for your new puppy is just as important as choosing the right dog for your lifestyle. Each breed has different exercise requirements and often those requirements impact their diet.
A trip to any pet store can be overwhelming when faced with all the brands, flavors, and styles of dog food. But what about foods that aren’t shelved at your local pet store?
Well, every dog is different and responds to human food in their own unique way. However, there are some generally safe people foods that your dog can eat regularly and are quite good for them. In this article, we’ll look at one specific food and its place in your dog’s diet. Rice.
Can dogs eat rice?
The simple answer is yes, but it’s not that cut-and-dry and just because dogs can eat rice doesn’t necessarily mean they should.
The diet of modern dogs, housebroken and domesticated, hardly resembles the diet of their ancestors. Commercialized foods today are higher in carbohydrates than the modern dog ancestors diet of mostly meat. The moderns dog’s diet has adapted to close human interaction throughout history, as we favored wild dogs who were tamer. Since dog food as we know it wasn’t created until the mid-1800’s, dogs of the past ate a more human-like diet.
The realization that commercialized dog food is relatively new to our four-legged friends has prompted many dog owners to explore different diet options for their pets. A dog’s diet should be balanced with protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Though the exact balance will differ from dog to dog.
Active, sporting or hunting dogs, need higher levels of protein for muscle building and recovery. Higher carbohydrate levels can also be beneficial for sustained energy. Quality proteins can be found in lean meats and fish. Rice also has a small quantity of protein in each serving.
Dogs with dry skin should consume more fats and oils, especially those containing ALA Omega 3’s. These oils are often found in fish and nuts. Be careful though, not all nuts are suitable for your puppies diet.
Regardless of your dog’s activity level, or grooming needs, consideration of his/hers tolerances is important. Some dogs do not process grains, as well as others, and excessive protein can cause gas and bloat.
Your dog’s diet may take some trial and error to get right. It may also be a matter of budget and time constraints. Not all dog owners have time to whip up a batch of chicken and rice a few times a day, nor do they have the financial means for a raw diet. Obviously, a dogs size factors into its dietary needs as well. A 180 lbs rottweiler will need substantially more food than a 7 lbs pomeranian. Keep that in mind when selecting your next puppy.
So, we’ve established that rice may be a great choice for your dog’s diet, but what kind is best?
Brown rice or white rice for dogs?
Rice is a relatively healthy option for humans, and dogs. Brown rice has the outer hull removed, while white rice has the hull, bran, and cereal germ layers removed. Rice, in general, is a staple food of billions of people worldwide. Although white rice is the most commonly consumed form, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for your dog.
Can dogs eat white rice?
Short answer, yes! White rice is safe for dogs to eat, but consider the health benefits and implications before settling on white over brown. All rice is a carb, with very little fat and protein. White rice has the most nutritious parts removed, leaving it with fewer vitamins and minerals for your puppy or dog.
Can dogs eat brown rice?
Absolutely! In our opinion, this is the rice of choice for your four-legged friend. Brown rice still contains the bran and cereal germ, which is where the most nutritional value comes from.
Thiamine, for example, is a vital nutrient to organ function and carbohydrate metabolism. There’s roughly 5 times the amount of Thiamine in brown rice than white. Since Thiamine in dogs helps metabolize carbs, and since rice is heavy in carbs, it’s a much-needed vitamin if feeding your dog rice.
Manganese is a mineral found in greater quantity in Brown vs White rice, nearly double in fact. Manganese is crucial for skeletal growth and ligament health. This makes Manganese for dogs a beneficial mineral from puppy to senior.
Other vitamins and minerals from B6 to Zinc are more prevalent in Brown rice as well. In our opinion, there’s a greater upside to brown rice than white rice for dogs. Other studies have even found, in humans, brown rice helps lower blood sugar and fight diabetes. So, if you’re considering a new puppy or feeding your current dog rice, or a food containing rice, we recommend opting for brown rice. There are many great foods on the market for puppies and dogs alike, so finding the right balance of nutrition has become much easier. Always keep in mind your dog’s unique daily routine, exercise requirements, and palate. Like humans, some dogs love fish while others turn their nose up at it. Rice seems to be a crowd pleaser though.