Does Rice help a dog gain weight? Essential Tips

Is rice healthy for dogs?

Even though you might not think of rice as being super nutritious, it actually has some health benefits, even for dogs (which is why it’s included in so many dog foods).

“White and brown rice are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin D and B, calcium, iron, and riboflavin,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo. “Brown rice is a good source of fiber compared to white.”

Brown rice is healthier for dogs than white rice is (just like for people) because it contains more nutrients, but some dogs might have more trouble digesting it.

“Brown rice can be difficult for some dogs to digest and may cause gastrointestinal problems,” Dr. Burch said.

White rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, which means it raises your dog’s blood sugar levels more, so it isn’t a good snack for pups who have diabetes. You also shouldn’t feed rice to an overweight or obese dog because eating too much can make your dog gain weight due to the amount of carbs.

Here’s what to know about dogs and rice

Does Rice help a dog gain weight?

If your dog’s begging for food while you’re eating some rice, you might wonder if it’s OK to give him some.

Dogs can eat plain, cooked rice in small quantities, and it actually has some health benefits for your pup, too.

We spoke to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian with Paramount Pet Health, and Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian spokesperson for SpiritDog Training, to find out the answer to the question: Can dogs eat rice?

When feeding your dog rice, make sure it’s fully cooked then let it cool. Simply boil or steam the rice until tender and do not add any butter, salt or seasonings (keep the fried rice for yourself). If you’re feeding rice as an extra, feed no more than about a quarter cup for a large dog and just a tablespoon or two for a smaller dog. As part of a bland diet for stomach upset, rice is typically mixed with a small amount of lean protein, like plain, shredded chicken breast. It’s best to feed small amounts at a time, and only for a short period as it’s not a complete and balanced diet.

Rice is safe and healthy for dogs, but you should be mindful of their carbohydrate intake and the overall balance of their daily diet. If you’re feeding a fresh, complete and balanced diet, it’s neither necessary nor desirable to add additional protein or carbs on a regular basis. Any extra rice should be fed occasionally and in moderation.

Brown rice is a whole grain that includes the fibrous bran as well as the nutrient-rich germ. White rice has had both of these components removed, leaving the starchy endosperm behind. Though brown rice may be more nutritious, white rice is a more easily digestible option for dogs, and is often given to dogs who require a bland or easily digestible diet.

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Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She loves all animals but is currently channeling some crazy cat lady vibes with her four lovable, but rebellious cats.