As the caregiver of a canine companion, your responsibilities are extremely simple. Provide shelter and a healthy diet, the opportunity to exercise and enjoy good health – and to also provide love and companionship. Of course one of the key elements is sustenance – but that goes hand in hand and supplements many of the others on the list – without a healthy diet, your dog will simply not enjoy a great quality of life. Sometimes that means going the extra mile to ensure that they enjoy not only a healthy diet – but one that offers some variety. Store-bought foods are (by and large nutritious – but adding to them – and being aware of the dos and don’ts of canine nutrition) will make for a much happier four-legged companion.
One of the questions that is often asked by dog owners is whether rice can make a valuable addition to the canine diet – and is it safe for your pet to eat?
The short answer is yes – but there are some factors to take into account before supplementing your dog’s diet with rice.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?
The great thing is that rice is inexpensive and widely available – after all, it is part of the staple diet for the majority of humans that walk the planet. It’s a great source of carbohydrates (it also contains protein and fiber) for dogs and it’s easily digestible. The carbohydrates are a fantastic source of energy and rice also supplies vitamin D – which contributes to healthy bone growth. The iron in rice also helps maintain the health of blood cells and allows them to better transport oxygen.
Rice should be boiled in the same way that it is prepared for humans – but it also makes a great addition to other ingredients. Many vets recommend a mixture of rice, carrots and green peas – mixed in with boiled lean chicken it contributes to a balanced meal.
Dogs can enjoy both white and brown rice. The white rice is slightly lower in fiber due to the fact that the husk has been removed and the calorie count is slightly higher than the brown version but on the plus side, it’s great for dogs that may experience gastrointestinal problems. The fiber and starch in white rice can help reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.
Brown rice is also great – and the fiber content is higher than white rice which makes it ideal for maintaining gut health. Another plus is that it is higher in antioxidants than white rice.
Both types of rice are easy to prepare – but the key to a healthy supplement to your canine’s meals is to avoid spices and certain other additives. Do not add salt or pepper, or favorants such as garlic and onion, some of these can be harmful to your dog’s health. As to how often rice should be part of your dog’s diet most vets agree that it should not make up more than 10% of the diet due to the high-calorie content.
They say that variety is the spice of life – even without the addition of extra spice rice will be a welcome addition to your dog’s diet. The ease with which it can be prepared and low cost, as well as the health benefits make it an ideal addition to maintaining the variety of that diet.