Rice is one of the most popular foods for humans worldwide. It is not only extremely delicious but has a high nutritional profile. Rice is extremely versatile and can be paired with practically anything at all right from veggies, chicken, beef, pork, etc. And, it can be eaten as a standalone meal. However, as a dog owner, you may wonder if your pooch can eat rice.
The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Rice is extremely safe for dogs and there are no health concerns that you need to worry about. Rice is quite beneficial for your dog. Not only does it offer nutrition, but also helps to alleviate constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
In fact, many dog owners include white rice in their dog’s diet when he is sick because not only is rice easy to prepare, it is low in fiber and easy for your pet to digest. Because of its safety and health benefits, rice is one of the common ingredients that you can find in several commercial dog foods.
But, can your dog eat fried rice? Yes, your dog can eat fried rice; however, with some caveats. For example, plenty of carbs can make your pet overweight. Also, fried rice lacks a lot of vital nutrients that your dog needs and just feeding him fried rice alone may not be a very healthy idea. And, feeding your pet takeout Chinese fried rice is a strict no-no.
Is Takeout Chinese Fried Rice Bad for Your Dog?
When feeding your dog, you should keep in mind that too spicy or salty foods with a lot of sodium are bad for your pet. Further, Chinese fried rice contains plenty of salt, onions, garlic, MSG and other ingredients that can be toxic and harmful for your dog. And, feeding your pet Chinese fried rice frequently can become a bad feeding habit.
Generally, at a glance, the ingredients in Chinese fried rice can lead you to believe that it may not be so bad for your pooch. After all, the fried rice contains meat, healthy veggies like peas, broccoli, tofu, etc. But, if you take a closer look at what goes into takeout Chinese fried rice, it contains soy sauce, lots of sodium, chili peppers, onions, garlic, fat and not to mention MSG (monosodium glutamate). And, these ingredients can be extremely harmful to your dog.
Besides the harmful ingredients in takeout Chinese fried rice including MSG, the way that the fried rice is prepared is not appropriate for pooches and can cause digestive issues, including diarrhea. Chinese takeout can be a huge contributor to your pet becoming obese. And, if your pooch is already overweight, then if you give him Chinese fried rice frequently, he will not be able to shed the extra pounds.
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Problems with Eating Too Much Fried Rice
The problem with eating too much fried rice is that the ingredients in it can be harmful to your dog and cause an imbalance in the important body functions, which can lead to serious health problems in the long run. Apart from obesity, too much fried rice can cause a serious disease known as pancreatitis.
The pancreas performs several important functions such as producing digestive enzymes and insulin. Pancreatitis is essentially when the pancreas becomes inflamed. In this condition, the digestive enzymes become active inside your pet’s pancreas instead of the digestive tract. The digestive enzymes begin to digest the pancreas itself causing inflammation and pain.
What Kind of Fried Rice Is Healthy for My Dog?
Fried rice in moderation can be healthy and safe for your dog unless your pet suffers from rice allergy. The rice that you feed your dog must be cooked properly. The best way to cook the rice is to boil it in plain water. And, if you’re feeding your dog rice that is commercially prepared, then make sure to check the ingredients list before buying it.
Make sure that the fried rice does not contain any harmful ingredients such as garlic, onion, salt or spices. Steaming or boiling the rice is the best way to serve it to your pet. You can use either white rice or brown rice and add a protein such as cooked chicken, beef or pork to it along with veggies like cooked sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, etc.
Fry the rice with all the ingredients without adding any butter or spices. You could scramble an egg and add it to the rice, which makes it a delicious, healthy and wholesome meal for your pet. However, it is a good idea to start by giving your dog a very small quantity of the rice to test your pet’s tolerance to these foods.
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White Rice vs Brown Rice
The often-asked questions are, “Can my dog eat brown rice?” or “Is brown rice better for my dog than white rice?” These are valid questions because when we think of adding rice to our pooch’s diet, it is white rice that comes to mind. Generally, both white, as well as brown rice, are gluten-free, which makes them both an excellent option for pets suffering from celiac disease or other types of gluten sensitivity.
Not only is white rice inexpensive compared to brown rice, but it is also easier to make. White rice is low in fiber, which makes it easily digestible and this is why dogs with an upset stomach are usually fed white rice. White rice is an effective remedy for dogs suffering from IBD and IBS.
However, brown rice can offer your pet with plenty of benefits. Brown rice has additional benefits compared to white rice such as it has more nutritional value. Brown rice is recommended for dogs having diabetes because it has a low glycemic index. Brown rice has more nutrients compared to white rice because brown rice contains the seed coat, where all the nutrition is stored.
Brown rice has more minerals, fiber and vitamins compared to white rice. The higher fiber content in the brown rice makes it ideal if your pet is constipated. However, you must take care that when you’re feeding your pet, the quantity of brown rice must be lower than white rice. For instance, for a large-sized dog, you should feed only 1/4th cup of brown rice mixed in with his food.
You must take care that your pet’s consumption of rice (white or brown) should not exceed more than 10% of his daily calorific value, because, as discussed earlier, too much of carbs can make your pet obese. Also, you must take care to cook the rice before feeding it to your dog. Uncooked rice not only lacks nutritional value, but it is also tasteless, not to mention that it can be a choking hazard too.
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How Much Rice Is Okay for My Dog to Eat?
Like any other food, when you’re introducing rice to your dog, it is a good idea to start small. Depending on the size of your puppy, you can add a teaspoon or tablespoon of cooked rice to his regular food.
While eating cooked rice daily is ok for your pooch, you should remember that your pet needs a balance of nutrients in his diet i.e. protein, calcium, carbs, fat from oil or meat and essential fatty acids. The carbs your dog gets from rice is a healthy addition to his diet; however, you should take care not to overdo the amount of carbs. While rice is easy to digest, it contains starch and a lot of rice can raise your dog’s blood sugar, which can be harmful, especially if your pooch is diabetic.
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Healthy Fried Rice Recipe for Your Dog
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 scrambled egg
- 1/4th cup of cooked rice (white or brown)
- 1/4th cup of minced chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon of chopped carrots
- 1 teaspoon of peas
- 1 teaspoon of chopped broccoli
Whisk an egg in a bowl and keep it aside. Add some oil in a pan and turn the burner on medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the egg that you have pre-whisked and scramble it. Once done, set it aside.
Heat the pan and add a teaspoon of oil. To this, add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink. Then add the veggies and cook until they are soft. Add in the cooked rice and mix everything together. As you mix the rice, break it apart. Then, add the scrambled eggs and cook for a few minutes. Turn off the burner and let the rice cool before you feed it to your pet.
Your pooch is the apple of your eye and you want him to be healthy, active and happy, for which he needs to have a well-balanced and healthy diet comprising high-quality dog food. However, this does not mean that you cannot give your pet people food like fried rice as a special treat. The key is to give him very little and make sure that the food is cooked, does not contain a lot of fats and does not have salt and spices. In this way, you can make sure that your furry pet indulges, but in a healthy way.