Should Dogs Eat White or Brown Rice? (Solved!)

Knowing what’s best to feed your dog is very important. You may have heard that feeding dogs rice helps them, especially when their stomach is upset. But you may have wondered, what kind of rice should I feed them, white or brown? 

Dogs can actually eat white and brown rice, and receive the same nutritional benefits from each. There can be certain situations where one is better than the other, but neither is more healthy overall.

Brown rice is more fibrous than white rice, which can be helpful, but it also spoils easier and cannot be kept as long term as white rice. 

White rise is a little easier to digest but has a higher glycemic index. Both contain the same nutrients and can be used interchangeably in moderation.

Let’s dive deeper into white rice and brown rice for dogs and how they can both be incorporated into your dog’s diet. 

Should dogs even eat rice?

Contrary to some beliefs, dogs are omnivores. They can eat grains as well as meat and have no issue digesting them. While including meat is important in dogs’ diets, they are not obligate carnivores like cats and don’t have to adhere to a strict meat-only diet.

How much rice is good for dogs?

Larger dogs should have no more than ¼ cup of brown rice a day in their diet. Smaller dogs should have much less – about a tablespoon, according to Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey. It can be a part of a complete and balanced diet or added as a supplement when the dog’s stomach isn’t feeling well. 

The reason it isn’t recommended to feed a dog more rice than this is not that too much rice is bad for dogs, but it does contain a lot of calories. Extra weight on dogs can be bad for their joints and cause other health issues. So make sure to feed rice sparingly, whether it’s white or brown.

How can rice be prepared for dogs as a diet supplement?

If the food you’re feeding your dog doesn’t have brown rice in it, and you’d like to supplement their diet with it, it can be prepared the same way you would prepare it for yourself.

Cook the rice by boiling it in water, or use a rice cooker if you have it. Be sure to only prepare the rice with water and don’t add any butter, oil, or salt. This could hurt the dog’s stomach.

How can rice be prepared for dogs with an upset stomach?

If you are making rice for the dog because they have an upset stomach, prepare the rice as usual. Make a 50:50 mixture of rice and a lean meat like lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken and feed it as a replacement for their normal food. 

This mixture contains the nutrients the dog needs to help their upset stomach and is gentler on their GI tract than normal dog food. However it is not a balanced meal for a dog, so it should not be fed to them for more than a couple of days at the most. 

Also, keep in mind the more fibrous quality of brown rice when using rice for a dog with an upset stomach. It may be better to give a dog with a hurt tummy white rice because of the extra starch. Brown rice can be harder for a dog to digest.

Is rice a filler in dog food?

Rice is part of the ingredients of many dog foods, but it is not just there as a filler. Rice actually has many nutrients in it that are good for dogs and that’s why it is a popular ingredient.

Rice offers a lot, such as minerals and B vitamins that are lacking from other components of dog food. It is also an easily digestible carbohydrate that helps with the dog’s digestive system overall. 

When should I feed white rice vs brown rice?

If you’re just supplementing a dog’s diet with rice, either one is about the same as far as the vitamins and minerals, as well as calorie count. (Remember, not too much!) 

If your dog has an upset stomach due to constipation, brown rice is better because of the fibrous hull. This extra fiber can aid in speeding up digestion. 

If your dog’s upset stomach is due to diarrhea, white rice should be used. The starches in white rice can help slow the digestion and will be easier overall to digest. 

If you are still unsure of which type of rice to feed your dog, speak with your vet about options that are available. They may even suggest oatmeal or potato instead of rice.

What else should be included in a dog’s diet?

Along with carbohydrates, which can be provided by rice, dogs need protein and fat as part of a complete and balanced diet, just like humans.

Some foods that dogs can eat to get all of these nutrients include raw meat, fish, and vegetables. You can also feed a dog eggs and dairy for protein, which will add needed calcium and essential fatty acids. 

It is also perfectly acceptable to feed your dog a diet of pure kibble. Most kibble dog foods are made with optimal dog nutrition in mind, so they contain the correct amount of protein, fat, and carbs, as well as added minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids.

If you feed your dogs dry kibble, consider adding a little bit of water to the mix so they don’t get too dehydrated.

What other carbohydrates are suitable for a dog to eat?

If you don’t want to feed your dog rice for any reason, you can also feed them oatmeal, white potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Try not to feed your dog grains containing gluten, as it can be very hard for a dog to digest. 

Oatmeal, like rice, is best in moderation. It contains a suitable amount of carbohydrates as well as imparting fatty acids that help the dog’s coat shine. 

White Potatoes are a good source of starch and extra nutrients, while sweet potatoes are a good source of nutrients and extra fiber. 

As with the rice, be sure to take the dog’s needs into consideration when deciding which one to feed them.