Sometimes we like to give our hounds a delicious treat or provide supplemental nutrition to their diet. You may have heard about giving rice or oatmeal to your dog. But, is it safe? Is rice or oatmeal a better choice? Actually, both are okay, but there are some caveats to doing this.
Table of Contents
Is Rice or Oatmeal Better for Dogs?
Oatmeal and rice are very safe for dogs to consume since most commercial dog food includes both of these ingredients. If you look at the kibble’s nutritional label, you’ll find things like brown rice, rice flour and oatmeal.
You can cook up either of these and mix it with wet food, use it as a kibble topper or serve it separately. They can be part of a healthy diet for your pup but they shouldn’t be the bulk of their daily intake. Only offer your dog rice or oatmeal in small amounts a few times per week.
But, keep in mind that oatmeal has a higher caloric count than rice. Plus, both rice and oatmeal are high in carbohydrates. Since most commercial kibble is already high in carbs, you want to ensure you don’t overdo it. This can cause serious weight gain and obesity issues in dogs.
If you already have issues maintaining your pup’s weight, you may want to leave both rice and oatmeal off the menu. In this case, you can reserve it as a medicinal food for when your pup has an upset stomach or digestive issues.
How Should I Cook & Serve Oatmeal to My Dog?
Oatmeal has tons of phytonutrients that are excellent for your dog’s skin and coat. The fiber helps keep their digestion regular too. But too much can cause stomach upset that has the potential to lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
A Note of Caution
Never give your dog raw, instant or artificially-flavored oatmeal. These undergo processing and treatments to include additives that will create serious health issues. Ensure the oatmeal is 100% gluten free too. Plain, whole oats cooked in water is best. Don’t cook the oats in milk or juice and don’t add sugar, spices or fruit.
As always, talk to your vet before serving oatmeal to your dog. If it’s okay, then give ½ cup. The additional nutritional benefits include:
Is White or Brown Rice Better to Give to My Dog?
Because many dogs have sensitive digestive systems, give yours white rice. This is because the hull is mostly intact with brown rice, making it hard on your dog’s stomach and intestines. Although this is what makes brown rice more nutritious of the two, it’s low in fiber and far gentler.
Actually, it’s advisable to give your dog white rice if they experience upset stomach, diarrhea or heartburn. The bland starchiness of white rice is perfect to neutralize stomach acids, bind stool and reduce inflammation.
Of course, you should first consult with your vet to ensure rice is good enough for your particular pup and their dietary requirements. There are going to be some dogs that will be able to eat both brown and white rice without issue. Yet there will be other dogs who should never eat rice. So, talk to your vet to be sure.
How Should I Prepare & Serve Rice for My Dog?
Prepare rice for your dog as if you would eat it yourself but don’t add things like oil, butter, salt, pepper or other seasonings. Never give your dog uncooked rice and don’t give them more than ½ cup at a time. Also, it shouldn’t be piping hot when you serve it; make sure the temperature ranges somewhere between lukewarm to cool.
What Other Grains Can I Give My Dog Besides Rice?
If you don’t want to give your dog oatmeal or rice, there are some other grains that are good for canines to consume. As always, ensure you first check with your vet to make sure it’s going to be appropriate for your pup. Also, fully cook any grain before serving it to your furry friend.
- Barley: A common ingredient in most dog kibble, Barley is a wonderful grain to give to your pup. It’s rich in vitamin B and fiber. However, non-hulled is better such as pearled barley.
- Corn: Although controversial, corn can provide a great dietary boost for your dog. They can digest it easier than rice or oatmeal and it is high in nutritional value. But, some dogs do have corn allergies and you want to avoid giving your dog corn byproducts that are often found in commercial dog foods.
- Millet: A good gluten-free seed grain that you can often find in commercial dog food, Millet is very close to what your dog’s ancestors used to eat. It’s high in antioxidants but it’s also higher in fat. So, avoid giving it to a pudgy pup.
- Quinoa: This ancient superfood is excellent for dogs with food sensitivities. It’s higher in calcium and less starchy than most other grains. But this must be very sparing as a buildup of the saponin content can cause stomach and digestive irritation.
- Rye: A great grain for doggie weight control, blood sugar and heart health, rye is high in vitamin B and fiber. Of course, don’t give this to your dog if they have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. But, rye can help greatly in making your dog feel full and helps prevent overeating.
- Sorghum: This is an excellent ancient superfood that’s gluten-free and high in essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Not only is Sorghum perfect for dog’s with a gluten intolerance it can also help with diabetes.
- Wheat: One of the more popular grains for dogs to eat, it can be an excellent prebiotic that can help nourish your dog’s digestive system with good bacteria. However, if your dog must have a gluten-free diet, avoid giving it Wheat at all costs.