Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice? The Benefits and Risks

Wondering if your dog can enjoy a tasty bowl of brown rice? Find out the answer in our comprehensive article!
Can Dogs Eat brown rice?

Yes, dogs can eat brown rice in moderation. Brown rice is a healthy, whole grain option that provides numerous benefits to dogs, such as fiber content, vitamins, and minerals. However, it's important to be aware of potential risks and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

What is brown rice?

Brown rice is a whole grain that still contains the bran and germ, making it a more nutritious option compared to its refined counterpart, white rice. This unprocessed form keeps the nutritional value intact and offers a range of health benefits for humans.

Nutritional value of brown rice

Brown rice is rich in nutrients, including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins B1 and B6
  • Minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese

Why brown rice is considered a healthy option for humans

Brown rice is considered a healthy option for humans due to its high fiber content, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates. These nutrients help support a healthy digestive system, weight management, and heart health.

Benefits of brown rice for dogs

Fiber content and digestive health

Brown rice contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, which can help support a healthy digestive system in dogs by preventing constipation and diarrhea.

Vitamins and minerals

The vitamins and minerals in brown rice, such as B vitamins and magnesium, can contribute to better overall health and well-being in dogs.

Complex carbohydrates and energy

Brown rice serves as a source of complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy for canines.

Brown rice and diabetic dogs

For dogs with diabetes or those requiring a low-glycemic diet, brown rice can be a suitable option because it releases energy slowly and does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

Weight management and brown rice

Brown rice can be beneficial for weight management in dogs, as it provides a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.

Alternative for dogs with grain allergies

For dogs that are allergic to other grains, brown rice can be a suitable alternative, providing an excellent source of carbohydrates.

Potential concerns with feeding brown rice to dogs

Allergic reactions

Some dogs may be allergic to rice, so it's important to monitor your dog's reaction to the food and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any adverse effects.

Gastrointestinal upset

Feeding your dog too much brown rice can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Arsenic content in brown rice

Brown rice may contain trace amounts of arsenic, but feeding your dog moderate amounts is unlikely to have adverse effects.

Overfeeding and weight gain

Providing excessive brown rice can lead to weight gain in dogs, as it does contain calories.

Interference with nutrient absorption

Feeding your dog large quantities of brown rice can interfere with the absorption of some nutrients, due to the presence of phytates.

How to prepare brown rice for dogs

Washing and rinsing

Before cooking brown rice, wash and rinse it thoroughly to remove any contaminants or potential allergens.

Cooking methods

Boil brown rice in water to create a soft and easy-to-digest consistency for your dog.

Storing cooked brown rice

Store cooked brown rice in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, ensuring it is properly covered to avoid contamination.

Mixing with other dog-friendly foods

Brown rice can be mixed with various dog-friendly food items such as vegetables and lean meats to provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious meal.

Portion size and frequency

Determining the appropriate portion size

As a general rule, brown rice should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.

Adjusting portion size based on dog's size and activity level

Remember to adjust the portion size according to your dog's size, weight, and activity level to provide appropriate calories and nutrients.

When to feed brown rice to your dog

Brown rice should be fed as a supplement to your dog's regular diet, not as a replacement for regular dog food.

Alternative grains for dogs

If your dog cannot tolerate brown rice, consider alternative grains such as:

  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Millet

Consulting with a veterinarian

When to seek professional advice

Consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about feeding brown rice to your dog or want guidance on tailoring their diet.

Tailoring your dog's diet to their specific needs

A veterinarian can help tailor your dog's diet according to their specific health needs and requirements.


Key takeaways

Brown rice can be a healthy, nutritious addition to your dog's diet in moderation. Monitor your dog's reaction to the food and stick to a proper portion size to avoid potential gastrointestinal issues.

Ensuring a balanced diet for your dog

Consult with a veterinarian to ensure that your dog's diet remains balanced and meets their nutritional needs. Always prioritize your dog's health and well-being when introducing new foods into their diet.

Medically Reviewed by Ibrar Ahmed, DVM

Dr. Ibrar Ahmed is a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) who took a Master of Philosophy in Animal Nutrition. He is looking after 2 dog shelters and a well-established dog research center in terms of food and care since 2019.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Can Dogs Eat jasmine rice?
Safe for Dogs
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Dogs Eat Jasmine Rice?

Can dogs eat jasmine rice? Find out the answer in this comprehensive article, which discusses the benefits and risks of feeding jasmine rice to dogs, as well as appropriate portion sizes.

Read More »
Can Dogs Eat rice?
Safe for Dogs
Ibrar Ahmed, DVM

Can Dogs Eat Rice?

Dogs are known for their love of food, but can they eat rice? Find out in this article, which covers the benefits and risks of feeding rice to dogs, as well as how to feed it to them in the right way and in the right amount.

Read More »