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Brown Rice or White Rice for Dogs?

Labrador Retriever eating from metal food dish on grey hard wood floors with white wall in background

There is no clear-cut answer to this question because dogs CAN eat both of these types. Both of them have their pros and cons and it’s up to the parent to decide what suits their pet the most. For example, brown rice are more effective if you want to add some calories to your dog’s diet. On the other hand, white rice are much more suitable for treating diarrhea.

Irrespective of the type you select, none of them can become your dog’s daily diet. This is because rice lacks a lot of essential nutrients that the dog requires in the long run. Similarly, it is important to feed a controlled quantity of rice to your dogs as they are rich in carbohydrates. Eating too much rice can itself cause a lot of problems, like obesity.

All these issues are what instigate people to believe that rice are not safe for dogs. Despite the considerable popularity of this idea, it’s NOT true unless your dog is allergic to rice. Therefore, you must consult your vet before feeding rice to your dog.

Health Benefits of Rice for Dogs

Grains of uncooked rice on a light blue background

Instead of doing any harm to your dog’s health, rice are actually quite beneficial for him/her. First and foremost, they are an excellent source of energy due to an abundant supply of carbohydrates. Similarly, they provide other useful nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and are helpful in treating chronic diarrhea. Rice are often used alongside chicken or eggs as a bland diet. This meal provides all the essential nutrients without causing any more damage.

You may not know but Sodium can also affect the health of your dog. The situation can become really critical if your companion has a history of high blood pressure. The fact that rice are low in Sodium makes them even more worthy for dog parents.  

White or Brown Rice for Dogs

Although the general composition is the same, there are some differences between brown and white rice that you should know. Brown rice are not as processed as white rice and are much more nutritious. They contain the outer coat of the grain that carries most of the nutrients. This coat includes fibrous bran, carb-rich endosperm, and nutritious germ.

On the other hand, white rice are deprived of this outer part during processing. Consequently, they have a low-nutrition value. This is the reason why brown rice are generally considered much healthier. However, the high quantities of fiber make brown rice difficult to digest. According to an estimate, 100 grams of brown rice have 1.8 grams of fiber while 100 grams of white rice will offer about 0.4 grams of fiber.

Pros of White Rice

Bowl of cooked white rice resting on wooden serving tray


White rice is a much convenient option for owners because they are cheap and easy-to-cook. As they don’t have any outer covering, white rice require less cooking time. The cost-effectiveness of this ingredient is clearly evident by the fact that smaller companies use it for their products. Similarly, they are quite easy to chew (if cooked properly) because of their soft texture.

Treats Diarrhea

White rice are pretty effective at cleaning out your dog’s intestinal tracts. If your dog is suffering from parasite-induced diarrhea, this fiber-rich diet is ideal for eliminating unwanted bacteria. That’s the reason why a lot of vets prescribe chicken and rice for treating diarrhea.

Easy to Digest

White rice are much easier to digest than brown ones. This is because brown rice contain Phytic Acid, which impairs the absorption of minerals like Iron and Zinc. As a result, the digestion process is slowed down. The processing of white rice deprives them of Phytate.

Pros of Brown Rice

Uncooked brown rice in a white bowl on a burlap mat with stalks of rice in background


Brown rice are significantly richer in nutrients than white rice, due to the lack of processing on them. This means that they maintain all their vitamins and minerals. Likewise, they contain a lot of fiber and that’s the reason why brown rice are common among high-fiber dog foods.

Brown rice are considered a good source of neurotransmitter nutrients that are vital for preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The most common symptoms of this ailment include memory loss and the decline of thinking capabilities.

Source of Energy

It is a well-known fact that brown rice are an incredible source of carbohydrates. This effectively means that a small amount of this ingredient can supply a lot of energy and calories. Owing to this information, you can use brown rice to increase the bodyweight of your weak dog. Similarly, they have higher levels of protein (than white rice) that can help build muscle strength.  

Treats Constipation

Although brown rice are a bit difficult to digest, they can help your dog with constipation. The high quantity of fiber in brown rice is ideal for maintaining proper bowel movements. Having said that, you should not feed your dog too much brown rice because they can act as fillers. In cases of unbalanced diets, dogs can develop severe medical implications.

The Bottom Line

Jack russell terrier eating out of metal food dish looking sideways into the camers

It is absolutely safe to feed your dogs both white and brown rice provided that they are not allergic. In case of an allergy, you should NEVER think of giving them rice (neither brown nor white). Like all other things, both of these rice types have their merits and demerits. The power of selecting the most suitable rice rests with the parent. Always discuss the details with your vet before adding any of these ingredients in your dog’s menu.

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