Can I Give My Dog Rice?

Picture of 3 kinds of rice

Have you wondered if you can give your dog rice? The answer is a definite yes. In fact, rice is even recommended for dogs at times. But some rice is better for your dog than other rice. Keep reading.

Is rice good for dogs?

In general, rice is good for dogs. That includes both white rice and brown rice. As many dog lovers know, both kinds of rice are often used in dog foods. There are many kinds of rice in the world since rice is such a staple in the human diet but most of the rice in dog food will be either white or brown rice. Brown rice is often considered to be healthier than white rice because it retains the bran layer that’s full of nutrients. However, brown rice can be a little harder to digest.

Brown rice is made up of about 85 percent carbohydrates, 7 percent fat, and 8 percent protein. It’s a good dietary fiber and a good source of manganese. White rice has about 90 percent carbohydrates, 2 percent fat, and 8 percent protein.

When is rice recommended for dogs?

White rice is often recommended for dogs that have gastrointestinal upset; or that are recovering from surgery or an illness. In these cases, veterinarians may suggest that you mix some white rice with some boiled chicken. This bland mixture, along with the broth, is very gentle on the dog’s stomach. It provides some good nutrition without upsetting the dog’s stomach. As mentioned above, brown rice is not recommended in these situations because the bran layer makes it harder to digest.

Rice is also used in some dog foods in place of some common grains for dogs that have sensitive digestion. There are many dog foods that feature chicken and rice, lamb and rice, salmon and rice, beef and rice, and so on. If your dog is sensitive to wheat or corn, you might look for a dog food that uses rice as a carbohydrate source instead.

Are there any problems with giving rice to dogs?

There can be problems with rice, especially brown rice, if you give it to your dog on a steady basis. (And problems for you if you eat it constantly.) The problems are related to arsenic Most foods and drinks have tiny amounts of arsenic in them but rice can absorb more arsenic from the environment than other foods. Groundwater and the water used to irrigate rice is particularly prone to containing arsenic, though this depends on where the rice is grown. People in Asia and those that eat an Asian-style diet are most at risk because rice is such a large part of their diet; but arsenic in the diet can be a concern for anyone – or any dog – that eats large amounts of rice over a long period of time. Not all rice contains arsenic but this is an issue to consider.

If you are cooking rice for yourself or for your dog, it can help to thoroughly wash the rice and cook the rice in clean water that does not contain any arsenic. (You may have to have your water tested to be sure that it doesn’t contain arsenic.) Eating a varied diet is also helpful. Basmati and Jasmine rice are also recommended as kinds of rice that do not have as much arsenic.


Rice is often recommended for dogs with an upset stomach. It can be added to boiled chicken and broth for a soothing, gentle meal. Both brown rice and white rice are used in many commercial dog foods. Brown rice is normally considered to be healthier because it retains the bran which is full of nutrients. However, brown rice can be more difficult for your dog to digest. There has been some concern about rice that may contain arsenic. It’s a good idea to vary your dog’s diet so he doesn’t eat rice constantly. If you are cooking rice for your dog, be sure to wash the rice thoroughly and use lots of clean water when you cook it.



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