Rice is one of the most popular staple foods around the world. It is a cheap grain and is used as a filler ingredient in many commercialized dog foods.
You probably have rice in your kitchen. But what if you left the cabinet open for a minute and you find your dog eating what’s inside the rice bag?
Can dogs eat uncooked rice?
We talk about why uncooked rice is bad for dogs and what to do if your dog eats it.
We also provide a detailed guide on whether cooked rice is healthy for dogs and how to prepare rice for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Rice?
No, dogs cannot eat uncooked rice.
Uncooked rice is bad for dogs.
Our dogs eat whatever appeals to their sense of smell, whether it’s cooked or uncooked, real food or not.
One food that your dog may find tasty, whether it’s raw or cooked, is rice. If you’re preparing sushi and a few bits of rice fall on the floor, they will likely give it a try.
Raw rice, brown or white, can be dangerous to your fur baby since it absorbs moisture after entering your dog’s tummy.
Ingestion of uncooked rice can lead to constipation or diarrhea in dogs. They may also experience a disturbance in their gastrointestinal balance that leads to indigestion.
Raw rice is different from cooked rice. While cooked rice has nutritional benefits, raw rice triggers gastrointestinal upset.
Raw rice contains lectins, a type of protein that is also a natural insecticide, which can cause damage to the gut wall.
Your dog may also experience worse symptoms depending on their size, breed, and the amount of uncooked rice they consumed.
A bloody stool is another symptom that indicates internal wounds in the GI tract.
If your dog has a bloody stool after ingesting raw rice, take them to the vet immediately.
Because you don’t want your dog to experience those tummy issues, don’t feed raw rice to your dog and be careful about storing how and where you store your rice.
Can Uncooked Rice Kill Dogs?
There are no known cases of dog death that is caused by the ingestion of uncooked rice. However, aside from an upset stomach, it can cause other severe symptoms to your dog.
Rice is a hygroscopic material that can absorb water from the air, so many people think that the ingestion of raw rice can lead to severe dehydration and organ failure due to an imbalance in electrolyte levels.
Rice also absorbs stomach acids that is why it is recommended by doctors to humans with issues like gastric reflux.
Uncooked rice consumption in dogs may also be lethal because it has harmful bacteria, such as Bacillus cereus (B. cereus).
It’s a type of bacteria found in soil that can contaminate raw rice and cause food poisoning.
This bacterium, however, is not a concern with freshly cooked rice.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Uncooked Rice
If your dog suddenly eats dry or raw rice, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your vet may ask you to bring your dog in or just give instructions as you stay home. This all depends on the amount of rice they have eaten, the size of your dog, symptoms, and other factors.
As mentioned, there are no known cases of dog death caused by uncooked rice, but the problem usually occurs when the rice comes out of their body.
Prepare a room to clean afterward as diarrhea and vomiting may occur.
You’ll see white bits in your dog’s poop, but they are not worms. Instead, those are the rice grains that come out exactly as they go in.
It might even be better if the rice doesn’t pass through your dog’s body, so be prepared if your vet instructs you to induce vomiting.
This video shows the proper way to induce vomiting in dogs.
Once your dog vomits the rice, they should be fine after a while and won’t need further medication.
Your vet may also advise not giving them food for at least 12 hours while also giving them plenty of water.
Your dog will most likely become dehydrated because of diarrhea. Their gums will turn pale and you’ll notice them coughing or keeping their tongue out.
So always have a fresh bowl of water available for them. And add some dental additives to your dog’s water.
In severe cases, your dog’s stomach may have to be emptied, or the vet may suggest other treatments or invasive methods.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Rice?
Yes. In fact, most commercial dog food products contain rice.
It has an adequate amount of fiber and is the easiest to digest compared to other grains.
However, not all rice is equal. It might be better to offer plain white rice to your dog because it contains starch that your dog needs.
On the other hand, brown rice is harder to digest because it is not super processed. It still contains a seed coat where the nutrients are stored.
Although brown rice may be healthier for us humans, white rice is recommended for dogs.
However, don’t give your dog too much white rice on a regular basis, especially if they are diabetic.
Too much white rice can cause their blood sugar levels to spike.
Is Cooked Rice Healthy for Dogs?
Rice has some health benefits for your dog.
It can fulfill your dog’s carb intake for energy as it has a carb content of 44g per 1 cup. But be careful not to give them too much as it does not have enough nutrients.
Protein from white rice comes in at 4g per cup. It has essential amino acids that your dog needs, but their body cannot produce.
White rice is also digestible and won’t upset your dog’s stomach.
However, rice also poses health risks for your dog if they have consumed too much or if they have pre-existing medical conditions.
White rice has a high glycemic index of 73, plus or minus 4. That’s not great news for dogs with diabetes.
Since rice is easily digestible, it releases glucose quickly. Meanwhile, the pancreas, with its release of insulin, may fail to regulate the amount in the bloodstream.
How to Prepare Rice for Dogs
The best way to prepare rice for your dog is to make sure it is washed first before cooking.
Boil it bland without any seasoning for around 30 minutes. The ratio of rice to water should be 1:4.
Taste it after 20 minutes to see if it’s ready.
Then, mix the rice with healthy side dishes like squash, peas, or low-fat meat.
You can also enhance their meal by adding canned dog food or kibble.
You can also try this chicken & rice recipe for your dog if they are sick.
Never serve rice to your dog if it is still steaming hot.
So, Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Rice?
Never give uncooked rice to your dog because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, bloody stool, and dehydration. It also contains bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Make sure your rice grains are also kept out of their reach to prevent them from sneaking and tasting.
Instead, serve plain cooked white rice to your dog for its various health benefits. Top it with canned or dry dog food, and other side dishes like squash or low-fat meat.