Can Dogs Eat Millet?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Dogs are able to eat millet so that’s good news. It is not toxic for dogs to eat milt. This grain is widely available and easy to prepare but also very costly to purchase. In terms of nutrition it is a very healthy food since it is low in calories and a great source of vitamins and minerals.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Millet?“.

I would like to talk about millet today.

This ancient food is made from millet.

The grass and cereal are actually the same things. 

It was first eaten by humans over 7000 years ago when people started settling and living in one place instead of moving around hunting and gathering.  

It remains a staple crop in many parts of the world where the conditions are hot and dry- such as sub-Saharan Africa. 

It has been consumed by humans for thousands of years but what about our dogs?

Can dogs have millet?

Dogs are able to eat millet so thats good news.

It is not toxic for dogs to eat milt.

This grain is widely available easy to prepare but also very costly to purchase.

In terms of nutrition it is a very healthy food since it is low in calories and a great source of vitamins and minerals. 

It is also possible to feed your dog a variety of healthy grains including millets.

Bulgur wheat and quinoa are examples of such grains. 

Millet is considered healthy but why?

As we examine its nutrition in the next section we will find out.

What is the nutrition in millet?

Wheat is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Below are the nutritional values for 100g of millet.

Calories 119
Fat  1g 
Sodium 2mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g 
Fiber 1.3g 
Sugar .1g
Protein 3.5g

The chart above illustrates some of the most important nutritional categories for millet.

With millet you get a food that has very low values in almost all the important categories- overall calories fat sodium and sugar.

Now millet contains 24% carbohydrates which might seem high to you.

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of carbohydrates (24% and 28%) respectively.

By the way potatoes contain about 18% carbohydrates.  

What vitamins does millet contain?

The B vitamins in milt are great for your dog. 

There are several different B vitamins but millet has thiamin riboflavin niacin and vitamin B6 in abundance. 

Your dog can benefit from B vitamins in many fundamental ways.

The process of turning food into energy (also known as metabolism) strengthening the immune system and maintaining healthy blood cells are just a few examples. 

Now that I have talked about vitamins lets talk about minerals.

What minerals does millet contain?

It is a great source of copper magnesium manganese and phosphorus.

What does this do for your dog?

Copper contributes to the formation of red blood cells which is also one of the functions of the B vitamins. 

Dogs need magnesium to keep their muscles and nerves healthy. 

Dogs’ bones and tissues are kept healthy with manganese (a little-known mineral).

Lastly phosphorus is essential to the health of your dogs bones and teeth!

Does millet have any other health benefits for your dog?

Food that keeps on giving is millet!

Millet will also boost your dogs health in more general ways aside from those very specific benefits mentioned above.

Firstly millet has a low glycemic index which means it takes longer for the body to digest than other foods such as wheat flour.

Blood sugar levels will be less likely to spike when your dog eats foods that take longer to digest. 

Further (and in keeping with the theme of digestion) millet contains prebiotics which are good bacteria that stay in your dogs gut and help fight infections. 

After considering all the different health benefits that millet can provide for your dog I want to quickly examine some alternatives. 

Millet vs bulgur vs quinoa vs barley

What does millet have to offer compared to its competitors?

In other words barley quinoa and bulgur.

To be honest they are all pretty specialized foods.

Few of us keep any of them as staples in our kitchen cabinets even though most of us have heard of them.

How easy is it to get hold of any of them for a reasonable price?

Lets begin with that.

Following are the prices I found using as a reference: offers these four grains.

Many of them are available in organic versions and come in different sizes.

In order to do a fair price comparison I looked at products from one manufacturer that was of similar size.

To make it easier on your eyes I have created a simple chart below.

All of these grains are sold by Bobs Red Mill and they all come in the same size 26-ounce packs.

Quinoa that is not organic was a real challenge to find.

To make a cheeky comparison I have included brown rice on the list.

In the end it is much more likely that we will find this “healthy grain” in our cupboards.

Millet 28 oz  $16
Bulgur 28 oz  $18
Quinoa 25 oz $9
Barley 30 oz $11.91
Brown rice 32 oz $1.41

The samples suggest to me that millet is a more expensive grain- only beaten by bulgur in terms of price. 

Quinoa and barley on the other hand are more reasonably priced- barley costs almost half as much as millet.

Millet is more than 10 times more expensive than brown rice. 

In the next section I will explore the nutrition of these different grains.

Are there any major differences between them?

Heres a look at what we found.

Millet Bulgur  Quinoa Barley Brown Rice
Calories 119 83 120 123 123
Fat  1g  .2g 1.9g  .4g  1g
Sodium 2mg 5mg 7mg 3mg 4mg
Total Carbs 24g  19g 21g 28g  26g
Fiber 1.3g  4.5g  2.8g  3.8g  1.6g 
Sugar .1g .1g  .9g .3g  .2g 
Protein 3.5g 3.1g  4.4g  2.3g 2.7g

As far as most of the major nutrition values are concerned there are no major differences.

We also know that brown rice is far more affordable and widely available than white rice. 

Although the most expensive food (bulgur) has some impressively healthy statistics.

The biggest difference between millet quinoa and barley seems to be the number of carbohydrates that each grain contains but even then the difference isnot that great. 

How much millet should I feed to my dog?

Its time to be honest. 

Too much millet would be very difficult for your dog to eat.

If your dog ate uncooked millet left on the counter or snatched a bowl of millet while no one was looking the worst that could happen would be diarrhea or vomiting for a few hours.

It may also be that your dog is so stuffed that they are not interested in moving for a few hours.

For the portion sizes that you want to give your dog intentionally we are talking about a few tablespoons per meal. 

You might want to limit it to a couple of teaspoons for a small dog.

With kibble and canned food most of us are providing our dogs with a complete diet.

Other than that they do not need anything else.

Any other items we provide them should be regarded as optional extras and should only be given in very limited quantities.

You can eat healthy foods too. 

Unless you have been advised otherwise by a vet. 

Can I feed millet to my dog every day?

When your wallet is deep enough you can give your dog millet every day.

Is it worth recommending?

I do not think so.

Dogs should be given a wide range of foods to eat in my opinion.

To boost your dogs health give them millet every day for a week and then give them some brown rice next week.

Next week you could try adding a few pieces of kale or another dark green vegetable.

What is the best way of preparing millet for your dog?

Although it is the easiest and fastest way to prepare millet I do not recommend giving them raw millet.

You should not feed it to your dog just because it will be harder for him to digest.

Instead of cooking it in oil cook it in water.

Millet should be added to boiled water and then simmered for 15 minutes.

Once it has sat for about 5 or 10 minutes it will be cool enough to serve to your dog.

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Can Dogs Eat Millet? (Watch Video)

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