The Short Answer is:
Red rice is a good source of iron. The creation and maintenance of red blood cells require iron. However, there is a rather large con set against these pros. Red rice, like all varieties of rice, contains about 80% carbohydrates. The dog’s diet shouldn’t contain any carbohydrates because dogs don’t need them.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Red Rice?“.
- What is red rice?
- Is natural red rice good for dogs?
- Where can you buy red rice?
- Is red rice good for dogs?
- Why dogs don’t need carbohydrates
- Why should I feed my dog red rice?
- How much red rice shall I feed my dog?
- How shall I prepare long grain rice for my dog?
- Can dogs eat Mexican red rice?
- Can Dogs Eat Red Rice? (Watch Video)
Recently red rice has attracted a lot of attention as it is one of the latest superfoods.
Red rice is the new black (and purple is out).
All of the fuss centers around human health not dog health.
In this article I will examine whether you can share red rice with your dog and how it might benefit them nutritionally if you have recently become interested in red rice…
First let me define what I mean.
What is red rice?
Natural red rice comes in several varieties which isnot surprising since there are over 40000 varieties of rice in total.
The color comes from a natural pigment called anthocyanin which is very high in antioxidants and is what all the fuss is about.
West African rice Bhutanese (Himalayan) rice and Thai cargo rice are among the most common varieties of red rice.
To make our lives a little more complicated red rice can also refer to a dish made by coloring white rice red with tomatoes.
In some southern states of the United States and in Mexico this dish is popular.
I’d like to start by discussing natural red rice.
Is natural red rice good for dogs?
Several people consider red rice to be a superfood because it contains anthocyanin.
The anthocyanin in rice provides the rice with beautiful deep color as well as antioxidant properties.
Additionally people get very excited about antioxidants because of their ability to boost immune systems and protect humans (and dogs) from diseases such as heart disease.
We have all heard how healthy brown rice is right?
Because of these antioxidants red rice is supposed to be healthy.
All of that sounds very promising.
How readily available in the rice? It sounds very exotic.
Where can you buy red rice?
If you look on Amazon and the Walmart website you will see that there are a few options when it comes to buying packs of red rice.
I am sure that the international store in your neighborhood will also have some varieties of red rice.
I have never seen anything like the wide variety of brands and products available when it comes to white rice.
However that is to be expected.
Despite the lack of variety red rices real shocker is its price.
Walmart had some of the cheapest packs of red rice I could find for nearly $5 per pound of rice.
This is about the same price as a premium brand of white basmati which is about $1.40 per pound.
This makes red rice nearly four times more expensive!
Is red rice good for dogs?
In writing an answer to this question it would be easy to get carried away by the “miracle” properties of anthocyanin.
Previously I wrote about the potential health benefits of antioxidants in dog food.
In addition to being high in fiber red rice contains between 3 and 4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
In addition fiber is essential for the health of your dogs digestive system.
For owners the consistency of their stool is the most important factor.
Finally red rice is a good source of iron.
The creation and maintenance of red blood cells require iron.
However there is a rather large con set against these pros.
Red rice like all varieties of rice contains about 80% carbohydrates.
The dogs diet should not contain any carbohydrates because dogs do not need them.
Why dogs don’t need carbohydrates
We have a bit of a strange one for those of you who have seen the list of ingredients on your dogs bag of kibble.
It is obvious that brown rice and sweet potato are two of the most lauded ingredients in kibble.
What is the point of adding carbohydrates to dog food if dogs do not need them?
Carbohydrates are very cheap as compared to the types of food dogs need to get energy from.
Diets for dogs consist only of fat protein minerals and vitamins.
On pages three and four of this document you will find a list of what dogs need in their diet calculated by an expert team.
Therefore if that is the case should you feed red rice to your dog?
Why should I feed my dog red rice?
Red rice does not need to be added to the diet of any dog.
Despite all the talk of antioxidants fiber and minerals.
It will be very expensive to buy such an expensive type of rice so any boost your dog might receive will be lost.
Importantly you can give your dog leftover red rice if you consume it and have some leftover.
It is best to feed your dog small portions of red rice if there is a lot leftover (because it contains carbohydrates).
Likewise if you have heard that rice is a good home remedy for diarrhea remember that it only applies to white rice not red rice.
Red rice like brown rice might even make diarrhea worse because these two types of rice contain too much fiber which causes a sensitive stomach to agitate even more.
How much red rice shall I feed my dog?
Red rice in excess: how much is too much?
Sadly I am unable to offer you a calculator that calculates the ideal portion size for your dog.
You should instead think in terms of a few teaspoons if you have a small dog and a few tablespoons if you have a larger dog.
Extra calories come from food or treat you give your dog that isnot part of their main meals.
We should be careful even when it is just “plain” red rice.
You can sprinkle the rice over their canned food or kibble and feed it to them over a few days if necessary.
That leaves us only with the question of how the rice should be prepared.
How shall I prepare long grain rice for my dog?
It is best for your dog to eat only leftover red rice as I said in the previous section unless you just won a lottery and plan to move him onto a diet of red rice and caviar.
Rice should be prepared the same way we would prepare it for ourselves.
Due to the fact that red rice is unrefined and has a harder outer layer it must be cooked much longer than white rice.
In addition it will require more water to cook than white rice.
For red rice to be soft enough to eat it will take about 30- 40 minutes.
I will discuss the other kind of red rice at the end of this article the one I mentioned at the beginning.
Red rice is made by mixing white rice and tomatoes and is also known as Mexican red rice.
Can dogs eat Mexican red rice?
Red rice from Mexico is also known as Arroz Rojo.
Red rice is made up of the following ingredients:
- White rice
- shallots/ onions
- Tomato paste
- Vegetable broth.
The ingredients in most of those products are not dog friendly.
You can feed your dog small amounts of white rice.
Even though vegetable broth isnot toxic for your dog it contains a lot of salt which isnot ideal.
When I give them any scraps containing tomatoes my dogs have a bad reaction (and by that I mean diarrhea).
Some part of it must be too rich for my dogs.
Unripe or green tomatoes are said to contain toxins. Dogs can eat ripe tomatoes.
We are left with shallots onions and garlic from the list.
The following vegetables are all part of the allium family and in the wrong quantities they are highly toxic to dogs.
My articles provide detailed information about how much is too much.
Onions can be found here while garlic can be found here.