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Can Dogs Eat White or Brown​ Rice?

Rice is such a common food for us and even more common in Asian countries but can dogs eat rice too?

The quick answer is yes but you will need to consider some things before adding rice to your dog’s diet.

Benefits of Feeding Rice

Rice is often used as an ingredient in commercial dog food. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and fuels the body with energy.

Grain-free High-quality dog food

Neither does it mean that grain-free food is always low-quality, nor that dog food that includes grain is necessarily good or bad. It depends on other factors.

Did you know that a lot of brands that advertise as “grain-free” actually put way too many peas into their dog food? The grain isn’t always the devil it’s made out to be.

Just make sure your dog’s diet is made up mostly of (raw) meat. Read more about the raw diet and meaty bones, organs, etc. in my raw feeding guide.

Furthermore, it contains no fats or sodium but good components like vitamin D or calcium which makes it a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

Rice and chicken are often served for dogs with an upset tummy or diarrhea because it is easily digestible and contain starch which helps to grow useful bacteria to support a healthy bowel.

Difference Between Brown and White Rice

Dogs can eat both brown and white rice but there are a few differences between them.

Brown rice still has the outer coat from the grain which stores the nutrients.

  • Brown rice is not as processed as white rice and more fibrous
  • …which also makes it harder to digest.

Brown rice is healthier than white rice but maybe not the first option for a bland diet. Below are all the benefits listed that brown rice has on your dog’s health:

  • Perfect for dogs with high blood pressure
  • Increases appetite
  • Cures stomach issues
  • Prevention of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Decreasing cholesterol levels in the body
  • Full of natural oils

Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice?

A ceramic bowl containing brown rice.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels

Domestication of the dog has transformed their diet from carnivores to omnivores which makes them capable of digesting grain from plants.

Whether you are planning on feeding your dog white or brown rice, keep in mind that rice is full of carbs which could lead to weight gain, especially if you are already feeding a commercial dog food with rice.

Can I Feed My Dog Rice Every Day?

You can feed your dog rice every day but only in moderation.

You have probably heard of the treat rule where your dog’s daily treat intake should be measured at 10% of his daily calorie amount.

The amount of rice you are feeding your dog should fall under this rule.

Feeding small portions will ensure that your dog gets all the health benefits from the rice without gaining weight.

If your dog is diabetic then you should feed him less white rice and consult your vet before trying it out.

Can Dogs Eat Rice Cakes?

Rice cakes are a yummy snack for every dog and can replace commercial treats for diabetic dogs.

My dog gets some rice cakes occasionally but they should be without any salt or seasoning.

Keep in mind that rice cakes have no nutritional value for the dog as they contain no vitamins or protein they are just a little snack once in a while.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Rice?

Fried rice is not harmful for dogs if it’s cooked at home without seasoning and oil.

Never serve your dog fried rice that you have ordered from a Chinese Restaurant.

Chinese Food contains lots of sodium, spices, sauce, and garlic – all ingredients that should never enter a dog’s digestive system.

Brown Rice for Dog Diarrhea

Rice is a very good ingredient when feeding your dog a bland diet after vomiting or diarrhea.

While brown rice is okay to feed your dog after diarrhea, white rice will have more benefits.

As you already learned, white rice is easier to digest and binding which helps to promote normal bowel movement.

Along with the rice, you can feed your dog some plain mashed pumpkin or lean cooked chicken.

How Long to Feed a Dog Bland Diet

An adult dog that has vomited or diarrhea should not be served any food for 24 hours.

Beware if your dog is under 4 months of age, he should not go longer than 6 hours without food.

After this, you can feed your dog the bland diet for 2-3 days. Consult your vet on the amounts of food that you should be giving your dog throughout this diet.

After a couple of days, you can start to replace small amounts of the bland diet with his regular dog food.

If your dog doesn’t feel better while being on a bland diet or if it even worsens, call your vet immediately and make an appointment.

Also, take into account why your dog had to vomit. My Rottweiler girl occasionally had morning sickness…because she didn’t have enough food (besides eating 2.5 pounds the day before). I gave her a banana and everything was fine.

Adding Rice to Dog Food

Rice is a very good and mild ingredient for dog food. If you are feeding your dog commercial dog food, look at the ingredients on the bag.

In most cases, rice is already listed there and should not be added on top to prevent your dog from gaining weight.

If you are feeding your dog a raw diet make sure that it is balanced with all the other ingredients, especially the protein.

Instead of rice, you could also add some boiled eggs which many dogs love.

Basmati or Jasmine Rice for Dogs

It doesn’t matter if you want to feed your dog Basmati or Jasmine rice. They are both very nutritious and probably the most common long-grain rice you will find in your local store.

Jasmine rice is known for its sticky texture while Basmati rice is more separated.

Jasmine rice would be slightly easier for your dog to digest. Adjust the kind of rice to whether your dog has just fasted for 24 hours (needs something easy to digest) or if he’s a quick eater in general.

Can Dogs Eat Red Rice?

Besides the usual white and brown rice, some sorts have a red or black color. The rice is colored red due to its anthocyanin content.

Both red and black rice contain more nutrients than white rice but they are a bit more expensive and are not available in every store.

Red rice has a more nutty flavor in comparison to Jasmine’s floral taste. It is also fatfree, able to reduce inflammation, allergies, and cancer.

It’s high in fiber content and not the best choice to feed an upset stomach but it helps to strengthen the digestive system in general.

My Dog is not Digesting Rice!

Dogs with very sensitive stomachs might not be able to digest the rice too well, therefore you should always consult your vet first and only feed rice in small amounts.

If your dog has problems with digesting rice, you can replace it with pumpkin which some dogs like more anyway.

What Else Can Dogs Eat?

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Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.


Saturday 12th of June 2021

My maltese has got skin problem n ear infection for years and I had spent heaps of money on vets. I then decided to switch her from white rice to brown rice. Guess what ! After 2 to 3 days of brown rice she stops scratching n her skin n ears cleared up without any medication ! Brown rice helps for my case ! I am elated n happy not to see my furry girl suffer anymore from itch n odour ! She smells n feels good now ! No scratching No odour ! 😍


Sunday 13th of June 2021

Hi Jesslyn,

that sounds incredible. How much does rice make up of your dog's diet? I guess to get a real effect you either fed mainly rice which may have benefited the infections or you fed only a little white rice but she reacts so strongly that it causes skin/ear issues?

Anecdotally, I've found many dogs with allergies to get better on a raw diet (after ruling out meats your dog reacts allergic to). Skin gets better, immune system can be strengthened, etc. Might be something to look into!

Also, I have articles on dry dog skin as well as natural ear infection remedies, in case these issues should surface again :).

Cheers, Danielle

Donna Brummell

Friday 1st of May 2020

Thank you!

Donna Brummell

Friday 1st of May 2020

Good morning, My new miniature poodle puppy is coming home tomorrow and I am confused on diet. Dry food, canned food, rice & ground beef.... I have had so many different recommendations can you please help??


Friday 1st of May 2020

Hey Donna,

the first couple of weeks it's best to feed your pup what the breeder fed them (assuming it was a high-quality kibble for puppies). From then on out, I'd personally recommend a raw diet. My Rottweiler is on a raw diet since she was 6 months (earlier is even better) and she thrives on it. Coat is shinier, she loves eating it much more, and she's totally healthy.

A raw diet can be quite expensive as I'd only pay 2/3 for a very high-quality kibble of what I currently pay for my 100 lbs female and 1/2 for a regular to high-quality kibble but seeing that you'll bring a miniature poodle home, I think that really shouldn't be the issue. Same goes for meal prep since the portions are much smaller and can be prepared/stored more easily.

You should research more about raw since there are a lot of possibilities of how to go about this (meat-focused, with/without fruits & vegetables, minced meat or whole pieces and also what kind of meat - beef, turkey/poultry etc.).

If you absolutely want to go with kibble or canned food, then make sure that your food has at least 60% real meat in it. Grain is not always the enemy as it's made out to believe, but beware if grain is the first ingredient in your dog food. Similarily, grain-free is not always good as peas are often used as the first ingredient. First ingredient should always be meat (mostly beef).

Puppies generally need more protein which should be taken into account in all diets.

We were afraid of feeding raw as this was unchartered territory but if you're balancing it out and are not doing anything fancy at first (just follow a well-researched book on this topic, most of them are slim volumes), you can't go wrong.

Make sure you check out my article on puppy socialization as this is one of the most important aspects of puppy ownership.

Let me know how it went, Danielle


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

What about the arsenic found in rice as a result of being grown in flooded fields? I’m not feeding my dog, or my family, rice.


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Arsenic in rice is definitely a concern (mostly for people that base their diets in rice) but there are a few tips to decrease the intake. Brown rice contains more arsenic than white rice despite the higher nutritional value.

Make sure to rinse the rice with clean water (that is low in arsenic) and use plenty of water when cooking. The best choices are either basmati or jasmine rice (which I am using). Eating rice in moderation as an adult isn't of any concern.

If you want to completely exclude rice from your dog's diet, you can also use grains like oats or quinoa.


Saturday 7th of September 2019

Just cooked a yummy rice and pumpkin recipe for my dogs and they love it!