Basmati rice originates from Pakistan and the Himalayas. The name Basmati in Hindu means “full of aroma.” And the name is quite correct, as basmati rice is more aromatic and nuttier than white rice. It also has more fiber and a lower glycemic index than white rice, making it quite popular in the west.
But if you love cooking it, you may wonder, can dogs eat basmati rice too?
The good news is – basmati rice is safe for canines. Plus, it can be helpful for pups suffering from digestive upsets or other health problems requiring a bland diet until their stomach settles.
However, it should not become the primary ingredient used for your daily dog’s diet, as it lacks most of the nutrients needed to keep your furbaby healthy, well, and happy in the long run.
Here is everything you need to know about basmati rice and how to incorporate it into your pet’s diet.
What Is Basmati Rice?
This long-grain rice comes from the Himalayan area, Pakistan, and India. Today, it is grown in other countries and continents with a suitable tropical climate.
It has a lower GI and less arsenic than white rice and is rich in healthy nutrients but has more calories than white rice.
The flavor of this specific type of rice is quite nutty, and it has a more potent fragrance than regular white rice.
Many veterinarians recommend that boiled or steamed basmati rice be given to pups with diarrhea, alongside plain chicken and some cottage cheese.
There are commercially available wet and dry dog foods and multiple recipes for homemade dog foods, which include basmati in their ingredient lists.
Basmati Vs. Brown Rice – Which Is Better For Dogs?
White basmati rice, prepared without fat, oil, salt, or other seasoning and spices, can help alleviate stomach upsets in canines. It is often recommended as the main element of a bland meal for sick dogs, alongside some plain chicken and cottage cheese.
Brown rice, on the other hand, has much more fiber and thus could have quite the opposite effect in dogs with digestive problems.
If the dog is healthy, it can eat both basmati and brown rice, but properly prepared and in moderation. It should not be the primary ingredient of its everyday diet because it has high carbohydrate content and lacks many of the essential nutrients that your furry companion needs.
Is It Safe To Give My Diabetic Dog Basmati Rice?
Unless your veterinarian has advised against it, you can still give a diabetic pup a little bit of basmati rice from time to time. But do not make rice a regular part of its dietary regimen because it can affect its blood sugar levels when consumed in large quantities.
Can My Dog Be Allergic To Basmati Rice?
Dogs can be allergic to any kind of new food you introduce to their diet, basmati rice included.
This is why vets always recommend introducing new human foods to your pup’s diet, starting with minimal quantities. You should monitor it for any adverse effects. If no allergic or other reactions appear, you can introduce more rice gradually until it reaches the recommended quantities.
Some common symptoms of allergies in dogs include scratching, swelling, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and in severe cases breathing problems and anaphylactic shock.
Call your veterinarian immediately if you think that your pet is having a severe allergic reaction!
Basmati Rice For Treating Digestive Upsets In Dogs
Often, the first advice you will get at the veterinary clinic for a dog with diarrhea, constipation, gas or nausea, or other digestive issues is to put it on a bland diet until the upset has been resolved.
This bland diet consists of boiled, steamed, or cooked rice without salt, fat, or other added ingredients, boneless and skinless boiled chicken, and some cottage cheese.
Usually, a 24-hour fast and then a day or two on such a bland diet should help your furbaby recover from its digestive issues.
To prepare the ingredients properly, rinse or soak the basmati rice thoroughly before boiling or steaming it. Boil the chicken until it is fully cooked without any pink meat. You can cut the chicken into little bits and mix it up with the rice before serving it to the dog. Add some cottage cheese to make it more palatable for your sick furry companion.
Other popular ingredients recommended for dogs with gastrointestinal problems include sweet potato, pumpkin, bone broth, and some types of baby food.
Keep in mind that if your pet has underlying medical issues such as diabetes, allergies, cancer, or is in its senior years, it may need more added ingredients to this bland diet to stay well.
How Much Basmati Rice Can I Give To My Dog?
Animal nutrition experts and veterinarians recommend that you should not give your dog basmati rice more than three times a week. Also, ensure that you portion the rice according to your pup’s weight, age, activity level, and overall health.
Make sure to give your pup the same amount of carbs from the rice as the carbs that it usually eats from its regular dog food. But do not give it both – use the rice to replace the other carbs.
Since it is rich in carbs, basmati and other rice can lead to obesity and diabetes, congestive heart failure, and vertebral disease in some dogs.
Do not rely on basmati or any other rice as the single ingredient for your dog’s diet. Instead, mix it up with proteins such as fish or chicken, and add the other nutrients your pup needs to stay healthy and well.
Plan Your Dog’s Meals According To Its Lifestyle
Like humans, dogs need to receive as many calories as they spend per day, so more active dogs should eat more or higher calorie food than pups who lead more sedentary lifestyles. Young puppies need more calories than senior dogs. And small-sized doggies should eat less than larger ones.
You should speak to your veterinarian about the most suitable dietary regimen for your dog.
Basmati rice, when prepared properly and when given in moderation, is safe and can even be good for dogs. In many cases, it can help resolve various digestive problems in canines as well.
But make sure to feed your pup with basmati rice only occasionally and as an addition to its primary dog food. It does not have the nutrients needed to keep your pet healthy and well like high-quality wet or dry dog foods have.