Let’s talk about the most popular Southern dish—grits! This savory dish boasts incredible nutritional value, from potassium and calcium to vitamins A, B, and fiber. Its enhanced nutritional value cushions you against the carpal tunnel, among other health issues. Yet, you remain unsure about its suitability for your pooch.
While you might want your dog to enjoy every meal you consume, it is vital to understand the implications. This article explores various insights, including what grits are, their nutritional value, and whether they suit your dog.
What Are Grits?
Grits are porridge made from ground, boiled cornmeal. While most people make grits from less sweety and starchy corn, you can choose what cornmeal suits you best. Its preparation method requires boiling the ground corn in hot water and cooking it with butter. You can eat them as grit cakes, porridge, hash browns, ice cream, or croutons for soups.
Suppose you decide to cook grits. In that case, it will be an excellent alternative to oatmeal, polenta, and rice. These options offer the same nutritional value, highlighting good iron content, calcium, and vitamins. However, ensure that you do not cook them in milk since it could be too much liquid. Yet, that should not limit your decision to explore different recipes.
Several types of grits are on the market, and each option has a unique feature. Today, you can choose from the following:
- Instant: The most common form of grit is available across multiple stores. It is precooked and dehydrated while its germ and pericarp are removed.
- Hominy: This option is made from corn kernels and soaked in an alkaline solution to soften its pericarp.
- Stone-ground: It is a product of whole, dried yet coarsely ground corn kernels. Its limited shelf life makes it rare in stores. However, preparing on a stove takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Quick and Regular: This option has undergone rigorous processing, removing the pericarp and germ. It boasts an incredible shelf-life, making it a perfect choice for long-term use.
Can Dogs Eat Grits?
Grits are a safe option for your dog. They offer various health benefits, making them an excellent treat. However, experts recommend enhanced moderation when feeding your dog.
Grits are cereal, which is significantly easy for the dog to digest. The corn used to make grit is washed and processed, offering an incredibly smooth texture. Such a smooth texture is easy on the gastrointestinal tract, cushioning the dog against various health complications.
Serve your dog with cooked and unseasoned grits. Cooked food is much easier for your pet to digest and is also much gentler on the digestive tract. At the same time, unseasoned grits will cushion the dog against stomach upsets. Various spices have proven unsuitable for dogs.
However, you must be cautious if your dog has a corn allergy. Eating grit will readily trigger this issue, contributing to multiple allergic reactions in the long run. At the same time, you must refrain from grits if your dog has weight issues. Excessive consumption of this meal will jeopardize its health.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Corn? Everything You Need to Know
Risks Associated With Dogs Eating Grits
The main ingredient of grits is corn, which is dog-safe. Yet, most experts and vets will ask that you feed them to your dog in moderation. You could attribute this to the various health risks associated with excessive consumption of grits. The following insights will help break down the reasons against excessive consumption of grits among dogs.
Increased Chances of Obesity
Dogs will likely gain significant weight after consuming excessive carbs, which is what grits offer. A single serving of grits delivers about 182 calories, which could be too much for your dog. Gradually, you’ll expose your dog to severe health problems, including diabetes. Pancreatitis will also be inevitable in extreme cases.
Your dog will likely suffer sodium-ion poisoning, particularly if it consumes excessive grits. Grit is significantly salty food, which is dangerous for your pet. Excessive consumption of salt and sodium contributes to lethargy, seizures, and tremors. You’ll also witness an increased frequency of urination. However, you can avoid this issue by eliminating salt in the food.
Sometimes, adding seasonings and spices will make your grit savory. Yet, this could spell doom for your dog. Condiments will likely affect your dog’s GI tract adversely. At the same time, a dog with a corn allergy will experience significant stomach upsets in the long run. This upset will result in vomiting and diarrhea. Itchy skin will also suffice.
Does Grit Offer Health Benefits to Dogs?
Grit is an excellent treat, alternative food, and food supplement, associated with multiple health benefits, thanks to its numerous nutrients and nutritional value. The following health benefits will suffice, but only if the dog eats grit in moderation.
Grits are packed with antioxidative properties, which help protect body cells against free radical damage. A single serving of grit assures your dog of powerful antioxidants, including lutein, caffeic acid, syringic acid, and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants will cushion your pet against heart conditions.
Combat Anemia In Dogs
Grit is rich in iron, which is essential for increasing hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin is vital for supplying oxygen in the body and helps in the production of red blood cells, which will transport oxygenated blood. At the same time, this process will help improve the circulatory system and will also moderate blood sugar levels.
Suppose you want to boost the immunity of your dog. In that case, it would be best to consider giving it enough grit. This meal contains various nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to calories. These minerals and nutrients are vital in body-building, eventually boosting immunity. For instance, they will help combat free radicals and promote cellular health.
Everyone wants the best for their pets so feeding them with the best and healthiest foods is a priority.
Yet, even the most nourishing foods can be risky if you do not understand moderation.
With the insights above, you know why grit is invaluable and how much to feed your dog. It ensures that your pet remains healthy for the longest time.