Rice is one of the most popular cereal grains in the world, full of carbohydrates. It is favored by people in East Asia such as China, Japan, and South Korea. “Can cats or dogs eat rice?” you may ask this question if you want to share your rice with your cat or dog. Here’s what you should know about feeding rice to cats and dogs.
Can Cats and Dogs Eat Rice?
Can cats and dogs eat rice? The answer is yes. The consensus reached by veterinarians and animal nutrition experts is that rice is safe for cats and dogs because it is not on the ASPCA cat toxic food list.
Can Cats and Dogs Eat White Rice?
Veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat or dog with white rice when it suffers from digestive diseases (such as illness and diarrhea). The fiber in rice helps cats harden their stools and regulate their digestive system. However, to make rice safer, it needs to be cooked properly (does not contain any other additives).
How About Brown Rice?
Brown rice is unprocessed white rice. It contains the entire part of the grain, including the hull, bran, and germ. It preserves the complete nutrition of rice and is rich in protein, lipid, fiber, and vitamin B1. It is healthier than white rice.
However, due to the way in which brown and white rice is processed, brown rice can be harder for a cat or a dog to digest. Therefore, brown rice is not the best choice for cats and dogs with an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Is Rice Good or Harmful for Cats and Dogs?
Rice is neither bad nor good for cats and dogs. It is a double-edged sword.
Benefits: When a cat has indigestion or gastrointestinal discomfort, adding 10-20% white rice to the food can help it promote digestion. Or you can feed it with rice porridge to help it replenish energy and water.
Drawbacks: The main ingredient of rice is carbohydrates, which has been confirmed to be related to cat overweight and diabetes. And it can’t provide cats with the nutrients they need every day, especially kittens.
Benefits: Rice contains about 75% carbohydrates, 7%-8% protein, 1.3%-1.8% fat, and is rich in B vitamins, which can supplement the nutrition of dogs. And white rice is the grain of choice for dogs with gastrointestinal discomfort.
Drawbacks: Rice contains a lot of starch. If you feed your dog with rice for a long time, the dog is prone to obesity, diabetes, bad breath, and periodontal disease.
Diet Difference Between Cats and Dogs
Compared with dogs, cats have higher nutritional requirements and need more protein and vitamin B. Long-term consumption of dog food can cause cats to become malnourished and underdeveloped. And dog food does not contain taurine, which is very important for cats’ eyesight and can also prevent cats from suffering from cardiomyopathy.
In addition, dogs are omnivores, and certain grains are often added to dog food. But cats are pure carnivores, and grains are difficult for them to digest, and there is a certain risk of sensitization, which can cause problems such as soft stools and vomiting.
All in all, cats are definitely not allowed to eat dog food, but dogs can eat cat food for a short period.
Healthy Snacks for Cats and Dogs
To be clear, cats and dogs are recommended to feed mainly pet food. Apart from feeding pet food, you can feed some common vegetables and fruits in moderation as follows:
- Eggplant, tomato, carrots, green bell peppers, spinach, pumpkin, broccoli
- Strawberry, apples, papaya, pineapple, pitaya, mango, pomegranate, and bananas
Can cats and dogs eat rice? This article has already answered. If you must feed your cat or dog with rice, please make sure that rice does not exceed 20% of the diet. In addition, it is unwise to feed rice to cats and dogs for a long time.