Cooked grains offer an inexpensive way to pamper your pet with all-natural, healthy whole foods. Double the amount of grains you make when cooking for yourself, then save the rest for Fido. Your dog may not love every type of grain, but he'll probably come to enjoy several common grains.
Cooked grains offer vitamins, minerals and health benefits. Whole grains contain vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. Carbohydrates like grains can form up to 50 percent of your dog's diet. If you normally feed one cup in the morning and one at night, grains can make up 1/2 cup of each meal.
Your dog can eat many types of grains, some of which you may already have around the house. Grains suitable for pup consumption include oatmeal, bulgur, barley, cornmeal, millet, white and brown rice, white or wheat couscous, wheat berries, amaranth, quinoa, spelt and popcorn.
Unlike cows and horses, dogs cannot process uncooked grains. Dogs have shorter intestinal tracks than livestock, so they need the grains to be partially digested. The cooking process performs this partial digestion. When cooking your grains, follow the directions on the package. Oatmeal has a much shorter cooking time, for example, than brown rice.
When preparing cooked grains for your pup, take care not to add ingredients that are bad for dogs. You may love your oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, but too much sugar is bad for your dog and raisins are potentially toxic. Foods to stay away from include excess salt, garlic, onions, grapes and macadamia nuts. Your vet can answer any additional questions regarding safe and unsafe foods. Speak to her before making any major changes to your dog's diet.
- Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- Cesar's Way: Dog Approved People Foods
- Grain Foods Foundation: Health Benefits of Grains
A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.