If Buddy's belly has been rumbling, it may benefit from a break offered by a bland diet. Rice is an important addition to such diets, but it also can be part of his regular menu. Though dogs don't require carbohydrates such as rice, rice can be an important energy source.
Rice Isn't All Bad
Dogs and cats don't really need carbohydrates in their diets. According to Dr. Ron Hines, though dogs can survive on mostly meat diets, most do better on a mixed diet. As he notes, in the past 30,000 years, dogs have eaten similarly to humans. This means Buddy's ancestors were noshing on grain, seeds, fruits and vegetables in addition to meat. Dogs tend to be more tolerant of rice than of corn, wheat and soy. Rice also adds value with protein, phosphorus and iron. In proper amounts, it's OK for dogs to eat rice.
Bland Rice Diet
If Buddy's been having a bit of gastric distress, a bland diet may give his stomach a break. The Greenbriar Animal Hospital recommends combining 1 cup of raw white long-grain rice, a half-pound hamburger, ground chicken or turkey and bringing it to a boil in six cups of water. After it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes before serving and refrigerate any unused portions. Feeding amounts and instructions are listed on the hospital's website. A few things are important to note, however. If Buddy doesn't get better in three days, or if he gets worse in the next 24 hours, he should see his vet. The bland rice diet is intended to be a temporary diet and shouldn't be fed for more than a week or two. It's not balanced or complete, so long-term feeding could result in more problems for Buddy.
Daily Diet With Rice
Dr. Ron Hines recommends a diet of 20 to 45 percent protein, 5 to 10 percent fat and 20 to 35 percent carbohydrates. The Whole Dog Journal recommends that grains, including rice, and starchy vegetables should be limited to half of Buddy's diet. If Buddy is fighting the battle to maintain a trim waistline, he may have greater success at the lower end of the carbohydrate scale. Dr. Michael Fox's website suggests mixing in a pot: uncooked whole grain rice, one tablespoon butter, one tablespoon wheat germ, one tablespoon cider vinegar, one tablespoon of calcium carbonate, one teaspoon brewer's yeast and one pound lean ground beef or lamb. Cover the mixture with water, simmer and stir, adding more water as necessary until it's cooked. While still hot, stir in a cup of raw, grated carrots, yam or sweet potato. Add one tablespoon flax seed oil after the mix has cooled and pat into patties. One cup will serve a 30-pound pup; the rest can be portioned and frozen to be used as needed.
Mixing it Up
Though you may love rice, you'd probably get bored eating it every day. One of the great things about cooking for your pooch is the flexibility you have in providing a little variety in his diet. Oatmeal, barley, quinoa and pasta all can be substituted for rice. Cottage cheese can fill in for meat, and, of course, you can switch meats, trying chicken one time and lamb another. Do your homework and make sure whatever ingredients you decide to use that Buddy's getting all the nutrition he needs in the long run.