Today’s question: can dogs eat quinoa? Is quinoa good or bad for dogs? Scroll down for detailed answers.
A true dog lover and owner will always pay a lot of attention when it comes to his/her pet’s diet. Just as diet and exercise are important components to a healthy human body, diet and exercise are important to the body of a dog as well. Many dog owners may leave the diet of their dog up to the manufacturer of their preferred dog food, but often times dogs need a bit of a supplement added to their diet. Even dogs that may not have been deemed to be nutrient deficient may have owners wishing to create a more organic diet for their dog.
Many dog parents wonder what should their pet eat, what they should not eat, how much and how often should they need to eat? These are questions every dog owner should be able to have an answer to at all times.
Every day, new foods are discovered and they all have a certain level of nutritional facts. For instance, take quinoa. Quinoa is grainy, rice like food that is added to many dishes. Quinoa may be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, or pureed. Quinoa can be added to protein shakes, muffins, salads, and dinner dishes. This food is also being used by many as a substitute for rice. But can dogs eat quinoa? It has only been a few years since people started to consume these seeds and now the fact that whether dogs can or cannot eat them is highly debated by many nutritionists.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?
The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat quinoa.
As mentioned before, this food’s popularity is in a continuous rising process, people are looking more and more to consume foods that are as natural and as healthy as possible. Dog owners are also increasingly concerned with regards to how healthy their pets’ diet is. So, it does not really come as a shock that dog owners are also considering feeding their dogs this food.
Grains are recognized as foods with an incredible amount of nutrients and they are used widely in every kitchen. Every day, more and more people find out about the benefits of this wonder-seed and it somehow becomes instantly a part of their diets.
If you find yourself in a position where you do not really mind giving your dog occasional table scraps, then quinoa could turn out to be a really healthy treat for your pet. Rather than offering fatty leftovers, or dinner scraps loaded with salt or carbs, using quinoa as a leftover-offering substitute will only add to the overall health of your dog rather than disrupt it.
Adding quinoa into the diet of a dog is relatively easy. The quinoa is without a shell and without seeds, making the food easy to digest. The quinoa may also be mashed and pureed and then blended into dog kibble without much effort. The grain does not seem to pose a choking hazard or be a risk for intestinal blockage either.
Offering small amount of quinoa is recommended at first. Even when a food is given the ‘ok’ by your vet and does not contain any toxins, your dog may not have the intestinal fortitude to tolerate the new addition. Offering a small amount of the particular food will give you time to gauge your dog’s reaction to the food, watch for any allergic reactions, and assess the digestive temperament of your pup. If your dog does not have any reaction to a small amount of quinoa, you may begin to offer the food a bit more often, in small amounts, without much worry as to whether or not your pet will become ill.
More About Quinoa
We will start out by saying that this amazing seed has no traces of gluten and that it contains really high amounts of essential amino acids, which are kind of hard to find in any other type of foods.
If your dog has never had quinoa before, then maybe you should start by feeding it progressively. Start with small amounts and serve them occasionally. The truth is that it is kind of hard to find anything harmful about quinoa.
Most dogs will love quinoa, especially because dogs, in general, like to eat any kind of thing that is edible. Even though dogs will eat most foods, you should keep an eye on their diet when you can and incorporate higher quality foods for the dog to get into rather than any old table scrap. Moreover, this food is extremely light compared to potatoes, for instance, so your dogs can definitely eat quinoa.
Amount of only 100 g will hold numerous nutritional facts. Here are some of them:
- Calories – 372
- Carbs – 71.2 g
- Protein – 11.5 g
- Fat – 4.9 g
- Calcium – 66 mg
- Iron – 8.5 mg
- Niacin – 1.4 g
- Thiamin – 0.24 g
- Riboflavin – 0.23 g
There are different types of quinoa and each one possesses a different nutritional value. Nonetheless, the quality stays the same. The truth is that your dog does not get the chance to eat foods that are so high in nutrients and if you can get your hands on this food, you should definitely share it with your pet.
Feeding Your Dog Quinoa
Quinoa possesses a high dose of proteins and carbohydrates. If your dog is really active, this could be a great treat for him. However, as expected, not many people have given their dogs this wonder-food; the reports in regards to its efficiency are not the most conclusive ones.
If you are about to introduce quinoa to your canine companion, keep in mind that moderation is the key. As every new food that is to be ingested by your dog, it might be a bit hard for his stomach to adjust to the change. Give him small amounts at first and do it occasionally. This way, you will see if your dog ends up loving it or not.
How to Feed Quinoa to Your Dog?
Before giving it to your dog, make sure to rinse and wash the seeds thoroughly. Then, you can cook them. It is crucial that you follow this ritual every single time, because this food is usually coated in an unseen chemical named saponin. This substance is toxic, even for humans. You can just imagine what it would do to dogs!
You can sprinkle cooked quinoa on your dogs kibble or mix it in with his wet food.
Things to Remember
One thing you should keep in mind at all times is that dogs, in general, are not structured to consume plant foods. Therefore, there is a small chance of them having a reaction to the oxalates in this food.
If you decide to feed your dog quinoa, make sure to supervise it afterwards and look for any signs of trouble such as lack of appetite, drooling, vomiting, oral pain or the pawning of the mouth. This type of reaction to oxalates is mild, if not even unnoticeable.
Much debate goes into whether a human food is deemed safe and eatable by a dog. Human foods are not meant for canine consumption per se, but that does not stop most humans from offering their food to the dogs in the house. Just because a food is deemed safe and healthy for humans, does not mean the food is necessarily good for your dog. When introducing a new food to your dog, be sure to ask your vet if the food is safe for your particular dog. Foods for humans are not digested the same as with dogs, and certain dog breeds and sizes digest foods differently than others in their species. You must also research ingredients of foods before offering to your dog, jut to be sure there are not any hidden toxins in the food that could potentially harm, or kill, or your dog.
In conclusion, if cooked properly, dogs can eat quinoa. It is not economical at all, but it is very healthy, nonetheless. Also, keep in mind that even though it has high nutritional values, it still cannot replace your dog’s daily food.
Dogs need a source of meat to survive. Meat sources are generally in kibble, with occasional meat leftovers given to dogs as a treat. Outside of meat and protein sources, dogs may have fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains, but only on occasion only. Dogs may be able to utilize the vitamins and minerals found in these foods, but not the same way in which their humans do. Either way, eating a whole food rather than a cookie, biscuit, or salty snack, is a good alternative for your dog to enjoy.