Gluten, a group of proteins which is in most cereals, causes allergic or autoimmune reactions. However, rice, similarly to corn, is one of the gluten-free cereals. They are much better for dogs (as well as for people) as they are easier to digest.
Rice is even the most valuable basic feed material of plant origin for dogs. Therefore, we can see it in their bowls very often. And not only to satisfy their hungry tummies. Besides highly digestible carbohydrates and starches, rice also contains a great number of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, E), minerals (potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, silicon, selenium, calcium and others) and 8 essential acids. It is also suitable for dogs and cats with allergies or diabetes.
Therefore, you will find it in hypo-allergenic and other special kinds of feeds. In high-quality pet food, you should only see one kind of starchy feed material (rice, corn, potatoes).
With regard to the nutrients, the best kind of rice is wholewheat. The cover layers of grains are missing in white rice, but these contain a great number of vitamins. The amount of fibre is the same; however, wholewheat rice is more difficult to digest.
If you prepare it for your dog on your own, no matter if it’s white or wholewheat rice, cook it for a long time as it makes it easier to digest. However, it is a good idea to soak it in water during a night (at least 9 hours), with a drop of lemon juice or another acidic component in a perfect case. This way, preservation enzymes are released from the grains (they prevent early germination and preserve the nutrients for growth), the grains are “activated” which increases their digestibility and the eater gets more minerals and proteins from them. It also shortens the boiling time – and boiling destroys some vitamins.
Should your pet eat rice? Personally, I like it a lot and I also give it to my pets.