Quinoa is always on the list of healthy grains. It has almost all the nutrients that we need, like vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, calcium, etc. As caring guardians, we would like to offer these nutrients to our dogs. But can dogs have quinoa?
Luckily, dogs can enjoy the health benefits of quinoa like any other dog food. Although this food is healthy, you must let your dog eat it in moderation and occasionally. Alongside this, there are many safety concerns that we need to follow to ensure the safety of our dogs when eating quinoa. So stay tuned to unravel some more facts about quinoa and dogs.
Can Dogs Have Quinoa?
Like rice, corn, and wheat, quinoa is also a safe grain for dogs. We won’t say that it has no toxic compounds. It has a chemical (saponin) that can be harmful to dogs. But the compound is so small in quinoa that dogs can hardly face trouble from it. That’s why you should always feed this grain to dogs in small quantities or moderation. Moreover, cook it to allow easy digestion for your pet.
Benefits Of Having Quinoa For Dogs
Quinoa can offer numerous health benefits to our canine friends when they consume it in the proper quantity. For instance, this whole grain contains B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
The B vitamins can help your dog with cell growth, brain function, digestion, vision, the nervous system, and so on. Vitamin E will take care of their oxidative stress, skin health, coat health, etc. This vitamin again contains antioxidant properties that keep the damage from free radicals at bay.
The iron present in quinoa will promote your dog’s haemoglobin level and body growth. On the other hand, his calcium will manage his bone health. The potassium will maintain his fluid levels, and the magnesium will regulate his blood sugar level. Besides, the manganese in quinoa will improve dogs’ metabolism and digestion and protect them from osteoporosis and thyroid issues.
With phosphorus, quinoa can keep your dog’s kidneys, brain, bones, and hormones healthy. The zinc will improve his body, memory, and growth and prevent inflammation. Lastly, the copper in quinoa will promote dogs’ immunity, iron absorption, blood circulation, and healthy skin.
Along with vitamins and minerals, quinoa is rich in fibre, carbs, fatty acids, and amino acids. Fibre can regulate dogs’ digestive systems, and carbs will give them energy. Meanwhile, the fatty acids and amino acids will properly function in their body organs and protect them from diseases.
Risks Of Having Quinoa For Dogs
Eating quinoa can sometimes be risky for dogs, especially when they eat it too much. This whole grain contains a chemical compound called saponin. This compound is harmful to both humans and animals. But eating quinoa does harm most often since we eat it in moderation. Besides, the amount of saponin in this whole grain is much less. If a dog eats too much quinoa, he is indirectly consuming too much saponin. This can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, an upset stomach, etc.
As said earlier, quinoa is rich in carbs and fibre. Carbs are not necessary for dogs, as they rely on animal protein. However, small amounts of carbs are healthy for them. The problem arises when they consume too many carbs, which can happen from eating too much quinoa. When carbs are stored, they turn into sugar, which can put weight on dogs. As a result, an overweight dog can have obesity, and an obese dog can have diabetes. Like too many carbs, too much fibre is not good for them. This can be a leading cause of upset stomachs.
Quinoa can also pose health threats to our paw friends when they eat it raw. Raw quinoa can stress a dog’s stomach as he can’t digest it. Besides, the saponin level is high in raw quinoa, which can give dogs bonus side effects.
How To Feed Quinoa To Dogs?
To deliver the benefits of quinoa to your dog, make sure you prepare it safely. As said earlier, quinoa has a chemical called saponin that can harm dogs. That’s why it is important to rinse them first to lower this chemical compound. Then cook the food by boiling or steaming it, but don’t add any ingredients, like salt and spices. Keep the treat completely bland.
Don’t think the quinoa is prepared safely; now your dog can have all of them. Well, no, you need to first introduce this food to your paw friend. For example, you can feed him quinoa with ¼ of a teaspoon. If he is eating it comfortably and giving vibes to eat some more, you can feed him another ¼ of a teaspoon of quinoa. On the contrary, if he gives any negative vibes after eating this dish, stop feeding him right there.
How Much Quinoa Can Dogs Have?
In our house, children eat less than adults. It is because they can’t eat as much as adults can. The reason is that their stomachs and all body organs are smaller than adults. The same goes for our canine friends. A small breed can’t have as much quinoa or any foods as large breeds can. That’s why you need to decide the proportion of feeding this grain based on their size.
Well, the comfortability of dogs is also a deciding factor in how much quinoa they can have. But the maximum amount of it depends on their size.
An extra-small breed, like pugs, can eat one teaspoon of quinoa. Again, small breeds, like Basenjis, can eat two tablespoons of quinoa. Medium dogs, like Basset Houndscan, can eat two tablespoons of quinoa. Large dogs, like Pit Bulls, can have three tablespoons of it, and extra-large dogs, like Newfoundlands, can have up to four tablespoons.
When Can Dogs Have Quinoa?
Dogs should eat quinoa when they don’t have enough carbs and fibre in their diet. But if they have this nutrient in their regular meals, they can avoid quinoa. The high amounts of carbs can be problematic for a diabetic dog. So make sure your dog is not diabetic or overweight before letting him eat this whole grain.
Apart from all these, you can only serve quinoa to dogs when their vets are okay with it.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Can dogs eat quinoa every day?
According to veterinarians, quinoa should not be a regular meal for dogs. It is a whole grain that dogs shouldn’t eat every day. You can let them eat it twice or three times a week.
Which quinoa is safe for dogs?
Quinoas that are white and red are the safest options for dogs. They contain almost all the necessary nutrients that our canine friends need.
Is quinoa safe for dogs with allergies?
Well, it is unexpected that quinoa can trigger allergies in dogs. However, dogs who can’t withstand plant-based foods may get reactions from eating quinoa.
What is better for dogs: rice or quinoa?
Both rice and quinoa are safe for dogs in moderation. However, quinoa can be a better option as it contains more nutrients than rice.
Unfortunately, quinoa offers some health risks along with some health benefits. Hence, many of us may think again, Can dogs have quinoa? The answer is yes; it should be in moderation unless the dog has allergies, an upset stomach, is diabetic or overweight, and should have his vet’s approval.
Whenever you feed this healthy treat to your dog, don’t add any salt, spices, or seasoning during the preparation. Consuming these ingredients can be as harmful as eating too much quinoa for dogs.