Chicken and rice are probably the most popular foods that people feed their dogs. Because of its high protein content and low allergy rate, people are always curious about how much is appropriate to have in their dog’s diet.
A meal of both chicken and rice is known to have many beneficial effects for dogs, especially if a dog has stomach issues.
With the correct occasional amount supplemented in a dog’s diet, it may have positive effects on a dog’s overall digestive health. Some of these benefits include helping stop diarrhea, help repair muscle, and other digestive benefits.
Because of its abundance and ease of cooking, chicken and rice might be an easy way to help dogs recover faster and fix tummy issues.
But how much chicken and rice should you feed your dog?
Studies have shown that there may be many benefits of chicken and rice in a dog’s diet if done wisely. This article goes through the scientific benefits of chicken and rice for dogs, along with how much to feed.
Rice For Dogs: The Proper Portion
Rice alone is a bountiful source of vitamin D, fiber, and iron for your pup. Vitamin D in rice regulates calcium and phosphorous levels.
Iron helps form hemoglobin, the oxygen-rich molecule in red blood cells. Feeding your dog rice is an easy way to help deliver these nutrients.
Like humans, many dogs suffer from gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. This food intolerance can result in stomach upset, rashes, and diarrhea.
Unfortunately, many cheaper dog foods can contain gluten in different forms. This is because gluten based flours are plentiful and very cost effective.
Since it is naturally gluten-free, rice is a great carbohydrate alternative to gluten based dog foods.
However, rice fed in high amounts daily should probably not be a part of your dog’s diet. A recent study by the British Veterinary Association states that dogs who had an abundance of rice in their diet showed higher levels of arsenic in their hair[*].
This study compared a group of dogs with no rice in their diet with a group that had very high amounts of rice in their diet. The findings concluded that the levels of arsenic in the group with high rice consumption was significantly higher than the group with no rice.
It is important to note that the rice-fed group had extremely high amounts of rice in their diet. Also, while arsenic is a well known toxin, it is naturally present in other food too, such as pears, apples, and grapes.
In conclusion, rice in small amounts may be beneficial for your dog, but it should not be the number one ingredient in their dog food.
Chicken For Dogs: Benefits
A reasonable dog owner always wants to make sure that their dog is well fed. But a dog in the modern era may have food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.
When a dog becomes has these factors, they can risk having unhealthy weight loss, diarrhea and reduced energy. This can can lead to malnutrition, weakness, and other health disorders.
So how can chicken help your dog?
Chicken happens to be one of the least common allergens to dogs. According to a study by BMC Veterinary Research, only 15% of dogs have an adverse reaction to consuming chicken[*].
Chicken also has a complete amino acid profile. What does this mean?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When chicken reaches your dog’s stomach, hydrochloric acid and enzymes break it down into smaller chains of amino acids.
From your stomach, these smaller chains of amino acids move into the small intestine. Protein absorption happens in your small intestine, which has thousands of villi and microvilli.
These small digestive structures increase the overall absorption area of your small intestine. Amino acids from protein are then dispersed from there to help repair tissue all over the body.
Another benefit of chicken is that it is also packed with essential nutrients, but not very calorie dense. A medium-sized skinless cooked chicken breast has about 50 grams of protein, and has around 280 calories.
This means that an active dog can consume a lot of chicken, and may not be as susceptible to gaining weight.
Since chicken has a complete amino acid profile and does not have an abundance of calories, it is considered a healthy staple in a dogs diet.
Chicken and Rice: The Proper Amount
When a dog eats something that upsets their stomach, a few days of feeding them chicken and rice may put a stop to their ailment. However, we need to understand that not all methods of cooking are created equal.
You should not pan fry or deep fry chicken that you will serve your dog. This excess fat can lead to further gastrointestinal problems, as well as make the protein too hard for them to properly digest in an already inflamed intestinal tract.
So what is the best way to cook chicken and rice for dogs?
The best, most effective way to cook chicken for your dog is to boil it. Follow these steps below:
- Use boneless, skinless, thin-sliced chicken breast. Thin-sliced will reduce cooking times. You want to stay away from chicken thighs because of the excess fat. This may further upset your dog’s stomach.
- Fill a deep pot with water, and bring to a rolling boil. Using tongs, slowly lower each chicken breast into the boiling water. After a couple of minutes, cut one of the chicken breasts in half to ensure that it is cooked through.
- Remove chicken from the pot and let it cool for approximately 20 minutes. Set Aside.
For the rice:
- For digestive purposes, only use white rice. Brown rice has a high fiber content, and may upset your dog’s already sensitive stomach.
- Bring water to a boil, and prepare white rice according to package.
- Remove from heat, let cool completely.
Never serve hot food to your dog. You want both the chicken and the rice to bee cool before serving to your pup.
To aid in digestion, you want to aim for 1 1/2 - 2 cups of rice to 1 cup of chicken. The increased amount of rice will help stop any further diarrhea. If diarrhea continues for a long period of time, contact your veterinarian.
The Bottom Line
Feeding your dog chicken and rice may be an effective way to reduce upset stomach symptoms, but should not be done for more than a couple of days, or until symptoms disappear.
Avoiding cheap dog foods made with by-products may be a good start to prevent digestive issues in dogs. Look for a dog food with chicken as the #1 ingredient. Here is a high quality dog food that we recommend.
As long as you don’t feed your dog substantial amounts of rice every day, it is a safe and healthy option in small amounts.