Can Dogs Eat Barley? Everything You Need to Know!

Barley is one of the most nutritious grains rich in protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates. It is well known to have positive effects on the health and lifestyle of human beings. But, can you say the same for dogs? Can dogs eat barley?

Choosing a healthy diet for your dog is quite essential. Moderate proportions of different foods must be used to keep your little buddy in good shape. So, wanting to feed your dog barley counts as a good thought (Everyone loves their pets, right?).

Can dogs eat barley?

Yes, dogs can eat barley but in measured proportions. Too much barley will have a negative impact on your dog’s health. Keep the ratio a little less than 10 percent of your dog’s weekly food intake.

There are many ways to serve your dog barley. You can mix it with other foods to make it tasty. Try out different combinations and see what your dog likes to eat better.

Barley benefits for dogs

Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fibers that ensure smooth bowel function and prevent constipation in dogs. Decent amounts of vitamin B and E are also present; they maintain energy levels, healthy brain function, and significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack.

A barley diet is also good for diabetic dogs. It controls glucose levels in the blood, thus keeping the sugar levels in check. If your pet dog is obese, you can make use of barley to help it lose some weight.

Packed with selenium, barley can boost your dog’s immunity and protect against harmful thyroid infections. The cereal grain has antioxidant manganese to guard the body against harmful toxins. It also keeps cholesterol levels low.

How often can dogs eat barley?

Excessive use of anything is bad. The same goes for barley. Sure, it has fair amounts of health benefits for your pooch, but you need to take some precautions. High usage of barley can lead to stomach upset, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

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You should give barley in moderation to your dog. Make a diet plan that ensures that barley makes up for ten percent of your dog’s total weekly food consumption.

Barley for dogs with allergies

Cereal grains of the grass family can provoke allergies. Gluten allergy is very common in dogs. Barley contains a vast amount of gluten and can easily trigger gluten intolerance. So, if your dog has gluten sensitivity or any other allergies, you should avoid feeding it barley.

If you feed your dog barley, and it starts showing symptoms like itching, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, etc., your dog likely has a gluten allergy. Consult a veterinarian immediately.

Easy barley recipes for dogs

Your dog may not develop a liking towards plain served raw barley. You can change that by using some recipes that incorporate barley with other foods. These barley recipes will make a delicious yet healthy meal for your beloved pet.

Recipe 1: Barley boiled in water

The simplest and easiest way to prepare homemade dog food with barley is to cook it in water. The meal, however, would be flavorless, so there’s a chance your dog may not want to eat it.

  • Add two cups of barley to 4 cups of water and boil.
  • Once it starts boiling, lower the temperature and stir for around 30 minutes. If you’re using hulled barley, increase the stirring time to 45 minutes.
  • Add more water if the pot starts to dry out.
  • Once the tenderness starts to appear, the barley is cooked and ready to be served.

If your dog weighs over 50 pounds, use three cups of barley instead of two. The best part about this recipe? You don’t have to be a good cook to prepare it. 

Recipe 2: Chicken, veggies, and barley

The best way to make your dog eat barley happily is to cook it with chicken and vegetables. We recommend using pearled barley for this recipe.

  • Boil 1 cup of pearled barley in three cups of water for 45 minutes. 
  • Cook three carrots, half a cup of beans, and one pound of chicken together in a separate pot. Keep the seasoning minimum as spices are not good for dogs.
  • Finally, mix the barley and chicken mixture and stir for 5 minutes.
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Here you have it, an easy-to-cook barley meal your dog will love. You can freeze the recipe to preserve it. It would be enough to feed your dog for about one month.

Recipe 3: Barley biscuits

All dogs love treats. Barley biscuits can serve as a nutritious snack for your dog. Making biscuits sounds hefty, but the actual process is quite simple.

  • Mix 4 cups of soaked barley with 3 cups flour, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of peanut butter.
  • Use a shape cutter to make your desired shapes. 
  • Bake the biscuits at a temperature of 350°F for about an hour.
  • Take the biscuits out, separate them, and put them back in the oven. Set the temperature to 250°F and dry them out for 3 to 5 hours. Keep in mind to stir every 1 hour.
  • Once ready, take the biscuits out and store them in a dish or a plastic bag.

Feed your dog some of the tasty biscuits and freeze the rest. The biscuits will be good to eat for about 1 week.

Related FAQs to dogs and barley!

Does barley have gluten?

Barley has up to 8 percent gluten in it. It can be harmful to gluten-sensitive dogs. Get your dog checked for gluten allergy before feeding it barley. Get your dog checked for gluten allergy before feeding it barley.

Can barley cause gas in dogs?

Yes, barley can be a cause of flatulence and can make your dog gassy. All soluble fiber produce gas as a by-product during digestion. Since barley is a soluble fiber it will contribute to flatulence.

Is barley hard to digest for dogs?

Barley is easy for dogs to digest as long as it’s consumed in small amounts and infrequently. The fiber present in barley will make the digestive tract healthy, thus improving its function.

Is rice or barley better for dogs?

When it comes to rich fiber content, barley is the clear winner. However, rice would be better to use if your dog is allergic to barley or does not enjoy eating it.

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Final words on whether dogs can eat barley!

Barley is safe for your dog to consume if used in a modest amount with some precautions. A balanced diet plan which includes barley recipes will decrease the risk of various diseases in dogs.

If your dog does not suffer from any allergies, you can start including a small amount of barley in its daily food intake and gradually increase the volume. 

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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