Dogs and Fried Rice: Facts Vs. Myths

Have you ever wondered why your dog starts wagging its tail when you set dishes for dinner? If you pay close attention to the wagging, it’s significantly more if you’ve cooked rice. The urge to feed rice to your dog is almost irresistible but can dogs eat fried rice?

Dogs are not fussy eaters. As opposed to what they show in mainstream fiction, dogs are omnivores. Their bodies require a balanced diet of plants and meat. Either one in excess may cause upset digestion. Here’s everything you need to know about feeding any kind of rice to your dog:

Can dogs eat fried rice?

Yes, dogs can eat fried rice but in moderation. However, make sure that the fried rice doesn’t have onion, garlic, or soy sauce in it. The former two are toxic to dogs, and soy sauce contains high quantities of sodium which is harmful to your pup.

The questions arise on what type of rice, what ingredients are used, and how often should a dog eat it?

Dogs can eat pretty much everything. But it is up to the owner to keep their pet’s diet in check. Vets recommend that it is absolutely safe for dogs to eat plain rice without seasonings. In fact, it might even be healthy. Then what’s the concern?

A term as vast as “fried rice” can’t be put in a single recipe. Each household prefers a different way of cooking it. Some like it with veggies only, while others like to add different types of meats. All of them are delicious for humans, but only some are healthy for your dog.

White Vs. brown rice: Which one is better for dogs?

This is the ultimate dilemma; the debate of feeding white or brown rice to your dog!

Pet owners usually give plain white rice to their dogs when they have an upset stomach. The digested rice helps bind the stool and pass them easily. Brown rice, on the other hand, are more preferred for diabetic, obese, or young dogs.

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Brown rice contains more fiber and less glycemic index. Like diet-conscious people who prefer brown rice over white ones, dogs can also have this preference, depending on their overall health and palate. If you are still unsure which type to feed your dog, a call to a responsible vet is always the best option.

How should I give rice to my dog?

As a dog owner, you must already have a diet plan for your dog. A typical diet plan includes two meals twice a day with some treats in-between. Since your dog is already accustomed to its current food, introducing a new food item may be a bit challenging.

Here’s the formula for adding anything new to your dog’s meals; go slow and small. What does it really mean? It means that you should not go overboard with the quantity, and you must not give the new item exclusively.

Boil rice in water and do not add any spices or seasonings to it. Add a spoonful of the rice to your dog’s regular meal. Notice how your pup reacts to it. If all goes well, increase the quantity in the next meal.

You have to be sure that when adding rice to an already prepared dog meal, cut down other carbohydrates that may be present. Rice is high on carbohydrates, and we certainly don’t want an overdose.

Nutritional value of fried rice

Now that the debate between the two rice is set, it is time to ponder over the real question – what fried rice has to offer to our pet friend? As mentioned earlier, the possible health risk lies within the secondary ingredients used in making fried rice. Ingredients like onion, garlic, and soy sauce are best far away from your dog.

Below is a summary of what 137g of fried contains vs. what is recommended for an adult dog

Nutritional InfoAmountRecommended
Calories238Approx. 400 calories
Fat4.1g14g
Sodium530mg200mg
Carbohydrates45g30-40% of a meal
Fiber1.5g25-35g
Sugars0.8g
Protein5.5g25-30g
Vitamin A7.6%379μg
Vitamin C8.7%
Calcium1.3%1g
Iron5%7.5mg

It is clear at a glance that a traditional fried rice recipe might contain some nasty elements for your dog in excess. That is exactly why we need to address the dark side of humble fried rice.

Fried rice for dogs: Ingredients to avoid

There is only one ingredient in a traditional fried rice recipe that you should avoid at all costs. Yes, you guessed that right, it’s sodium. Salt/sodium is also called a “white poison”. Excessive use of either is harmful to both humans and canines.

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Soy sauce and MSG are other ingredients that have high amounts of sodium. Chinese takeaways have these in heaps. While you may enjoy the flavor, we don’t recommend that you feed these to your dog.

Too much sodium can cause your dog to get high blood pressure. High blood pressure levels are not fun since it results in seizures, diarrhea, and in worst cases, death.

Onions and garlic are also added to fried rice sometimes. These two vegetables contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide, which is toxic to dogs. Never give these vegetables to your pup.

Complications of overfeeding fried rice to your dog

So far, we have maintained that your dog can eat fried rice in controlled quantities. But it is also important to know why an overdose can be harmful to your dog.

If you feed your dog loads of fried rice, it will start vomiting after a couple of weeks. This condition is known as pancreatitis. Let’s have a closer look.

Pancreatitis                   

Pancreatitis is a digestive disorder that can be severe if not treated on time. In dogs, it may be caused by high-fat levels in the body. Excessive fat hinders the functionality of the pancreas resulting in poor digestion. Diabetic dogs may also suffer from pancreatitis.

While a high-fat diet is one of the many reasons behind pancreatitis, it is not the only one. Some dogs have genetic tendencies to get a poor pancreas, while others suffer due to obesity. Either way, your dog’s diet plays an important role in maintaining its overall health.

Symptoms

Your dog might show the following symptoms if it’s suffering from pancreatitis:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting

If you see any of the above symptoms after shifting to a rice-based diet, visit your vet as soon as possible.

Precautions to take before feeding your dog

You don’t have to be super alert by now and question everything you ever fed to your precious dog. All you have to do is be responsible for the next time so that your dog enjoys the best of food. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Avoid adding salt or any other ingredient to your dog’s food.
  2. Boil the rice without salt. You can also steam them.
  3. The lesser the amount of fat the food has, the healthier it is for the dog
  4. Make sure that the food is soft enough for your dog to chew.
  5. Don’t give raw meat to your dog with any meal.
  6. Avoid artificial flavors unless your dog’s vet approves them.
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Healthy dog-friendly recipe for fried rice

At this point, you might be in the trials phase of modifying your dog’s diet. We can imagine you planning various fried rice recipes for your dog in your head. Now that you know what ingredients to avoid, it is fairly easy to come up with a perfect recipe. Look no further; we’ll give you a hand:

Ingredients

  • Olive oil – 1 tsp
  • Scrambled egg – 1 (optional)
  • Boiled or steamed rice – ¼ cup
  • Minced chicken – ¼ cup (optional)
  • Chopped carrots – 1 tsp
  • Chopped broccoli – 1 tsp
  • Boiled peas – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Cook a soft scrambled egg and set it aside. If your dog is not fond of eggs, you can skip this step altogether.
  2. Take a pan and heat some olive oil. Once hot, cook the chicken mince until it is no longer raw and there is no water remaining in the pan.
  3. Add veggies and cook until they are soft.
  4. Add the rice and mix everything well. Let it steam for a couple of minutes.
  5. Once done, dish out and let the fried rice cool down before serving it to your pup.

Tip: While chicken is a great way of getting protein, you can skip it once in a while and swap it with another protein.

Related FAQs to fried rice and dogs

Can dogs have Chinese fried rice?

Dogs should avoid eating Chinese takeaways as they are high in sodium and MSG.

Can dogs eat fried food?

No, you should never share any fried food with your dogs. The high fats put them at risk of getting pancreatitis.

Are vegetables bad for dogs?

Onion and garlic are toxic for dogs. Vegetables containing high fibers are good for your dog.

Can dogs eat raw meat?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat, but you should consult the vet first. Dogs’ digestive systems are built to digest raw meat. However, try to feed your pup cooked meat more often.

Can dogs eat fried rice with soy sauce?

No, dogs should never eat fried rice with soy sauce. Soy sauce has very high quantities of sodium which is toxic for dogs.

Can dogs eat garlic fried rice?

No, avoid feeding your dog garlic fried rice. Garlic contains N-propyl disulfide, which is toxic to dogs.

Concluding our thoughts on whether dogs can eat fried rice!

Your dog can enjoy a lot of human foods with you. The only thing you should be careful about is the amount that you feed your dog and the ingredients inside the meal. That is why you should cook your dog’s version of fried rice or any other human food from scratch so that your dog can have a delicious yet healthy meal. Happy feeding!

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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