Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Brown Rice--Is It Healthy For Your Cat or Dog?

Rice is one of the world’s most popular foods, is a major component of many people’s diet and often considered a “comfort” food, but should it be for your pet? It is important for us to remember that what is considered a “healthy” diet for humans does not always translate to be the same for our canine and feline companions.  Brown Rice is less processed than white rice and is produced by harvesting the seeds running the rice through a rice huller that removes the outer grain husk.  White rice has the added step of removing the germ and the inner husk which then removes even more nutrients and fiber.
Why Is Rice An Ingredient Dog and Cat Food?
Many pet food companies use rice as a “healthy” inexpensive carbohydrate that has less incident of being an allergen then other grains such as corn. It is a filler that can bring up the protein percentage on the label INSTEAD of using the more costly real meat, fish or poultry.   “Premium” brands may market the fact they use brown rice or even organic brown rice as a benefit, but the fact is, the rice is still a replacement for the real nutrition a pet needs.   Feeding brown rice and starchy carbohydrates can affect the pet's overall nutritional balance contributing to obesity, yeast overgrowth, diabetes and a weakened immune system Most pet nutritionists agree that dogs (and cats) were originally meat-eaters and although they have become more “domesticated”, this still holds true. Cats are carnivores and do not need carbohydrates while dogs thrive when their diet consists of minimal carbohydrates.

Effects of Rice on Your Pet's Health
If your pet is showing signs of itching, licking, chewing, digestive problems, urinary tract infections, hypothyroidism (dogs), hyperthyroidism (cats), upper respiratiory infections and so on (the list goes on and on), grains such as rice, no matter how wonderful they sound for you to eat, should not be a part of your pet's.  The ONLY time rice may be helpful (and even then our preference would be to feed sweet potatoes instead) is when the pet requires a low protein diet due to kidney failure or liver disease. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions where some pets seem to do just fine on diets with plenty of grains, but as a general rule, grains such as rice contribute to inflammation and an increased carbohydrate load.

Avoid Rice AND Grains In Your Pet's Food and Treats
We do not recommend feeding your pets treats or pet foods containing brown rice or any rice. Just a few examples of cat and dog food brands that contain rice:  Rachael Ray Nutrish Canidae Life Stages, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets, Nature's Recipe Limited Ingredient,  Nutro Wholesome Essentials, California Naturals Dry,  Simply Nourish, Royal Canin and Hills Prescription Diets, Purina ProPlan and many, many more.

Have A Question About Your Pet's Well Being? Read our articles about pet nutrition or email us at support@askariel.com  Please be sure to include your pet's diet on the order form at checkout and our nutritionist will include a diet suggestion for your pet on the order packing slip that comes with your product directions.