Let’s answer one of the most asked questions today — can dogs eat rice cakes?
Rice cakes originated in Asia, and every culture has its unique ways of preparing these toothsome snacks. Since rice cakes are surprisingly delicious and filling, it didn’t take long for these goodies to explode in popularity and tickled the American tastebuds!
As a pet parent, I know you want your fur kid to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as the good ol’ rice cake. But at the same time, you want to make sure what you put in your dog’s mouth will not do him more harm than good. The feeling is all too common!
So, can dogs eat rice cakes? If yes, which ones? Read on! I’m pretty sure your tail-wagging buddy is eager to know the answer, as well.
Can Dogs Eat Rice Cakes?
Yes, dogs can eat rice cakes. Rice, which is the main ingredient, is in fact a safe and healthy ingredient used in dry dog food. If you check the list of ingredients of any reputable dog food brand, you are sure to come across the mention of rice among other cereal grains.
Are Rice Cakes Healthy for Dogs?
Rice cakes come in many forms and they vary in flavor, texture, and viscosity. While these snacks can vary widely, all recipes use minimalist ingredients with the most critical ones being rice flour and water. But compared to traditional Asian rice cakes, such as the Japanese mochi and Filipino puto, American rice cakes are a different tale.
American rice cakes are rather hard and crunchy as opposed to the soft and glutinous Asian varieties. Best known as puffed rice cakes, these treats are made by heating pre-gelatinized rice grains under high pressure, followed by pressing them together to form a firm plate. Back in the days, people would call this type of treats “food shot from guns.”
What’s healthy about these rice cakes?
Provides a Quick Energy Boost
Rice cakes supply highly digestible carbohydrates, along with small amounts of B vitamins, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Carbohydrates play an integral part in the modern canine diet. In fact, an adult dog’s diet consists of 50% carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine into simple sugars called glucose. These molecules are released immediately into the bloodstream, providing your pooch with the fuel he needs to keep going. The excess sugars will then be stored as glycogen in the liver which your dog can use at a later time.
Supplies Fiber for Good Digestion
Rice cakes provide fiber which aids in digestion and intestinal motility, especially when brown rice is used. Brown rice isn’t as processed as white rice. As such, it holds more fiber and protein than its pale counterpart. This high fiber content of brown rice also helps alleviate constipation.
No Added Sodium or Artificial Flavors
Rice cakes do not contain a bewildering list of additives and derivatives because essentially, these snacks are made of whole grains and air! To ensure you are giving your pet the healthiest form of rice cakes, you’ll need to make one at home, instead of buying commercially available products. Besides, these snacks tend to be affordable and a cinch to make.
Precautions to Take
Rice cakes will send your dog’s ears ringing with a satisfying crunch. While it doesn’t hurt your pooch, it is wise to take some precautions to ensure the health of your beloved canine.
- Never give your dog rice cakes dusted with salt and flavor crystals or those lathered with sinfully calorie-rich toppings, such as caramel and chocolate. The flavored varieties are always a big no-no, as the added ingredients may cause toxicity or speed up unhealthy weight gain.
- Many commercially available rice cakes contain preservatives to extend shelf life. Always check the fine print of each packet should you choose to buy them from the grocery store.
- Note that while the vast majority of dogs are fine on a diet containing rice, your pooch might belong in the minority that is intolerant to grains.
- It is best to avoid feeding young puppies rice cakes as they might find the hard treats difficult to digest.
- Puffed rice cakes are often disk-shaped for easy snacking, but since they are intended for human consumption, you can’t find them sized according to your pet. Therefore, you’ll need to break the cakes into smaller, bite-sized pieces, lest it will pose a choking hazard.
- Do not feed your dog with Korean rice cakes called tteok or any variety that is heavily spiced. You can only give your dog plain rice cakes.
- Any food that can be quickly converted to sugar ranks high on the glycemic index. As such, rice cakes can spike up blood glucose if taken in large quantities. Hence, rice cakes might not be the best snack for a diabetic pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Rice Krispies Treats?
Rice Krispies treats can be fun for you and your pooch to share, albeit in moderation. Since these goodies are paw lickin’ good, you use them as high-value rewards during training. Note that while these treats won’t do your dog harm, it is a surefire way to spike up blood glucose levels. Always keep portions small.
Make Rice Cakes Healthier and Flavorful
Homemade rice cakes are better options than the ones you can buy in-store. Cooked with love, you can be sure they don’t contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, and whatnot.
Then again, even homemade ones aren’t nutrient-dense. Aside from carbohydrates and fiber, they are pretty much devoid of anything else. Hence, you’ll want to add peanut butter or some fruit jam to give this bland snack added flavor and nutrition.
Can dogs eat rice cakes? Absolutely! Rice cakes, regardless of whether it’s chewy, sticky, or crunchy, are usually safe for canine consumption.
While flavored varieties are available, you’ll want to stick with the most basic kind. Plain rice cakes, particularly homemade ones, are the safest choice for your pets since you can be sure it doesn’t include unnecessary ingredients.
To always stay on the safe side, you’ll want to give these goodies in small quantities and make sure to break them up so that Doggo will not choke.