Quinoa has been raging in popularity for its gluten-free benefits. Many people choose to have quinoa in replace of rice. Can dogs eat quinoa in their food? Today we are going to explore this topic in more detail and see if you can add quinoa to your dog’s food or feed it to your dog by itself.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa
Yes, dogs can enjoy cooked, not raw quinoa in small amounts. As you may already know, dogs can not handle gluten well at all, and quinoa is one of those foods that is completely gluten-free.
Quinoa also contains a great deal of amino acids, which is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog. It is loaded with a ton of vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, and even antioxidants.
You may have even noticed some brands of dog food companies are actually incorporating quinoa into their dog’s food. So, if that doesn’t tell you that this is a superfood, then I don’t know what will.
You will still have to keep an eye out for allergies if it is your dog’s first time-consuming quinoa. If your dog does develop an allergy to them, most likely, your dog will not get to enjoy this food anymore.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa Raw?
Yes, dogs can eat quinoa raw, but it is strongly not recommended. Quinoa is essentially a seed, and there is an outside covering that is actually very bitter tasting. When the quinoa gets cooked, the shell actually comes off and becomes very soft and not bitter.
Some dog food companies leave the quinoa raw, which can make the food have a different taste. If you cook the quinoa, it will be more tolerable and milder for your dog.
Benefits of Your Dog Eating Quinoa
There are a few benefits your dog will gain if they eat quinoa in their food; they are:
- Quinoa does not have any gluten in it, so it is much healthier for dogs.
- Quinoa is also high in insoluble fiber and has no trans-fat.
- It contains all the essential vitamins, such as vitamin B as well as other antioxidants.
- Some of the antioxidants in the quinoa can also have healing properties, such as reducing free radical causing cancer.
- Quinoa can boost your dog’s cardiovascular system, which will make their heart healthier.
- Another great benefit is that quinoa can reduce inflammation inside your dog. This can help if your dog suffers from arthritis or even severe joint pain.
- Very low calories count and also contains some protein.
How to Make Quinoa for Your Dog
You will not want to give your dog the quinoa that you have cooked for yourself. More than likely, you have cooked the quinoa with oils and spices inside it that would not be good for your dog to digest.
Before making the quinoa, you will need to rinse it very well to remove any dirt from it. Then you are going to want to boil the quinoa with one-part quinoa and two-parts liquid just like rice.
You can cook the quinoa with just water, or you can use a broth such as chicken or beef. You can even use a special broth made just for dogs, too, but it will add up the cost to make your dish.
Once you notice that all the water or broth has fully evaporated from the quinoa, you can fluff it with a fork and remove it from the hot container. Let it cool for a little while before serving it to your dog.
You can choose to give it to your dog slightly warm or cold and either by itself or mixed win with your dog’s food. I do suggest mixing it with some of your dog’s dry or wet food to stretch it over a few meals.
You can search for specific quinoa dog food recipes to get more ideas.
Signs of Allergic Reactions to Watch out for
Not all dogs will be able to eat and enjoy quinoa; some dogs just have sensitivities to different foods. Here are a few things you can watch out for to see if your dog may have an allergy to quinoa.
Suppose you notice your dog acting strange or itching like crazy, then your dog could be having an allergic reaction to the quinoa. Check your dog for rashes and stop giving them the quinoa. If the rash begins to get worse, you can contact your local vet.
If you have fed your dog quinoa for the first time and they vomit back up their food. Clean it up and take the rest of the food away. Don’t give your dog anymore until you figure out the exact reason for the vomiting from your vet.
Drooling can be another significant sign that your dog may be allergic to quinoa. If you notice your dog to be excessively drooling, you should stop giving the food to your dog.
Does your dog seem to not be hungry for their next meal? Did they eat quinoa for the first time earlier? Well, another sign of something being wrong could be the fact that your dog has suddenly lost its appetite. You will want to talk to your dog’s local vet right away to figure out what the problem is.
I am not saying that if your dog eats quinoa that they will end up with some of these symptoms. I’m not saying that at all. I just want you to be aware of what could happen if your dog does have an allergy to it.
How Much Quinoa Should You Feed Your Dog?
You will want to start off slow when feeding your dog quinoa. Start with a small amount added into your dog’s food to see how your dog will handle it. Quinoa should always be added with other components such as dog dry food or even chicken.
If you ever want to know an exact amount, you can seek advice from your local veterinarian, and they will be able to guide you into the right direction.
So, we answered that question that yes, dogs can eat quinoa. Start your dog off with small amounts to get them used to the taste. You can mix the quinoa with regular dry dog food, or you can use homemade dog food! Go ahead and cook your dog up some plain quinoa for them to try!