Quinoa is one of the healthiest food options available as it is packed with rich nutrients and great health benefits. Though it is quite beneficial for the human health, one of the major questions that pet owners ask for their pup is «can dogs eat quinoa»? If you too have a dog at home and you are looking for some healthy options to consider, then this article is for you!
Can dogs eat quinoa?
Quinoa is safe for your dog to eat. It is gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber and many nutrients. Quinoa is a good source of vitamin B6, thiamine, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. If feeding quinoa, make sure to cook it first. Serve it plain, without any additional seasoning or ingredients that may be harmful to your dog, such as salt, garlic, or onion. Some dogs may have difficulty digesting quinoa so serve in moderation or it can lead to stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Quinoa is relatively high in oxalic acid so if your dog is prone to calcium oxalate stones, avoid quinoa. Quinoa also contains a bitter tasting chemical, saponin, that coats the seed and may irritate your dog’s stomach. Rinsing quinoa before cooking removes most of the saponin.
Health benefits of quinoa for dogs
Quinoa is packed with protein, carbohydrates, essential amino acids, fiber, essential vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and more. So, it is quite evident that quinoa is a healthy option for your pup.
- Provides antioxidants: The quinoa can offer some antioxidants to your pup which is quite beneficial for their health. The antioxidants help in better healing of the dogs too in case they are injured.
- Strong bones and muscles: As quinoa contains protein, calcium and other essential nutrients, it can help in better development and growth of muscles and bones.
- Better skin and fur: Overall, quinoa can also help in improving the skin, as well as the fur quality of your pup. You can see a drastic change in their skin and hair quality once you start providing quinoa as a part of their diet.
- Improved immune system: The best part of the health benefits of quinoa is that it can improve the overall immune system of your pup which can help in fighting against all the germs, bacteria and viruses successfully.
Why quinoa can be bad for dogs?
As quinoa is 100% gluten free, it is completely safe and healthy for your dog. However, quinoa seeds contain a compound named oxalates. This can cause some digestive issues in some dogs. In fact, it can be quite bad for the arthritic dogs as oxalates can increase the inflammation of bones and joints causing more pain. So, it is better to avoid quinoa if your dog as arthritis. If your dog has digestive issues, then consult with a vet first before feeding them quinoa.
How to feed quinoa to dogs?
Never give plain quinoa seeds to your dog. Make sure to cook quinoa the right way to make it easier for the dogs to digest it.
What foods can you give to your dog instead of quinoa?
Some of the best foods that you can give are:
- Brown rice (best alternative)
- Gluten-free oatmeal
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
But make sure to consult with the vet first before giving your pup an of these alternatives to be absolutely sure!
Are dogs allergic to quinoa?
No, the dogs are not allergic to quinoa. But some of the dogs who have arthritis or digestive issues should avoid this food.
Now, you know everything you need to know about whether or not you can give your pup quinoa. But in case you have any doubt, it is better to consult with a specialist. After all, your dog’s health is important and having the best food options available will contribute immensely to their longevity.