Let’s know about Can Dogs Eat Quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten-free seed that has been a staple in many human diets for centuries, but has risen to prominence in recent years as a natural alternative to grains for health-conscious humans. It is also extremely healthy, as it is rich in vitamins, proteins and calcium and other nutrients.
But can dogs eat quinoa? Is Quinoa Safe for Dogs? Yes! In general, the benefits humans derive from quinoa can be beneficial to your dog as well, and in small amounts, quinoa is a great addition to your dog’s diet. We’ve taken an in-depth look at the potential benefits of quinoa for your dog, plus some things you might want to consider before feeding them to your dog. Read on to find out more! (1)
What is quinoa?
Many health-conscious advocates are talking about this healthy seed these days. Quinoa is a gluten-free seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant, so it is not defined as a grain, which is derived from grass. It is a flowering plant that is in the amaranth family and originated in the Andean region of South America and has been used for nearly 400 years. It is also packed with 14% protein, which contains all nine essential amino acids, and contains 13% water, 64% carbohydrates, and 6% fat. (2)
Potential Benefits of Feeding Quinoa to Dogs
Quinoa has many benefits for your dog and is packed with an endless number of vitamins, minerals, and various other beneficial nutrients. First, the seed is free of gluten, which means your dog is less likely to suffer from gastric issues or digestive problems when eaten as a grain substitute. (3)
Quinoa is also a great source of insoluble fiber, improves digestion, and contains no trans fats. It contains complex carbohydrates, essential amino acids and fats and contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin E
- such as
- B vitamins
Quinoa also contains high levels of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and may reduce your chances of developing cancer and other diseases, and it helps reduce inflammation and heart disease. The nutrients in quinoa also help give your dog a healthy, (4) shiny coat and healthy teeth and bones, and it’s also a great source of energy overall.
Potential Health Concerns of Giving Quinoa to Your Dogs
Like most seeds, quinoa develops a chemical it uses to protect itself from pests, birds, and insects. This chemical is called a saponin, and there is some evidence that it can cause intestinal irritation in both humans and dogs. The amount of saponins in quinoa is very small, and certainly not enough to cause any health issues in your pooch.
That said, some dogs can have a very sensitive digestive system, and this can cause more irritation than usual. Washing the quinoa thoroughly will help remove this chemical and reduce the chances of digestive upset. Cooking the seeds thoroughly will also help. (5)
Try feeding very small amounts of quinoa to your dog at first and keep a watchful eye on them. If you notice any symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation, your pooch may be overly sensitive to quinoa and should not be eating it. (6)
Preparing Quinoa for Your Dog
If you have decided to add quinoa to your dog’s diet, special preparation is important. First, make sure the quinoa is thoroughly washed and rinsed to remove any trace amounts of saponins. Then you have to boil it in water – about one part quinoa to two parts water is usually pretty good. After that, you can add flavorings, such as homemade broth from vegetables or bones.
Try adding a teaspoon or so to your dog’s normal food at first, and you can increase it if there are no adverse reactions. Up to 1 tablespoon is great to be added to your dog’s food, but you can increase this amount for larger breeds. We highly recommend consulting your vet first in any case, as they will be able to recommend you the right amount of quinoa for your dog.
Quinoa has many potential health benefits for your dog, with a small risk-to-reward ratio. Packed with essential amino acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, quinoa is a great addition to your dog’s diet. Just be sure to start with a small amount and watch for any adverse effects, such as drooling or vomiting, and discontinue immediately if these are present.
Check out some of our other posts about dog diet:
- Can Dogs Eat Flaxseed? Is Flaxseed Safe for Dogs?
- Can dogs eat fennel? what you need to know!
- Senior Dogs: Diet and Nutritional Requirements