Can dogs eat quinoa, and is it nutritious for them? The answer is a resounding YES. Quinoa boasts a diverse range of complex carbohydrates, fiber as well as vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, iron, and phosphorus. With these nutrients, dogs can stay fit and healthy.
Learn more about quinoa’s health perks and drawbacks to your canine companion as you read on. We will also help you determine which varieties of this super seed are safe and healthy options.
Does Quinoa Have Health Benefits to Dogs?
Yes, dogs can get fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in quinoa. Dogs can also acquire many essential nutrients from this edible seed, including B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Being a dog-safe superfood, quinoa has a wide array of health benefits to canines, including:
1. Good for Heart Health
Quinoa will greatly help dogs in regulating their cholesterol and blood sugar. This is due to this seed being rich in fiber and antioxidants, lowering the risk of canine heart diseases.
2. Boosts Immune System and Fights Off Inflammation
The antioxidants in quinoa also function as a shield, protecting dogs from harmful free radicals and severe diseases like cancer. They also fight off inflammation, which triggers health issues such as arthritis.
3. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Dogs can get many health benefits from quinoa. One of the benefits is obtaining omega 3 fatty acids, which can improve their coat and skin quality, enhance kidney and brain function, and reduce joint inflammation.
4. A Good Source of Essential Amino Acids
Dogs can get 9 essential amino acids from quinoa. These are important in building and repairing muscles. They also help lower fatigue in dogs. For this reason, quinoa is great for active and athletic dogs.
5. Low in Calories and Fats
Quinoa is considered a low-calorie and fat source for dogs. A cup of quinoa only contains 222 calories and 4 grams of fat. Hence, it is suitable for dogs that need to lose weight.
6. Free of Gluten
Quinoa is gluten-free, which makes it a good alternative food for canines that cannot have gluten in their diet due to allergies or medical reasons.
Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?
The extensive list of health benefits quinoa offers to dogs proves that it is good for them. In fact, due to its impressive nutritional profile, it is used as an alternative ingredient in some high-quality pet foods.
Take a Bit of Caution When Feeding Quinoa to Your Dog
The answer to the question “Can dogs eat quinoa?” is yes, but you also need to be mindful of how you prepare it for your pooch. This edible seed is not toxic to dogs, but it has a few health concerns that need to be addressed.
The quinoa plant produces saponin.
The quinoa plant naturally makes a saponin chemical to protect itself from insects. Studies suggest that this substance has a negative effect on humans and canines. It is believed to cause stomach irritation.
The good thing is the saponin content in quinoa seeds is too low to trigger serious health issues. However, it is also worth noting that a dog’s digestive system may be more hypersensitive to saponin than our digestive system.
Fortunately, an upset stomach due to quinoa consumption can be prevented by simply washing the seeds thoroughly before cooking. The process will get rid of the saponin.
Quinoa contains oxalates.
Oxalates are organic compounds found in many plants. Since they are insoluble, they cannot be easily processed by a dog’s digestive system, causing inflammation.
Thus, quinoa is not recommended for dogs with arthritis, as it can exacerbate the inflammation of their joints.
If your dog shows the following signs of adverse reactions to quinoa, take him to the vet and keep quinoa out of his diet:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Appetite loss
- Oral pain
What Types of Quinoa Are Safe to Eat?
There are several types of quinoa available in grocery stores. Before sharing any of them with your dog, it is important to know which ones are safe for him to consume.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Quinoa?
Yes, it is OK for dogs to consume cooked quinoa. However, it must be free from other ingredients, including salt, oil, and spices, since these can cause stomach upset.
Never feed raw quinoa to your dog because it will be tough for his stomach to digest, and he may end up experiencing tummy problems.
Can Dogs Eat Red Quinoa?
Yes, red quinoa is safe for dogs. It is one of the common variations of the edible seed, along with black and white quinoa. Keep in mind to wash it before cooking. Serve it to your dog plain and devoid of any seasoning.
Can Dogs Eat Black Quinoa?
Yes, adding black quinoa to your dog’s diet is also fine. It is a safe and healthy option for dogs like its red counterpart. Preparing this variety has the same process as the red quinoa.
Can Dogs Eat White Quinoa?
Yes, white quinoa is safe for dogs to consume, much like the black and red varieties. Follow the same preparation process as with the other types of quinoa.
Some dog owners ask, What color of quinoa is best for dogs? There is not much difference between the 2, so either is a good addition to your dog’s meals.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa Pasta?
Yes, dogs can have quinoa pasta as long as they do not contain other ingredients. In short, it must be served plain to canines.
Be warned that some quinoa pasta manufacturers mostly use rice or corn to create their products. This can be harmful to pooches with grain allergies.
Thus, when buying quinoa pasta, check the ingredients list first to ensure that it is completely made of quinoa.
Can Dogs Have Quinoa Flakes?
Yes, dogs can eat quinoa flakes. But just like quinoa pasta, always examine the ingredients list first. There have been reports that some quinoa flakes brands are not gluten-free.
Prepare quinoa flakes for your dog by boiling 1 part of it in 3 parts of hot water. Make sure to serve it plain.
Feeding dogs raw quinoa flakes must be avoided. Like uncooked quinoa, it is also hard for your dog’s digestive system to break down.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa Flour?
Yes, dogs can consume quinoa flour. It is a good substitute for wheat flour if you plan to make dog treats for your pooch since it is gluten-free and more loaded with nutrients.
How to Incorporate Quinoa into Your Dog’s Diet
Before adding quinoa to your dog’s diet, ensure that you have received the vet’s approval first. Once you get the green light, wash the quinoa and cook it thoroughly. Then mix it with his dog food in small amounts. A spoonful will do. This will slowly make his stomach get used to this new food.
Avoid feeding quinoa to dogs in large quantities. Keep in mind that quinoa is rich in fiber. Ingesting it in significant amounts may result in diarrhea and other stomach problems.
Homemade Quinoa Dog Treats
Make tasty dog treats using quinoa by following this recipe:
Fruity Quinoa Dog Biscuit
- 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
- 1 egg
- 1 mashed banana
- 1/2 cup unsweetened blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour small amounts of water and stir until a dough is formed.
- Roll out the mixture to ¼–½-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough.
- Place them on the lined cookie sheets.
- Place in oven and bake for 20–23 minutes.
- Transfer biscuits to a wire rack and let them cool overnight.
- Serve the fruity quinoa dog biscuit to your furry friend.