Yes, dogs can eat rice cakes – they are dog-friendly, nicely textured, and give energy boosts. In fact, rice cakes are among the few human snacks owners can share with their dogs.
However, there are several caveats – they need to be plain, fed occasionally, and in snack-sized portions. Additionally, just like people, not all dogs are big fans of puffed rice snacks.
- Why is Rice Cakes Good for Dogs?
- Can Rice Cakes be Bad for Dogs?
- How Many Rice Cakes Can my Dog Eat?
- How to Prepare and Serve Rice Cakes for Your Dog?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Rice Cakes Good for Dogs?
Rice cakes are safe and dog-friendly – we got this clear. However, rice cakes are more than safe. Namely, they can be beneficial, and treating your dog with rice cakes comes with several health advantages. Here are the reasons rice cakes are suitable for dogs.
Powerhouse of Energy
Rice cakes are rich in carbohydrates, thus giving dogs a quick energy boost. All dogs need a fair amount of carbs, and rice cakes are a good source.
Plain rice cakes are a good snack option for dogs with gluten sensitivities. This is because, just like their main ingredient (rice), rice cakes are gluten-free.
Everyone loves munching on crunchy snacks, and dogs are no exception. While the rice cake’s taste is a matter of preference, the texture is something all dogs love.
Can Rice Cakes be Bad for Dogs?
While moderate use of rice cakes in the dog’s diet is beneficial, serving too many galettes can be harmful. Even healthy foods have adverse effects when misused.
Rice cakes are not a staple food for dogs and do not provide essential nutrients. However, to help you understand why rice cakes can be bad for dogs, let’s go through the potential risks.
Low in Nutrients
Standard rice cakes are made of refined white rice (no bran, husk, or germ), meaning they do not have a particularly dense nutritional profile. Except for carbs and a minuscule amount of protein, rice cakes are low in nutrients.
Just because rice cakes are usually sold in the “healthy food” aisle in the supermarket, they do not contribute to weight gain when over-indulged.
High Glycemic Index
Rice cakes have a high glycemic index, meaning they trigger sudden blood sugar spikes. This is not an issue in healthy dogs, but it poses a serious risk in dogs with diabetes.
Rice cakes often feature troublesome ingredients like too much salt and sugar. Plus, some added ingredients like certain spices (garlic, onion), chocolate, and artificial sweeteners (xylitol) are toxic to dogs.
As with all foods, rice cakes can be too harsh on the dog’s stomach, especially if overfed or enriched with additional ingredients.
How Many Rice Cakes Can my Dog Eat?
The recommended rice cake serving size for dogs depends on their size. Namely, a medium-sized dog can eat one galette. Small dogs can be offered half a rice cake and large dogs a rice cake and a half (or two galettes if the dog is extra-large).
However, please do not overdo it when introducing rice cakes to the menu. Start with a smaller amount (half or even one-quarter of the recommended serving size) and then gradually work your way up.
It should be noted that giving rice cakes to puppies is highly inadvisable. Puppies have strict nutritional needs and do not benefit from the rice cake’s empty calories. Plus, they have overly sensitive tummies.
How to Prepare and Serve Rice Cakes for Your Dog?
If you plan on sharing the rice cakes with your dog, you need to be mindful when purchasing the right product. By right rice cakes, we mean dog-friendly, or in more practical terms, plain and preferably organic (free from preservatives and additives).
Instead of regular, you can also opt for brown rice cakes featuring brown instead of white rice. The brown version includes the different rice layers and is, therefore, richer in health-boosting nutrients.
Alternatively, you can put the apron on and prepare homemade rice cakes (there are many dog-friendly rice cake recipes online). If making the rice cakes at home, you can rest assured every ingredient is healthy and carefully selected.
As for the serving, it is advisable to crush the galettes into smaller pieces (one-inch by one-inch chunks are suited for medium-sized dogs) to minimize the choking risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, dogs should not eat caramel rice cakes because they are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Plus, some caramel rice cake recipes may include toxic ingredients, like, for example, the artificial sweetener xylitol.
No, dogs should not eat apple cinnamon rice cakes. Like caramel rice cakes, apple cinnamon cakes are too high in sugars and therefore not suited for dogs. The xylitol problem is also a possibility.
Yes, brown rice cakes are, in fact, a healthier alternative as they are made from whole rice (including bran, germ, and husk) and have a higher nutrient profile. However, they still need to be plain and infrequently served as snacks.
No, dogs should not eat cheddar rice cakes. Although cheddar is not directly toxic to dogs, it does not equal a dog-friendly food when combined with rice cakes. Simply put, cheddar rice cakes are too salty for dogs.
No, dogs must not eat chocolate rice cakes because chocolate is toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate rice cakes pose a more significant threat than white chocolate rice cakes. Milk chocolate rice cakes are somewhere in the middle.
When it comes to dogs, rice cakes are a “sometimes snack.” Dogs can occasionally be treated with small amounts of plain rice cakes. However, frequent use and offering rice cakes with spices and added ingredients is a recipe for disaster.
Keep in mind that dogs thrive on meat-based proteins and need rich, diverse, and nutritionally balanced diets. Plain rice cakes can add good diversity and some crunchiness to such diets.
- Glycemic index: has pet food humanization gone too far?, Melissa Brookshire, DVM, 2020
- Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice?, Purina, 2021
- Xylitol toxicity in dogs, Christopher M Piscitelli, Eric K Dunayer, Marcel Aumann, 2010
- Dietary modulation of gluten sensitivity in a naturally occurring enteropathy of Irish setter dogs, E J Hall, R M Batt, 1992