Dogs love treats. This may lead them to steal from our plate – and eat a bit more than they should.
It’s very difficult to resist sharing with your pup, even when you know it’s just not healthy for them. But, can dogs eat rice cakes?
Rice cakes are a healthy, low-calorie snack for humans, and a lot of people love eating them. The moment they see us putting something in our mouths, dogs want a piece of it, too.
So, can we share rice cakes with them or will this snack cause them harm?
First and foremost, snacks should only make up to 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake. For example, a healthy 30 lbs fixed dog should intake around 700 calories per day. This means that dog treats should take up no more than 70 calories.
With that in mind, let’s answer the main question: Can dogs eat rice cakes?
If you want to know the answer, you’re in the right spot!
Can Dogs Eat Rice Cakes?
The quick answer would be: Yes, dogs can eat rice cakes.
As long as you’re eating plain rice cakes – the ones without any flavorings or preservatives – you can share them with your pooch. Just remember to give it to them in moderation. The same goes for any human food you consider sharing.
The white rice that these cakes are made of is a part of most commercial dog foods. It’s used in the same way as corn… to bulk up the nutritional value of the food you’re giving to your dog.
In other words, there is nothing harmful or toxic to canines in rice cakes.
But, Are They Healthy?
Just because you can give rice cakes to your dog doesn’t mean they are healthy for your pup.
To make rice cakes, manufacturers apply high pressure and temperature to rice grains, so they can expand and pack together tightly to form a popcorn-like texture. This is why they are so crunchy and tasty when you eat them.
Depending on their brand and type, they might also be artificially flavored, with added sugars, preservatives, and salt.
This is why it’s essential to check the ingredient list on rice cakes before giving them to your dog. You shouldn’t just assume something is healthy just because it’s primarily made of rice.
In fact, the truth is quite opposite – rice cakes are not as healthy to your pooch as you might think they are.
There are several reasons behind this.
Rice cakes are low in nutrients. They are made from refined white rice. In other words, the outer layers, such as bran, germ, and husk are removed. This means they contain very small amounts of fiber, proteins, and other healthy nutrients.
In fact, if you look at the nutritional value of rice cakes written on the back of the packaging, you’ll see that they don’t contain much. They don’t contain fat or fiber, while at the same time, they have a minimal amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
To put it plainly, these snacks are nothing but carbohydrates that sometimes have spices and artificial flavoring – nothing of which is good for your pooch.
Also, since their main ingredient is rice, rice cakes have a glycemic index. They might raise your dog’s blood sugar levels extremely fast.
This is why these snacks aren’t recommended for dogs with blood glucose imbalance, insulin resistance, and some weight loss issues.
Since rice cakes are nothing but empty carbs and calories, if you feed them to your pooch in large quantities, your dog will risk weight gain, which can lead to obesity.
Other human foods that might lead to obesity include:
• Whipped cream
Some rice cake brands and products might even be harmful to your dogs as they contain high sodium levels, high amounts of sugar, artificial flavors, or drizzles of chocolate. These ingredients are not just unhealthy – some are entirely toxic for dogs.
How Do You Feed Rice Cakes To Dogs?
If you want to give rice cakes to your dog for the first time, it might be a good idea to talk to your vet first. Also, you shouldn’t give your pooch a large amount of rice cakes right from the beginning. Let them get used to the taste and the new food before making it a regular part of their diet.
When it comes to rice cakes themselves, most are made in a circular shape, but other shapes exist as well. Most are sized either to fit your mouth or for you to take fine bites from them.
However, keep in mind that rice cakes aren’t made to fit your dogs mouth, so they can pose a choking hazard if you feed them to your pooch whole – especially if you have a smaller dog breed, such as a miniature Schnauzer or a Pug.
Dog owners could also crush rice cakes and combine them with their furry friend’s favorite food every now and then.
Can Puppies Eat Them?
You shouldn’t make rice cakes a part of your young dog’s diet.
In fact, it would be best if you didn’t feed any processed or store-bought food to your puppy, at least until they are several months old.
Puppies don’t have the same digestive system as adults; therefore, food not intended for puppies can cause an upset stomach and other health issues.
Even if they are of age, ask your vet for advice before introducing processed foods to puppies. Start slowly, so you don’t go overboard. You can never know if your pup is allergic to gluten or some other ingredients in rice cakes.
Homemade Rice Cakes
If you would love to make rice cakes a regular part of your dog’s diet, you might want to make rice cakes for him. This way, you can control what goes into them, so you don’t have to add any sugar or sodium.
Artificial flavors contain harmful chemicals for your pooches, so you should never add them under any condition. A dog’s sensitive stomach can’t digest many of the damaging substances that our bodies can.
In fact, the best thing you can do is serve your furry friend plain rice cakes. Dogs don’t care about spices or flavor. You can use white or brown rice… it won’t make a big difference.
They’ll love plain rice as much as any other taste. Give them to your companion freshly-baked – and you might even want to take a bite yourself!
Can Dogs Eat Tteok?
If you love rice treats, you have probably heard of Tteok. These are Korean rice cakes, but are made in a much different way than regular puffed rice cakes.
They’re made with steamed flour from several types of grains, including various rice types – they contain both glutinous and non-glutinous ones.
Gluten is harmful to dogs, and it can lead to ear and skin infections as well as many gastrointestinal issues. Not to mention that many dogs have gluten allergies that you may know nothing about.
All in all, dogs shouldn’t eat Tteok or any other Korean rice cakes.
What About Rice Crackers?
Most dogs prefer rice crackers over rice cakes as they are crunchier than rice cakes – a texture that canines prefer.
However, most rice crackers contain milk, which is not the best option for your pet. Dogs can’t digest lactose very well. Many are entirely lactose intolerant, so rice crackers can give them diarrhea or vomiting.
If you want to share a bite of rice crackers with your doggy, read the labels carefully. Never give him crackers containing milk.
And, How About Rice Krispies?
Rice Krispies are a bit safer than rice crackers, so you can give them to your pooch in small quantities.
Be wary that many ingredients of Rice Krispies can be harmful to dogs, including sugar, sodium, or even artificial flavors. It isn’t rare for Rice Krispies to even contain xylitol as a substitute for sugar, and this can be lethal for dogs.
Avoid diet Rice Krispies at all costs as these are more likely to contain xylitol. Make sure to check the ingredient list as well.
Can Dogs Eat Rice Bones?
Unlike all other human food we’ve listed, rice bones are a treat made especially for dogs. They are safe and healthy, and they contain all the nutrients a dog treat should have. They are high in essential fibers while low in fat.
Many commercial brands even add sweet potato in these treats, so they can be healthy for your doggy’s oral hygiene.
If you’re looking for a good rice-based treat to give your dog, rice bones are an amazing treat. To spice things up a bit, you might put some peanut butter on them.
The Bottom Line
So, can dogs eat rice cakes?
While rice cakes on their own aren’t toxic or harmful to dogs, they aren’t healthy and won’t offer anything beneficial to your pooch.
If your pup takes a bite of your plain rice cakes, don’t worry. This won’t cause him any harm. The worst that might happen is mild diarrhea.
However, you should always be wary of the ingredients in the rice cakes you’re leaving close to your pet. Flavored rice cakes contain artificial flavors that can be very harmful to your pooch.
Not just that, but some rice cakes even contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that many diet treats contain. Xylitol is deadly to many animals, including dogs.
You might want to make rice cakes on your own, so you can know precisely what they’re made of. This way, you don’t have to worry about your dog eating harmful ingredients or getting poisoned.
If you want to give your dog rice-based treats, the best idea would be to give your dog rice bones. Rice bones are made for dogs and they are entirely healthy.
No matter how much you want to share food with your dog, you should always keep your pup’s best interest in mind.