Rice cake is one of those treats dogs love to eat alongside their humans. Due to this reason that rice cakes are so popular as dog treats, many dog owners often wonder, can dogs eat rice cakes? They want to know, can dogs have rice cakes? Before answering this, let us tell you all about rice cake.
So, what is rice cakes, and what importance does it possess for dogs? Rice cake is a snack made from regular rice grains and either shaped or condensed in various ways into a single cake. Rice cakes are easy to make and tasty, thus available in most snack stores. Though the main ingredient in rice cakes is always rice, it has a wide variety due to different recipes coming from different cultures.
Types of rice cakes
Before knowing the answer to the question, ‘can dogs eat rice cakes, you must know about the different types of rice cakes available in the markets. These are –
- Puffed rice cakes.
- Ciba cake.
- Chongyang cake.
- Puto bumbong.
These rice cakes can also be made in your kitchen, provided you are ready to do the hard work preparing for cooking these dishes beforehand. It is always advisable to note that homemade rice cakes are always a healthier option for your dog rather than store-made ones.
Benefits of rice cakes for your dog
If you are a dog parent and frequently search the internet to ask ‘can dogs eat rice cakes, or ‘can dogs have rice cakes’, then we have the answer to your question. The benefits of rice cakes for dogs outweigh the potential health hazards rice cakes pose for your dog. Rice is the main ingredient in rice cakes; hence rice cakes are a great source of healthy carbohydrates. Other elements of rice cakes contain little to moderate amounts of protein, sprinkles of salt, and sugar. Let us now look at the benefits of rice cakes for dogs –
- Rice cakes, being a rich source of healthy carbs, is a perfect food for lazy dogs as carbohydrate is responsible for providing energy and thus preventing lethargy from setting in your dog and making him overweight.
- Since refined rice is gluten-free, it is a suitable alternative for gluten-intolerant dogs. Since rice is lactose-free, too, dogs can safely consume them as almost all dogs are lactose-intolerant.
- Rice cakes have a great crunch present in them, which makes them an excellent motivational treat for the training purposes of your dog.
- Rice cakes like Mochi have high moisture content, which prevents dogs from getting dehydrated. Smaller dogs find them easier to eat, too, as moisture content makes rice cakes softer to eat.
- Since rice is a low-cost, readily available product, rice cakes can be the perfect budget-friendly treat for your dog.
Reasons why rice cakes are unhealthy for dogs
The simple answer to the question ‘Can dogs have rice cakes?’ is yes. However, rice cakes are not very snacks for dogs for different reasons. They are discussed below –
- Most rice cakes are made of white rice very well refined, thus making them very low in nutrients. The outer layer of rice primarily consists of protein, fiber, and many nutrients. As these layers are removed in the refining process, rice cakes contain low-value nutrition, which is not beneficial for a dog’s diet regime. Many store-bought rice cakes do not have any minerals, vitamins, or healthy fats. Instead, it contains a higher amount of carbohydrates along with mere 1 or 2 grams of protein. If too many carbohydrate components were not enough to cause harm to a dog’s stomach, sometimes these store-bought rice cakes also contain different spices, which are very toxic to dogs.
- There is a wide variety of brands that sell rice cakes offline and online. Depending on which brand you are buying, some rice cakes might contain a high amount of high sodium levels and drizzles of different flavors or seasonings like chocolate, sugar, vanilla, etc., which is harmful to dogs as they have a low tolerance for sodium and also indigestion issues towards additional flavors. Can dogs eat rice cakes? In short, yes; but it is advised to check the ingredients before feeding your dog tasty rice cakes.
- Since these rice cake snacks are made of pure white rice, which is very carefully through refining processes, these cakes have a high glycemic index. A glycemic index ranges between 0-100, assigned to a specific food based on pure glucose content present in that food. Since rice cakes are rated very high in that department, they have a risky amount of glucose in them, which can cause diabetes in dogs.
So, ‘can dogs eat rice cakes?’, as it has both benefits and side effects when it comes to dogs. Yes, they can. But make sure to feed them rice cakes with some caution. They are discussed below.
- After so many facts, it is no secret that rice cakes do not contain any significant nutritional value. While the main ingredient of rice cakes for dogs, i.e., rice, is not bad for dogs but with the removed fiber content, it has a shallow calorific value and a low nutritional content.
- Do not feed rice cake to your dogs in high amounts or for a prolonged period going upwards of two weeks.
- Rice cake has a lot of varieties with lots of brands selling them almost everywhere. You should go for a brand that sells plain rice cakes devoid of any additional flavoring substances like sauce, salt, and sugar with no extra seasonings of onion, garlic, and other different spices.
- Rice cake has a very high glycemic index, as stated above. The high glycemic index leads the glucose present in rice cake to increase the blood sugar level of your dog. Hence rice cakes are an absolute no-no for dogs suffering from obesity and high blood sugar.
- If the question ‘can dogs have rice cakes’ pops in your mind, then you must know that smaller pup breeds like the Pug and the French Bulldog tend to eat rice cakes in big gulps, leading them to choke. Hence, chop rice cakes into small pieces before you serve them to your dog, especially if they are small in size.
- If your dog is sensitive or allergy-prone to rice or rice-based products, don’t serve them with rice cakes as it may lead to complications that can even turn fatal.
Still thinking, can dogs eat rice cakes? Absolutely yes. Your pup can have rice cakes easily and reap their benefits, too, provided they are served in moderate amounts and not served regularly. If any adverse effects like choking are observed, call your vet immediately to prevent fatal catastrophes.