Quinoa for Dogs. Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

Quinoa for Dogs
Quinoa for Dogs

Is quinoa good for dogs? Is it safe? What are the benefits of giving quinoa to your dogs? Here are answers to these and more on why you should include quinoa in your dog’s diet. Learn more about how to prepare and cook quinoa for dogs.

Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

What is quinoa? According to Wikipedia, quinoa is a pseudo-cereal which is prepared and eaten like cereal. It is a grain crop of the family Amaranthaceae. It is of the same species as amaranth, spinach, and beets.

Quinoa has recently gained stardom as a superfood for naturalists and weight watchers. It is normal for dog owners to wonder whether some of their healthy food choices could be given to their pets. Quinoa is one of those foods with a significant nutritional profile. It is safe, protein-rich and gluten-free.

These profile and many more benefits are what we think to make it ideal for canine diets. It is actually great in terms of nutritional value compared to other food starches such as potatoes and rice.

Chances that you’ve fed quinoa to your dog are slim. Most reads I got to go through online as not convincingly conclusive. Its efficiency in terms of nutritional potency is still in scrutiny. Having tried this super grain in my weight loss plans I would consider introducing this in Fido’s diet.

Note however that too much of anything is poisonous. New foods should be introduced slowly and carefully to your dog in light of allergies and digestive incompatibilities. This will also allow you to gauge whether your dog loves the new food or not. I will explain later on why giving quinoa to your dog MAY NOT be such a great idea.

Nutritional Value of Quinoa for Dogs

There are different types of quinoa (Red, Cream, and Black). The different types differ slightly in terms of nutritional value. Here is a look at the nutritional profile of 100g serving of cooked quinoa;

  • 372 Calories
  • 2 grams Carbohydrates
  • 9 grams Fat
  • 66mg Calcium
  • 5 mg Iron
  • 4 grams Niacin
  • 23 Riboflavin

The fact that quinoa is rich in protein and carbs makes it ideal for active dogs. It is a great treat for dogs that exercise.

NOTE THAT, quinoa is not a grain. You do not need to refrain from it if your dog is allergic to grains.

Benefits of Giving Quinoa to Your Dog

Quinoa possesses lots of nutrients which promote ideal weight for dogs. It is one of those low-calorie foods that make up healthy diets for overweight dogs. Here is more on the benefits of quinoa for dogs.

It is high in Fiber

The high dietary fiber in quinoa makes it a satisfying and filling food. This helps to curb appetite making it an ideal food when looking to reduce how much your dog eats. Add quinoa to canine diets for diabetic and obese dogs.

High Carbohydrates

Quinoa contains a sufficient amount of complex carbohydrates. This is good for dogs that are physically active. Ditch simple carbohydrate sources for quinoa to help maintain a high energy level for your dog all day long.

Rich in Protein

Quinoa is rich in protein. It contains all essential amino acids which is actually rare in animal proteins. Protein not only boost metabolism, they also help to maintain your dog’s muscles. NOTE THAT, this does not qualify it to be the primary source of protein for your dog.

Omega 3

Quinoa is an excellent source of fatty acids such as omega 3. These help to fight inflammations. They enable faster healing from injury.

Diabetic Dogs

One of the reasons I think quinoa is a superfood is the fact that it ranks low on the Glycemic Index. It is a filling food that easily satisfies your dog’s appetite without spiking sugar levels. This is essential when using diet for sugar control in diabetic dogs.

Kidney Disease

Is quinoa safe for dogs with Kidney Disease? Foods with high sugar and gluten should be avoided in dogs with renal issues. Replace foods such as wheat, soy, and barley with a safe gluten-free alternative such as quinoa.

It is important to note that, too much protein is not good for dogs with kidney problems. Try to find a balance between high protein feeds with quinoa. That way, Fido’s kidney do not overwork.

Quinoa for Dogs with Cancer

The antioxidant properties of quinoa have been linked to prevention of heart disease and some types of canine cancers. Studies on this are inconclusive.

Foods for dogs with cancer should be as natural as possible. Quinoa is one of the oldest, traditional staple for the Andean people.

It is Low in Fat and Cholesterol Free

Low-fat levels minimize the risk of your dog developing high blood pressure and pancreatitis. It also reduces the risk of your dog becoming obese.

How to Prepare Quinoa for Dogs

Quinoa has a plain taste when cooked on its own. This makes it easy to incorporate it in a variety of healthy recipes for your dog.

The seeds have saponins that form a bitter-tasting coating. Saponins are toxic to your dog. Rinsing quinoa to remove this chemical is a basic step in its preparation. Here is how to;

  • Sort to remove husks, small rocks, and grass
  • Place the seeds in a strainer
  • Run cold water through
  • Allow the water to drip out

Once you rinse quinoa, the seeds become soft and fluffy in texture.

How to Cook Quinoa for Dogs

Cooking quinoa for your dog makes it easier for his digestive system. While you can cook quinoa by simply boiling it in water, you can also boil it in beef, vegetable or chicken broth to up the flavor. Cook quinoa in milk to make a rich breakfast for your dog.

Buy plain unflavored quinoa for your dog. Some brands are coated with seasoning which may include garlic which should not be fed to dogs.

Use two parts of water for one part of quinoa when boiling. Boil for 15 minutes or until the water/ liquid is absorbed.

DO NOT give undercooked quinoa to your dog. It causes digestive problems such as pain and diarrhea.

Give quinoa to your dog in small portions especially if making it part of other protein-rich foods. This ensures that you do not overload your dog’s kidneys. Too much quinoa will cause stomach upsets.

High fiber foods cause diarrhea if introduced suddenly.  Sprinkle quinoa to your dog’s dry food or add a small scoop into his favorite wet food. Watch and learn how much he likes for a start.

How to Give Quinoa to your dog

  • Flour
  • Flakes
  • Seeds
  • Sticks
  • Cookies/ treats

Side Effects of Giving Quinoa to your Dog

Dogs are naturally not meant to digest plant foods. There is a chance that your dog may not ager well with quinoa. Signs of a bad reaction to quinoa may include; pawing at the mouth, vomiting, drooling and poor appetite. In this case, do not give quinoa to your dog.

Quinoa Pet Food should not be used solely as a source of protein.

Recipes- quinoa for dogs

Quinoa, Ground Turkey and Carrots

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 350 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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