Every doting dog parent like me must spend hours reading the ingredients of commercial dog foods to ensure it’s right for their pet. While reviewing the list, I’m sure one ingredient would have caught your eye.
You guessed it right; it’s brewers rice! It is a small grain of rice separated during the sifting process. Although it is a common dog food ingredient, it might not have many health benefits.
Are you curious about this ingredient and why it is named so? Do you want to know more about its nutritional value and health benefits before introducing it to your dog? Without further ado, let’s dive right in and answer all your queries about brewers rice.
All About Brewers Rice
Brewers rice is nothing but rice of smaller size separated from the big-sized rice grains. If you’re wondering how it’s different from the regular rice you use in your meals, let’s find out.
Before the full-size rice grains you have in your kitchen reach you, they go through a complex refining and sifting process. It is this sifting stage that separates the smaller or broken rice grains to ensure rice brands only sell uniformly sized and polished rice, whether it’s white or brown.
But what about the rice kernels that are broken and separated from the whole ones? Well, people use them to make either alcohol or pet food.
The name brewers rice might give you a hint that it has something to do with the brewing of alcohol. Yes, you were absolutely right if you picked up on this easter egg!
Breweries use this unique rice for making not only beer but also many other fermented products.
Now that you know about the meaning and uses of brewers rice, let me help you understand its use in making dog food.
Why do Manufacturers Add Brewer’s Rice to Dog Food?
Brewers rice is a common ingredient in dog or even cat food formulas, but these recipes tend to be on a lower-cost and even lower-quality spectrum. You might even find brewers’ rice in some recognizable pet food brands.
It is among the most abundant ingredients in many pet food recipes as it is an affordable filler ingredient. Due to this, brewers’ rice often accounts for a large portion of the plant-based content of these recipes.
Many pet food industry experts also call grain by-products like brewers rice “floor sweepings” as they believe it may contain dust. While many pet parents consider this as merely a joke, others strongly believe that these ingredients are not right for animals as they might harm their dog’s health.
It holds true for a wide range of grain products, which includes brewers rice, rice flour, rice, gluten, and even rice bran.
Since rice is a grain, experts often discourage dog parents from giving a higher proportion of grains to their dogs. Although not every grain is looked at poorly, the general consensus is that brewers rice comes in the category of low-quality grain ingredients or low-cost fillers.
Nutrients Present in Brewers Rice
Since brewers rice is a filler ingredient, it offers very less nutritional value to dogs. But here are the nutrients it includes.
The primary nutrition it can offer your dog is a good amount of carbohydrates. However, a dog doesn’t need a significant amount of carbohydrates for energy and instead needs a diet that has higher animal-based fat and protein to build muscles and grow into healthy canines.
Besides being an excellent carbohydrate source that provides energy to your dog, brewers rice is also easy to digest when compared to brown rice. Dogs with sensitive guts can benefit from the easily digestible brewers rice.
Vitamins & Minerals
Moreover, this rice also includes many essential minerals and vitamins in small quantities, like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and even Vitamin B6. Brewers rice is also a good source of dietary fiber.
Sometimes people also consume brewers rice at home, and it is sold worldwide, even for human consumption, especially in Asia. This indicates that there are some nutritional benefits of brewers rice, and even though there is no proof of the negative effects of it, one must be cautious.
What are the Concerns Surrounding Brewers Rice Present in Dog Foods?
Brewers rice can offer a few health benefits to your canine, but it also comes with some concerns.
1. Contains Arsenic
Brewers rice must not be among the first few ingredients listed on the food unless it is a prescription diet. It is because the rice can contain arsenic, a highly toxic element.
In a study, the FDA tested more than 1,300 samples of rice and other rice-related products to detect arsenic. Their findings showed that the arsenic levels of rice were safe for humans of all ages if they consumed a well-balanced diet.
But dogs don’t have a balanced diet and eat the same food every day. It indicates that dogs eating a lot of brewers rice for a long period can have alarming levels of arsenic buildup.
Therefore, veterinarians recommend varying a dog’s food regularly and even swapping out recipes with ones that include different ingredients. This is called dietary rotation and might help benefit your dog.
2. Weight Gain
Another concern surrounding feeding your dog brewers rice is the chance of unnecessary weight gain. This rice is a good energy source as it is high in carbs. But be cautious while giving to your dog as it may cause weight gain.
Some dogs may be allergic to rice or brewers rice specifically. In that case, feeding your dog rice might lead to a severe allergic reaction and hamper their overall health.
Whether you’re sure that your pup has a rice allergy or are just suspicious about it, you must avoid giving brewers rice to your furry friend.
4. Filler Ingredient
There are also concerns that brewers rice is just a filler ingredient used by dog food manufacturers. The sole purpose of brewers rice is to add bulk to any dog food recipe at lower prices.
While it might prove to be filling for your pup, it won’t offer any nutritional value or provide any essential nutrients to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of Brewers Rice?
Brewers rice is abundant in carbohydrates and fats and may even contain other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and Vitamin B6.
Which rice is the best for dogs?
Brown rice is the best for canines as it has high amounts of vitamins and fiber and helps overweight dogs lose some weight.
Why is it called Brewers Rice?
The rice gets its name from the brewing of beer, as it is an ingredient used in this process.
Brewers rice, being abundant in carbohydrates and also containing many other nutrients, finds its way to many dog food recipes. This ingredient is easy to digest and can give an energy boost to your pup.
However, there are some concerns regarding the safety of this rice, especially when it comes to canines. It may contain arsenic and even lead to sudden and excessive weight gain in your pup.
I believe that every dog is different, and so are their dietary needs. So, you must consult a dog nutrition expert or veterinarian to help you better understand if your dog can thrive on a diet that includes brewers rice or not!
Ankita Sharma is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.