Fried rice is one of those comforting foods that we tend to eat on a Friday or Saturday night when hopefully the stresses and strains of the previous week are fading away.
It is centuries old and originates in China as a way of using up leftovers.
The Asian version of Bubble and Squeak perhaps?
With your feet up on the sofa and your plate of fried rice on your lap, one of the only remaining questions to answer is, should I let my dog have a bite or two?
After all, it is the weekend and they have had a tough week too!
So can dogs eat fried rice?
What is Fried Rice?
Here in the UK, we have double (or triple) cooked chips- you know the things that you call fries.
Chips, which are already pretty unhealthy because they have been fried once already, are fried for a second time to make them even tastier.
What has this got to do with fried rice?
It is because fried rice is rice that has been cooked twice.
Firstly the rice is boiled- as most rices are.
Then it is fried in some oil and other ingredients are added.
So is this a dish that you can feed to your dog?
Well as you can already tell, fried rice is a pretty unhealthy food.
But, it is the other ingredients that are added that will decide if fried rice changes from just being unhealthy to toxic and dangerous for your dog.
So I want to take a look at those ingredients in the next section
What are the ingredients in Fried Rice?
In this section I will describe the most commonly used ingredients used in fried rice and then look at how eating them might impact your dog.
Let us start with the obvious shall we?
There isn’t much nutrition to boiled white rice.
It has lots of calories because it is 80% carbohydrate.
It doesn’t really have any minerals or vitamins in it either.
You might call it bland, which is exactly what it is.
And it is best used with your dog as a part of a home remedy for when they have mild doses of diarrhea.
But what about fried rice?
Without adding any other ingredients then fried rice will just contain more fat (and calories) from the oil that it has been fried in.
Oil isn’t toxic to your dog but it is unhealthy and depending on the amount that you feed your dog, frying the rice might cause a bit of a stomach upset in some dogs.
Which is fine because you can then feed them a diet of plain boiled rice to get over it!
I once read that eggs are one of the most perfect foods when it comes to nutrition- which isn’t a surprise when you think that they need to contain everything necessary to grow and maintain life.
And, eat in moderation, they could boost your dog’s health as well.
Eggs are about 10% fat and 13% protein although they are very high in cholesterol- although I’m not sure that there is a clear link between eating foods that are high in cholesterol and having high cholesterol…
Eggs also have lots of B vitamins in abundance, particularly B2 and B12.
B vitamins help to boost a dog’s immunity system amongst other benefits.
Chicken is a healthy choice for your dog. As a meat it is low in fat and high in protein.
Chicken contains lots of vitamin B3 and B6.
It also contains an abundance of phosphorus and selenium.
Phosphorus is a very important mineral as far as dogs are concerned.
They need a decent amount of phosphorus together with calcium to form strong bones… and teeth!
Selenium is a mineral which is thought to support metabolism in dogs.
But chicken isn’t the only meat that you might find in fried rice, another popular choice will be discussed in the next section.
Another very popular choice when it comes to Chinese cuisine.
Pork is dog friendly although my dogs seem to react very poorly to it.
It just seems to turn their stomach upside down.
Pork is classed as a red meat and red meats are harder for humans to digest but I wouldn’t think that this would be true for dogs because they have a digestive system evolved to break down meats and bones in double quick time.
The most important thing about using pork in your fried rice is to make sure that it is cooked properly.
For pork the possible danger from it being undercooked is the parasite Trichinella spiralis.
For raw chicken, potential danger comes from campylobacter or salmonella.
Having looked at eggs, chicken and pork I want to slightly shift focus and look at common vegetables found in fried rice dishes.
Or to make it easier I will just focus on vegetables that should be avoided.
Which vegetables should dogs not eat in fried rice?
I will keep this as simple as possible.
The biggest danger to your dog comes from onions and garlic of any type and form.
This includes red, yellow or green onions and onion and garlic powder.
In fact the powders are more dangerous because gram for gram they contain more onion or garlic.
And a quick look at recipes show these two ingredients are used regularly in fried rice dishes.
Onions and garlic both contain a compound known as N- propyl disulfide.
Dogs cannot absorb it properly and so it attacks and ultimately destroys red blood cells which makes affected dogs anaemic.
These articles will help you with specific questions, such as what is a poisonous amount?
Other than those two vegetables, any other vegetable will be safe for your dog to eat.
Can dogs eat fried rice sauces?
In this final section about ingredients, I want to look at possible sauces that might be used in your fried rice.
Specifically, soy sauce and oyster sauce.
The ingredients in soy sauce are:
- Sodium benzoate
Should any of these ingredients ring alarm bells for dog owners?
Well, wheat might be a problem for a tiny percentage of dogs who have a wheat allergy and we don’t want our dogs to have too much salt- not that we know how much salt is used in soy sauce.
The ingredients used in oyster sauce which aren’t in soy sauce are extracts of oysters and MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is added to lots of Chinese cuisine.
I don’t think that oyster extracts will worry your dog too much but MSG is a very controversial ingredient for both people and dogs.
And finally, as this article draws to a close I want to help those of you who are die hard fans of fried rice who are desperate to let their dogs eat a bite or two.
Could you make dog friendly fried rice?
There are lots of recipes for dog friendly fried rice.
You might want to look at them for some inspiration.
Remember from our chat earlier the most important ingredients to leave out are onions and garlic.
And you might even want to ditch the oil and butter and instead of frying the ingredients, just mix them and cook them in a wok.
Now if you are a real genius you will prepare this and serve this at the same time that you are eating fried rice!
But if your dog does eat this with you remember to only give them a small portion!