I always think that rice is an interesting food when it comes to our dogs.
It is one of those few staple or dried foods that most of us always have in our cupboards- ready to use when we bulk out the bowl of dog food when we have run out of the proper stuff.
And of course, on the commercial side, it is a huge ingredient in many dried and canned dog food.
But I don’t want to write an article about whether our dogs can eat any old variety of white rice.
In this article, I want to focus on whether we should be feeding our dogs a more sophisticated sort of rice- jasmine.
Bear with me as I give a brief overview of jasmine rice.
What is jasmine rice?
Jasmine rice is a variety of long grain rice which is grown in places such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
It is named after the jasmine flower because the flower and the rice are very similar colours.
Some people mistakenly believe that the rice was named for its taste.
And although it does have a sweet and nutty flavour, that isn’t why it is called Jasmine.
All of that background information is all well and good but it is of probably zero interest to your dog.
So to fix that, in the next section, I want to look at ways in which jasmine rice will benefit your dog.
Why is jasmine rice healthy for dogs to eat?
I personally love rice and would quite happily eat it most days.
But I’m always a bit disappointed by the nutrition in most rice.
I think rice is healthy for what it doesn’t contain as opposed to what it does.
The healthy aspects of jasmine rice is that it is low in calories, fat and sugar.
Actually it has no sugar in it at all.
Short and sweet don’t you think?
Which leads us into looking at the ways that jasmine rice might be unhealthy for your dog.
Why is jasmine rice unhealthy for dogs to eat?
I think that most of us would categorise any variety of rice as a healthy food but I think to be honest that it falls somewhere between healthy and unhealthy.
We have already established that it doesn’t contain any sugar or fat but it is about 30% carbohydrate and dogs need little, if any, carbohydrates in their diet.
You might be shocked to learn, as I was, that a white potato is only about 20% carbohydrate.
The other thing that is “missing” from Jasmine rice is any meaningful amounts of vitamins or minerals.
The biggest nutrients are iron and calcium but it doesn’t contain significant amounts of either.
Zinc, magnesium and copper are also somewhere in there but in tiny amounts- even for minerals, which are only in foods in tiny amounts anyway.
But, all is not lost.
In the next section, I will provide you with my jasmine rice hack.
To supercharge your portions and make them a much healthy food for your dog
Can dogs eat brown jasmine rice?
The hack is ridiculously simple really.
Instead of buying white jasmine rice to feed your dog, buy them the brown variety.
Sure it will be a little harder to come buy and more expensive to buy but this extra expense and effort does come with some health perks.
Actually, I have just checked and it could be that jasmine brown rice is cheaper!
Any variety of rice, be it basmati or jasmine, has several “colour” varieties.
White is the one we are most familiar with, followed by brown but there are lots of rice colours out there.
Brown jasmine rice has just been processed less than white jasmine rice.
Brown jasmine rice is a whole grain of rice.
It includes the bran and germ, which are two parts that are taken away to create white jasmine rice.
The basic upshot of this is that brown rice is more nutritious and white rice is easier to cook.
And the biggest win is that brown rice contains more dietary fiber- which will help boost your dog’s digestion system.
Brown rice contains more B vitamins and minerals than white rice but the differences are surprisingly small.
How should you prepare jasmine rice?
If you are planning to feed your dog Jasmine rice, then it should be prepared in the same way that you would prepare it if you were to eat it yourself.
The secret with any rice is to steam it and not boil it.
There is no need to rinse the rice, just add a portion to a pan of boiling water.
The amount of water: rice ratio is about 1.5:1 for white rice and 2:1 for brown rice.
Once the pan of water is boiling again, put a lid on the pan and move it across to the smallest gas ring on your oven and turn it down to its lowest level.
Cook the white rice for 12 minutes and leave it standing for another 10 minutes.
Cook the brown rice for 30 minutes and leave it standing for another 10 minutes.
How much jasmine rice should you feed your dog?
Most probably your dog is already on a complete diet of one sort or another.
And therefore you are looking to add a bit of jasmine rice to their diet as a way of “spicing” up some tired or boring kibble or because you are wondering what to do with a leftover portion of jasmine from last night’s meal.
No matter why you want to let your dog eat some of this delicious rice, you should keep the portions quite small.
For medium sized dogs like mine (Golden Retrievers) I’m talking a couple of tablespoons.
Adjust those portions depending on the size of your dog.
Perhaps there is one exception to this, which I will talk about in the next section.
Should you feed jasmine rice to a dog with diarrhoea?
Many of us, when it comes to helping a dog with diarrhoea, quickly make the leap to feeding them white rice.
So will jasmine rice be a good substitute?
There is nothing wrong with giving your dog some jasmine rice if they have a touch of diarrhoea and you have some available.
Just make sure that it is white and not brown.
White rice is a well known cure for mild diarrhoea because it is such a simple food.
As we discussed earlier, there isn’t much in white rice and so it is very easy for a poorly stomach to digest.
Added to that is the fact that cooked rice is mostly water which really helps to make diarrhea better.
As we draw this article to a close, I want to look at a special sort of jasmine rice, which most of us will only eat occasionally on special occasions.
But when we do, should we share it with our dogs.
Can dogs eat coconut jasmine rice?
Jasmine rice and coconut make good bedfellows because they are both very Asian in their origin.
And although I have only had coconut jasmine rice on a couple of occasions, I agree that combining these two ingredients makes for a taste sensation.
Coconut jasmine rice is a delicious dish and I’m sure that my dogs would second that if I gave them a taster.
The trouble with coconut jasmine rice as far as our dogs are concerned is the enormous fat content.
Coconut jasmine rice is made by boiling jasmine rice with a can of coconut milk which is over 18% fat!
A spoonful won’t hurt them but can you stop at that?