Can dogs or cats eat rice?

May 25, 2023
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

Can dogs eat rice?

Rice is a safe food for dogs to eat. In fact, many commercial dog foods contain rice as one of their main ingredients due to its numerous health benefits. Rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates that are essential for providing energy to dogs. It also provides important nutrients such as vitamins B and E, fiber, and minerals like iron and calcium.

One reason why rice is safe for dogs is because it's easy to digest. This makes it an ideal food option for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. When cooked properly without any added spices or flavors, rice can be a bland and gentle food source that won't upset your dog's stomach.

Another benefit of feeding rice to your dog is that it can help regulate their blood sugar levels. Rice has a low glycemic index which means that it doesn't cause large spikes in blood sugar levels after consumption. This can be particularly helpful in managing diabetes in dogs.

It's important to note that while plain white or brown rice is generally considered safe for most dogs, flavored or seasoned rice may contain added ingredients such as onion or garlic powders which are toxic to dogs. As always, consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet, including adding new foods like rice.

Can cats eat rice?

Rice is a safe and healthy addition to your cat's diet, as long as it is cooked and served in moderation. Rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates that can help provide energy for your feline friend. It contains essential vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid which are all important for maintaining good health in cats.

Rice also provides dietary fiber which helps regulate the digestive system of your cat. This can be especially helpful if your cat is experiencing constipation or diarrhea. Rice is also easy to digest, so it won't upset the stomachs of most cats if served in small amounts.

It's important to note that while rice can be beneficial for cats, it should not make up more than 10% of their overall diet. A balanced diet with appropriate amounts of protein and fat from meat-based sources will still be necessary for their long-term health. If you choose to feed rice to your cat, always ensure that the rice is fully cooked. And don't add any seasonings or spices which could cause harm to your feline friend.

With some careful monitoring and attention to your cat's overall nutritional requirements, feeding them rice can be a great way to vary up what they're eating. Just remember: everything in moderation! Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your cat's diet, including adding new foods like rice.

Information Purposes Only

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Pet Poison Emergency Protocol

If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

Food Safety Statuses


Could be given almost daily without harm

Safe in moderation

Not toxic, but should not be given regularly


Toxic or simply too risky to give to your pet