September 13, 2016

You Love It, But Can Dogs Eat Quinoa? Bonus Recipes, Too!

If the question, Can dogs eat quinoa? has brought you here, you may be facing one of the following situations.

  • Your dog ate some quinoa and you’re wondering if that’s safe.
  • You love quinoa and would like to feed it to your dog, too.
  • You’ve heard about the health benefits of quinoa and you’re curious if they go for your dog as well.

I’ll answer all of these questions and more. Therefore, by the time you’ve finished reading this, you will know almost everything you need to about your dog eating quinoa.

First, here is a little bit more about why you might want to research quinoa and your dog. There is a lot of buzz online and in pet communities about grains. Is it ok for your dog to eat grains?​

Dogs and Grains​

Lately, the subject of dogs eating grains is controversial. Many pet owners have heard that grains are fillers and may not be digestible. Popular opinion is that grains are not beneficial and may even be harmful to dogs.

However, the experts continue to assert that your dog can safely eat grains. The real concern is that grains are not nutritionally beneficial to dogs.​

So the truth lies somewhere in the middle, as it often does. You probably should keep the amount of grain that your dog eats to a minimum. You don’t have to worry about your dog eating some grains, however.

Additionally, this is especially true when your dog eats a good diet to begin with. If your dog gets the nutrition he needs from his food and you add some grains here and there, this is not harmful. If you fed only grains to your dog, this would be a problem, however.

If your dog has an allergy to any or all grains, obviously this trumps everything and is specific to your dog. This is one of the reasons you should always speak with your vet before embarking on a new diet change with your pet.

But, What Is Quinoa? Is It A Grain?​

Quinoa is an ancient grain that remains largely unchanged from its initial form. It is naturally gluten free and a complete protein. It is also plant-based, which makes it a great choice for people reducing their meat intake.

Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids the human body needs. It is far higher in protein than any other grain. There is no doubt that quinoa is healthy for people.

Because quinoa is so popular among healthy eaters, many of those same people want to give some to their dog. This makes sense, but more research is needed.

Of course, dogs are another story. From what we already know, it seems like quinoa might be a great choice for dogs. It is very nutritious. It contains lots of protein. It is relatively easy to digest, also. Let’s look closer.​

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa: Is It Dangerous

Dogs can safely eat cooked quinoa. Like with any new food, your dog will let you know if it is sensitive to the new food. If you notice digestive upset, stop feeding quinoa to your dog immediately.

You must always let your vet know that you plan to add a new food like quinoa to your dog’s diet. Your vet can give you sound advice and they already know your dog’s medical history. Additionally, your vet’s knowledge is a true asset to you and your dog’s health.

Is Quinoa Good For Dogs?​

Dogs can benefit from eating a reasonable amount of quinoa. The amino acids in quinoa are good for your dog, too. Quinoa is high in protein which is especially great for dogs like boxers, pitbulls, and doberman pinschers.

The key is don’t go overboard. You can feed your dog quinoa in moderation as a supplement to his regular diet.

Read more: Can Dogs Eat Squash? The Skinny On This Healthy Veg!

Quinoa Dog Treat Recipes

Now it’s time for the fun part! Here are a few recipes for healthy dog treats with quinoa. They are easy to make and good for your dog.

I cannot stress enough, however, that you must only feed treats in moderation. You don’t want a fat, unhealthy dog! For instance, olive oil is a healthy fat, however if you ate too much olive oil you would gain weight. That isn’t so healthy. It is the same for your dog.

If you want to cook your own dog food, you must do much more research than I have room for here. What I will tell you is that there are some tips out there about feeding a whole food diet to your dog. You can find them and work with your vet to incorporate this type of eating in your household.​

Quinoa And Spinach Dog Treats

This healthy treat does contain some fat, so remember not to overdo it. It is so quick and easy to make!

Additionally, your dog can safely eat moderate amounts of spinach. Your dog shouldn’t eat a lot of spinach, however. Over time, toxicity can build up. This should be fine since you are only going to give these treats to your dog sparingly, right?!

Alternately, you can feel comfortable substituting any other safe, leafy green in place of the spinach in this recipe.​

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F or 80º C.
  • Blanch your spinach briefly in boiling water to wilt it.
  • Combine wilted spinach and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until the spinach is minced.
  • Transfer this mixture to a bowl and mix flour until everything is combined.
  • Slowly add water until the mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. It will form a ball.
  • Roll out to approximately 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters or a knife to cut into shapes.
  • Transfer your dog cookies to a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes. Flip the treats halfway through the cooking time.
  • When the treats are done, you may leave them in the oven for up to an hour to ensure they are totally dehydrated. This is best for storage. They are safe for your dog to eat, however, right out of the oven.
  • Let them cool first, of course!

Peanut Butter and Quinoa Dog Treats

Does your dog go crazy for peanut butter like mine does? It’s always a hit in my house. This recipe features peanut butter and increases the nutritional value with protein packed quinoa.

Peanut butter is full of fat, so, yet again, you want to be careful with this treat. Don’t let your dog eat too many!

Ingredients:​

  • 1 16oz jar of all natural peanut butter - the higher quality, the better!
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa

Yes, that’s it!

Directions:

  • Cook the quinoa according to directions on the package. Leave out the salt, though.
  • Keep right on cooking that quinoa past the time the package advises. Your goal is to achieve mush.
  • Transfer the quinoa to a bowl while it is still warm and mix with the peanut butter.
  • Transfer this whole mix into mini muffin tin. The peanut butter will help grease the pan.
  • Bake on 250 for about 2.5 hours and cool until they’re safe to eat. You can have one too, if you want!

Quinoa And Culture

As I hinted at earlier, people have cultivated quinoa for thousands of years. The first recorded evidence of quinoa cultivation is from 5,000 years before Christ.

Additionally, quinoa holds an important place in many ancient cultures. It is even used in some religious rites.

Lake Titicaca is an important location for quinoa. The grain is conserved there. In fact, the area is known to contain the greatest diversity of quinoa.

Enjoy Sharing Quinoa With Your Dog​

The final word is that your dog can eat quinoa. It is one of the healthier treats your dog can eat, actually.

The key is to only feed in moderation. Even if you cook a warm meal for your dog with quinoa in it, this should be an occasional thing. You don’t want to overload your dog with heavy foods, even if they are good for them.

Sharing a few of the treats I’ve suggested with your dog is a great way to add some healthy quinoa to their diet. Please feel free to share these recipes with your friends who own dogs!

If you have your own healthy dog treat recipes to share, drop them in the comments section so everyone can benefit from your doggie treat wisdom. I’d love to learn something new from you, too!​

Lauren

Lauren is a young woman with a true passion for animals. She has kept many pets over the years and has intimate knowledge of their needs both emotionally and physically. She loves that her dogs keep her so active and satisfy her desire to spend lots of time in nature.

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