Rice For Sick Dogs

Rice For Sick Dogs

As a pet parent, you will likely need to address your dog’s sicknesses at some point. One of these is mild stomach upsets. If your dog has a decreased appetite and diarrhea, figuring out what to feed them to help them get on the mend might be challenging. This is where rice comes in for sick dogs.

You might first ask, can dogs have rice? As an omnivore, your pup can safely eat rice if they are otherwise healthy. As such, offering a bland meal of white rice and chicken is often a choice remedy for dogs with stomach upsets. However, gas, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea are sometimes signs of a more serious issue. Always check with your vet before attempting to treat your dog’s sickness at home.

Can You Give Rice to Sick Dogs?

You should only feed your dog a bland meal of rice and meat if they are healthy and their diarrhea is mild. Your dog’s stomach will often settle on its own, and there may be no need to change its diet in response. Be sure to check with your vet in any case!

Your dog’s digestive system runs on a delicate balance. It processes nutrients from your pup’s food and makes stool that should not be too hard or too soft. The digestive system requires certain food types to work at its best, and as with humans, it can be beneficial to adjust what your pooch eats when they have digestive problems. Rice aids digestion for several reasons. Most importantly, rice is easy on the digestive system. It is low in fiber, which helps to firm up your dog’s stool, reducing diarrhea that can come with stomach troubles.

With this being said, rice is not a cure-all for digestive troubles in dogs. First and foremost, excessive rice consumption can cause constipation. This is because too much fiber can become indigestible, further leading to uncomfortable bowel obstructions. As well as this, rice is high in the glycemic index, which can lead to diabetes. As such, diabetic or overweight dogs may not tolerate rice well. It’s also less suitable for dogs with candida or yeast infections, as yeasts and bacteria feed on the sugars produced by carbohydrates in rice.

What Type of Rice Can You to Your Dogs?

There are more than 40,000 rice varieties, but most fall into two categories – white or brown. For our furry friends, you’ll most often find either white or brown rice when rice is present in their food. This is because other types are more expensive and have a different nutritional profile. The answer to the question, can dogs have rice is yes, but the type matters, too.

White Rice

White rice is a starchy grain with a chewy and soft texture. It’s a refined grain, so it doesn’t offer the same amount of fiber as whole grains – but it is still a good source of carbohydrates, iron, and manganese. White rice has little fat but plenty of protein and B vitamins (especially thiamin and niacin).

As well as this, white rice has a higher glycemic index than other varieties of rice, which can elevate your dog’s blood sugar levels. If your dog is diabetic, it may be best to avoid white rice or only give it in small quantities to avoid adverse effects. Overall, though, white rice is the best rice for sick dogs.


  • Easier to digest than brown rice
  • Readily available in most shops
  • Lower fiber content
  • Available in nutritionally enriched forms


  • Higher on the glycemic index than brown rice
  • Less nutritious than brown rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain. This means it comes with all parts of the grain, including bran, germ, and endosperm. It’s chewy and takes a bit longer to cook due to the tougher bran coating. This type of rice has a small advantage over white rice in terms of nutritional content as it contains more fiber and antioxidants.

However, brown rice is often less suitable for a dog with stomach troubles than white rice. This is because of the higher fiber content in brown rice. It’s also a little harder for your pup to digest due to the harder exterior. If you’re just looking for a nutritious addition to your dog’s meal every once in a while, brown rice is totally acceptable. But if your dog is having trouble with diarrhea, it’s best to stick with white rice.


  • More nutritious than white rice
  • Less processed than white rice


  • Higher fiber content than white rice
  • More difficult to digest than white rice
  • It takes longer to cook than white rice

Chicken and Rice Recipe for Sick Dogs

A bland meal may not sound appetizing for your pooch, but sometimes it’s a good option for dogs with upset stomachs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your dog’s meal. Always use boneless, skinless chicken breast. This avoids excess fat, which could further upset your dog’s stomach. Next, always boil your dog’s chicken pieces to remove excess fat.

While boiled chicken loses more B vitamins than roasted chicken, boiled chicken retains more iron, folate, and vitamin E. For rice, we recommend sticking with white rice. This is because brown rice is higher in fiber and can worsen an upset stomach when given in excess. Be sure to prepare the rice according to the package instructions.

Your dog’s weight (lbs)Chicken (cups per day)Rice (cups per day)
Less than 101/32/3
20-303/41 1/2
40-601 1/42 1/2
60-801 1/33 1/2
80-1002 1/44 1/2
Chicken and Rice Recipe for Sick Dogs

Overall, it’s best to aim for 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of rice to 1 cup of chicken.

Better Options Than Rice

It’s very important to note that you should only attempt to treat your dog’s stomach upsets at home if they are otherwise healthy. If your dog is frequently vomiting or experiencing frequent bouts of constipation or diarrhea, your first stop should be with your vet. You risk potentially worsening the underlying issue by attempting to treat your dog at home.

Oatmeal is another option for dogs with digestive upsets. It contains soluble fiber, which attracts water and removes it from the digestive tract. This helps slow digestion, adding bulk to your dog’s bowel movements.

Psyllium husks are another viable option for pups with digestive troubles. Like oatmeal, psyllium contains plenty of soluble fiber. It soaks up water in your dog’s digestive tract, making their stool firmer and slower to pass. You can find psyllium in unflavored Metamucil, available over the counter and can be given to your pup at home.

So, can sick dogs have rice? Indeed, they can. However, it’s best to stick with white rice for better results. And, as always, make sure to contact your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s health. Frequent bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting cause a vet visit.