Barley is an excellent dietary choice, but is it something the family dog can also benefit from? Wanting to share some of your food with your buddy is perfectly normal, especially if it’s an appropriate choice for a canine.
What’s certain is that barley isn’t what your dog would be eating on their own. They’d much prefer protein packed meat. In any case, you’ll be happy to know this popular grain will have no ill effects when eaten in moderation.
But providing your pet with any human food requires more consideration than simply verifying its safety. You want your pet pooch to receive useful nutrients in order to thrive. It’s okay to give your dog barley but, more importantly, should you.
Can I Give My Dog Barley? Answer: Yes, in moderation
There will likely be no issues and, in fact, barley is a common ingredient in very high quality dry dog food.
That said, giving your dog barley too often is something you should try to avoid. If they accidentally got into some barley, you most likely have nothing to worry about as there is no known toxic effect. If you’ve run out of food and are looking for a way to hold them over until you can get to the store, barley will do. However, as an everyday food, in pure form, we’re recommending against it.
Dogs and Carbs
Depending on who you ask, dogs either need or don’t need carbohydrates to be healthy. The case can be made that dogs share a common ancestry with wild dogs, like wolves and coyotes, that subsist on a largely meat-based diet. This means that if you feed your dog meat-focused foods, they will thrive.
The flip side of that argument is that dogs have been domesticated for a long time and are basically scavengers, eating anything they can for sustenance. A lot of today’s dog foods contain a fair amount of carbohydrates such as barley. Some say that this doesn’t have any ill effect on their canines. Many dogs fed these formulated foods live long and healthy lives. The debate continues!
The K9 Digestive System
Dogs break down foods differently than humans. While barley takes a longer time for humans to fully digest, a dog will burn through it much faster. If you do give your dog barley, be sure they’re also getting enough protein from animal sources. There’s no reason to get carried way by feeding them anything resembling a vegetarian diet.
Barley & Other Grains
Barley is a hearty grain that’s loaded with gluten. When considering feeding your dog grains and wheat, it’s important to realize that these are man made items that wouldn’t normally be available to them. These types of foods, including barley, have been cultivated in order to be edible. They have been separated from the shaft and so on.
These concepts are very foreign to dogs and so it’s an unnatural food for them. It’s true even though we regard barley as a wholesome natural food.
Choosing Dog Food
When you choose food for your dog, make sure that the top ingredient is an animal-based protein. It’s okay if there are some vegetables, grains, and barley, but you don’t want them to make up the bulk of what your dog is eating.
Remember, the species’ natural instinct is to hunt down prey if it’s available, while eating anything that they come upon in-between meals. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be able to feed your dog without worrying if they’re getting all of their nutritional needs met.
Conclusion on Barley
Yes, you can feed your dog with some barley on occasion. Probably a better way to provide it consistently, and in a healthier way, is to get a quality dog food containing barley and meat protein. Barley is an excellent grain but, on its own, isn’t an essential component for canine health. Yet, there is no harm in sharing it in moderation.