Can I Give My Dog Quinoa?

Can I Give My Dog Quinoa?Quinoa has become popular as people seek out healthy choices. Dog owners are no different and so it makes sense to address the question of giving your dog such an excellent food.

This grain, a pseudo-cereal, is fabulously nutritious. If you aren’t against occasionally giving your dog some table scraps, then quinoa would be among the best choices. So we think it can be a great treat for canines.

It’s likely that your dog will agree. What’s particularly great about Quinoa is how light it is compared to something like potatoes or most other starches. So, the verdict on this food is in!

Can I Give My Dog Quinoa? Answer: Yes, cooked & start w/ small amounts

It’s an amazing gluten free seed that contains high levels of essential amino acids which are hard to find in any other food.

Your dog can safely have some quinoa but start out with small portions. Better yet, get holistic dry dog food that contains quinoa! All in all, it’s difficult to find anything to criticize about this super food. The outstanding overall nutritional value explains why it continues to gain in popularity. Take a look at the following 100 gram nutritional breakdown of this super power food:

Calories – 372
Carbs – 71.2 grams
Protein – 11.5 grams
Fat – 4.9 grams
Calcium – 66 milligrams
Iron – 8.5 milligrams
Niacin – 1.4 grams
Thiamin – 0.24 of a gram
Riboflavin – 0.23 of a gram

Various kinds offer slightly different nutritional values compared to those listed above. In any case, dogs don’t typically get to consume such quality foods but your pooch is worth it!

Quinoa for Dogs, For Real

If your dog gets lots of exercise, Quinoa may be a great treat because of the high doses of protein and complex carbohydrates it contains. But not everyone, including dogs, react to new foods in the same way. It could be that your dog’s stomach will disagree with it. Perhaps you can try a high quality canine snack which incorporates quinoa.

Always practice moderation when introducing a new food to Fido. The definitive yes or no answer comes after you provide a taste test for your dog. That’s the most reasonable approach for feeding your best buddy some nutritious quinoa.

Rinse, Wash & Cook

One key piece of advice is to rinse, wash and cook your Quinoa before serving it to anyone including your dog. Doing this is very important because it usually is coated in an unseen chemical called saponin which is toxic and probably more dangerous for dogs than it is for us.

Quinoa Question Marks

The only drawback to Quinoa, specifically when it comes to our four-legged friends, is that their digestive systems aren’t geared towards plant-like food. In general, dogs don’t take well to foods containing oxalates because they are insoluble. Since Quinoa is plant-based, even though it’s actually the seed you’d be serving up, there is some chance they could reaction poorly.

If you do decide to offer some cooked quinoa to your pup, be sure to monitor them afterwards just in case. Negative symptoms could include pawing at the mouth, lack of appetite, drooling, vomiting and oral pain or swelling of those areas. Generally, reactions to oxalates in dogs are mild if noticed at all.

Will Your Dog Try It?

The only way to know if your dog can consume this seed cereal wonder crop is to cautiously give them a small portion. If some of those above symptoms sound scary then by all means stick to dog food because, after-all, canines don’t actually need to be eating quinoa. It also can’t hurt to consult with your vet first.

Conclusion on Quinoa

Yes, dogs should be able to handle some properly prepared quinoa. Start out by providing a small amount. If your dog’s stomach ends up agreeing with quinoa, it could actually make for a great snack alternative since it’s loaded nutrition. But keep in mind that even though this food is very healthy, it can’t replace your dog’s regular dog food which should be primarily meat-based.

Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Some Quinoa? Below

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy April, 2015

For the past 4 years, I’ve fed my three rescue dogs home-cooked meals. For the most part they include quinoa, bran, brown rice, flaxseed meal, lots of ground turkey, peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans and squash or yams. These are all cooked or simmered and then I add olive oil at the end. I freeze enough for 2 weeks. When I feed, I add a high quality kibble and sometimes a good wet food and either Dentatreat or SeaMeal or Missing Link. I tend to rotate those during the week.

I’ve had little or no stomach problems and these were rescue dogs with food allergies, skin issues and behavioral issues we think caused by poor feeding. Their stools are normal and look good. If what the person above says is true, that the oxalates are too high, then I may reconsider and reformulate so there is less quinoa. But since I wash and really rinse the quinoa before using (though it is mostly washed prior to packaging), I don’t see right now the problem. Any suggestions?


Kay February, 2015

I have a 7-year old Yorkie I feed quinoa to from time to time and she loses her mind, in a great way, each time! I usually cook a small amount with some chopped up cooked chicken breast and mix it with her kibble into one meal. Given most of her nutrients come from her dog food, and she will forgo eating her kibble for the quinoa, I ensure it’s mixed in at all times. It will make her go more times during the day and could soften her stool if given too much, but it’s a treat. I indulge her in once a month or so.


Louise April, 2015

Kibble and ready made pet foods have very little nutrition. Don’t believe the advertising; it’s only meant to sell products and make big money for the companies. The veterinarians with the most education on nutrition are homeopathic and they all recommend a raw meat and bones diet. It has some vegetables in it but none that are starches like yams.

Starches cause blood sugar elevation, allow yeast to grow and cause other health problems for dogs and cats. Dogs are made to eat raw meat with the organs and bones included. My friend has 4 Yorkies and she’s been feeding them raw for over 20 years. Her oldest dog now is 23 years old and is very healthy.


Nancy January, 2015

I never thought of giving my Dalmatian quinoa. Dalmatians are prone to kidney stones. I give her a low protein diet of meat, so I give her the lowest Blue Buffalo dry food with some cooked veggies. Will try quinoa next time.


Kathy November, 2014

I have been feeding my Labs raw for a couple of years now and they have done great. I am always looking for something good to add to their ground turkey or beef. I love quinoa myself and I was thinking it would be good for them too, so I cooked some and added it to their food all week. They loved it and all was well. I will be making more for them.


Maurine October, 2014

My 2 dogs; 1 is 50 pounds, the other 30 pounds just ate a 1.5 quart bowl full of cooked quinoa, Italian sausage, garlic, and onions. I called my regular and ER vet. They said they may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. My vet recommended adding a FortiFlora packet, a probiotic product, to a bit of food or a treat to help their gut stabilize. They should be okay with the quinoa per both regular and ER vets. So I will report back any issues in 24 and 48 hours. My current issue is that they ate what I was going to heat up and eat myself!


Cathy April, 2015

From what I’ve read, onions can be toxic and garlic a bit less, but still not good for them. I feed my dogs quinoa, bran, flaxseed, ground turkey, veggies, olive oil and then add excellent quality kibble and either Missing Link or Dentatreat. So far, they are extremely healthy and it’s been over 4 years. I do add wet food, occasionally. But do reconsider onions and garlic, please!


Maki May, 2015

Did you know onions are poison for dogs? Also garlic is on that list but less dangerous. Italian sausage usually has too much spice and preservatives. Please research this more as I’m sure you wouldn’t want to hurt your dogs. Onions can have a cumulative effect.


Angel October, 2014

I’ve been serving my 10 pound Silky Terrier a mix of steamed turkey, organic carrots and steamed quinoa (1:1:1) with added powdered vitamins for quite a while now. She seems to be quite happy and she’s extremely picky when it comes to meals. She would literally starve rather then eat dog food. Even those 40 dollar per pound only entertain her for a short period of time and quinoa was approved by her highness. She goes potty normal as well.


Kate October, 2014

Two days ago, my 42 pound Pitbull ate 3/4 cup of raw quinoa that I had sitting in a bowl on the counter. What a rascal! Luckily apart from a bit of diarrhea, she is fine.


Carmia September, 2014

I don’t give my dog quinoa because he has such a sensitive stomach so I have to watch what he eats. The two times my dog got a hold of quinoa is because my sister gives it to her dog and we live together. She leaves it down for her dog to eat, but my dog was around and he ate it. Each time he does his stomach is okay for the moment, but he wakes up in the middle of the night throwing up. It also makes his stool mushy.


Barb September, 2014

I’m trying to give my dog healthier food other than dry dog food. I just gave my Bichon/Poodle a mixture of pureed chicken, quinoa mixed with brown rice, all mashed together. I checked this site and only gave her 1/2 cup. I hope she doesn’t react badly. I’ll let you know. Thanks to all.


Karen March, 2014

Last night I cooked some lentil quinoa burgers for dinner. I gave some of the mixture to my dog, a Cockapoo. He gladly ate it. Okay, I confess, I gave him more than I should have. I paid for it, and so did he. (Rover, I am very sorry!) I tried to go to bed at 11:30pm last night, but was up every hour with him, 10 times in a row.

I kept thinking he would throw up. He wanted to go outside to eat grass. So I knew he was not feeling well. He did his business in the middle of the night, but still kept getting up every hour. My lesson – if I give my dog something new, I am going to research it first and if I do give him something new, I am going to only give him small portions.


Marie February, 2014

I was cooking quinoa and my toy poodle, Persia, was standing there just waiting for a bite of what I was cooking. She eats all kinds of food like carrots, pinto beans, oatmeal, rice, almonds, so I figured quinoa would be okay. I gave her a spoonful and she loved it!! Before giving her anymore I made sure it was safe for her to consume. I am starting to give her quinoa on a regular basis since I’ve been eating it more often as well.


Terence February, 2014

Hi Marie. Quinoa is considered a grain. Dogs are carnivores and need only meats, but you can include some fruits and vegetables in moderation. Make sure the fruits are of the safe variety. Grains are of no use to dogs. Quinoa has very high-oxalate content that can form kidney and bladder stones if eaten too much.

Almonds also have high levels of oxalates and lots of fat that can easily lead to Pancreatitis, a life threatening disease that can kill dogs within hours.


Tiago March, 2016

Dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores.


Terence February, 2014

Dogs predisposed to develop uric acid crystals or stones, like Dalmatians, Bulldogs and Russian Terriers, should avoid eating quinoa.


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