Can Dogs Eat Barley? Good or Bad Idea?

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Are you wondering if your dog can benefit from eating barley?

Whether this food is healthy for hounds is a question we get asked a lot!

Can I Give My Dog Barley?Here’s the deal:

While feeding protein-packed meats will ensure that your dog thrives, adding some barley is also OK.

In fact, this particular grain is considered one of the better ingredients in quality canine chows!

Your Dog Can Eat Barley

It can nicely complement a diet of meat-based protein.

Rest assured that barley will have no toxic effect.

On the contrary, the grain is nutritious much like quinoa! Nevertheless, limit your dog’s portions to a moderate amount.

Pro Tip: A great way to add this grain is with a super dog food that incorporates barley into the recipe.

Pet Dogs And Carbs

Whether dogs require carbohydrates is something that is continually debated. It really depends on who you ask!

The case can be made that canines 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.

On the other hand…

Dogs have been domesticated for a long time and are basically scavengers. They eat anything they can for sustenance.

A lot of today’s dog foods contain a fair amount of carbohydrates such as barley. Many dogs fed these formulated foods live long and healthy lives.

The debate continues!

The K9 Digestive System

Dogs break down foods differently than us humans. Further, they need plenty of protein from animal sources.

Do not get carried way feeding anything resembling a vegetarian diet.

Barley And Other Grains

Barley is a hearty grain that is loaded with gluten.

When feeding your dog grains and wheat, realize these are man-made and wouldn’t normally be available to canines.

Barley is cultivated — it is separated from the shaft and so on.

The point is it’s unnatural for dogs to consume despite barley being a wholesome food.

How to Pick a 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.

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 their nutritional needs met.

The Bottom Line

You can feed your dog some barley.

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.

In any case…

While barley is an excellent grain, it isn’t an essential component for canine health. Yet, there is no harm in sharing in moderation.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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16 thoughts on “Can Dogs Eat Barley? Good or Bad Idea?”

  1. Should I just cook it or add something else? How about putting boiled eggs in the meal?

  2. I have 5 large dogs, 3 American Bull dogs, a Rottweiler and an American Staffordshire Terrier. I feed then Pedigree dry dog food and add either boiled chicken or hamburger, sometimes a bit of rice along with raw eggs added to the meat after it is cooked.

    I heard with dry dog foods all the nutrients are cooked out so I’ve been adding all the above to their meals. My question is if white rice is fattening and should I switch to barley instead?

    The Rottweiler is always scratching, patches of dry skin and sheds a lot. So I wanted to see if the barley would be better for her. Is boiled egg, with the shell, better to feed my dogs? I tried Dinovite and I got no results after 3 months.

    1. I give brown rice mixed with barley with boneless chicken (boiled together). White rice is fattening for dogs.

    2. Try a grain-free dry food like SavourLife, raw meat, omega oil, brewers yeast. But not too many eggs, and if raw not the whites. We breed Rotties and their coats are gorgeous!

    3. I wouldn’t feed them dry Pedigree dog food. I have a German Shepherd who had the same problem. Giving cooked food isn’t ideal as all the goodness is cooked out and basically replaced with artificial additives. Preservatives and so forth make your dog sick in the long run.

      Raw meat is the best for them, along with natural ingredients added. The stuff they would normally get in the stomach of a kill when they hunt. That’s the only way a dog would eat barley or any other grass seed. Certainly not rice, or corn.

      My dog is aged 10 years old and he’s thriving now that I have totally removed processed kibbles and cooked meal. His skin is perfect too. It’s such a relief to know his digestive system gets what it was intended to get in the first place.

  3. How do I prepare barley, flax seeds and dry split peas for my dogs and how much and how often do I give? 2 of my dogs are 65 and 80 pounds and the other is 25 pounds.

    1. One thing I know is you must soak brown rice, barley and/or oats for 8-10 hours before boiling or cooking.

      1. I’m not sure what kind of barley you’re getting. The barley I buy just needs to be cooked for 45 minutes. There’s no soaking involved.

  4. Hill’s Science Diet has changed their product line and so I’m in the process of trying the new canned and dry food for my dog. They took away turkey and chicken stew with veggies, which was great for my dog.

    There was no reaction, no allergies. So now it’s turkey and chicken entrée with barley, and the dry food is chicken with barley.

    I’ve noticed over the last few days she has been itchy, not all the time, and she just got groomed, no fleas/ticks. So I’m wondering if she is having some kind of reaction to the barley? There is nothing else I’ve changed for her.

    1. I personally will not feed my dog dry kibble. It’s processed commercial food with fillers (grains) not intended to be part of a diet for dogs. It is also hard to digest due to the starch, etc. As your dog gets older this will worsen their digestion system and cause problems. High fat and high carbs (including grains) is a diet to avoid.

      1. Have you not heard that a grain-free diet is the leading cause of DCM (canine dilated cardiomyopathy)? Veterinarians rarely agree 100% on anything, but they certainly do on this issue. You are not doing your dogs any favors by omitting healthy grains from their diet.

  5. Josephine says:

    I use green lentils as a base and soak them overnight. The next day I drain in a strainer and wash in cold water, let the water drain. Then put in pot add hot water, cook for a few minutes (don’t overcook). Then drain and strain in cold water again. Usually cook up 2 packets so I have it in bulk and use as needed for meals by microwaving a portion of it for 1 min – 1 min 20 seconds.

    Then add chicken, lamb, tuna, salmon or sardines plus a little olive oil as well as a little mixture made up of yam (sweet orange potato) broccoli and turmeric (again made in bulk) Medium Yam x 1, 1 – 2 cups of broccoli, 1/2 tsp of Turmeric. Normally served with a handful of doggie kibbles. Yum she loves it! I’m using different meats or fish gives her the variety.

    1. Microwaving? I threw away my microwave more than 20 years ago. It destroys the food and scrambles the DNA. If you are concerned about doing the best for your pet and yourself, do your research!

  6. I cook stews for my Jack Russell, i.e. beef, chicken, fish, whatever I have on hand. I add mixed veggies to the stew and have been using barley as a thickener. I serve it to him over a dry kibbled commercial food. Is this a healthy diet for a 14 year old dog? He seems to be in good health and is still fairly active.

    1. You may want to try chick peas as an alternative. Also, Indian supermarkets carry a variety of lentils especially red lentils or Moong, which are inexpensive. Just throw them into your stew. It’s a great source of protein and gluten free.

      When you serve your pet, add some plain yogurt, which is a probiotic, and a teaspoon of oil like Safflower or Olive oil to your stew. Herbs like oregano or mint add flavor and a pinch of Turmeric has many benefits including cancer prevention. I would however avoid commercial kibble.

      1. In light of the recent FDA findings regarding peas, legumes and heart disease in dogs, I looked for a dog food without peas or lentils. Unfortunately, I found none that are grain-free! I had been feeding #2 on the list for a while switching between proteins and adding more fresh meat or chicken and fish. I actually switched before the product list came out, choosing Canidae pure, even though it contains peas because they are well down on the ingredient list.

        My standard Poodle gets tired of the same food, and likes to eat what she smells me cooking. My lab, on the other hand, will gobble anything. They both like dry “crunchies” in the morning with Stella and Chewys freeze dried raw biscuits. Zesty paws vitamin and Dr. Lyon hip and joint supplement.

        The Lab gets a cup of dry with salmon or mackerel. I make my Poodle dinner with bison, lamb, chicken, tiny meatballs mixed with a small quantity of rice, oil, eggshell calcium and ground flax seed (all baked in the oven). She eats them and looks great, but I only make 2 days at a time because she doesn’t like leftovers. I’ve read that for dog, white rice is preferable.

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