Quinoa For a Pet Dog? Read This First!

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Quinoa has become popular as people increasingly seek out healthy choices.

Because pet parents are no different in this regard, we frequently get asked if dogs can be fed this particular food.

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

Quinoa is an excellent option if you aren’t against occasionally giving your dog human foods.

We think it is a terrific treat!

What is really wonderful about Quinoa is how light it is compared to potatoes or most other starches.

Dogs Can Eat Quinoa (cooked and small amounts)

It is an amazing gluten-free grain-cereal, though technically it’s a seed.

In any case, Quinoa is super nutritious with high levels of essential amino acids.

It’s likely your dog can handle it, but start out with modest portions.

What’s the Catch With Quinoa?

It is difficult to criticize this super food, but there is a downside.

The oxalates in quinoa could affect some dogs.

Listen, there’s no perfect food. But, in general, it is a winner!

Taking everything into account, our verdict is quinoa offers outstanding nutritional value and is fabulous for Fido!

Let’s Take a Closer Look!

The following is a 100 gram breakdown:

  • 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

Of course, different types of quinoa have slightly different nutritional values.

In any case, dogs do not typically get to consume such quality foods. But, your pooch is worth it!

A Conservative Approach

Quinoa is a great treat especially if your dog gets lots of exercise.

The protein and complex carbohydrates make sense.

Nevertheless, be careful whenever introducing anything new. Your dog’s stomach may not agree with this grain.

A definitive answer comes after you give a taste. That’s a reasonable approach for feeding quinoa.

Rinse, Wash and Cook It

Be sure to rinse, wash and cook your quinoa before serving it to your dog.

The reason?

It is very important to remove an unseen chemical called saponin. It’s a bit toxic and likely more dangerous for pets than it is for people.

Quinoa Question Mark

There’s another arguable drawback to Quinoa:

Animals typically don’t have digestive systems that are geared towards plant-like food. Some dogs don’t take well to oxalates.

For one, they’re often insoluble. And sometimes oxalates cause inflammation.

It’s really a judgement call!

You may want to reconsider feeding quinoa if your dog has arthritis.

And again there’s always a chance of a bad reaction since quinoa comes from a plant, even though it’s actually the seed. Pawing at the mouth, poor appetite, drooling, vomiting, oral pain and swelling are possible yet unlikely.

Will Your Dog Try It?

The only way to know if a dog can consume this seed cereal crop is to give them a small portion.

Stick to dog food if the above symptoms sound scary. Pets, after all, don’t need to eat quinoa.

The Bottom Line

Most canines can consume quinoa.

Provide a small amount to see if their stomach agrees.

Keep in mind that arthritic dogs may experience inflammation. Otherwise, quinoa is healthy and a great snack.

Just make sure to wash it before cooking.

Remember: Quinoa is loaded with nutrition, yet it can’t replace meat-based protein in quality dog food.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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21 thoughts on “Quinoa For a Pet Dog? Read This First!”

  1. I live on quinoa since I cannot tolerate anything with gluten. My Golden Chow (mix) gets cocked quinoa mixed in with lamb and brown rice can food every day. In addition, I add some peanut butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil.

    Cherie is 10 years old and weighs 60 pounds. She does not show any sign of aging so far. She runs at the dog park with a large pack of younger dogs and is able to keep up the tempo. She has never been sick in her life.

  2. My 19 pound Havanese does 1/3 cup of Orijen Six Fish with a 1/3 cup of organic quinoa mixed with boneless, skinless, no salt canned salmon and he loves it!

  3. I got my new Pit bull puppy last July and have been feeding him a great grain-free dog food and supplementing it with home-made dog food. It’s usually chicken, (all ingredients are organic) rice, veggies and broth. I just tried quinoa and both my 7 year old Lab Lava and Joey loved it.

    What I noticed though is that they get super energy from it. They get a lot of exercise but, believe me, this was amazing. After 2 hours of hard play, they still wanted more! I just made myself up a batch for breakfast to have with blueberries.

  4. 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?

    1. Check please the arsenic in the brown rice you are giving to your dogs. It is not healthy.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 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!

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Two days ago, my 42 pound Pit bull 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores.

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

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