Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Truth about Brewer's Rice in Dog Food

The truth about brewer's rice in pet food

By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez 


Reading the back of a bag of dog food can be confusing. Some ingredients are easy to identify- meats, fruits, and vegetables. Even some vitamins and nutrients are familiar. Other items in the list baffle pet owners. More important than the specific ingredients, is the quality of the ingredients and where they are sourced. The same goes for brewer's rice. A low-quality product purchased from an illegitimate source can be bad for your pet. If the ingredients are regulated and of the highest quality, it makes all the difference.

I often get questions about brewer’s rice. What is brewer's rice? Why is brewer's rice in dog food? Where does brewer's rice come from? There are common misconceptions about brewer’s rice.

Brewer’s rice is small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice and can be found in some dog and cat foods. This type of rice was traditionally used for brewing alcohol and is where the name ‘brewer’s rice’ originated from. The brewer's rice in pet food likely did not come from a brewery. The fragments of rice are just not aesthetically pleasing. The perfect kernels go to human food and the broken kernels go to dog food. Rice is a grain. Grains are easy to obtain and inexpensive and are often used in pet food. Grains are not bad, in fact, I highly recommend avoiding grain-free dog food. 

Brewer’s rice- also known as broken rice- is an easily digested carbohydrate that contains fiber. Fiber is important in a dog’s diet. Although fragments may contain fewer nutrients than a whole grain of rice, it's not necessarily a bad ingredient. It's filler- a by-product created when milling human-grade food. It does not contain a large amount of nutritional value, nor is it harmful to cats and dogs unless they are allergic.

Brewer’s rice is sold exclusively for dairy feed and pet food. This bulky fiber will fill your dog up without harming her. It's found in some super-premium dog foods and almost all grocery grade dog foods.

What you need to know about brewer's rice in pet food Paws For Reaction Brewers rice Saint Bernese

The key to your dog’s health in regards to brewer’s rice is where exactly it's located on the ingredient’s list. Most super-premium foods use ground rice which is richer in nutrients. It's not uncommon to see ground rice listed third or fourth on the ingredients list. Brewer’s rice, however, should not come third or fourth. The more brewers’ rice, the more carbohydrates, and too many carbs can make your pet gain weight rapidly.

Selecting the right dog food with the most nutritious ingredients can be tricky and every dog's needs are different. But the truth about brewer’s rice is that it's not harmful, but also not overly helpful.


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