Can I Feed My Dog Quinoa?

You have probably thought of sharing Quinoa with your favorite pet, but you are paranoid if it is harmful to your dog. Quinoa is an excellent grain grown widely in South America and other parts of the world. It is an ancient grain with a wide variety of seeds.

If you want to reduce your caloric intake, then you must use quinoa seeds since they are gluten-free and nutritious.

Although we find these foods nutritious for human consumption, we always want to share with our pets the food, but we find it challenging. The good news is that most of the products that are fit for human consumption can also be essential for dog consumption.

However, in this article, we will help you explore the benefits of quinoa for dog consumption.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is an ancient organic seed that was first grown over thousands of years by the ancient Incas. However, people still view quinoa as grain-like amaranth, faro, and barley, but it is a pure yummy seed.

It comes from a herbaceous plant known as Chenopodium Quinoa of the amaranth family. It is good to note that the food is gluten-free and contains all amino acids essential for human health.

Quinoa was first grown in South America in countries like Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. Currently, the seed is grown in the United States, Kenya, India, and some parts of the European countries.

Why is quinoa healthy

Depending on the type of quinoa, a 100gm of the seed should have:

  • ¬†Fat: 4.9 grams
  • Thiamin: 0.25 of a gram
  • Riboflavin: 0.23 of a gram
  • Calories: 380
  • Iron: 9 milligrams
  • Calcium: 60 milligrams
  • ¬†Niacin: 1.4 grams
  • Carbs: 70 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams

The above components found in quinoa makes it a highly nutritious food for both dogs and humans. Furthermore, it has a deficient level of starch; thus, the America Kennel Club prefers using quinoa in place of soy, wheat, and corn.

Quinoa also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a perfect food for dogs. It is known as a superfood in some parts of the United States due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron.

Health benefits associated with quinoa

Quinoa has a wide range of benefits that are associated with the presence of minerals and vitamins. Below is a highlight of how quinoa can boost your dog’s health and diet.

As a reliable source of carbohydrates

Dogs require excess energy on a daily basis. Quinoa can help supply the dog with energy for an extended period. The reason being, Quinoa is made up of long chains of sugar molecules that take time to breakdown.

The quinoa is beneficial to standard carbohydrates since it supplies the body with steady carbohydrates throughout the day. Furthermore, quinoa does not affect the dog’s blood sugar or cause hyperactivity.

As a source of protein

Quinoa is an essential food for dogs that are allergic to proteins. Furthermore, it has a monounsaturated fat that reduces the risks of heart problems.

Source of vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamine. It helps in enhancing brain functionality and improving canine metabolism. It also acts as a catalyst in the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. The energy provided enhances the proper functioning of the brain, heart, and nervous system.

Source of vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential to the body as it helps protect the heart from coronary related diseases. It is a crucial need for supporting the body immunity system.

The presence of vitamin E in quinoa can help convert a furry dog’s coat into shiny smooth and sleek. Furthermore, it helps nourish the dog’s hair, skin, and nails.

Source of amino acids

Amino acids play a vital role in enhancing muscle growth and reducing fatigue. Due to the presence of nine amino acids in quinoa, an active dog can benefit from quinoa, as it is a superb addition to the dog’s diet.

Low presence of calories

If your dog has a massive amount of weight, you can offer him with quinoa since it has about 3.5 grams of fat per cup and 220 calories per cooked cup.

It is a source of antioxidants

Quinoa is rich in vitamin B1 and B6, calcium, and vitamin E that are well-known for antioxidants properties. The antioxidants help in slowing down the aging process, reducing inflammation, and defending the dog from chronic pathogens.

Source of calcium

Calcium is a vital need if you want your dog to have strong bones and teeth. Therefore, adding quinoa to the dog’s diet can be beneficial to the dog’s health. Calcium is also an essential need for puppies, pregnant, and nursing female dogs.

Source of fiber

Just like human beings, dogs also require fiber to keep them healthy and fit. Quinoa offers a comprehensive source of fiber that helps in preventing constipation and boosting the dog’s digestive system.

Source of iron

Iron helps in the production and functionality of red blood cells. Offering your dog food rich in iron like quinoa will help in protecting your dog from anemia.

Source of magnesium

Magnesium helps in strengthening bones and muscles while maintaining the dog’s heartbeat by regulating its blood sugar level.

Quinoa is also essential in protecting the dog from kidney stones and diabetes. The presence of a vast amount of antioxidants, such as zinc helps fight the generation of cancerous cells and maintain the well-being of the dog. Quinoa is also essential in boosting the nervous system and the cardiovascular system.

Health risks associated with quinoa

Quinoa produces saponin a chemical substance that defends the plant from insects. If taken in large amounts, saponin irritates the dog’s intestines leading to constipation and diarrhea. However, washing the seeds before cooking them helps in reducing the amount of saponin produced.

However, if you feed your dog with quinoa and notice the following signs, contact your vet and withdraw from feeding your dog with quinoa.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and swelling
  • Drooling

Be sure to add quinoa in the dog’s diet, if your best friend does not exhibit any symptoms at first.

Furthermore, always wash and cook it before serving it to your dog. Mix the food with rice, veggie, and meat for a proper and healthier diet.

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