Some of the most common foods for your dog are chicken and rice.
The high protein content and low rate of allergy make these foods popular, but how much chicken and rice to feed a dog? In this article, we will explore this question in depth.
A chicken and rice diet is regarded to have numerous health benefits for all dog breeds, particularly for those who have stomach issues.
Provided you feed appropriate portions of a chicken and rice diet, you should notice a big difference in your dog’s digestive health.
Other known benefits of this diet include muscle repair and diarrhea prevention.
Preparing a chicken and rice diet for dogs is fairly straightforward, however many get it wrong.
To prevent these mistakes we will outline all the key facts on feeding your dog chicken and rice so that you can ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition.
How Much Chicken And Rice To Feed Our Dog?
Generally, the ratio of feeding chicken and rice to your dog is two-thirds rice and one-third chicken. The chicken you serve needs to be boneless and skinless.
If you are providing this diet to correct a stomach issue, initially give small amounts until you observe improvements in your dog’s stool.
When your dog shows signs of recovery you can maintain the chicken and rice diet but increase the time between servings and monitor their stool.
As recovery improves further, you can start phasing back in their regular dog food, for example adding kibble to the chicken and rice.
Making a complete switch from chicken and rice back to regular dog food can cause greater stomach upset so a transition is key.
If the chicken and rice diet is not solving the stomach issue after a couple of days, the best advice is to take your dog to the vet for a check-up and be prescribed any treatment.
For dogs with mild stomach issues, chicken and rice will restore gut health fairly quickly.
Chicken And Rice For A Dog By Weight
|Dog's Weight||Chicken & Rice Per Day|
|10 Lbs||0.75 Cup|
|20 Lbs||1.5 Cups|
|30 Lbs||2.25 Cups|
|40 Lbs||3 Cups|
|50 Lbs||3.75 Cups|
|60 Lbs||4.5 Cups|
|70 Lbs||5.25 Cups|
|80 Lbs||6 Cups|
When To Feed Your Dog Chicken And Rice
Chicken and rice are also referred to as a bland diet.
The diet is typically recommended by vets when your dog has had regular diarrhea or constipation, has a reduced appetite, or has been vomiting for over 6 hours. The diet may also be recommended following surgery.
Also, if you suspect your dog has some allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, a vet will often recommend chicken and rice and ask you to slowly introduce some food items to work out which one your dog struggles to consume.
During this process, the vet may also request a fecal sample to assess if any internal parasites may be causing digestion issues.
Ultimately, chicken and rice are seen as a transition diet and you should closely monitor your dog while they are on it so that they can slowly transition back to their regular diet.
Chicken and rice is a transition diet because it does not contain all the essential nutrients required for a balanced diet. If they are only eating chicken and rice for more than a week, your dog will start to suffer deficiencies.
Why Chicken And Rice?
The reasons why chicken and rice can be a great restorative diet are explained below.
Due to its high protein content, chicken is a great source of energy for dogs. The meat also contains plenty of omega-6 fatty acids which support healthy skin and coat.
While glucosamine is also great for strengthening the bones.
Good For Sensitive Stomachs
Chicken and rice are great for dogs with sensitive stomachs because it is smooth to digest and is very low fat and simple, with one protein and carbohydrate.
Chicken and rice will help alleviate the symptoms of most stomach issues or weakness in dogs, in part because very few dogs will be allergic to chicken or rice. It is a low-risk food for dogs who are troublesome eaters.
Proteins, Amino Acids, And Fibers
Chicken contains a full amino acids profile which are foundation blocks for protein. When consumed, chicken breaks down due to the hydrochloric acid and enzymes.
This creates smaller amino acid chains which the body then absorbs to support tissue repair. As chicken is not dense in calories, your dog can consume plenty without gaining weight.
The benefits of rice are that is rich in fiber, riboflavin, Vitamin D, and iron.
Vitamin D regulates levels of calcium and phosphorous, while iron supports hemoglobin in the red blood cells to form and transport nutrients throughout the body. Rice also regulates bowel movements through the development of good bacteria.
Similar to humans, many dogs can suffer from an intolerance to gluten, causing stomach upset, diarrhea or rashes.
As rice is gluten-free it can be a great carbohydrate alternative if your dog has a gluten intolerance.
However, rice can be stodgy in the stomach if fed excessively, so you should be wary of overfeeding rice. Diabetic dogs should also avoid rice and other simple carbohydrates as they can affect glucose levels.
Brown rice is more nutritious compared to white so should be prioritized where possible. Diabetic dogs will not react well to white rice due to the high glycemic index.
White rice is recommended when your dog is unwell as it is easy to digest and the levels of starch can trigger an improved appetite.
How To Prepare Chicken And Rice For Your Dog
Preparing the chicken and rice correctly is important to ensure that your dog enjoys consuming it and that you don’t cause them harm.
Initially, you should use white rice for easy consumption and chicken without bones or skin.
The chicken you serve to your dog has to be cooked. First, chop the chicken into cubes roughly one inch in size. Smaller dogs or dogs with dental issues should have cubes sized at half an inch.
Place the cubes into a saucepan and fill it with water to cover the chicken completely and then bring it to a boil.
After the chicken has boiled you can reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken cubes are completely white. The cooking process should take around 10 to 20 minutes.
Once you’ve turned off the heat, you can remove the chicken cubes and run them through cold water or cool them on a baking sheet. You can also keep the broth for later use. Any fat can be removed and kept in a container.
Rice preparation should make use of chicken broth. First, you should rinse the rice in cold water to remove any grit or dirt until the water is clear.
For large dogs, one cup of rice will suffice, but this should be reduced for smaller dogs.
Cooking the rice in the chicken broth will give it a better flavor. You can bring the chicken broth to a boil and then add the rice. Place a lid on the saucepan and cook for around 20 minutes to fully cook the rice.
Before serving your dog, make sure the rice has cooled.
Mixing The Chicken And Rice
Once the chicken and rice are cooled you can mix them in a ratio of two parts rice to one part chicken.
If you want to batch cook, you can store the chicken and rice in the freezer for up to two months or in the fridge for three to four days.
For humans, this meal may seem bland, but remember it serves your dog’s digestive health very well.
Avoid the temptation to spice the meal up by adding seasoning, oils, or butter as it can be potentially dangerous for your dog.
Chicken And Rice For Dogs By Weight Chart
The daily amount of chicken and rice you feed your dog should be determined by your dog’s weight. Larger dogs will require significantly more than smaller dogs.
If you consider an average cup of chicken and rice will contain 350 to 400 calories, a general rule to follow is that dogs need 25 to 30 calories per pound of body weight.
For dogs weighing 10 pounds, 0.75 cups per day of chicken and rice will suffice, this doubles to 1.5 cups for dogs weighing 20 pounds.
Medium size dogs weighing 40 pounds will need 3 cups of chicken and rice per day, while large dogs weighing up to 80 pounds will need 6 cups of chicken and rice per day.
As these amounts are approximations you should also confirm with your vet before providing the chicken and rice to your dog.
How to Deliver Your Dog Their Chicken and Rice
As you are feeding chicken and rice to your dog at a time when they are suffering from stomach issues, you give them smaller portions more frequently, between four and six times per day.
The increased mealtimes minimize the muscular contractions to ease vomiting and diarrhea.
Most vets will recommend exclusively feeding chicken and rice for two to three days to get the main health benefits. They also may suggest your dog fasts for one day before commencing the diet.
As your dog improves in health and is ready to transition back to its regular diet, you can start to reduce the meal times and combine regular dog food with chicken and rice.
Over a week, you can start with one-quarter standard food and three-quarters chicken and rice, building up to a full standard food meal by the end of the week.
As dogs generally have sensitive stomachs, sudden changes in their diet can lead to stomach upset.
Alternatives To Chicken And Rice
Although chicken and rice are a great solution for the majority of dogs suffering from health issues, some suffering from constipation may want an alternative.
We explore some below alternatives to chicken and rice which can also benefit your dog’s digestive health.
Pumpkin For Dogs
Pumpkin is a great natural food for supporting strong digestive health and alleviating constipation, Pumpkin is high in fiber and regulates the digestive system.
It also contains key vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, B6, and E as well as potassium, iron, and phosphorous.
You can alleviate constipation by adding a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin to the chicken and rice meal or having it plain. Void adding seasonings as they can be toxic.
For dogs who are struggling to eat solids, bone broth can be a great alternative to keep up their strength until they are ready to consume solids. Bone broth will also help them regain their appetite.
You can use beef bones or chicken legs mixed with water to create the broth.
Human baby food is designed to be consumed and digested easily, it can be a great alternative for dogs with stomach issues who are allergic to chicken. Meat-based baby food on the stage II variety is a great option.
Before serving, check the ingredient list thoroughly to avoid any complications.
Commercial Dog Food Alternative
Commercial dog food brands also produce ‘bland diet’ options that are already prepared. While this is not as natural as chicken and rice, it can be a practical way of supporting your dog’s health issues.
Check the ingredient list and research to see if the brand is high in quality and reputable. You can also consult your vet before providing them with the food.
Can You Feed Your Dog Chicken Organs, Feet, And Neck?
In addition to chicken breast, you can also provide your dog with other parts such as feet and organs.
Chicken feet contain the glucosamine nutrient which is essential for supporting joint health in dogs.
The crunchy texture of chicken feet will also limit tartar buildup in their teeth while they chew. Chicken feet are particularly suited for older dogs who are more likely to have weak joints or dental issues.
The organs of a chicken such as the liver, heart, and kidney contain amino acids which are important building blocks for proteins to repair tissue and give energy.
Organs also contain other key elements such as iron, zinc, and vitamins A and B which support healthy growth and immunity.
The chicken neck can also be served as it supports removing plaque from teeth and also boots calcium levels.
Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken?
Dogs can consume raw chicken which is often considered safer for their health, particularly the bones.
Raw chicken bones are safer because they are more elastic, denser, and far less likely to cause tears in the digestive tract.
Raw chicken also contains plenty of key nutrients that ensure optimal health for your dog. Chewing on raw chicken bone can remove the tartar or plaque buildup, reducing the risk of dental issues.
Precautions When Feeding Your Dog Raw Chicken Bone
- Only let your dog chew on the raw bone while you are monitoring them.
- Raw chicken bones should only be served in moderation, a maximum of two per week. The days between bone servings should be well-spaced to prevent any digestive issues.
- Provide your dog with large chicken bones to prevent them from swallowing them whole. Monitor the bone size in relation to their mouth when you first serve them.
- Remove other pets and kids away from your dog while they are munching on a bone. They should be allowed to focus on chewing and not be distracted.
- Feeding older dogs with raw bones requires close monitoring. Older dogs are likely to have weaker teeth, with some damaged or cracked ones. Raw bones can splinter and cause more harm.
- Large bones can cause constipation so avoid giving your dog too many bones at once.
- Bones with large marrow such as knuckle bones, t-bones, or lamb cutlets, are not the best to feed your dog as they contain thick outer rims, and can cause teeth to crack.
Can Your Dog Get Sick From Eating Raw Chicken?
Unfortunately eating chicken and rice does not rule out the possibility of your dog getting sick. If your dog eats raw chicken, there is a chance that it can fall ill.
This is due to the chemicals that are sprayed on chickens which can sometimes be unhealthy. You can prevent this by purchasing high-quality meat and preparing it correctly.
Salmonella is another risk found in raw chicken. That said, kibble has also been recalled in the past due to salmonella contamination so the risk is widespread.
A dog’s immune system is pretty robust and can withstand some dodgy foods so don’t panic too much if they become unwell after eating raw chicken, their body will quickly settle down.
Arguments Against The Chicken And Rice Diet For Dogs
While chicken and rice are popular recommendations for dogs who are suffering from stomach issues, some dog owners and vets will disagree.
For example, they may not believe that chicken and rice are the best solutions to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea.
Factory-farmed chicken lacks the hygiene care and attention of organic chicken and has led to many observers saying that dogs are starting to build an intolerance to low-quality chicken.
Factory chickens are pumped with vaccinations and antibiotics, while also being fed GMO grains.
Another line of skepticism comes with the fact that rice is known to be inflammatory. This means some dogs struggle to digest and break down rice properly.
As a carbohydrate, rice also lacks substantial nutritional value and is not a good food source for diabetic dogs due to its high glycemic index.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken And Rice Every Day?
A chicken and rice diet is temporary, not permanent. While the food itself is low fat and healthy, it does not provide the wide range of nutrients that dogs need to thrive.
If your dog is fed the diet excessively it may start to develop allergies. You want to avoid your dog shifting diets regularly as the lack of consistency will start to affect their digestive tract and also their enjoyment of food.
Chicken and rice should be consumed as a three-day intense diet to alleviate stomach issues and then be transitioned back to a regular diet within one week.
Can Chicken And Rice Constipate A Dog?
Provided you prepare the chicken and rice well and don’t overfeed, it should not constipate your dog.
Avoid chicken with skin and bones and serve cooked white rice and it should go down well. Brown rice can cause indigestion in some dogs as it is trickier to digest.
If you notice your dog is constipated, consider removing the rice and feeding the chicken plain. Adding some pumpkins will also alleviate constipation.
How Long Should I Feed My Dog Chicken And Rice?
Your vet will be the best source of information in terms of noticing the signs that indicate you should transition away from the chicken and rice diet.
Typically, the chicken and rice diet should be used exclusively for three days, and you can then give one week to transition out of it.
Exceptions to this rule can come when your dog is in recovery from surgery and is taking part in an elimination diet.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the key details about the chicken and rice diet for dogs.
Also known as a bland diet, chicken and rice is used as a short-term diet to alleviate symptoms of stomach pain or weakness.
A chicken and rice diet can also be a great choice for dogs who are lacking appetite and also if you are fearing allergies to certain foods, chicken and rice can be used as an elimination diet to identify the source of the food allergy.
To protect your dog’s health, make sure you prepare the food well, use chicken that is skinless and boneless, use white rice and avoid seasoning – you can’t go wrong.
We recommend keeping your dog on this diet for three days before transitioning back to its regular diet.
If you have any doubts, always consult your vet.