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Special Ingredient Saturday – Brown Rice

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  1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    So brown rice is a good ingredient for our dogs. I have a god with allergies, I have been fighting this for 3 years since I adopted Bailey. He is going to see a dermatologist on April 10th, my vet sez she has tried everything thing she can. I have tried every food I can too. Including four or five brands from dog food list i purchased from Trust About Pet Food. I ‘ll keep trying. But is brown rice ok for allergy dogs is my question. Thank you

    1. jb

      Put you dog on a balanced raw diet. It may take months to clear their system of the toxins from the previous foods but, you will slowly see improvement & all symptoms disappear.

      It took my GSD 3 months to completely heal her skin & ears. Fungus reactions from expensive, commercial, grain-free, holistic kibble.

      She has never had another breakout after going raw.

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        jb, would you mind telling me what you feed your dog that helped his allergies? My dog is in bad shape, been fighting this for 3 years. Since I adopted him from rescue

        1. jb

          I buy the best quality in the grocery store I can of beef, lamb, chicken, turkey & fish. If I have freezer space I will purchase grass fed directly from a farmer, this is cheaper in bulk, consider buying a 1/2 or whole cow/pig. Share with your pet.

          It is important to balance 10% organ meats with the main protein. I use grass fed beef kidney, liver, heart & green tripe. Grind them & make patties to freeze & add to food as needed.

          Same goes for turkey/chicken heart, livers & gizzards.

          I will feed venison when it is available.

          I also use Blue Ridge Beef products. It is made in North GA but, has limited distribution right now. It is nice because they add ground bone to their frozen food. It is a bit more convenient, sold in 2 & 5 lb chubs. They also make a Green Tripe & a Natural MIx (Organ meat mixture).

          There are some good dehydrated raw foods on the market. Susan Thixton has a list of good companies to choose from.

          Just do not use any food that has fruits, vegetables or grains until symptoms disappear.

          Dogs & cats do not have the proper amount of enzymes to disgest/assimilate the above ingredients & the are truly not needed.

          Avoid cheap meats. They are full of toxins, gassed, dyed, etc.

          The cleaner the diet . . . .the faster you will see results.

          Try adding a little coconut oil, it is anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti viral & anti parasitic. My dogs love coconut oil. It can be added to food & used topically to soothe the skin. Though they love to lick it off, LOL!

          I tried the commercial stuff & spent a lot of money before but, NOTHING worked like a good raw diet. I will never go back to commercial, cooked, processed food. It is just not worth it, creates too many problems.

          Occasionally, I give them a good, raw, big, meaty, marrow bone to gnaw to keep teeth clean. The meat they tear off works like dental floss.

          Always supervise bone chewing & a general rule is never feed a bone smaller than the skull. This will prevent them from trying to swallow it whole, they will have to lie down & work the bone.

          For the time invested in feeding a proper diet you will eliminate symptoms, have a healthy animal, low Vet bills & avoid harmful drugs that can damage organs,i.e., steroids & antibiotics.

          My GSD is 8 & my Malinois is 6. Both act like puppies & are beautiful, healthy Girls. What I have told you here WORKS!

        2. jb

          It is better to invest in a meat grinder & buy whole hunks of meat. Less chance of contamination & cheaper. Make your own mix & freeze for convenience.

          I have never had a problem feeding raw! Even poultry.

          1. Kenneth


            Buy whole cuts whenever you can and grind them yourself, don’t skimp on the grinder and save up for a good one if needed.

            This goes for your own food as well, buy whole cuts and grind and cut yourself, you’ll save lots of money.

            Once you get into the swing of things, it will go really fast. Make sure your grinder has all stainless steel parts, when done, a quick rinse under running water and in the dishwasher it goes.

            I have 3 cats that are fed raw, and food for a month takes me about 45 min. tops to make, mix, and then vacuum pack into day sized portions that are then frozen.

            I just grab a new package from the freezer every night and let it thaw in the fridge for next day. That way I never have raw laying around for more than a day. Never thaw on the counter, always thaw slowly in the fridge. Get your fridge checked for proper temp. around around 35-38 is good, never trust the digital display on a fridge, get a HACCP approved temp. probe. and do spot checks once every 4-5 months.

            Oh, and if you have the room at all, get a good large AAA+ box freezer and horde good meat when it’s on sale.

            Check if you have any family working in the food industry, and ask them if you can buy large quantities through them, lots of money to save there. If you get lucky, you and your pets can eat like kings.

            Also, a good vacuum packer (even if expensive) is pure gold for saving money. Things you freeze vacuum packed can last for ages as you don’t get freezer burn. I’ve found stuff I forgot about in the depths of my box freezer that were a year old… it was still fine with no off taste or dry.

        3. jb

          Another good trick to add calcium if you are worried about feeding raw bones is buy free range eggs from a farmer, not the store, let eggs shells dry after cracking eggs. Then procress them in a coffee grinder to apply powder to food.

          I usually crack an egg, dump it into my pet’s food & crush egg shell in my hand to break it into small pieces. My dogs are 60 lbs.

          The raw eggs make their coats shine.

          1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

            thank you Jb, I’m going to try that egg shell in the coffee grinder idea. My neighbor has chickens and she sells eggs. I will get some eggs form her and add it to the dog food. I’m willing to give this a try. Now I have to ask you, have you ever had any trouble with saminella? My vet advised me feeding Bailey a raw diet several months ago when I ask her. She said you and your family could get saminella, the dogs could get sick? Just asking this question, before I begin this process. One last question about bones, raw bones. I have 3 Shih Tzu, (one is 8 lbs and the other two are around 10 pounds). I have a Pekingese who is 12 pounds and a Jack Russell/Beagle who is 25 pounds. You say to give them a bone that is bigger than the skull (or their head). Do you let them eat the whole bone or take it away at some point(risking my fingers, my Peke, once he has food of any kind he will bite if you try to take it) Thank you, you have been so helpful

          2. jb

            Neither my dogs or I have never had any problem with Salmonella or e.coli. Dogs have a high level of acid in their mouth & stomach than we do, they can tolerate more bacteria than us. Also their digestive tract is shorter, so food doesn’t stick around in them as long. That is if you feed properly! Mixing raw, cooked, fruit, vegetables & grains, you are asking for trouble. All foods have different needs to be digested. Mixing complicates digestion.

            As with handling any raw meats, wash your hands & counters, cutting boards, etc. It is a common sense thing.

            I do mix the whole, raw egg, shell & all into poultry meats.

            GSE, Grape Fruit Extract, by Nutrbiotics is a great way to disinfect surfaces & cutting boards. I mix up a solution & keep it on my counter in a glass spray bottle. After using my cuttin board, I spray it & let it sit for 15 mins, then wash off. GSE can be taken internally for stomach upsets. Be careful to buy good GSE, some brands have bad ingredients. Nutribiotic’s only contains GSE & glycerin.

            Most of the time my Girls will work the bone for a while then their jaws get tired, LOL. I pick up the bones up & rinse them off & let them dry for the next session. If the bones still have marrow in them, store in fridge. If not, the next time I stuff them with a little of their meal meat.

            I always teach my dogs to “Leave It”, that is an invaluable command. If they ever get hold of something that is unsafe, I can retrieve it from their mouth . Also works well when playing ball. They know to release the ball so I can throw it again.

        4. jb

          Oh! And don’t let anyone tell you to feed the same thing over & over. Variety is important for a balanced diet.

          My Girls do not receive the same thing twice in a row. They eat 2xs a day.

          1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

            oh wow, thank you. I always heard dogs get sick if you change their diet.

    2. Dr Cathy

      Sherrie – brown rice can be healthy for some dogs, some dog breeds have been around over 1000 years (like the Beagle) and are more tolerant of grains. However, many dogs are not. If your dog is allergic, then, no, I would not advise feeding brown rice.
      To truly determine if your dog has food allergies, you need to do a food trial. Feed one protein and one vegetable ONLY for 8-12 weeks. If if is true allergy, the symptoms will stop but restart when you reintroduce the food. This is NOT a balanced diet, this is the first stage in determining food allergies.
      For many dogs, they are faced with food intolerance due to inflammation in their intestines. For these dogs, a balanced raw diet usually does the trick.
      Blood tests for food allergies are completely inaccurate. Saliva tests are quite a bit better but still not 100% reliable.
      Some veterinarians prescribe commercially made food – these diets breakdown the protein into small particles, theoretically to make the body not be allergic to the particles. This does not work for many dogs as other ingredients in the commercial diets cause inflammation themselves.
      Hoping your allergist is an astute scientist.

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        This is the recommendation from my vet. We made an appointment on April 10 with a dermatologist to get a blood test. I’m so confused.
        Thank you I am scared he won’t get the correct nutrition during a trial. He has lost 2 pounds in the past few weeks. I have been feeding him Mulligan Stew, which is from the dog list from Truth About Pet Food. I am not saying the Mulligan Stew is a bad food, NOT IN ANY WAY AM I SAYING THIS DOG FOOD IS NOT A QUALITY FOOD. It looks like it just not a good food for Bailey. I really thought he would be ok on this food but it’s not working for him.

        1. Hope Williams

          Sherrie, one of the elements of nutrition us pet parents need to pay attention to is calories per cup. Perhaps your dog isn’t getting enough calories from the Mulligan Stew amounts you’re feeding to allow him to maintain his weight with his current exercise level.

          1. jb

            Quality is more important than quantity!

            It is better to see a slight ripple of ribcage on your dog, especially if it is a larger breed. It taxes their joints less. Most dogs on kibble are overweight. It is unhealthy & considering the grains involved it sets up your pet for developing diabetes.

        2. Anne

          Sherri: What are your dog’s exact symptoms? ; Corn causes allergies and nutritional deficiencies have your dog tested for “Niacin; Vitamin B12 Vitamin B1; reply requested thank-you Anne 🙂

  2. Anne

    Right; and Brown Rice and Brown Rice Bran (Fiber) is added to most Natural Dry Kibble Pet Food! (ps Brown Rice is where the “outer hull is not removed”; the Brown Rice is “whole brown rice”;an essential B Vit. nutrient.)

  3. brit

    Dr Alinova my only concern with brown rice is the recent finding that it can be high in arsenic. What are your thoughts regarding this?

    1. Dr Cathy

      Brit – indeed arsenic can be a problem in rice. And BPA in our water and beef, and mercury in fish, and many more dangers in any food chain. We are more at the mercy of the system when manufacturers select ingredients than when we do as pet parents. If you prepare food as suggested above by jb you are less likely to provide foods with toxins. Is there fluoride in your drinking water? For some households, they may buy drinking water but still bathe in water treated with fluoride, chlorine, and containing many adulterants. Pet owners do the best they can, especially when well educated like readers on this website; ingredients are described for their potential health benefits.

  4. Hope Williams

    I can’t disagree with the above view about brown rice. The problem is there is no connection to whether brown rice is an ingredient that works for dogs or cats. From my point of view it is no. If you read Dr. Karen Becker she would not agree that brown rice is a good food for dogs and cats. Dogs are opportunistic carnivores and cats are obligate carnivores. They should be fed accordingly to slow aging, support healthy bodies and longer lives. I don’t see the need for brown rice in that work.

    1. jb

      Actually canines are Obligate Carnivores. Cats are more true Carnivores. Super important for cats to be on a meat diet san grains, fruit & vegetables.

  5. Peter

    I disagree with the basic premise of this essay: that “rice” (whether brown or not) is a quality ingredient for pet foods. Perhaps not as bad a “grain” as corn or wheat… but a grain, none-the-less, and with that: problems. It’s a filler and perhaps a cheap protein source. And “ground brown rice” is really just… well, flour, isn’t it? The rice used in commercial pet foods is not “human grade” it is “feed grade,” just the fines and junk left over when the “better” rice has been diverted to more profitable purpose. The feed grade rice used in pet foods is likely to have been processed several times, each tollgate offering opportunity for contamination, infestation by insects, and treatment/absorption of chemicals, insecticides, and preservatives.

  6. […] will be able to handle the fat content in the salmon but the brown rice is a good combination.  Dr. Cathy Alinovi has said “Studies have shown that brown rice contains “bound” antioxidants that are […]

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