This guidance is followed by millions worldwide without question , however many are now starting to wonder, in my professional opinion is the worst thing you can give a dog and it can be extremely detrimental to dogs with underlying issues such as chronic pancreatitis.
Lets see what good old google comes up with when i ask this question…
The answer isn’t there, you get allot of chicken and rice recipes for dogs or other bland meal ideas but that’s it.
I’ve asked my vet previously as to why this was recommended to which i was told its bland and will help settle the stomach, with no explanation as to how, So this is when i did some of my own digging.
I came across something online and this was also backed up by my copy of the NRC (National Research Council- Nutrient Requirements for Dogs and Cats) , This was a simple fact which is often omitted by vets but the rice helps settle the stomach by reducing the Ph level of the stomach acid to 3/4 by signalling the production of Pepsinogen sooner, once this is released it mixes with the stomach acid and activates the enzyme Pepsin , which is the perfect level to digest protein, This then drops again to PH 5.75 in the duodenum . Starch has this effect on dogs because they don’t produce the enzymes in the saliva to break starch down, therefore signals the stomach to prepare, Yet the starch isn’t broken down until the Pancreas which is why there is a grey area of mixing dry foods with raw meals and this could cause digestive upset as a stomach acid of Ph 3/4 may struggle to digest bone and kill bacteria
However this theory of adding rice to settle the stomach works well IF the dog was on a Species Appropriate Diet and has an optimum stomach Ph level of 1/2, but the majority of dogs aren’t on a species appropriate diet, they eat starchy “Complete” dry foods which again, keeps the stomach acid at around Ph 3/4 therefore the rice wouldn’t make any change in respect of settling the stomach.
So this then got me thinking about the rice and what it consists of, as rice is a simple carbohydrate and easier to digest in comparison to their usual “Complete” dry food which would be a complex carbohydrate that takes more energy to digest and also provides too many Kcals for the day if the dog isn’t well and is typically resting which would cause them to become agitated, you may of noticed them pacing like the can’t get comfy?
If a dog is unwell and their digestive system isn’t performing as it should, you may witness vomit, or diarrhea a simple rejection of the food the body isn’t ready to process/struggling to process! Therefore that’s it, chicken and rice is easier to digest than their normal “Complete” dry food meals and it also provides them with less energy as they wont be burning it off and they are less likely to throw it up!
Sounds amazing right?
Well let me tell you why i will never ever recommend chicken and rice on a nutritional basis, my issue is mainly rice but my issues are:
- It’s not species appropriate
- It’s high in starch
- Not all dogs digest it the same way, some can’t digest it at all (Horse Manure size stools follow)
- Certain ailments , like chronic pancreatitis can be inflamed further with the starch overloading the carnivorous pancreas (although every Vet will contest this, given the fact they prescribe dry foods to combat pancreatitis which is absurd)
- There isn’t any form of fat in the meal, a dogs primary fuel source are lipids (Some can utilise carbohydrates equally well due to domestication, but not all dogs, lineage dependant however, lipids will always be the primary fuel source)
- You have the risk of a dog not being able to handle pathogens or digest bone due to the PH level being dropped.
Now i don’t expect anyone to follow this as gospel, please do your own research!
I hope you all have a wonderful day, Remember , Stay Safe, Stay at home!
Michael K A Bennett- BCCSDip.HthNut
For legal reasons i can’t show snippets from the NRC, so please buy a copy. (No Affiliation) and you may find it cheaper elsewhere : https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9780309086288?gC=5a105e8b&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4dr0BRCxARIsAKUNjWTbtq4sOLQm5_bPcrFHKjsBrdskbKKuMbDyfyvItzL5YySKIaIQojkaAqkrEALw_wcB