Can Dogs Eat Rice Cakes?

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: December 5, 2022
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Rice cakes come in a variety of flavors and are a popular, healthy snack for humans! However, they’re not quite as healthy for our dogs.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether dogs can eat rice cakes, which kinds are safe, and which can be dangerous.

What Rice Cakes Are Safe for Dogs?

Rice cake broken in half, hand holding / giving food
Plain rice cakes are safe for dogs.

©iStock.com/IsakHallbergPhoto

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Feeding your dog plain rice cakes is safe, and they might enjoy them as an occasional treat. The best way to feed your dog rice cakes is to break them into small pieces and share only a couple at most.

While rice cakes are safe, they provide very little nutritional benefit for your dog. For this reason, they aren’t recommended as an everyday treat. It’s better to feed your pup more nutrient-dense treats if you can!

Lastly, remember the 10% rule. This means that treats of any kind should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

You don’t need to measure this exactly or count your dog’s calories—that would just add stress to your day! Rough estimates are fine.

What Rice Cakes Should Be Avoided?

Puffed rice cakes on wooden background
Rice cakes with additives can be dangerous to dogs.

©iStock.com/Angelika Heine

Rice cakes with additives can be dangerous to dogs. Most importantly, they may contain toxic spices or other ingredients.

Rice cakes with added salt, flavorings, and spices aren’t healthy for dogs, even if they don’t contain toxic ingredients. Ideally, your dog is only consuming sugars from healthy foods like fruit, and salt is limited in their diet.

This means no caramel rice cakes, no cinnamon rice cakes, and so on.

What if My Dog Eats Flavored Rice Cakes Behind My Back?

If your dog eats rice cakes with additives by mistake, check the ingredients first. Call your nearest emergency vet clinic or a pet poison control hotline for help if you spot any toxic ingredients.

It’s usually not a good idea to wait until symptoms are present because it might be too late to get the food out of your dog’s system by then. There might also be invisible symptoms, such as organ failure, which you wouldn’t spot from the outside until a lot of damage has already been done.

Even in non-critical cases, a vet or pet poison control hotline can advise you on how best to handle the situation. They know more about making these decisions than the average pet owner, so it’s best to get their professional opinion.

After contacting a professional, monitor your dog for symptoms for the next few days. Call again if you notice new or worsened symptoms, as this might change your dog’s treatment plan.

Never induce vomiting at home, as this can sometimes do more harm than good. The only exception is if you are advised to do so by a professional.

If your dog eats a sugary or salty rice cake without toxic ingredients, keep an eye on them for tummy issues. Call your veterinarian if you notice anything serious, like repeat vomiting, depression, or excessive diarrhea.

However, a dog who hasn’t eaten anything toxic will likely be just fine!

Is Raw Rice Dangerous for Dogs?

raw rice
Raw rice will absorb moisture in your dog’s stomach, causing it to expand.

©iStock.com/piotr_malczyk

If your dog consumes raw rice, call your nearest emergency veterinary clinic. They can advise you on how to treat your dog at home or have you bring them in for treatment.

Raw rice will absorb moisture in your dog’s stomach, causing it to expand. This can cause blockages, especially if your dog is small or has eaten a large amount of rice.

Your dog might also experience stomach upset, increased thirst, pale gums, or dehydration.

There seems to be more information out there about the effects of raw rice on humans than in dogs, so it’s possible your dog might also experience symptoms that humans do, such as tiredness, hair loss, tooth damage, and anemia if they eat a large volume of uncooked rice. Raw rice may also cause food poisoning due to the bacteria it contains.

As we discussed above, don’t induce vomiting at home without a professional’s instruction. It can be dangerous for your dog, especially with uncooked rice. Not only is it solid, but it’s going to expand inside your dog’s body, so it might not come up as easily as it went down.

It is always best to feed your dog high-quality dog food and not experiment with other human dishes in their meals.

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About the Author

I'm an animal writer of four years with a primary focus on educational pet content. I want our furry, feathery, and scaley friends to receive the best care possible! In my free time, I'm usually outdoors gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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Sources
  1. U.S. FDA, Available here: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/paws-xylitol-toxic-dogs
  2. NHS, Available here: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/can-reheating-rice-cause-food-poisoning/#:~:text=Uncooked%20rice%20can%20contain%20spores,that%20cause%20vomiting%20or%20diarrhoea.
  3. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/bowel-obstruction-in-dogs/
  4. Healthline, Available here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-rice