Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
Food General Food

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

Jul 23 ·

Can dogs eat quinoa? It’s a superfood for humans with a lot of health benefits and nutritional perks, but not every human food is great for dogs. Therefore, it’s important to always do your research. Never reach down and give your dog something from your plate without Googling it first.

So, can dogs eat quinoa? Or is it something better avoided for our canine friends?

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?


The short answer is, yes, dogs can eat quinoa. It’s even an ingredient in some foods that are specifically formulated for dogs.

Is It Safe?

Yes, quinoa is perfectly safe for dogs.

Is It Healthy?

It depends on how much is fed, as with everything, but quinoa does have some health perks that apply to dogs just as much as they do humans.

The Benefits

Quinoa is absolutely packed with nutrients. The B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, give it a whole host of benefits for your dogs, including boosting their immune system, helping their bones grow, and helping them fight off more serious diseases. That’s why it’s used in dog food a lot, and it’s a good alternative to other things that might be there in kibbles that are lower in quality.

It’s also full of antixoidants, which hold great healing properties for pups. From viruses to more serious diseases, antioxidants can really help your dog fight off things that might hurt them.

Like other healthy whole grains, it’s great for your dog’s cardiovascular system too.

The Risks

can dogs eat quinoa

One risk of quinoa is that saponin can be found on it. Quinoa produces it to protect itself from insects, but this can actually irritate the stomach of dogs. Although there’s usually not enough of it to do so, it is possible, particularly if your dog is ingesting it in large amounts.

As with anything, there’s always a chance your dog won’t tolerate the food well if they have a sensitive stomach. Even if it’s good for them, dogs can have various allergies and intolerances.

If your dog does show any of the following signs after eating quinoa, you should keep an eye on them;

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive thirst

If the symptoms persist for more than a few hours, consult your veterinarian. It’s also a good idea to ask your vet beforehand if you’re going to introduce your dog to anything new, as they’ll have the best idea about how sensitive your dog’s stomach is.

How Much Can They Eat?

You may have heard of the 10% rule — that treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily calories. However, you may not consider quinoa a treat. Still, it shouldn’t make up much more than this, and you should adjust their food as necessary.

If it’s simply an ingredient in their dry food, you don’t need to worry about how much they’re getting. Use the feeding instructions on the bag as a guide and adjust for your pup.

Feeding guides don’t work for every pup, so you should mostly go by body condition. Lessen or increase the food as necessary.

Serving Ideas

can dogs eat quinoa

If you want to make quinoa more exciting, there are a number of safe fruits and veggies you can mix in with it, including:

Just make sure you research anything you plan on adding to your dog’s food. Although it’s easy to assume that if a food is safe for a human, it’s safe for a dog, that isn’t always true.

Grapes are a great example. They are toxic to dogs and can even kill them, and no one is sure why. Cherries are not quite as dangerous, but have also proven harmful. Since these food items are good for humans, it can be easy to let it slip past you that they aren’t good for your friend.

As far as how to serve quinoa alongside other ingredients, that’s up to you! You can just place some in a bowl and your dog will be sure to love it. If you want to make it a little more exciting or it’s a hot day, freeze some inside of a KONG with some fruit and watch your dog spend ages to get it out.

Exercises like this provide enrichment and can be handy for keeping your dog entertained. If you have a high-energy dog, you’ll know that’s invaluable.

So, can dogs eat quinoa? Yes, with some stipulations! Be careful if you’re including any other ingredients, and start off slow. If you have a puppy or dog under six months, feed them a tiny bit before continuing on, as you’ll be able to tell if they have any allergies. This is even good practice with older dogs.

As long as you’re careful, quinoa is a great, nutritious snack you and your pup can both enjoy.

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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