The rice cakes are considered healthy and low in calories. They are ideal for on-the-go and long-lasting. Sounds like the perfect snack and a handy treat for your dog.
There’s only one catch. Because rice cakes are not completely harmless because the rice can be contaminated with arsenic.
Rice cakes for dogs as diet food
However, rice cakes have their advantages as well. A rice cake has only about 30 calories. It’s still nutritious and filling. The rice waffles are therefore quite suitable for the small appetite. Also as a treat for your four-legged friend.
Dogs can digest rice cakes well. Because rice cakes have a lot of fiber and stimulate intestinal activity.
How are rice cakes made?
Rice cakes are made from puffed rice grains. Similar to how corn is processed into popcorn, the rice grain is used to make puffed rice. The makers heat the rice grains with steam.
The grains expand during heating. This happens due to the natural reaction of starch and moisture. Eventually, they pop up. When puffed, the rice grains grow to many times their actual size. Therefore, a rice cake consists of very few grains of rice.
There is something for every taste in the supermarket. Rice cakes are sweetened with honey or chocolate, salted, or with sesame. Plain rice cakes are also very popular with young and old. The same goes for most dogs.
High levels of arsenic in rice cakes
The big catch with rice cakes is arsenic. Arsenic is a natural substance. However, inorganic arsenic is very toxic. For this reason, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the European Commission have set stricter limits for the arsenic content in rice and rice products since 2016.
Rice plants absorb arsenic through roots and water. In this way, arsenic accumulates in the rice grains. Some amount of arsenic is present in all rice products, as well as other foods such as milk, grains, and even drinking water.
However, rice cakes are particularly contaminated by arsenic. This depends on the manufacturing process and the growing areas. For the rice grains to pop at all, you have to heat them a lot. s draws water out of the grains. Arsenic is therefore more concentrated in waffles than in other rice products.
How toxic is arsenic?
Arsenic is considered a carcinogenic semimetal. It is naturally present in the soil. It also gets into our environment via pesticides. If you or your dog regularly ingest arsenic, it can damage the nervous system. Or cardiovascular disorders.
Keep arsenic exposure low
You and your dog don’t have to give up rice cakes entirely. However, when consuming it, you should be careful not to eat too much of it. The same applies to feeding your dog.
Unfortunately, rice and rice products cannot be grown and sold completely free of arsenic. Arsenic accumulates mostly in the outer layers of the rice grain. As a rule, husked rice contains less arsenic than brown or brown rice.
To keep arsenic intake as low as possible, you should wash rice well. Boil it with plenty of water. Then drain off the cooking water. In this way, you are already throwing a large amount of arsenic down the drain before you eat it.
Rice cakes as a healthy snack
You can personally eat rice cakes in the hearty version, topped with sausage or cheese. Or as a sweet snack with jam or chocolate coating.
The following rules apply to rice cakes for dogs:
- Without Chocolate
- Without salt
- Remember that rice cakes contain mainly carbohydrates
If your dog has eaten too many rice cakes, it could have a heavy stomach. Normally, however, this has no long-term effects on his health.
Many dog owners give their dogs low-calorie rice cakes in small pieces as a diet treat. Add a bit of yogurt or quark. This tastes twice as good for your fur nose.
As long as you only feed your dog small amounts in between meals as part of a balanced diet, you have nothing to worry about.
Frequently Asked Question
Are rice cakes dangerous for dogs?
Yes, your dog can eat rice cakes in small amounts. Rice cakes consist exclusively of puffed rice grains and are therefore considered harmless. However, the rice can be contaminated with arsenic. For this reason, you should not give your dog delicious waffles every day.