You may be aware of the numerous claims about barley’s positive effects on human health. It aids in weight loss and has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels thanks to its high fiber content (both soluble and insoluble). What about dogs, does it have the same effect? If you want to know more, read on!
Can Dogs Eat Barley?
Canines can safely consume small amounts of barley. Actually, barley is the second most common source of protein in kibble (dry dog food) after meat. Barley grass powder is available for sale as a dietary supplement for canines that has been shown to improve their digestion.
Pearl barley can be used in place of rice when preparing barley for your dog. Or, you can give them a tiny bowl of low-sodium barley stew or soup. Barley is not gluten-free and should not be fed to dogs who are wheat-flour-allergic.
In addition, giving your dog an excessive amount of barley grass can make them sick. Dogs can drink barley water without risk, but it shouldn’t be their main source of water.
What Is Barley?
Cereal barley (Hordeum vulgare) is the fourth most widely grown crop after wheat, rice, and corn.
Although it is grown in the deserts of North Africa, western Europe, and North America, the top four producers of barley in the world are located in Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine.
Barley is available at the supermarket for human (and canine) consumption, despite its more common uses in animal feed and beer.
Pearl barley is the most widely consumed variety, but you can also find hulled barley and pot barley, as well as barley flour for making barley bread.
How to Cook Barley for Your Dog
Both whole grain and pearl barley are acceptable for canine nutrition. To shorten the cooking time of whole-grain barley and make it more like pearl barley, a quick soak in water for a few hours is recommended. You can prepare either type in a slow cooker or on the stove:
- If you want to use the stovetop absorption method, rinse the barley in a fine-mesh sieve under cold running water. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup barley with 3 cups water. Turn the heat up high enough to get the water boiling, then turn it down to a simmer. Barley takes about 25-30 minutes to cook for pearl barley and 40-50 minutes for hulled barley until it is tender but still chewy. If the pan dries out, just add a little more water. The barley must be drained and fluffed with a fork if it has accumulated any liquid.
- Prepare pasta the traditional way by bringing a large stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Barley, whether pearl or hulled, should be cooked for 25 to 30 minutes until tender but still chewy. Fluff with a fork after draining in a strainer with a fine mesh.
Potential Health Benefits Of Barley For Dogs
Barley is a cereal grain that is versatile enough to be used as a breakfast cereal or in savory and sweet dishes throughout the day. In spite of its lack of common knowledge, barley appears to have many beneficial effects on canine health.
Barley, a cereal grain high in protein and fiber, can support canine health. And because it’s loaded with B vitamins, your dog will be full of pep and enthusiasm!
As an antioxidant, manganese can be found in barley and, according to one study, it may help prevent stress- and toxin-induced oxidative damage to cells.
Antioxidants in barley extract or malted (fermented) barley may offer similar defense against free radical damage, according to other studies. Now that you know the benefits of feeding your dog whole grains, why wait?
Barley’s gluten and protein content make it a great grain to use in place of cereals in canine diets.
It’s high fiber content—both soluble and insoluble—may aid digestion and bowel function, and it can help keep blood sugar levels stable. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels have also been shown to be lowered by consuming barley.
Risks of Feeding Your Dog Barley
Dogs won’t get sick from eating barley because it’s not poisonous. A dog’s stomach simply isn’t designed to process massive quantities of fiber at once.
Keep the barley and barley grass serving size moderate, as giving your dog too much of either can lead to pancreatitis and digestive issues.
Additionally, some canines are sensitive to barley and shouldn’t eat it. Once you’ve introduced barley to your dog, keep a close eye on them.
Barley Recipes For Your Dog
While both humans and dogs can benefit from eating barley, the grain has a slightly different impact on the two species. Puppies under the age of six months should not be given barley because their kidneys are not fully developed.
As with any new food item, we advise waiting 30 days before giving your dog barley because some dog breeds may be allergic to the gluten in barley.
Barley flour is great for making homemade dog chew treats, and it’s also an ingredient in many commercial pet foods like kibble and biscuits (not to mention beer). There are two recipes below:
In order to make a barley treat, combine 1/4 cup of barley flour with 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour.
To make a dough that is firm enough to roll out but moist enough not to crack when baked, mix in three tablespoons of applesauce. Cut out shapes from dough by rolling it out on a floured surface and then using cookie cutters. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the edges are golden. Let It Cool
This kind of treat ought to be doled out sparingly. We suggest waiting 30 days before feeding it to your pet, or seeking the advice of a veterinarian first, as is the case with any novel food.
For the crust of your pumpkin pie, whisk together 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cinnamon (if using). Incorporate some frozen pumpkin puree into the dough and mix until just moistened.
Flatten the mixture into small, two-inch-wide balls with your hands and place them, greased and separated, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper.
One ball per day can be baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and served as a special treat.
Cooked and introduced gradually, barley is safe for dogs. It’s a simple way to increase their nutrient intake and support their digestive health.
Is Barley An Allergen For Dogs?
A lot of people are talking about feeding their dogs grain-free food, but barley is not an allergen for canines.
But, it contains gluten just like wheat does. Do not feed barley to a dog with a gluten sensitivity. Celiac dogs shouldn’t eat this because it contains the same wheat gluten that causes problems for humans.
These are the most common allergens for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.
Dogs can develop allergies to gluten, which manifest as a variety of symptoms including respiratory distress. Don’t feed your dog any more barley if you see that it causes an adverse reaction.
Specific Barley for Dogs Information
Let’s investigate the various forms of barley and see if any of them are suitable for canine consumption. The different forms of barley, such as cooked, boiled, dry, pearled, flour, grass, and powder, are discussed in more detail below.
As long as it’s cooked properly, cooked barley is safe for dogs to consume in moderation. Barley cooked with garlic or soy sauce is toxic to dogs.
You can make your dog’s food at home using beef, barley, and vegetables if your dog doesn’t have any known food allergies. Recipes like this one can be found in the Farmer’s Almanac.
If your dog has never had barley before, start with a small amount and monitor his reaction before increasing the dosage. If your dog is experiencing stomach trouble, try feeding them some plain white rice before returning them to their regular dry food.
One of the most secure methods of preparing barley for your dog is to boil it. You can add meat to it, but it’s best served without any extra seasoning. Due to their hypersensitivity, canine digestive systems and noses, dogs are best served unflavored food.
Dry barley is included in the ingredient lists of some commercial dog foods. Dogs can safely eat dry barley. Dried barley is safe for canines to consume, but most dogs won’t eat it on its own.
In dog food, barley is often listed as cracked pearl barley. Vegans and vegetarians can benefit greatly from the high levels of protein and fiber in pearl barley.
Keep in mind that barley is not safe for a dog that is gluten intolerant. Likewise, it contains gluten.
There are no known health risks associated with feeding barley flour to canines. When making your own dog treats, you can use it as a straight flour replacement.
Barley, the cereal grain, is actually the grass’s seed. Then, is it possible for dogs to eat grass?
Your dog is safe to play in the grass. In moderation, it’s fine for them to consume. It’s not necessary to eat the seeds when you can just eat the grass. Eating too much grass can cause diarrhea due to the laxative effects of the plant.
Barley Grass Powder
Powdered barley grass is safe for dogs to eat. In fact, you can get it in a variety of dog-specific varieties. You can find a great selection of Barley Dog products on Amazon.
The powdered form of barley grass is rich in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation.
The barley soup can be given to the dogs in small amounts provided that it does not contain too much salt or any other ingredients that are harmful to the dogs.
Apple juice is bad for dogs and humans alike, so stick to water for Fido. You should avoid giving your pet any other liquids, as doing so could lead to unwanted weight gain or an excessive intake of sugar or spices.
Barley is a healthy grain that can be given to your dog in moderation. It would be wise to limit how much you give them. Don’t use any spices or ingredients that could make them sick if you’re cooking the barley at home.
Please consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about the diet your pet is receiving.