Can Dogs Eat Quinoa? 6 Things To Know

We’ve got the scoop on whether or not quinoa is safe for your dog to eat if you happen to have any in the pantry. All the information you need to know about the possible health benefits of feeding quinoa to your dog is included in this article. So, let’s get this party started!

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

Nowadays, quinoa can be found in a lot of different brands of dog food. It can be used in place of more conventional grains like wheat, corn, and rice. Quinoa is an excellent source of multiple vitamins and minerals in addition to complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential amino and fatty acids. Among these are:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B

Essential nutrients in quinoa contribute to a glossy coat, strong nails and teeth, and robust bones. Quinoa (and other grains and seeds) contain nutrients that are beneficial to health and can serve as a source of energy for getting through the day.

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Is Quinoa Safe For Dogs?

A naturally occurring chemical called saponin coats quinoa, protecting it from insects as it grows. The American Kennel Club warns that this chemical can cause stomach upset in both humans and dogs.

Adding quinoa or any other ingredient to a balanced dog food is not recommended because it will increase the calorie count and throw off the nutritional balance. Long-term, this can be bad for your health.

Consumption of raw or undercooked plant matter can cause digestive issues in some canines. They may experience gastrointestinal distress from eating quinoa, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

Plant oxalates can also cause inflammation, which may make arthritis pain in dogs even worse.

Also, remember that quinoa is frequently served with other potentially harmful ingredients like salt, onions, beans, meats, and spices.

Due to this, you should never give your dog even a tiny bit of human-grade quinoa, such as the kind you might be eating off your plate.

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Four benefits of quinoa for dogs

Packed with nutrients

Quinoa is high in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid and contains no trans fats. It is also a good source of insoluble fiber. It contains numerous antioxidants, including flavonoids, quercetin, and kaempferol.

Additionally, quinoa is a good source of B vitamins like riboflavin and folate, as well as minerals like magnesium and iron. Because of this, it is a great addition to dog food.

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Holds healing properties

These effects originate from the abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to be effective in preventing various diseases, including cancer, by decreasing the body’s production of free radicals.

Boosts the cardiovascular system

Just like other whole grains, quinoa is beneficial to your dog’s heart health. Consult your veterinarian about adding quinoa to your dog’s diet if you want to promote cardiovascular health.

Helps fight inflammation

Due to its high antioxidant content, quinoa is also helpful for reducing inflammation.

Consider including quinoa in your dog’s diet because it can help reduce inflammation, which is linked to a decreased risk of disease and improved health.

Feeding Quinoa to Your Dog

However, can dogs eat quinoa? As always, it’s best to check with your dog’s vet before giving them anything new.

Dogs can safely ingest it as part of a well-balanced meal if it is properly prepared in a form that is easy to digest.

Avoid feeding your dog human food at all costs; there are too many potential dangers involved.

What to watch out for when adding quinoa to your dog’s diet

Although quinoa is safe for canines to eat, not all of them will appreciate the treat. How can you tell if your dog is having reactions to quinoa? Be on the lookout for these signs:

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Stop feeding quinoa to your dog if you notice it making them sick. Seeing a vet can help rule out more serious causes of illness.


Your dog may be having an allergic reaction to the quinoa if it starts drooling after eating it. Get in touch with your vet to figure out the best treatment.

Loss of appetite

If your pet suddenly loses interest in food, even after being offered something as tasty as quinoa, you should consult with your veterinarian to figure out what’s wrong. The veterinarian will perform a quick exam to determine the cause of your dog’s lack of appetite and treat him accordingly.

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Saponin, a chemical found naturally on quinoa, is one of the main reasons you want to keep an eye on your dog when introducing quinoa.

Saponin is a natural insecticide produced by the quinoa plant. It has been linked to gastrointestinal irritation in humans and dogs. But the amount of saponin in quinoa is usually too low to cause any health issues.

It’s possible that dogs’ digestive systems are more sensitive to saponin than people’s. Saponin can be avoided by washing the quinoa prior to cooking. This should get rid of the majority of it, making things easier on your dog’s digestive system.

If your dog has an easily upset stomach, they might not be able to digest quinoa. If you’re worried about this, it’s best to consult your vet before giving food. There’s no point in making your dog sick if you can help it.

How to incorporate quinoa into your dog’s diet

Don’t just give your dog scraps from your plate if you’re trying to incorporate quinoa into your dog’s diet.

Garlic and onion are common additions to quinoa dishes, along with other seasonings like olive oil, salt, and spices. Garlic and onions, in particular, are toxic to dogs and will make your pet sick.

Giving the quinoa a good rinse is the first step in making it dog-friendly. The next step is to bring it to a boil in liquid (one part quinoa to two parts liquid is ideal). Water is fine, but if you want to amp up the flavor, use your dog’s approved broth made from simmered bones or vegetables.

Once the water has been absorbed into the quinoa, turn off the heat. Cool it down and fluff it with a fork. Dogs can eat it warm, but it shouldn’t be piping hot. You can pair it with a fresh pet food like Ollie or wet or dry food for dogs.

Try this recipe from Kol’s Notes for a healthy and tasty dog treat that incorporates quinoa:

Quinoa Crisps with Rosemary Salmon Dog Treats


  • Using the water from the can, blend 2 cups of canned salmon.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of homemade quinoa flour
  • 1 cup quinoa, once cooked
  • Rosemary, dried, 2 tablespoons
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Come on, then!

Blend or process the salmon into a thick paste in a blender or food processor, adding the water from the can of salmon only as needed (you want to use as little as possible).

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Stir the salmon paste, quinoa, and rosemary together in a medium bowl. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add more quinoa flour. (The quantity of flour required is variable and will be determined by the amount of water used in the salmon paste.)

Mix and knead until you have a dough that is not sticky. (Add quinoa flour until it is manageable to work with if necessary.) Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch between two sheets of parchment paper. Lift the top sheet of parchment. You can make crackers by cutting the dough with a knife or pizza cutter into uniform shapes.

Heating With an Oven:

Spread crackers out on a baking sheet and top with parchment. For three hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, turn over. Put back in the oven and bake for another 2–4 hours, or until the entire thing is crisp.

Use of a dehydrator:

Spread crackers across the trays of the dehydrator. Let them dry out for 6 to 8 hours, or until they are completely crispy.
Put away in a dry, cool place with no moisture. They should be good for another three to four weeks after drying if you’ve done it properly.

Introduce quinoa to your dog’s diet gradually, as with any novel food, to prevent stomach upset.

Keep an eye out for any negative reactions, and gradually increase your dog’s serving size over the course of seven days until you reach the recommended amount for your dog’s size and activity level. Overfeeding your dog can cause them to gain weight and/or have nutritional deficiencies.

A veterinarian or nutritionist can advise you on how much quinoa is safe for your dog to eat in the context of his or her individual diet. You still need to keep an eye on things and make adjustments until you find the sweet spot for how often to serve and how much to serve.

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