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Can Dogs Eat Quinoa? Is Quinoa Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa? Is Quinoa Bad For Dogs?

Quinoa is a food that came to us from South America. It’s a good source of protein, so it’s good for you – but is it any good for your pet?

Some foods are perfectly safe (and nutritional) for you and your family, but they can put your pet in grave danger. Like garlic and onions, for example. You’re absolutely sure that your dog shouldn’t eat those foods, but truly, what about quinoa?

Once your family decided to start eating clean, it took some adjusting. Now, when you’re cooking – as soon as the smells arise from the kitchen, everyone is peaking through the door. The dog is no different than anyone else, of course.

You can see her whining and begging once everyone starts serving the quinoa. She blinks and uses those big cartoon eyes to get what she wants. Usually, she does.

Now, she would’ve got it too, if we knew for sure whether she can eat quinoa or not. But can she? Let’s find out!

Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?

To start, yes, dogs can eat quinoa. Quinoa is perfectly safe for dogs, and it’s not even unfamiliar to their diet.

Did you know that some commercial dog foods even contain quinoa? We were certainly surprised! And it’s usually the high-quality brands!

Quinoa is not only safe, but it can also be a healthy addition to their diet. This tasty seed is a great alternative if the dog is sensitive to corn, for example.

So, if you want to start giving your dog quinoa – make sure to introduce the food first. Dogs can get food allergies on the most common food items. Watch their behavior once they try something new – if they act unusually or lethargic, discontinue the use!

Introducing Quinoa To Your Pet’s Diet

Whenever you want to give your pet a new, unfamiliar food item – you must introduce it. Introducing is a method where you give the pet a small quantity of new food the first time. Next time, amp up the quantity and so on before you reach the full recommended portion.

Introducing a food item is used because dogs can be put off by something new. Since dogs need a lot of meat in their diet, they tend to be put off by foods that look nothing like it.

Also, if the food has a different nutritional value than regular dog food, this method can be used to prepare the digestive system. If you serve the full meal of something new, the dog can experience indigestion or vomiting – and it can result in your pet avoiding that food forever.

Serving Quinoa

Well, serving quinoa to your pet isn’t too different than serving it to your family. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.

Washing Quinoa Before Preparing – Is It A Must?

Absolutely. Always, always wash quinoa before you prepare it for your pup. But, why?

Quinoa naturally produces a chemical called saponin to fight off insects. While humans aren’t sensitive to the meager amount of saponin found in quinoa, dogs can be.

The best (and only) way to get rid of saponin is to wash the quinoa with water before use. That doesn’t seem too complicated, does it?

Serving Quinoa Plain Or Seasoned?

This is a really important section, so read this part carefully. Don’t make a habit of feeding your puppy leftovers.

That’s a bad habit for a few reasons:

  • Human dishes contain a lot of salt and a high-sodium diet is unhealthy for your pet;
  • Quinoa dishes made for humans can contain hot peppers and spices, which are very dangerous for your pet – they can upset the pet’s tummy – or worse, really harm her;
  • Quinoa is often cooked with onions and garlic – and, as we all know, these vegetables are something your doggie should never eat.

So, if you do decide on giving the pet some quinoa, make sure to cook it in plain water, without salt, pepper, or anything listed above – just quinoa and nothing else!

What To Serve Quinoa With?

Quinoa can be mixed in regular dog food for the best results. Your pup is sure to eat it up this way.

On the other hand, you can cook it with meat or some dog-safe veggies to make a gourmet meal for your pet. She will never become bored with dog food, but she can tell you care about her when you give her a homemade dish!

Dosing Quinoa For Your Pet Per Meal

Small breedsMedium breedsLarge breeds
½ a teaspoonUp to a teaspoonUp to two teaspoons

Make sure not to go overboard, though. Eating too much quinoa can be tough on your puppy’s digestive system!

Can Quinoa Be A Treat For Your Pet?

Quinoa can be a great snack for your pet. You can cook quinoa before you serve it to your pet, or better yet: you can make a cookie out of it!

A crunchy quinoa cookie is a great, healthy treat for your pup. However, keep in mind the 10% rule: treats shouldn’t make over 10% of the daily food ingested by the dog!

Benefits Of Dogs Eating Quinoa

Quinoa is considered somewhat a superfood for humans. It offers a wide range of vitamins and it’s got a good amount of protein per serving (which is great if you are maintaining a low-carb, high-protein diet).

For dogs, it’s more or less the same. The only difference is, dogs don’t need as much to feel the benefits of eating quinoa.

If you implement quinoa into their diet, on a few-days-a-week basis, it won’t take a lot of time to see how great your furry baby is doing. She will look – and feel amazing!

Let’s check out the nutritional value of 1 cup of quinoa, cooked:

Total Carbohydrate39.4g
Dietary Fiber5.2g
Total Fat3.6g
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)1.2mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.2mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.2mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3)0.8mg
Vitamin B60.2mg

Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber, too. Fiber is necessary for healthy bowels, and it boosts metabolism, too!

A good amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium promote healthy bones and muscles. Pets who need a lot of exercises will appreciate this the most!

Moreover, a good amount of vitamins, especially vitamin E, will maintain a healthy, shiny coat of fur and glowing skin. You can literally see how great your pet is doing once you introduce quinoa into their diet!

Also, the large quantity of magnesium will help your pet feel more alert and energized. If your dog is dealing with some anxiety or depression, it might be due to a magnesium deficiency – according to a study.

Can Dog Eats Quinoa

What Happens When The Dog Eats Too Much Quinoa?

Well, sometimes things happen and you don’t pay attention to the dog. This time, your pet took no chances and ate up a whole serving of quinoa for humans.

What will happen to your poor pet now?

Well, quinoa is full of protein which can give your pet some digestive troubles. Some vomiting or diarrhea is to be expected.

If the problems persist for longer than three days, visit the veterinarian. That is, if the pet eats bland, unseasoned quinoa.

However, if the pet eats quinoa with:

  • Hot peppers
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Spices

Go to the emergency vet immediately. 

Your pet could die if not tended to by a medical professional!


To conclude, dogs can eat quinoa. They can eat it and stay perfectly safe in doing so. Eating this yummy seed is even good for your pet!

The nutritional value alone is the reason why this seed is used and eaten for over 4,000 years in South America. It’s popular everywhere now – and it seems everyone wants a bite of quinoa, even your puppy.

Thankfully, nothing will happen to your dog if she eats a little. If she eats a lot, a visit to the vet might not be a bad idea. When you give quinoa for the first time, give the pet just a taste, to be safe. Watch for any negative reactions like allergies.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. When preparing quinoa, always prepare your meal and the meal for the pet separately.

Wash quinoa and serve it alongside regular dog food (mix it in for the best results). You can even cook up some meat or steam some veggies to spoil your furry baby.

You can even bake quinoa to make a crunchy cookie. Crunchy foods are something that all dogs seem to love – just like us!

Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods