Most diets for dogs are significantly made up of grains. Couscous is a type of grain associated with numerous health benefits for humans. However, is it also great for your dog? Can dogs eat couscous?
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Couscous is a form of whole-grain made using durum wheat semolina. This is a staple cuisine in North Africa just like rice. Mediterranean and Arabic countries use the same process with various types of grains. For instance, bulgur is another type of similar staple grain. Since couscous is made using durum wheat, this is not gluten-free.
Can your dog eat couscous
The simple and easy answer to this question is yes, dogs can eat couscous. Couscous is a healthy and safe whole grain option that you can feed to your pet.
But, just like other types of human foods, before you consider giving couscous to your pup, it is important to know more about the different effects of giving it to your pet.
Couscous is a type of crushed durum wheat often used in the Mediterranean and North African cuisines. This is a form of paste shaped like small beads. This rose to popularity thanks to the different ways of preparing it.
Generally speaking, it is safe for canines to eat moderate amounts of plain cooked couscous.
Is couscous good for your dog
Yes, there are lots of nutrients in plain cooked couscous that make them good for dogs. However, it is still important that you monitor the amount that your dog eats. This is because canines that follow a diet high in calories and dense in carbohydrates may end up gaining unhealthy excess weight. This weight gain may then result in different negative health effects.
Couscous is considered a healthier form of grain since it contains lots of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6, protein, and selenium.
Selenium has been found out to help the cells function properly and may even help in cancer prevention. However, please take note that excessive amounts of selenium can be bad for canines. This is why it is important that you only give couscous to your dog in small or moderate amounts.
Is couscous bad for your dog
No, couscous is not bad for your dog by itself except if your pet has wheat sensitivity or allergy. This pasta is made using wheat, which means that it has plenty of gluten.
One more thing you should be careful with when giving couscous to your pet is the way you prepare and cook it. Never let your pup eat couscous seasoned with onions or garlic. It also means that you should never let your pet eat couscous made using broth seasoned with onions and garlic.
Another thing to watch out for is the amount of salt consumed by your pet. If the couscous has high amounts of salt, make sure to keep it away from your dog. When your dog eats excessive amounts of salt, this may cause excessive thirst or worse, even kidney issues.
Last but not the least, since couscous is a type of grain, this also contains lots of carbohydrates and calories. Dogs that consume excessive amounts of carbs and calories may gain more excess weight. This excessive weight gain may increase your dog’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other health concerns.
Can your dog eat cooked couscous
Yes, you can give cooked couscous to your dog as long as this is cooked in such a way that is safe for dogs.
Avoid seasoning it with excessive amounts of salt. Don’t forget that your dog doesn’t need extra salt. You should also avoid using spicy stuff and make sure that the food of your dog is always free from onions and garlic.
It is best to prepare plain cooked couscous with some vegetables and meat so you can be sure that it will be safe for your pet.
Can your dog eat pearl or Israeli couscous
Yes, your dog can safely eat pearl or Israeli couscous. This can be used in homemade dog food in moderate amounts. All you have to do is mix some amounts of cooked couscous with vegetables and meat to prepare a healthy meal for your pup.
Can your dog eat plain couscous
Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat plain couscous in moderate amounts. As long as you cook it without the extra sugar, salt, and unsafe spices, you can give your pup small amounts of plain couscous.
Can your dog eat uncooked couscous
Although uncooked couscous may not hurt your pet, there is a big chance that he may refuse to eat it. Many dogs still prefer eating cooked couscous instead of uncooked and crunchy pearls.
Can your dog eat whole wheat couscous
Yes, your dog can also consume whole wheat couscous provided that your pet doesn’t have a gluten sensitivity or allergy. You can try balancing the amount of couscous with some cooked vegetables and meat.
Is couscous healthy for dogs
Yes, couscous is considered a safe choice if you want to add grain to the diet of your dog. Thanks to the composition of couscous, you can be sure that it will not be heavy on the stomach of your dog and you can easily mix it with other types of foods. But, couscous may not work if you prefer to give your pet a gluten-free alternative. Since couscous is made from wheat, it means that this is not gluten-free.
Selenium is the notable nutrient found in couscous. Selenium can help with proper cell function. It is said that selenium has properties that can help fight off cancer. This means that selenium can be one of the top benefits that couscous can offer to your dog. But, it is important that you only add a moderate amount of couscous to your pup’s diet. High amounts of selenium are found to be toxic to canines.
Dietary fiber, vitamin B, and magnesium are the other nutrients present in couscous. Magnesium can provide energy to cells. Your pet needs magnesium for the different tasks of cells. Vitamin B is essential for proper and healthy cell functions and nutrient conversion into energy. Meanwhile, dietary fiber is important for a healthier digestive system.
There are also higher levels of protein in couscous compared to other types of grains. With its different properties, this makes a couscous a healthier grain option that you can add to the diet of your dog compared to grains with lesser nutrition like white rice.
What is the best way to add couscous to a dog’s diet
You need to gradually introduce a new food to the diet of your pup. One of the things you should do as a pet owner is to determine how the digestive system of your pet will react to a new food. It will be easier for you to monitor a new food’s effect if you just add one new food item to their diet at a time.
To start introducing couscous to your pet’s diet, you can try mixing several tablespoons into their regular meals. Take note that a significant and sudden change in the dietary composition of your pet may end up upsetting his stomach. Dogs require more time adjusting to new foods compared to humans.
Once you made sure that couscous doesn’t cause any gastrointestinal upset in your pet, this is the only time that you can try increasing its serving amount. In case you will use couscous as a replacement for another grain, you should try to lessen the serving quantity of the replaced grain as you increase that of couscous.
A great indicator of your dog’s digestive health is his stool. If you notice any notable negative changes in your dog’s stool, stop giving him the new food. It may take some time to find the correct food composition that suits your dog. Just make sure that changes are continuously and gradually made to monitor your dog’s digestion.
Cooking couscous for dogs
You should always cook couscous before you feed it to your pet. The good news is that it is easy and quick to cook couscous. Many of the couscous available in the supermarkets only need to be steeped for 2 to 5 minutes in hot water. To add some extra nutrients and add more flavors, you can steep couscous in homemade beef or chicken broth.
Remember that couscous on its own is not yet a complete meal for dogs. Well-balanced dog diets are made up mainly of protein with some veggies and grains added. You can mix the couscous with vegetables and any source of protein, especially lean proteins like lamb and chicken. Beef and beans can also work well. Couscous can also be mixed with canned dog foods. There is no rule that you cannot mix premade dog food with homemade dog food. When you prepare homemade food for your pup, always remember that you will be feeding it to a canine. This means that there is no need to season it with salt and other spices.
The unique literary talents of Dr. A. Barton are well known throughout the veterinary profession. He is a regular contributor to the New York City Veterinarian and his professional articles have also appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of Small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Veterinarian and Philadelphia Medicine. He is the only veterinarian ever to have had an article published in the human medical publication, What’s New.