Can Dogs Eat Couscous

Can Dogs Eat Couscous?

Couscous is one of those foods that has risen in popularity in recent years. Originally, many of us did not even know about it, and then with the popularity of healthy eating and clean living, couscous became a “trendy” food source. However, trend or not, it does have some great benefits and can be a fantastic addition to your diet.

So, does that apply to your dog as well? Yes! In fact, couscous was being used in some dog foods before it became mainstream as a food option for us humans! Read on to learn more about couscous and its benefits for your pet. 

What Is Couscous?

Couscous is a whole grain made from either wheat or barley. While technically, it is referred to as a grain, it is actually more of pasta! This is because it is made from semolina flour and then mixed with water before being formed into the small granules we’ve come to know as couscous. It originated in North Africa and can be found in many different dishes as a base ingredient– traditionally, it was served with a stew on top. It is a great source of fibre as well. 

Can Dogs Eat Couscous?

Luckily for your pet, couscous is one of the foods that are safe for both humans and dogs to enjoy! In fact, couscous is one of the grain options that is often used in dry dog food and is also recommended to those who want to make their own healthy, homemade dog food for their four-legged friends. Couscous has a variety of health benefits for your dog and can account for some of your pet’s required fibre and other nutrients, for instance.

Of course, your dog should only be eating plain couscous, not any sort of couscous that is flavoured or has spices, as these can lead to digestive issues or even allergic reactions, depending on how sensitive your dog is, or the added ingredients. Couscous should also not be the only thing that you are feeding your dog, as it does not contain all of the vitamins and nutrients that your pet requires of its diet– though it does contain a powerful few! 

Advantages of Couscous

Couscous has a wealth of advantages for both humans and dogs– after all, if it didn’t, it would not be such a popular ingredient for high-end dog food options! Two of the largest advantages to feeding your dog couscous is that it is a great source of selenium and fibre, which we discuss more below.

Selenium

Selenium is a nutrient that occurs naturally in couscous. It is good for your dog because it can help with the daily functioning of your pet’s cells, and is even believed to be linked to cancer prevention. If your dog is a breed that has a higher risk for cancer, this could be especially beneficial! 

Fibre

Fibre is an important part of any diet, and can also help to keep your dog’s digestive system in tip-top shape. It can help to keep your dog regular and make bowel movements more frequent, especially if this is something your pet is having trouble with.

Another benefit here is that fiber, and grain options like couscous or rice especially can help to fill up your pet’s belly faster. If you are dealing with a dog that has issues with overeating or needs to go on a diet, the addition of couscous at mealtime can be a wise choice.

Disadvantages of Couscous

Of course, there are some disadvantages to couscous, too. Not every diet is going to work for every dog, so it is important that you weigh your options and also monitor your dog when introducing new foods to determine if the food is causing any issues or reactions. 

Selenium

Yes, selenium was on the list of advantages for feeding your dog couscous. However, this is one nutrient where you need to walk a fine line. That’s because too much selenium can actually harm your dog! Large amounts of selenium can be toxic to your dog, so you should always limit the amount of couscous that you are feeding your pet. 

Flavourings or Spices

As mentioned earlier, you should only be feeding your dog plain couscous. This is because flavourings or spices could contain ingredients that will make your dog sick or could even be toxic. For instance, onion or onion powder can cause onion toxicosis in dogs.

Gluten Allergies

Couscous also contains gluten, so if your dog is allergic to gluten or even gluten-sensitive, this food choice could easily trigger symptoms. If your dog does have a gluten allergy, couscous is unfortunately not going to be a good choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much couscous can a dog eat?

One tablespoon of couscous for every nine pounds of body weight is a good starting point for feeding couscous to your dog. You will then need to adjust this accordingly, based on your dog’s needs and individual characteristics. 

Can dogs eat quinoa and couscous?

Both quinoa and couscous are good food options for dogs. They are also some of the grains that are recommended for homemade dog food, along with brown rice and oatmeal. 

How do you cook couscous for dogs?

When you are cooking couscous for your dog, you should do so in a similar fashion to how you would cook it for yourself. Just be sure that you are not adding in any spices or flavourings that could make your dog sick. You should reheat a cup of chicken stock on the stove, and then add the couscous to the pot, cover, and let it cook for about 5 minutes before you remove it and fluff to serve.

Can dogs have quinoa?

Yes, dogs can eat quinoa! The seed is sometimes used as an ingredient in dry dog food. It is a great alternative to ingredients like wheat, corn, or soy, which are often used to make dog kibble. 

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