What is Quinoa & Its Benefits for Dogs?


What is Quinoa and How Does it Benefit Your Dog?

Many people believe quinoa is a grain, but it is actually a seed. It has become widely popular because it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is also a whole protein, gluten-free, and low in calories. Considered a superfood, quinoa has a few great benefits for dogs. But let's work on the pronunciation for just a second. Quinoa is pronounced Keen-wah. It's a fun one! 


Quinoa contains potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 & E, and amino acids. This very nutrient-dense seed has a lot to offer your dog. Potassium does a few things for your dog's body. It keeps a good balance of fluid and electrolytes and helps normal heart functions, as well as nervous system functions.  Vitamin B1 works to promote healthy brain functions, while vitamin E benefits your dog's skin and coat. The biggest benefit quinoa has to offer is all 9 of the essential amino acids. These amino acids cannot be produced by your dog, so getting them through their diet is very important. Your dog benefits from these amino acids with muscle growth, muscle protection, and fatigue relief.  


For humans, quinoa is very popular with vegans and vegetarians. This is because quinoa is considered a whole protein. The same goes for dogs, this healthy seed is able to supply your dog with an extra boost of protein. Along with protein, your dog will get a generous amount of complex carbohydrates. These will be turned into more energy for your dog once digested and absorbed. 


Besides all the nutrients and protein quinoa contains, it is extremely healthy. Quinoa is gluten-free, as well as low in calories. This makes it a great choice for dogs that are overweight and dogs with sensitive stomachs. This superfood is a great alternative to corn, wheat, and soy. 


Consult with your vet before deciding to feed your dog quinoa. They can provide you with the appropriate amount to give and the best way to do so. Quinoa should always be given cooked and never raw. Start out slow to see how your dog reacts. If given raw your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. 


After testing out how your dog reacts to quinoa, here are a few ways to incorporate it into your dog's diet: 

  • Add a spoonful of cooked quinoa to your dog's food. 
  • Quinoa dog treats 
  • Quinoa dog food 

Try taking just a spoonful of quinoa and cooking it completely. You can even add a salt and onion free broth to give it an enjoyable flavor. The cooked quinoa can be added to your dog's normal kibble at mealtimes. Quinoa treats are another popular way to add this beneficial seed into your dog's diet. Treats are an easy and mess-free option. Another great option is to feed your dog a food that contains quinoa. This dehydrated food mix contains dried quinoa flakes and is easy to prepare. Add water and your dog's favorite protein and they’ll enjoy this beneficial meal. 

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