Can Dogs Eat Rice Cakes? Everything You Need To Know

Yes, dogs can eat plain rice cakes occasionally as a snack in moderation. They are low-calorie. Rich in carbohydrates and fiber, rice cakes serve as energy-boosting snacks. Consequently, they are an excellent choice for satiating your hungry canine.

What Are Rice Cakes?

Rice cakes are derived from rice grains that give them a light and fluffy texture. These grains are subjected to a high temperature and pressure to gather them into a circular shape. Further, rice’s stickiness helps them remain intact and be served as rice cakes. Rice grains are obtained from the seeds of the plant Oryza sativa, which belongs to the grass family. 

Native to Asia and Africa, rice grains are one of the most widely consumed and cultivated staple foods. It has been cultivated for over 7000 years and is classified as Long, medium, and short-grained. The first rice cultivation can be traced back to Southern China or Northern Thailand. Later, rice cultivation grew in popularity and spread to other parts of Asia and the world. As a result, rice cakes are available in different variations across several countries. For example, Soft forms of rice known as mochi have been popular in Japan for hundreds of years. 

Today, the Chinese celebrate New Year with sticky rice balls, rice candy, and traditional rice cakes. Following colonization, the British Empire brought the rice cake tradition as rice-bearing pancakes called rice girdles. Further, in the US, rice became a popular snack in the 80s in the form of steam-puffed rice. Hence, National Rice Cake Day is celebrated on the 29th of November every year. 

Here is the nutritional profile of 100 g of puffed rice cake:

Fat2.8 g
Carbohydrates81.5 g
Proteins8.2  g

Are Rice Cakes Safe For Dogs? 

You can safely feed Cooked or baked plain rice cakes to your dog. However, it is best to avoid flavored or spiced rice cakes due to their garlic or onion content, which is toxic to your paw-mate. Even plain rice cakes with too much salt can cause dehydration in dogs. 

Why Are Rice Cakes Good For Dogs?

Rice cakes are safe foods for dogs. However, its nutritional benefits depend on the type of rice cakes you feed your dog. Rice cakes can be made of either refined white rice or brown rice. Brown rice cakes are made from whole-grain brown rice. Hence, they are nutritionally beneficial, with abundant vitamins and minerals like vitamins B and D, riboflavin, calcium, and iron.

Vitamin B complex functions as a coenzyme, boosting metabolic activities that convert carbs into glucose, supplying energy to the body. It is necessary for a dog’s diet for protein and fat absorption. Since these vitamins are water-soluble, they pass through the body in 4 to 8 hours.

Vitamin D helps regulate phosphate and calcium in the body. Vitamin D also supports bone health. 

Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium. 

Iron: Iron is a mineral that your dog’s body needs to accomplish critical processes, including transporting oxygen in the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that his cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to metabolize various enzymes in the body.

On the other hand, rice cakes made out of refined white rice carry only a small amount of nutrition. They are rich in carbohydrates, gluten-free, and pretty digestible for your canine. They are especially great for your canine’s consumption during a gastrointestinal upset. 

Why Are Rice Cakes Bad For Dogs?

Rice cakes made from refined rice flour are safe foods but are not healthy for your canines. Rice cakes often contain unhealthy ingredients such as salt, additives, gluten, and sugar. Here is why you shouldn’t feed rice cakes containing these ingredients.

Additives: Rice cakes can contain toxic ingredients like chocolate, garlic, onion powder, or xylitol. Here are the symptoms to know in case of excessive consumption of the said ingredients:

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning in dogs

  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Seizures 
  • Coma 
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Liver failure 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Loss of consciousness or slow to respond

Since xylitol toxicity can also lead to death, it is considered a medical emergency. Hence, if you suspect your pet is consuming any food containing xylitol, it is a good idea to reach out to your vet immediately. Additionally, sometimes, a dog may not exhibit any symptoms of xylitol toxicity until the consumed food is digested. 

Onion/garlic powder: Vegetables in the allium family have thiosulfates that cause hemolytic anemia in dogs. It becomes toxic for dogs as they don’t have enzymes involved in breaking this (thiosulfate) compound, making it difficult to digest. 

Symptoms of onion/garlic poisoning in dogs

  • Vomiting 
  • Anemia is caused by rupturing of the red blood cells 
  • Blood in the urine (red or brown colored urine) 
  • Weakness 
  • Pale gums 
  • Panting 
  • Rapid heart rate 

Gluten: Rice cake varieties such as mochi contain gluten. These glutinous rice cake varieties are unsuitable for dogs sensitive to gluten.

Salt: Commercial rice cakes contain a higher amount of sodium for preservation purposes. This can harm your dog’s health and negatively impact his gut health.

Symptoms of sodium poisoning in your pet include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Tremors
  • Disturbing seizures might occur

Sugar: Sweet rice cake varieties such as caramel rice cakes or apple cinnamon rice cakes are high in sugar. Hence, this can lead to canine health issues or allergic reactions.

  • Short-term effects of sugar consumption: The immediate aftermath of consuming sugar is that it disrupts a dog’s digestive health, which leads to restlessness, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Long-term effect of sugar consumption:
  • Obesity
  • Stressed joints due to weight gain
  • Dental problems due to tooth decay
  • Arthritis 
  • Diabetes

Lactose Intolerance: Milk has the highest amount of lactose content. Dogs are considered to be lactose-intolerant naturally. Their digestive system cannot breakdown the lactose present, leading to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Acidity
  • Abdominal issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Inadequate nutrients

Refined rice grains are devoid of outer layers like husk, bran, and germ. This process leaves them with very little fiber, proteins, and other nutrients. Consequently, it is rich in refined carbohydrates. Hence, it is necessary to curtail the quantity of its consumption as it can lead to obesity. 

High glycemic index:

Refined white rice contains a high glycemic index. This quickly elevates your dog’s blood sugar levels leading to diabetes. Hence, it is not recommended for canines with insulin resistance, blood glucose imbalance, and weight loss issues. 

Artificial colors or flavors 

Rice cakes are available in various flavors and colors. These may be derived artificially or naturally. Although artificial colors enrich their visual appeal, they can cause an allergic reaction in canines and may upset their tummies. 

Choking hazard

Always remember to break rice cakes into smaller pieces before feeding them to your pet. This way, you can protect your pet from episodes of choking hazards. 

Symptoms of choking 

  • High-pitched squeaks or whistling noises
  • Cough
  • Gag
  • Have discolored gums or tongue
  • Panic
  • Paw at his mouth
  • Pant
  • Pace
  • Struggle to breathe

How Much Rice Cakes To Feed Your Dog?

Since rice cakes may cause potential choking hazards, it is better to break them into pieces before feeding your dog. If you have a small, toy-sized dog, you may serve a quarter of a piece of rice cake; medium and large breed dogs could be served up to three-quarter pieces of a rice cake. If you are feeding rice cake for the first time, try introducing only one piece at a time. This is to check if your furry friend experiences any digestive issues. Remember to serve these cakes as a treat occasionally and never give them in place of a balanced meal.

How To Serve Rice Cakes To Your Dog?

Before serving rice cakes to your dogs, always consult a veterinarian. Your doctor may advise against it if your dog is diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes. Alternatively, choose a classic low-sodium plain white rice cake if your veterinarian recommends its intake. Brown rice is also a good choice but can be challenging for your buddy to digest. However, ensure your snack is dog-friendly and devoid of harmful substances like xylitol. While feeding, always break it into pieces to avoid choking hazards, especially for small breeds. If you’re feeding rice cakes for the first time, monitor for adverse reactions to reach out to the vet. 

  • Stomach discomfort, 
  • Itchiness, or 
  • Hair loss

Alternatively, you can feed homemade rice cakes to your dogs. Here is a simple recipe: 

Homemade Chicken and Rice Dog Treats


  • Four split chicken breasts or ground chicken 
  • Two cups of plain white rice or brown rice
  • Olive oil


Step 1- Trim away any fat from the chicken breasts and freeze them.

Step 2- Partially Defrost the chicken before making the treats and slice it.

Step 3- Add the slices to a food processor and grind. Alternatively, you can get ready-to-use ground chicken. 

Step 4- Boil two cups of plain white rice or brown rice. 

Step 5- Once the rice is well-cooked, make a mixture with the ground-up chicken.

Step 6- Roll the sticky mixture into your desired shape.

Step 7- Spray a little olive oil over the cookie sheet or use parchment paper to prevent the treats from sticking.

Step 8- Place your treats on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes.

Step 9- Flip over and cook for another fifteen minutes until golden brown. 

Step 10- Once done, cool them to room temperature and freeze them in a zip-lock freezer bag. 

Step 11- Defrost and serve when necessary. 

What If My Dog Ate Rice Cakes? 

A bite or two pieces of low-salted rice cakes will do more good than harm to your dog. However, if they consumed a significant amount of the same, they might experience the following:

  • Stomach irritation, 
  • Vomiting, and 
  • Diarrhea 

In this case, give them a lot of water to drink. Ensure to feed them a bland diet and look for signs of healing within a day or two before reaching out to your vet. 

Reach out to the pet Poison Hotline and call your vet immediately If your dog consumed rice cake varieties such as mochi or Tteokbokki. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Brown Rice Cakes?

Yes, dogs can eat brown rice cakes. Rice cakes made of brown rice serve as a healthy treat. Brown rice, whole grain rice, is a good source of nutrients like fiber, oils, minerals, protein, and vitamins, including E, K, and B-complex. 

Can Dogs Eat Caramel Rice Cakes?

No, dogs can’t eat caramel rice cakes due to their high sugar content. If fed regularly, they lead to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes?

No, dogs can’t eat caramel rice cakes due to their high sugar content. If fed regularly, they lead to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Cheddar Rice Cakes?

No, dogs can’t eat cheddar rice cakes due to their cheese content. 

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Rice Cakes?

No, dogs can’t eat chocolate rice cakes owing to the risk of chocolate toxicity.

Can Dogs Eat Plain Rice Cakes?

Yes, dogs can eat plain rice cakes in moderation. However, they have to be served in smaller quantities due to their high-calorie content, which can lead to obesity and diabetes. 

Can Dogs Eat Puffed Rice Cakes?

Yes, dogs can eat plain puffed rice cake in moderate amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Rice Crackers?

No, dogs cannot eat rice crackers. They contain milk and will adversely affect lactose-intolerant dogs. Such dogs experience gastrointestinal discomfort with symptoms such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Can Dogs Have Rice Krispies?

No, dogs cannot eat Rice Krispies. This is because they contain many sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors.

Can Dogs Eat Rice Bones?

Yes, dogs can eat Rice Bones. However, it would be a good idea if you did not overfeed it. 

Can Dogs Eat Mochi?

Yes, your dog can have small amounts of plain mochi. However, you should not feed it to gluten-sensitive pets and refrain from feeding flavored ones. 

Can Dogs Eat Tteok?

No, dogs cannot eat Tteok. Tteok is a Korean rice cake made from steamed flour and contains several glutinous grains that are harmful to your gluten-sensitive pet. 

Can Dogs Eat Tteokbokki?

No, dogs cannot eat Tteokbokki. Tteokbokki is a Korean variety of rice cake made with many spices that are harmful to your dog.

Final Thoughts

Rice cakes are an excellent choice of dog treats. Although rice cakes are safe to include on your pet’s menu, it is always better to limit their consumption. This will ensure your paw-mate meets his daily nutritional requirement while getting his share of treats.

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