Can Dogs Eat Quinoa? Is It Good For Dogs or Not?

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
Quinoa is a gluten-free seed that is a perfect alternative to other grains. It is rich in protein which makes it an ideal addition to vegan or vegetarian meals. If you're among dog lovers that enjoy quinoa, you probably thought about sharing some with your dog. Discover in this article if dogs can benefit from quinoa the same way we do.

Quinoa is one of the healthiest seeds out there. It originated from South America and has been used for human consumption for more than 4,000 years. It became one of the most popular superfoods because of it’s amazing nutritive values.

Quinoa is rich in protein which makes it a perfect addition to vegan or vegetarian meals. Not only, but it is also gluten-free! If you’re among dog lovers that enjoy quinoa, you probably got yourself asking: “Can I share some quinoa with my dog?”.

While there are tons of benefits quinoa has in store for us humans, can dogs benefit from it too? Let’s discover.

Nowadays, quinoa is added to a ton of healthy meals. Whether you’re trying making your own healthy recipe or ordering a meal in a restaurant, the chances are you will find quinoa in some of them.

These seeds have been treated as a healthy alternative for our protein intake. But what about dogs? Can they enjoy some?

Can I Give Quinoa To My Dog?

Yes! Your dog can enjoy quinoa and its benefits just like you. To support this answer, a lot of high-quality commercial food contains this healthy seed.

Some even claim that quinoa is good for dogs with diabetes. But that’s something you have to talk about with your vet before deciding to add it to a diabetic dog’s nutrition.

Of course, the quantity is also important as too much quinoa might be too hard to digest for your dog’s tummy.

How Should I Serve Quinoa?

You have probably never eaten quinoa alone, without any seasoning, salt or pepper. But, that’s the way your dog should eat it.

Before feeding it to your pup, rinse quinoa thoroughly and cook it. By doing so, you will remove the chemical called saponin. This chemical found in quinoa might be toxic for dogs, so you want to make sure it’s gone before you serve this treat.

However, saponin is only found in small amounts that shouldn’t harm your dog. But it’s always better to prevent any potential threat no matter how irrelevant it might seem.

How Much Quinoa Can I Give My Dog?

Puppies wait for food

Like with most of new foods that you add to your dog’s diet, start with small quantities. You have to see first how your dog will react to this new grain. So, start by feeding a teaspoon or slightly more for bigger dogs.

Quinoa can cause difficulties in digestions in some canines, and lead to vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. If you notice some of these symptoms after consumption, avoid feeding quinoa to your dog.

But, if your pup doesn’t show any of these reactions, he can then enjoy this superfood occasionally. The quinoa seeds will benefit him in multiple ways.

Why Is Quinoa So Healthy?

No superfood is called that without a good reason. The same is true for quinoa. Let’s list out everything that quinoa can provide us (and our dogs) with.

  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Essential Amino Acids (building blocks of protein)
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Thiamin
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper

Is Quinoa Good For Your Dog?

With so many important compounds, it is quite logical to think that this superfood is a great boost to your dog’s diet.

Let’s take a look at how nutritive values of quinoa might benefit your dog.

Complex carbohydrates found in quinoa are healthy carbs that are basically long chains of sugar molecules. They provide the body with a steadier amount of energy. This is rooted in the fact that the body needs more time to break them down and absorb its nutritional value.

Essential amino acids must be obtained through diet. And quinoa delivers a good amount of it. But what do these amino acids do? They increase muscle growth, reduce fatigue and protect muscles. This makes quinoa a perfect diet addition for active dogs.

Fiber will regulate your dog’s bowel movement. But too much fiber might cause an upset tummy, so never go overboard with food that contains it.

Vitamin E provides both humans and dogs with some beauty-related benefits. It takes care of our skin and hair health, so this vitamin will make your pet’s fur softer and shinier.

Thiamine, or Vitamin B1, has a critical role for body’s energy metabolism. It is very important for proper brain functioning.

Dogs that lack iron develop anemia. Iron makes sure the red cells are able to develop correctly and perform their important function. So, quinoa will also boost your dog’s blood count.

Also, calcium is known for its importance in bone strength and teeth health. This mineral is also crucial in pregnant dogs and milking mothers.

Magnesium is very important in maintaining normal nerve and muscle function. This mineral also supports a regular heartbeat and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and is important in the production of energy and proteins.

Phosphorus is crucial for body’s use of carbohydrates and fat. This mineral also works with proteins in order to ensure the growth and regeneration of cells and tissues. Being so rich in phosphorus, quinoa will help improve kidney function and heartbeat regularity.

Manganese aids protein and carbohydrates absorption and digestion in general. It also ensures that many enzymes work well in providing their function.

Potassium is very beneficial for the balance of fluid and electrolytes in your dog’s body. It also plays an important role in the function of the nervous system.

Zinc is a powerful antioxidant and helps metabolic processes in the body. Zinc deficiency might be very dangerous for dogs. So, it is very important to ensure a regular intake of zinc, as body has no way to store it.

Copper is a mineral that is essential for bones and connective tissues. It also helps in forming myelin that protects nerves.


Being included in high-quality dry foods, quinoa is considered safe for dogs. But if your dog’s commercial food doesn’t contain this healthy seed, it might be wise to start adding it to your dog’s diet.

Even if quinoa is super healthy and can provide your dog’s organism with numerous benefits, you should include this superfood slowly. Some dogs’ stomachs might find it hard to digest which could lead to vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

First test if your dog enjoys it without experiencing the mentioned symptoms, and then gradually increase the amount you serve to him. When feeding quinoa to dogs, it has to be washed thoroughly and then cooked without adding salt or any other seasoning or spice.

All in all, quinoa is very rich in minerals and compounds that your dog needs. Want to make a real delicacy for your dog? Add quinoa to meat or healthy veggie that you already feed your dog with, and he will love it.

What Are Other Foods That Your Dog Can Eat?

As real dog-lovers and dog-owners, we constantly think about healthy additions to our dog’s diet. That’s why we offer a wide variety of articles about foods we humans eat and discuss if your dog can enjoy them too. Discover if your dog can eat broccoli or if he can eat parnsips.