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What Is Brewers Rice And Why Is It In Your Dog’s Food?

Last Updated: April 8, 2024 | 2 min read | 1 Comment

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What Is Brewers Rice?

Dog staring up at a bowl of brewers rice.

Look at the rice in your pantry. Each grain looks perfect, right? That’s because all the small, broken pieces have been removed. Those broken pieces of rice are called brewers rice.

Brewers rice refers to white rice that has become damaged during the manufacturing process and broken into smaller pieces. These tiny pieces of rice are sifted out and sold as a separate product – brewers rice. Brewers rice is made up of white rice only.

Because these broken pieces of rice are not pleasant to look at, rice brands don’t sell them to humans. Instead, brewers rice is sold to pet food companies and beer brewers. In fact, that’s where brewers rice gets its name from. Brewers rice is traditionally used as an ingredient for brewing beer, and is commonly found in gluten-free beers.1

The AAFCO has recognized brewers rice as a dog food ingredient since 1960.

Is Brewers Rice An Inferior Ingredient?

While doing your research online, you may have stumbled across the myth that brewers rice is an inferior ingredient – there are plenty of sites make this claim.2

However, for this to be true, then white rice itself would also need to be considered an inferior ingredient – as brewers rice is just white rice, but smaller pieces Another myth is that brewers rice is floor sweepings, and contains dust. However, this would make it ineligible to be used as a beer brewing ingredient for humans.

Part of the reason for the misunderstanding may be that brewers rice isn’t typically eaten by humans in America. However, this isn’t unusual in Asian countries where broken rice pieces are are sold as a cheaper alternative to the white rice you recognize.

Brewers rice may be cheaper than regular rice, its not a poor quality ingredient. From a nutritional perspective, it’s basically the same. Brewers rice contains all the pros and cons of regular rice. Brewers rice may actually be a preferable ingredient to white rice. All those pieces of broken white rice from the manufacturing process would otherwise be wasted.

Like with many dog food ingredients, it matters more about how brewer rice is used and the intentions behind its addition as an ingredient.

Benefits Of Brewers Rice

Rice is a good source of carbohydrates and is easily digested. rewers rice also contains trace amounts of potassium, protein, Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium. and calcium.

White rice and brewers rice are also common ingredients dog food for sensitive stomachs and is often present in vet-prescribed formulas. Because it’s bland and easy to digest, it’s less likely to cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

“Brewer’s rice is classed as a by-product, which sounds bad, but it still contains exactly all the same nutrients that white rice contains. It is easy to digest, plus it contains a good source of energy, protein, and minerals (though white rice generally may not be as nutrient dense as whole grain or brown rice),” says Rebecca MacMillan BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS.

Are There Any Concerns About Using Brewers Rice In Dog Food?

Just like brewers rice shares the same benefits as white rice, it also shares the same concerns. Rice can be used as a cheap way to add bulk to dog food, and bewers rice is often used as a filler ingredient – to add bulk to dog food.

“As brewer’s rice is cheap, it is often referred to as a ‘filler,’ but this doesn’t make it a junk item by any means. When choosing a pet food, the general rule is to pick one that has good-quality meat-based protein sources at the top of its ingredients list, unless you have been otherwise instructed by your vet,” says Rebecca MacMillan BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS. “I tend to prescribe a diet that contains a high proportion of brewer’s rice when I need to provide a highly digestible food for dogs with certain food intolerances, digestive disorders, or absorption problems (like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency).”

As with any dog food or special diet for your pet, it’s always recommended that you speak with your vet about what’s best for them. Every dog’s nutritional needs are different based on their unique health concerns and risks.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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