The answer is “Yes, but…”. In this article, we will introduce you to the nutritional properties of this ingredient but also alert you about the correct or incorrect way to prepare quinoa for your dog.
So, what is quinoa?
Quinoa is a flowering plant, grown as a crop for its edible seeds. The healthy and unique nutritional profile of these seeds has made this ingredient earn its Superfood reputation.
The introduction of quinoa in dog food is fairly recent and mainly driven by the quest to develop products that steer away from corn, wheat, and soy - the starches that go in most kibble for dogs and whose nutritional benefits for dogs have been questioned in recent years.
The nutritional properties of Quinoa
Quinoa is remarkable for its nutritional properties: it is gluten-free and rich in protein, dietary fiber, B-vitamins (folate included), as well as dietary minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, and a great amino acid balance. Furthermore, it has been shown to also contain polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids, which are plant compounds known to have a wide variety of nutritional benefits.
Also, equally important is to understand that the macronutrient digestibility of quinoa in dogs is good and similar to that of rice with no detrimental effects on stool quality.
Important to remember when feeding your dog quinoa:
At the beginning of the article we answered the question “Is Quinoa good for my dog” with a “yes, but..” and here’s the reason why:
Quinoa seeds contain saponins, a compound that protects the quinoa from insect and fungal invasions. Saponins are bitter and soapy and can be toxic both for humans and dogs. The good news is that washing the quinoa prior to cooking helps remove the largest part of this compound, and the remaining quantities will be so small that they will not cause any further irritation.
When feeding your dog quinoa, always cook it beforehand (after the first washing step), let it cool down, and use small amounts at first, mixed with other ingredients that you already use, to see if your dog likes and digests it well. If you're someone who likes cooking for your dog, this ingredient could be a great addition to your own recipes!
Why did we include quinoa in our Healthy Glow treats?
Our Healthy Glow treats contain quinoa, spinach, and coconut oil as main ingredients; which are rich in biotin, zinc, iron, manganese, and vitamin E. These are key nutrients, essential for optimal skin metabolism and antioxidant protection. Especially recommended for dogs with sensitive skin and prone to rashes …. just like my Westie dog Luna.