Understanding Brewers Rice in Dog Food

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Fiber is an important and necessary part of a dog’s diet, just like our own, but the many fiber sources can be confusing as you shop for your dog’s food. Canine nutrition expert Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible, examines a commonly seen fiber source in many dog foods: brewers rice.

Brewer’s rice would be an example of these bulky fillers without nutrients or food value that are leftover debris from human food production, along with other forms of rice like rice gluten, rice bran and rice flour (which is not like the rice flour sold in human health food stores!). Brewers rice is a processed rice product made from the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of rice and is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground white or brown rice. Brewers rice is one of the many byproducts created by rice milling and is sold exclusively for dairy feed and pet food. Sadly, this ingredient is often prominent in prescription diets sold by veterinarians. Other examples of fiber sources that are basically the outer covering and discarded waste of the human food business: rice hulls, peanut hulls, oat hulls, soybean hulls, soybean mill run, wheat mill run (also known as wheat middling), cellulose (which is wood!), corn cellulose and corn bran.

This Canine Nutrition Tip is from Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible and award-winning host of Dog Talk® on NPR station WLIU. Canine Nutrition Tips are sponsored by Proportions, the whole food custom nutrition program for your dog. Visit to get a custom 2-meal trial for your dog, or to learn more about canine nutrition from the full Canine Nutrition University classes written by Tracie.

Author photo courtesy; photo © Ling Li


Paris Permenter is an award-winning author of over 30 pet and travel books. Along with her husband, John Bigley, Paris is the founder and publisher of CatTipper and DogTipper.

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