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Can Dogs Eat Couscous? Is Couscous Safe for Dogs?

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

can dogs eat cous cous 2

Yes, dogs can eat plain couscous in small amounts. It should not be fed in large amounts, as it doesn’t contain all the nutrients your dog needs. They need to eat plenty of other things as well.

Couscous is a whole grain that is made from wheat or barley. It is similar to rice but is more nutritional. It contains a variety of nutrients your dog might need, including fiber and selenium. However, it shouldn’t make up the bulk of your dog’s diet.

You should also be careful about couscous with anything in it. Couscous is often flavored or made with spices. Some of these things may not be suitable for dogs. It is made from wheat, so it is not gluten-free. This should be fine for most dogs, though. But you may want to avoid it if your dog has a gluten allergy.

Coon Hound Eating
Image Credit: SillyDogPhotos, Shutterstock

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The Dangers of Couscous

By itself, couscous is just fine. It is made from either wheat or barley, which is perfectly suitable for our dogs to eat. Many dog foods contain these ingredients. It is also a whole grain. Whole grains contain many nutrients that are good for our dogs.

However, that doesn’t mean that all dogs are fine eating couscous. Some dogs may be sensitive to carbohydrates, like those with diabetes. In this case, you should avoid feeding any large amounts of couscous. If your dog sneaks some off the counter, whether or not you should be worried depends on their exact health condition and the severity of their illness.

Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay

As it is made from wheat, it does contain gluten. If your dog is sensitive to gluten, this is not suitable food for them.

For these reasons, we cannot recommend couscous for all dogs.

Furthermore, as we have previously stated, you need to be careful feeding them seasoned couscous. Many people add garlic or onions to their couscous. Both of these spices are toxic to dogs. Other common spices can also cause problems, like salt. Too much sodium can be a problem for dogs. A little bit of salt for us can be a whole lot of salt for a smaller dog.Divider 4

Mixing Couscous with Other Foods

Many people will mix the couscous with other foods before giving it to their canine. Lean meats work best for this, as it helps balance out the snack or meal. However, you can technically mix the couscous with any other food that is safe for dogs.

Those that feed their dog a homemade diet may decide to use couscous for the carbohydrate portion of the meal. This food is also somewhat high in protein, making it a better choice than some other options, like rice.

We recommend mixing this food with some protein if you plan on it being a substantial snack or a meal. Lean meat is the best option, but there are others like Greek yogurt, for instance.

West Highland White Terrier dog at home eating_alejandro rodriguez_shutterstock
Image Credit: alejandro-rodriguez, Shutterstock

Divider 7How much couscous should I give my dog?

It depends on whether you’re feeding couscous as a treat or as part of a homemade meal. One tablespoon of couscous per nine pounds for one meal is an excellent place to start. You will need to change the amount to suit your dog, though. Some dogs need more meat than others.

As you can see, even when feeding it as part of a meal, you shouldn’t be feeding your dog very much couscous. We generally recommend feeding only a tablespoon as a snack once a day.

You don’t want to feed your dog too much couscous, as this can lower the amount of other foods they reach.

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