Can Dogs Eat Farro? [Ancient Grain Power?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Today’s burning question – “Can dogs eat farro?”

That’s the equivalent of asking if they can handle a ‘hipster’ grain, isn’t it?

Let’s face it, our fur babies are often as much into food experiments as we are! If your initial reaction was “farro-what-now?”, don’t fret.

In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of this ancient grain together.

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What is Farro Grain?

The farro grain is also known as an ancient whole grain that has stood the test of time and continues to win over taste buds with its incredible qualities.

Imagine a grain with a hearty, chewy texture and a delightful nutty flavor. That’s farro for you! 

But its appeal doesn’t end there. Farro is rich in fiber, vitamins, essential nutrients, and minerals.

What’s more, it’s naturally low in fat, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a wholesome and balanced diet.

To put it simply, it’s not only delicious but also quite a healthy ingredient. 

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Can dogs eat wild rice?

Can Dogs Eat Farro?

Can Dogs Eat Farro

Yes, dogs can eat farro. 

It’s a nutritious whole grain that can be a healthy addition to your furry friend’s diet. Farro is packed with beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins. 

However, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly and serve it in small, well-cooked portions to ensure easy digestion for your pup. 

As always, it’s best to ask your vet before you let your doggy eat farro for the first time just to be on the safe side.

Is Farro Grain Good for Dogs?

Farro grain can be a healthy addition to your furry friend’s diet! It’s totally awesome!

As a whole grain, farro is undeniably rich with nutrients, and it’s even gentle on your dog’s digestive system and provides essential nutrients for his overall well-being.

Introducing farro into your dog’s diet can offer a range of benefits.

The fiber in farro promotes healthy digestion and can help regulate bowel movements

Plus, the protein content supports muscle health and provides energy

However, as a dog parent, you must remember every dog is different.

Yours may not be allergic to farro, but others might be.

Unfortunately, farro has gluten, so doggies that are sensitive shouldn’t eat them.

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Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Can dogs eat vegetable soup?

Is Farro Easily Digestible?

Fiber is a great help for regulating a dog’s digestive system. And since farro is an excellent source of fiber, it’s easily digestible.

But like I’ve said, dogs have different dietary needs, so they react differently from one food to another.

Doggies who are allergic to wheat and gluten might have a hard time digesting farro. They may experience diarrhea and could even vomit if they become too bloated from the farro.

Is Farro an Inflammatory Grain?

Farro is rich in antioxidants, so it’s actually considered by many as an anti-inflammatory grain. 

Yes, other dogs don’t take farro well. But most dogs don’t have any problem eating farro at all.

Hence, a lot of dog parents use farro as an alternative to grains that can cause inflammation. 

How to Diagnose Grain Allergies in Dogs?

Diagnosing grain allergies in dogs is actually not that difficult at all. You just really need a keen eye to see the telltale signs of such an allergy in your doggy.

  • If your dog’s skin turns red and itchy after eating grains, he might have an allergy to grains.
  • If you observe that your doggy is experiencing hair loss and he’s constantly scratching his ears, it’s best to consult the vet already since grain allergies can manifest that way too.
  • Another way to diagnose grain allergies in dogs is by checking if their paws are inflamed and if constant licking of paws is observed.

If your dog has been diagnosed with grain allergies, you don’t really have to worry much.

Dogs fed more on proteins and fat, so grains aren’t much of a loss to your pup at all if you don’t feed him those anymore.

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Comparing Farro to Other Grains

There are many grains out there aside from farro. But you’re probably wondering why dog owners become more drawn to farro nowadays.

Let’s see if farro is any better than the other grains, shall we?

Farro vs. Quinoa

Farro and quinoa can provide both minerals and vitamins and they are both rich in fiber as well!

What makes them so different, however, is that quinoa is gluten-free, unlike farro.

So if your dog is allergic to gluten, then quinoa is indeed preferable to farro.

These two grains also have proteins but I gotta say that quinoa is more advantageous than farro when it comes to protein content.

You see, the protein in quinoa has all the essential amino acids, while farro only has a minimal amount of it.

If you ask me which is better, I have to say that it still depends on your dog’s needs.

If you’re putting your dog on a diet to lose some weight, farro is a satisfying yet low-in-fat and delicious grain option.

But if you’re thinking of feeding your dog grains as a substitute for meat from time to time, then you should opt for quinoa since it’s heavier than farro.

Farro vs. Rice

Both a good source of carbohydrates, you can easily add farro or rice to your doggy’s everyday diet.

But if you’re asking which one contains more vitamins and minerals, I have to tell you that it’s farro.

I mean, farro has more fiber and protein to offer than rice. Not to mention that it’s also abundant in nutrients when you differentiate it from rice.

But if your dog’s digestive system isn’t working well, brown rice is very easy to digest compared to farro.

This is the reason why dog owners with senior dogs usually choose brown rice instead of farro.

I should also add that brown rice causes lesser allergies to doggies compared to farro which is so rich in fiber.

Farro vs. Oatmeal

Between farro and oatmeal, most dog owners prefer oatmeal since it can easily be digested and is gluten-free.

Both farro and oatmeal contain minerals and nutrients that are good for doggies. But farro isn’t gluten-free, so some dogs can’t eat it.

But if you were to ask your dog which one he prefers, I think he’ll choose farro since it is more flavorful with its nutty taste and chewy texture.

What Grains Should Dogs Avoid?

Wheat

If you’re fond of reading online blogs about dog diets, you’ll see how infamous wheat is among owners.

Most dog parents avoid wheat like the plague because it’s a common allergen among dogs.

It contains too much gluten that dogs with gluten allergies will quickly react to it by vomiting or having diarrhea.

Corn

Corn is a grain that might be too difficult for your dog to digest. His digestive system might not be well capable of breaking corn down.

When this happens, your dog will have an upset stomach that can lead to diarrhea.

If your dog frequently eats corn, there’s a big chance he’ll develop a serious gastrointestinal infection.

Soy

You probably already realize that soy doesn’t actually add much nutrient value to your dog’s food.

It’s just a filler ingredient like what other dog owners say. What’s worse is that it can cause digestive problems if your dog has a sensitive tummy.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Switching from grain free dog food to regular

What Types of Dogs Should Not Eat Farro?

What Types of Dogs Should Not Eat Farro

Dogs with grain allergies

Farro is a whole grain and is rich in gluten so if your dog has been diagnosed with grain allergies, it’s best to avoid it.

The initial effect of eating farro on your grain-allergic dog might be small and sometimes not noticeable.

But if your dog continues to feed on it, serious health problems will ensue.

Dogs with underlying health conditions

If your dog is already suffering from a health condition related to his digestive system, he should definitely avoid farro.

Farro has a chewy texture and can be a bit difficult to digest for those dogs who have a sensitive tummy. 

Puppies

It’s no secret that puppies have a more sensitive tummy than adult doggies.

Since farro is a grain and might contain allergens that will heavily affect pups, it’s best to avoid it for a while until they are already fully grown.

Serving Farro to Your Dog: How to Feed Farro to Dogs

  • Cook a cup of farro in 3 cups boiling water. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly rinsed it first.
  • Although farro has proteins, it is still not enough to sustain your dog’s needs, so don’t treat farro as your dog’s complete diet.
  • You should only feed farro to your dogs occasionally. And the amount of it should be just moderate each time.

Alternatively, if you are keen to feed your dog this ancient grain, it might be worth considering a specially formulated kibble instead:

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Benefits of Farro for Dogs

High in fiber

Farro is high in fiber which helps your dog’s digestive system to work smoothly.

The high fiber in farro will promote healthy digestion among dogs and will certainly regulate bowel movements.

Good source of protein

Protein is an important part of a dog’s diet. Fortunately, farro has some proteins to offer!

Your dog needs protein to strengthen his muscles and improve canine health. Feeding your dog farro from time to time will surely help your dog’s health!

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Farro is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. All these are very essential to your dog’s well-being.

Adding farro to your dog’s diet will serve as another outlet for vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to remain strong and healthy.

Contains antioxidants

Antioxidants are important in protecting your dog’s cells from any harmful bacteria he might get from being active.

The antioxidants in farro can surely protect your dog’s cells from being damaged. It will strengthen and boost your dog’s immune system.

Promotes healthy digestion

If your dog is not allergic to gluten, farro can promote his healthy digestion.

The fiber in farro will surely act quickly to smoothen your dog’s digestive system, so he’ll have no problem with pooping.

Supports cardiovascular health

The magnesium in farro helps regulate the beat of your dog’s heart.

Magnesium has been known to keep the heart rhythm in check, making farro a great support for cardiovascular health.

Promotes healthy skin and coat

With all the vitamins and minerals you can find in farro, it will be impossible not to see your dog have healthy skin and coats.

If you feed your dog with farro just right, you’ll definitely see the great benefits it has on him.

What Are the Risks of When Feeding Your Dog Farro

Allergic reactions or food sensitivities

Just like humans, dogs can also be allergic to gluten and should be restricted to a gluten-free diet.

Farro is a grain that has gluten in it, and it triggers allergies in dogs with grain allergies and food sensitivities.

If your dog eats farro despite having allergies to it, he’ll experience severe skin issues and gastrointestinal problems. 

Digestive upset or gastrointestinal issues

Yes, fiber is known to regulate bowel movements. But it still can cause an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal issues when farro is introduced suddenly to your dog.

Feeding large amounts of farro to your dog can also lead to an upset stomach.

Potential for grain-related allergies

Since farro is a grain and grains usually trigger allergens among dogs, farro can induce grain-related allergies.

This is why dogs with celiac disease should not eat farro since the gluten in it will only make their immune systems attack their own cells.

Farro can be high in calories

The calories that farro contains might be too much for your dog’s dietary needs.

Overfeeding your dog with farro can lead to weight gain and obesity, a situation that will only worsen over time if not dealt with. 

Imbalance in the dog’s diet

Although farro has numerous health benefits and it contains vitamins and minerals along with other nutrients, it’s still not enough to sustain your dog’s needs.

Farro should only be an occasional addition to your dog’s food and not the sole source of your dog’s nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs eat cooked farro?

Yes, dogs should only eat cooked farro as it provides favorable nutrients, flavor, and texture. Uncooked farro isn’t good for dogs as it can upset the stomach and can be hard to digest.

Are ancient grains good for dogs?

Ancient grains are quite good for dogs and have lately been gaining popularity among dog owners for their nutrient content. However, ancient grains aren’t recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Can dogs eat farro grain every day?

Dogs should not eat farro grain every day. Farro grain should only be served occasionally and in close moderation. farro might contain nutrients that are good for dogs, but it’s still not an appropriate day-to-day diet for any dog.

Can puppies eat farro?

Puppies should avoid eating farro since their digestive system is still too sensitive to counter the fiber that farro has. It’s also best to wait until dogs are a bit older to see if they’re not allergic to gluten.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Farro?

So, to sum it up, yes, dogs can eat it when cooked and served appropriately.

Just bear in mind our four-legged friends’ health is paramount.

When we spice up their diet, it should not only satisfy their canine curiosity but also ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Health first, right?

Check out these other dog diet tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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