Humans started eating millet thousands of years ago, but have you ever wondered why it’s added to dog food and whether it’s safe for your pet or not?
Let’s figure it out.
What is Millet in Dog Food?
Millet, often used as wild bird food, is a small seed that’s also used in dog food as an omnivore-appropriate ingredient.
It’s a gluten-free grain, which means it’s a great choice for dogs who can’t digest gluten but still rely on grain-inclusive foods.
It can also improve your dog’s immune system because it’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients1.
Is Millet Good for Dogs?
Millet is rich in easily digestible carbs and protein, and you can use this grain in hypoallergenic dog foods and treats.
It also makes for a great source of iron, vitamin B, and phosphorus and provides your dog with a lot of energy.
A 100-gram portion of millet provides the following nutrients, depending on type2:
- Carbohydrates: 67-83 grams
- Protein: 8-12 grams
- Fiber: 11-22 grams
- Fat: 2-5 grams
- Sodium: 11-49 milligrams
- Total Minerals: 2.2-2.7 grams
Curious about other dog food ingredients? Click here to learn about mixed tocopherols!
Is Millet Bad for Dogs?
Grain allergies in dogs aren’t rare, but they’re also not the most common.
A study conducted on 278 different dogs from different places of the world shows that the main culprit that causes allergies in dogs is protein3.
231 dogs out of 278 showed allergies due to protein, and only 54 of them had grain allergies.
So millet isn’t bad for dogs if they don’t have grain allergies.
Sources of Millet in Dog Food
Millet is essentially a cereal grain from the grass family, also known as the Poaceae family.
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It’s produced and consumed in Asian and African developing countries and used in all types of dog foods.
Six percent of dry dog food, one percent of dog treats, and 0.15 percent of canned dog foods contain millet in one form or the other4.
See Also: What is Barley in Dog Food?
How Much Millet Do Dogs Need?
You should not let your dog eat too much millet.
It will be difficult for your pet to digest excessive amounts of grain.
However, if your dog doesn’t have grain allergies, the worst that can happen is gas and diarrhea for a couple of hours5.
A medium to large size dog can easily consume a few tablespoons of millet per day.
On the other hand, if you own a toy or small dog, you should not give it more than a couple of teaspoons of millet a day.
Dog Foods with Millet
The following are the best dog foods that contain millet as a carnivore-appropriate ingredient.
Nature’s Logic Canine Duck & Salmon Meal Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Logic Duck & Salmon Meal Feast dog food comes with a 100 percent natural formula.
It contains non-GMO millet, amino acids, minerals, and synthesized vitamins.
It’s suitable for adult dogs of all breeds.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Mountain Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular dog food providers.
The Ancient Mountain formula comes with ancient grains such as millet and supports joints, bones, and muscles of adult dogs of all breeds.
ACANA Free-Run Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food
This ACANA Free-Run Poultry & Grains blend is rich in healthy nutrients, including whole millet, and supports optimal gut health.
It’s designed for adult dogs of all breeds.
Dog Foods without Millet
The following are our best dog foods picks that don’t contain millet.
Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Dry Dog Food
This Chicken & Rice Formula Smartblend by Purina ONE comes with real chicken as its main ingredient that supports skin, coat, joints, bones, and lean muscle mass.
It’s formulated for adult dogs of all breeds and doesn’t contain millet.
Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Dry Dog Food
This Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food contains chicken and beef, but no millet, to offer an exceptional taste.
The formulation is good for adult dogs of all breeds, and you can give it to your dog for all life stages.
Millet is a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates and protein for dogs, and it’s used in almost all types of dog foods.
You can give it to your dog in moderation because it doesn’t have any harmful effects if your pup is not allergic to grains.
Here are a few other common questions people ask.
Can Dogs Eat Millet?
Yes, dogs can eat millet.
It’s easier for dogs to digest millet as compared to wheat and you can also use it in dog treats.
Which Millet is Best for Dogs?
The best millet for dogs is pearl millet.
That’s because it comes with carbohydrates that are easier to digest for dogs as compared to other types of millet. It also has a good amount of nutrients and protein.
Are Dogs Allergic to Millet?
Dogs can be allergic to grains.
So, they can be allergic to millet as well, but that’s not the case with all dogs.
Additionally, millet is not one of the top allergy-provoking ingredients: eggs, chicken, wheat, dairy, and beef.
Is Millet a Protein or Carbohydrate?
Millet grains are high in dietary fiber and nutrition, and they make a great source of carbohydrates, protein, and phytochemicals.
They contain 65 to 75 percent carbs, 15 to 20 percent dietary fiber, 7 to 12 percent protein, and 2 to 5 percent fat.
According to its nutritional value, millet is a carbohydrate.
Is Millet Better than Rice?
The protein and fiber content of millet is much higher than rice, and it’s also higher in carbs and calories.
So not only do millet grains make your dog feel fuller for a longer period of time, but they also promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
They also contain essential minerals and vitamins.
Is Millet a Good Grain for Dogs?
Yes, millet is a good grain for dogs, and that’s why many dog food manufacturers such as Taste of the Wild use it in their products.
It can be harmful to dogs only if they’re allergic to grains or if you feed them too much at once.