Are you also searching for a healthy and nutritious grain-based diet for your dog? Then why not feed them barley? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about “can dogs eat barley?”

In brief – yes! Dogs can eat barley as it is safe for dogs and can serve multiple benefits that will make you think, “Why didn’t I ask this question before?!” So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the answers!

Is Barley Good For Dogs?

Barley is absolutely safe for dogs, and not only are they yummy, but they also serve health benefits to dogs as well as humans. Below are the perks and pros of feeding your dog barley:

1. Nutrients

Barley may look like little food particles, but they are packed with nutrients! Due to its high nutritional value, barley can be a perfect addition to your dog’s diet. It has nutrients like protein! Basically, barley can be a great source of grain-based protein for your pooch. Also, it has vitamins and minerals like:

  • Vitamin B
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

2. Good poop

Does your dog often struggle with constipation? Then there is a high chance that their diet lacks fiber! You would be glad to know that barley is full of fiber. Fiber will make their poop sessions smoother than ever! Also, barley will fill up your dog’s tummy and make it feel fuller.

This eventually will hold on to excessive eating and help reduce your dog’s dog’s weight! However, to keep their weight in check, only feed in moderation, as too much barley can also result in weight gain. So, moderation is the only key!

3. For diabetic dogs- yay or nay?

Here is good news for dog owners who have a hard time managing their dog’s glucose levels. It is challenging to find meals for diabetic dogs. However, barley is one of the human foods that will suit them! Barley can be an excellent part of your dog’s diet as it helps bring down glucose levels (study). 

Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Your Dog Barley

Now that you know barley is good for dogs, there are still some things you should keep in mind! It is always good to take precautions before feeding your dog any food. In the case of barley, here is what you need to know:

1. Moderation

Even though barley is healthy and suitable for dogs, you should only feed your dog barley in moderation. If you feed your doggo barley every day, it can cause digestive problems and will also not fulfill all your dog’s nutritional needs. Hence, you should include other proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to make your dog’s meal healthy. You can add fish, chicken, crabs, turkey, or veggies!

2. Serve plain

Another thing you should always keep in mind when feeding your dog barley is to serve it plain! It means that when you cook barley for yourself, you may add seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, and onions to make it palatable. However, when you make it for your dog, you should not add these as seasonings can trigger food allergies (study). 

3. Cook it!

You MUST cook barley before you feed your dog a bowl full of it! Quite contrary to what we said above, too much raw barley can also lead to digestive issues like constipation! So if you are feeding your dog barley as a cure for constipation- first ask your veterinarian, and second, feed them in moderation. After knowing all this, it’s pretty clear that cooking will make it easier for your dog to chew and digest.  

4. Gluten

Last but not least, if your dog is gluten intolerant, the barley might not be for them! As a responsible dog owner, you should know your dog’s triggers and allergies so you can feed them the food that suits them. For example, unlike rice, barley is not gluten-free and can cause sensitivities in dogs with allergies- so now you know that you have to hide that jar of barley from your pooch. But wait! If you are unsure of your dog’s dog’s allergies, then you should only feed them minimal amounts of barley and monitor them closely for reactions. 

dog staring at barley
dog staring at barley

How to Prepare Barley For Your Dog

As you must have understood from above, raw barley can be challenging for dogs to chew on, and well, that extra crunch can land your dog in emergency situations! Hence, you should keep in mind these small things and steps to prepare your dog for the best barley of their lives:

Step 1: You should always choose high-quality barley and wash it thoroughly under running water. Buying cheap quality food can cause diarrhea or food poisoning in dogs. 

Step 2: After it’s all clean and shiny, you can boil your barley in water and simmer it until it cooks thoroughly. You can also add a pinch of salt to give a nice flavor to it, but this is an optional step. 

Step 3: Once soft and cooked, you can strain and cool down the barley before serving it to your pooch. 

And tada! Once it cools down, you can do many things with it! Such as:

  • Adding barley to your dog’s kibbles will give it a rich texture, flavor, and nutritional value. 
  • Moreover, you can also grind the cooked barley into a thick paste and freeze it in an ice tray. Once it’s set, you will have frozen barley cubes for your dog to enjoy as a summer treat. 


Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat barley?” are big yeses! You can and should feed your dog barley, but only in moderation because giving your dog too much of any food will eventually lead to digestive blunder. The good news is that these little-looking creatures can bring tons and tons of benefits to your dog, like vitamins, fiber, etc. But when it comes to “how to feed my dog barley?” it gets a bit tricky! If your dog is a fan of a raw diet, they’ll not be happy to hear that the best way to serve barley is to cook it properly and mix it with their regular meals. But hey – health>> taste!

So, to make your dog’s meals more nutritious, you can experiment with adding barley or rice to their meals. So what are you waiting for? Next time you cook barley for yourself, make it a serving for two!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pearled barley good for dogs?

Yes, you can feed your dog pearled barley in moderation. However, we recommend that you stick to regular barley as pearled ones are not so nutritious. Pearled barley is processed and has low amounts of fiber and nutrients. This defeats the purpose of feeding your dog healthy food and grain-based proteins.

Can dogs eat cooked barley?

Yes! You should feed your dog cooked barley only! There are several reasons why cooked barley is so much better than raw barley. Because it’s easier to digest, toothless digs can have it, cooking kills bacteria, and cooked barley tastes much better!

How much barley can I give my dog?

The amount of barley to give to dogs depends on the size and energy levels of the dog. If you have a small dog, you can feed them small amounts of cooked barley on the side of their meals. If you have a medium to large or an adult dog, you can feed them about 25% of the part as barley in their meals. Also, you should not add barley to all of your dog’s dog’s meals.

Can dogs eat barley grass powder?

Even though barley grass powder is not toxic to dogs, we do not recommend it. It is not as nutritious and can pose health issues in dogs. There is not much evidence that can prove the side effects, yet regular barley or pearled barley is far better than feeding your dog barley grass powder.

Is barley better for dogs than rice?

Both do well for dogs, as barley and rice are nutritious and healthy in their own ways. Where barley is loved for its fibrous content, rice has always been a staple for dogs! Also, if your dog is gluten intolerant, then you should switch to rice.

Share the Post: