Oatmeal makes a healthy breakfast for us, but is it just as beneficial for our furry friends? It turns out there are plenty of nutritional benefits for our pups to chow down on some cooked oats - read more about feeding your dog oatmeal and which ingredients to avoid.
Oatmeal is an inexpensive breakfast staple that offers a ton of simple nutrition for us, and our dogs are no different.
Dog food is often nutritionally void and full of cheap fillers, while high-quality brands tend to be very expensive. That's why many owners concerned for their dog's health turn to a real food diet and prepare their canine meals using fresh, raw, and whole-food ingredients they'd eat themselves.
Oatmeal is a simple food that can inexpensively pump some nutrition into your dog's diet, but you have to be careful - some oatmeal additions that are delicious for us are dangerous for pups to consume.
Keeping portions in mind is essential, too, as too much oatmeal can pretty quickly throw off a dog's digestive tract.
We're uncovering everything you need to know to feed your dog oatmeal safely to keep them happy, healthy, and full-bellied!
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is entirely safe for a dog to consume in small quantities and without harmful add-ins. In the right dosage, oatmeal offers a dog plenty of health benefits, and they're likely to love the taste, too.
Dogs should only eat cooked oatmeal, as raw oats are too hard on their digestion.
Can dogs eat oatmeal cookies and other foods containing oatmeal?
Dogs shouldn't eat oatmeal cookies, and other oat-based foods that contain added sugars, as they're not good for them, much like excessive sugar isn't good for us.
How Much Oatmeal Can My Dog Eat?
The amount of oatmeal a dog can eat depends mainly on their overall size and digestive tolerance to this high fiber food. If a dog eats too many oats, they may vomit or develop diarrhea or bloat, a potentially fatal condition.
- Start any dog with one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal and see how they tolerate it.
- You can slowly increase the portion for your dog as you determine how well they're doing.
- Keep your dog's overall calorie intake in mind, as overeating can cause diabetes and other health issues.
Add-Ins and Flavors
Flavored oatmeals are not suitable for a pup, as they contain added sugar or, even worse, chemical sweeteners like xylitol, which are toxic to dogs. Stick with plain oats for your dog.
Use Water, Not Milk
Typically, we prepare a bowl of oatmeal with either water or milk, depending on your desired texture.
However, milk isn't safe for pups to consume in their oatmeal, as dogs are quite sensitive to dairy and have a lot of trouble digesting it. Use water when preparing oatmeal for your pup.
Steel Cut vs. Quick Oats
You can feed your dog either steel-cut or quick oats, but the steel-cut offers a bit more fiber and nutrition, as they're less processed.
Steel-cut oats are also higher in calories, so keep portion sizes in mind when feeling them to your pup.
The Benefits of Oatmeal for Dogs
#1. High Protein
Oatmeal contains quite a bit of protein to help keep your pup's muscles and body healthy.
#2. Lots of Fiber
There is ample soluble fiber in oatmeal, which is great for a pup's digestion and can help keep their poops regular.
Vets sometimes recommend using an oatmeal diet to help anal gland issues and firm consistently soft stools.
#3. Promotes Healthy Skin
Oats contain healthy omega fatty acids and B vitamins, which help to produce healthy skin cells and reduce inflammation in the skin.
#4. Gluten Allergies
Oats are safe for pups with gluten allergies, as they have, at most, trace amounts of wheat in their ingredients.
#5. Vitamins and Minerals
The high vitamin and mineral content in oats can help take care of your dog from the inside out. On top of the B vitamins and fatty acids we mentioned, oatmeal contains vitamin A, iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, which a dog's body needs for several essential functions.
Making Oatmeal for Dogs
If you're starting to feed your pup oatmeal, you'll want to take it slow and easy to let their tummy grow accustomed to the fibrous new food.
Start with one tablespoon daily, then move up to 2, 3, and so on over a few weeks.
It's generally safe to keep your dog one tablespoon of oatmeal for every 20 pounds of body weight they have. Watching our pups' portions is essential for this high-calorie food.
Don't Replace Meals
While oatmeal is a healthy addition to your pup's diet, they need various nutritious food sources for a well-rounded diet. Otherwise, they may develop deficiencies in any nutrients not contained in oats.
Use it as a snack or in addition to your dog's regular meal.
Safe and Unsafe Add-Ins
Some foods that seem perfectly healthy for a pup are toxic. Here's what foods are and aren't safe to add to your dog's oats.
Grated carrots make a sweet yet nutrient-dense addition to a scoop of oatmeal.
Our pups love apples in their oats, but be sure to remove the core and chop the apple into small pieces to avoid a choking hazard.
There isn't a happier dog than one licking up some peanut butter. It's calorie-dense, so add peanut butter sparingly to your doggo's oatmeal.
While pups don't do well digesting dairy, cottage cheese is a little easier on the system and offers your pup some extra calcium and protein.
Never let your pup eat these foods:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Garlic and onions
Final Verdict: Is Oatmeal Good For Dogs?
Oatmeal can absolutely be a part of any dog's healthy diet but keep in mind:
- Give them a maximum of 1 tablespoon per 20 lbs of body weight;
- Never feed your pup uncooked oats;
- Cook the oats with water and avoid toxic flavorings;
- And only add in toppings that you know to be safe for a dog to consume.
Your dog will benefit from the oatmeal's nutrition, and more importantly, they'll be delighted with the taste of the newest delicious addition to their diet!