Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? What are the Benefits of Oatmeal for Dogs?

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Oatmeal can be a fantastic source of nutrition for dogs, especially for those with a sensitive stomach or that have a history of gastrointestinal problems.

While you might not have thought to give your dog oatmeal, this delicious ingredient is already included in many dog foods. 

A Miniature Dachshund licking after eating
A Miniature Dachshund resting after eating

Keep reading to discover the benefits of oatmeal for your pet and the best ways to serve it to your furry friend.

Is Oatmeal Safe for Dogs to Eat? 

Many pet owners ask if oatmeal is good for dogs and safe for their pets to consume. Oatmeal is most undoubtedly safe for dogs to eat and good for them too.

Oatmeal is high in fiber and contains a variety of minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants. Moreover, oatmeal is an excellent alternative carbohydrate for dogs that are potentially sensitive to wheat or grains. 

However, as with all human foods, you need to be sure only to feed your dog oatmeal in moderate amounts without any additional sweeteners or spices.

Oatmeal should also be given as part of a balanced diet that meets all of your dog’s needs for protein, fats, and carbohydrates. 

What are the health benefits of oatmeal for your dog?

An Airedale Terrier and a Beagle Basset Hound looking up to the sight of an oatmeal on a breakfast table
An Airedale Terrier and a Beagle Basset Hound asking for oatmeal – Image source

Oatmeal is high in Vitamin B, which will help your dog keep a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps maintain a dog’s skin healthy and strong.

Some of the other vitamins and minerals included in oatmeal are Vitamin A, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, and magnesium.

Moreover, oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber, which can manage blood glucose levels and help dogs control bowel movements. 

Oatmeal may also benefit a dog’s cholesterol levels, as oats are a good source of beta-glucan. This is a type of fiber that has been associated with improved heart health for your dog. It also contains phosphorous, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, and magnesium, all of which are highly beneficial to your pup’s overall health.

Oatmeal can also be a way of sneaking more water into your dog’s diet, particularly if you add warm water to the oatmeal shortly after it has cooked. 

What Kind of Oatmeal Can You Give Your Dog? 

A Goldendoodle and a Jindo Mix dogs looking at an oatmeal on a counter
A Goldendoodle and a Jindo Mix dogs wanting a taste of an oatmeal – Image source

Try only to serve your dog oatmeal that is made from whole grain oats. Processed grains usually contain fewer health benefits and may upset your dog’s stomach.

Also, ensure to only give your dog oats with no added sugar or flavoring as these may cause additional digestion issues for your dog.

How do you make oatmeal for dogs?

Make sure to cook the oatmeal for your dog rather than feeding your pooch raw oatmeal. Raw oats may be difficult for your dog to digest and can result in an upset and sore stomach. 

Thankfully, making oatmeal porridge for your pet is super simple. You will want to firstly bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Then add oatmeal and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook the oatmeal for 7-8 minutes until the oatmeal has thickened and absorbed all the water.

When preparing oatmeal for your dog, prepare it with water instead of milk as dogs are highly sensitive to dairy, and their bodies do not break down lactose with the same efficiency as humans.

How much oatmeal can you give your dog?

Even though plain oatmeal can benefit your dog, it is essential only to serve it in moderation. This is because feeding your dog food that is high in fiber content has the potential to upset their gastrointestinal tract and cause constipation.

One cup of oatmeal contains around 150 calories which could push your dog beyond its daily recommended number of calories.

A good rule to follow is to serve just one spoonful of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight.

When is Oatmeal Harmful to Dogs? 

A sad Golden Retriever asking for food
Meet Mars, a Golden Retriever who asks for an oatmeal – Image source

Although oatmeal is an excellent source of nutrients for your beloved dog, keep in mind that not all types are suitable for them.

We mentioned that you should avoid feeding your dog raw oats, but you also want to try to stay clear of flavored varieties high in sugar and may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, raisins, or xylitol.

Moreover, to keep any further adverse side effects of oatmeal at bay, it’s recommended for your dog’s fiber intake to increase slowly over time at 1-3 grams per day. Also, include lots of water when increasing the fiber content of your pet’s diet.

Older dogs who aren’t very active should not have a lot of oatmeal in their diet. Too much carbohydrate content will cause your canine companion to gain weight, leading to obesity and other health issues.

Can You Give a Homemade Oatmeal Recipe to Your Dog?

A bowl of cardamom oatmeal with raspberries and pecans
A bowl of fresh cardamom oatmeal with raspberries and pecans – Image source

If you have a dog with a particularly sensitive digestive system, then making your own food can help you control exactly what is included or not included in his diet.

Not only will making your own dog food be easier on your dog’s stomach, but it probably will be cheaper too.

Here is a super easy Oatmeal recipe you can try at home:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup rolled, plain oats
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup berries (fresh or frozen)

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oats and water over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Lightly beat the egg and stir it into the oats.
  3. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the berries and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving to your pet.

What are some treats with oatmeal you can give your dog?

There are some delicious oatmeal treats on the market that your dog is likely to love. You can buy these online at Amazon or try and make your own varieties at home. 

Some of our favorites include:

  • Fresh breath treats
  • Pumpkin peanut butter treats
  • Oatmeal pumpkin treats
  • Oatmeal applesauce treats 
  • Banana blueberry treats

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A rescued dog eating a cookie for dogs
Meet Leia Blossom, the rescue dog who loves munching on cookies – Image source

Can dogs eat oatmeal cookies? 

Oatmeal comes in a variety of forms, including cookies, porridge, and other treats. While oatmeal itself is safe and healthy for dogs, oatmeal cookies contain added sugar, which is to be avoided for your dog.

Flavored oatmeal porridges or those with fruit are also generally relatively high in sugar. 

Moreover, if the cookies contain raisins or chocolate, they should not be fed to your dog as your pet can’t eat both of these ingredients as they are regarded as toxic for dogs.

What can you add to your dog’s oatmeal?

An Irish Terrier sitting on a breakfast table
Meet Lottie, an Irish Terrier who is always ready for breakfast – Image source

There are various things that you can add to your dog’s oatmeal to make it tastier and healthier for them. 

Firstly, you can add peanut butter to oatmeal, provided that the variety you choose is sugar-free.

Another good addition is cinnamon which is a natural anti-inflammatory and also a great way of adding more flavor without those additional calories. 

Plain yogurt is another delicious addition to oatmeal and will bring in another boost of calcium and minerals. Sunflower seeds are also a powerful antioxidant for dogs that can be added to their oatmeal.

Antioxidant-rich fruits like banana, blueberries, cranberries, or veggies like pureed pumpkin and carrots can also be added to oatmeal to make it even more delicious.

Do any dog foods contain oatmeal?

Given its high fiber content, oatmeal has become a popular ingredient in many types of commercial dog food. It is especially popular among pet owners with dogs that have a hard time tolerating common grains such as wheat and gluten. 

Examples of the best dog foods that contain oatmeal are the following: 

Incorporating Oatmeal Into Your Dog’s Diet

A Bulldog waiting for an oatmeal cookie dog treat
Meet Hagrid, a Bulldog who patiently waits for his oatmeal cookie dog treat – Image source

As you have read, oatmeal can have several benefits for your dog, especially if they have a sensitive tummy.

You can opt to buy dog food that already has oatmeal included, make your own oatmeal for dogs, whip up a delicious homemade recipe or incorporate it in dog treats. 

Before you give your pet any new food, it is wise to chat with your vet. Your veterinarian will be best placed to advise regarding your dog’s current health and wellness and if oatmeal can successfully be incorporated into their diet. 

As you want to give your pet the best, always opt for high-quality ingredients. Stay away from instant oatmeals that have additives, like sugar, flavoring, and artificial sweeteners. And be sure not to overdo it.

Do you feed your pet oatmeal? Let us know how your pup likes his porridge in the comments below.

Further reading: What other Food Can Dogs Eat?

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