Oatmeal is one of the most popular breakfast foods known to man. And, if you’re a dog owner (which you most probably are, or else you wouldn’t be here reading this article), you probably thought about sharing some oatmeal with your four-legged friend at least once in your life.
Now, we do know for a fact that feeding table scraps to your dog isn’t exactly the best thing to do, but sometimes your dog gives you such a hard time and won’t back off until they can have some of what you’re eating!
Oatmeal is notorious for it’s many benefits to us humans, but what about dogs? Can dogs eat oatmeal?
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Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
The answer to this question is YES, it’s completely safe for dogs to eat oatmeal, unless your dog is allergic to oats of course.
On one condition though, that it’s served the way it should be to dogs. Or else, it could be harmful.
Fed the right way to dogs, oatmeal can be very beneficial to dogs, within the frame of an over-all well balanced diet.
The benefits that oats are able to offer dogs has been proven time and time again ever since many years ago.
And that doesn’t only apply to oats being eaten by dogs, that’s also true when it comes to oats being applied to the skin/coats of dogs as well.
Check out for yourself the many dog care products that contain oats as part of their ingredients list, such as special dog shampoos (look for natural oatmeal shampoo if you’re interested in this).
The skin of dogs absorbs substances like oats that are found in products applied to its skin, the same way their digestive system absorbs these ingredients when consumed from the mouth.
With that being said, you must know that oatmeal, fed the wrong way to dogs, can mean problems – big time.
And that’s what we’re here to talk about today, how can dogs eat oatmeal the right way.
How Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Before serving any oatmeal to your dog, make sure to properly cook it first.
Feeding your dog raw oatmeal isn’t exactly the best way to go with this, because dogs can have a hard time chewing, swallowing and properly digesting raw oatmeal.
Of course, let the oatmeal cool down a bit after you properly cook it, as you don’t want to immediately give the oatmeal for your dog to eat when it’s still fairly hot.
Plain Oatmeal VS Adding Stuff Along
You also do not want to add any sugar, salt or additives to it.
When it comes to milk, lactose intolerance is a major issue here, so either refrain from using milk if it’s high in lactose levels (and use water instead), or give your dog a brand of milk that has very low lactose levels to go along with the oatmeal.
The best oatmeal you can feed your dog is plain, all natural oatmeal, by thoroughly cooking it with water. Feeding your a brand of oatmeal you buy from the store that has all these artificial fruits with it, additives, artificial sugars and flavorings is a bad idea.
Just like they’re not healthy for you, they’re also bad for dogs. Stick to the all-natural brands of oatmeal that you find.
Organic oatmeal is also higher in nutrient count than commercially prepared oatmeal, and will also be safer for your dog, because it doesn’t have any pesticides and chemicals in it.
It’s up to you to do the proper research and read the labels on any oatmeal product before you buy it, to make sure that it doesn’t contain any of these harmful ingredients.
Many brands will market their products as the perfect solution for your dog, while if you run a quick scan on their list of ingredients, you’ll find out that reality is otherwise.
You can also add a bit of cinnamon to the oatmeal you give your dog, as that should make it a lot more tasty!
However, when it comes to oatmeal cookies that contain chocolate or raisins in them, you don’t want to get these anywhere near your dog. Both chocolate and raising are very toxic to dogs, and should be kept as far away from them as possible for safety purposes.
Cooked Oatmeal VS Raw Oatmeal For Dogs
As far as the methods of feeding oats to your dogs is concerned, as long as you properly cook the oatmeal first, it’s up to you how you decide to feed it to them.
The majority of dog owners like to add the cooked oatmeal they have into their dog’s food and mix the two up together, as this will give the dog food a little bit more volume to it and your dog will appreciate the new taste.
If you don’t feel like cooking up some oatmeal before you feed it to your dog, however, there’s always another option you could go with, and that’s oat capsules.
With that being said, you should know that nothing beats the most natural form of oats, and your dog won’t be getting the exact same nutrition benefits from oat capsules that they will be getting if they were to eat oats in their natural form instead.
How Much Oatmeal Can Dogs Eat?
Generally, you can feed your dog one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight.
As long as you stick to feeding your dog small amounts of cooked oatmeal, your dog will benefit big time and you will have very little to worry about.
Don’t give your dog too much oatmeal all at once because oatmeal contains a lot of carbohydrates and is relatively high in calories, which will make your dog stack up on a lot of calories from a source they don’t really need, rather from a source they do need (such as high quality dog food).
And if your dog eats too much oatmeal all at once, it can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Half a cup of cooked oatmeal (at most), 1 to 2 times a week is more than enough for Fido.
Oatmeal For Dogs: Why Is It Good?
Oatmeal is excellent for dogs because it:
- Is an excellent source of soluble fiber, which greatly helps bowel movement problems. Whenever your dog is suffering from digestive issues such as diarrhea, excessive gas, constipation or even vomiting, oatmeal can greatly help out stabilize your dog’s digestive system and get it back on track.
- Is an excellent alternative for dogs allergic to wheat, because it contains much less levels of gluten than is present in wheat
- Lowers cholesterol levels, again much of the credit for this goes to the high levels of soluble fiber found in oats
- Contains a decent amount of protein. Actually, oats are one of the highest protein-containing “carbohydrate foods” out there. And that’s not just any kind of protein oats are offering, we’re talking about the highest quality protein – right up there with the quality of protein you (or your dog) would get from the likes of eggs and meat.
- Is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B5, B9, folic acid, zinc, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, biotin, iron and manganese
- Helps your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin
- Helps improve production of red blood cells in the body
- Helps keep immunity levels healthy
- Is excellent for overweight dogs, because the high levels of fiber contained in oatmeal will help them feel fuller faster and eat less food throughout the day, which will help them lose weight
- Oatmeal baths and shampoos are widely used to soothe irritated and itchy dog skin. Besides the use of different products that contain oats as part of their ingredients list, giving your dog a bath (or soak) in oatmeal does wonders to them.