Oatmeal is often thought of as a healthy, warm breakfast for humans, but can dogs eat it too? After all, if you look closely at some dog food and treat ingredients, you might notice oatmeal listed. For many dog parents, that alone is enough to make it healthy for a dog. But let’s look closer at oatmeal’s benefits and risks for dogs. Is it safe for your dog to eat on its own and how much is okay for them to have at once?
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Yes, dogs can eat oatmeal. Not only does it have a lot of health benefits, but it can also be a tasty snack or food topper. However, like all human foods, there are things to be careful of. First of all, you should always make sure the oatmeal is plain and cooked. It might sound boring, but it will make it easier for your dog to digest. You can add in ingredients on your own if you know they’re healthy, but using a package of flavored oatmeal isn’t recommended.
While oatmeal is healthy and tasty for most dogs, it should only be served in small amounts at a time. Dogs shouldn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast daily like humans do. The American Kennel Club recommends that you serve your dog one tablespoon of oatmeal for every 20 pounds of weight. So, it’s best to serve it with their food or as a snack rather than using it as a whole meal.
Health Benefits of Oatmeal for Dogs
Oatmeal for dogs has many health benefits, which is why you might see it commonly used in dog treats. First of all, oatmeal is a great source of fiber, which can benefit your dog’s digestive system. It’s also great for dogs with allergies because plain oatmeal is relatively bland. It’s a great alternate carbohydrate for any dogs who are allergic to grain or wheat.
Additionally, oatmeal has vitamin B and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help your pup maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat. It’s recommended to prepare the oatmeal with water instead of milk. Due to the added water of warm oatmeal, it can help add more moisture into your dog’s diet, which can help prevent them from getting dehydrated.
Risks of Oatmeal for Dogs
Oatmeal in small amounts is great for dogs, but serving too much could pose a risk. Too much oatmeal often means too much carbohydrates, fiber, and calories. So, if your dog eats large servings of oatmeal, it could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or even bloat in extreme cases. Also, if they eat it too often, they could be at risk of obesity. Luckily, all these risks can be avoided if you only give small servings every once in a while.
Other issues could arise if you don’t choose plain oatmeal. Packaged oatmeal could sometimes include ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as raisins, xylitol, or chocolate. So, it’s best to stick to plain oatmeal and then add ingredients into it yourself. That way, you can ensure that everything going into your dog’s body is safe. Even small bits of hazardous human foods could cause serious health concerns for your dog, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
Healthy Items to Add to Your Dog’s Oatmeal
If you’re worried about plain oatmeal being too bland for your dog, there’s no need to fear. There are many healthy human foods that you can add into the oatmeal to make it tastier and more beneficial for your pup. Of course, these ingredients should also be in small servings. Never go overboard with the human snacks. If your dog is extra sensitive to new foods, you might want to contact your vet before serving oatmeal and similar ingredients.
Here are some healthy and tasty human foods you can add:
- Cinnamon – This can add extra flavor without adding too many calories. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Fruit – There are many dog-friendly fruits you can mix in with oatmeal, such as bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. It’s best to cut them up into small pieces first. Pure pumpkin is also a good option that can benefit your dog’s digestion.
- Peanut Butter – You can add a teaspoon of natural, xylitol-free peanut butter for added flavor.
- Plain Yogurt – Small amounts of plain yogurt can boost the flavor while also adding calcium and vitamins. Avoid flavored yogurts though because they often have high amounts of sugar.
Oatmeal is an excellent human food to serve to your dog in small amounts or to use as a beneficial food topper. So, if your dog is begging for food off your plate, give them some oatmeal. It’s much safer than many of the fatty, salty foods humans tend to eat. As long as you don’t go overboard with the oatmeal snacks, your dog will be both healthier and happier. So, help your dog live their best life by choosing the healthiest human foods for them.