You might be sitting down to a tasty bowl of oatmeal one morning, see your pup’s soulful eyes looking up to you, and ask yourself, “Can dogs eat oatmeal?” In some instances, the answer is “yes.” But, like with anything other than your pet’s regular dog food, it should only be given in moderation. Even though humans often enjoy cooked oatmeal, your dog’s stomach won’t be used to it.
Here’s some information on why oatmeal for dogs may be a healthy part of their balanced diet, and how to safely prepare oatmeal for your beloved canine companion.
Potential Health Benefits Of Oatmeal For Dogs
Oatmeal is often a healthy food option for humans, and when given in moderation, it may be for canines as well. Here are some of the potential benefits.
Supports Skin Health
Oatmeal may contain certain nutrients that may benefit your pooch, such as vitamin B. This vitamin might help to keep your dog’s coat healthy. Oatmeal also contains an omega-6 fatty acid known as linoleic acid. And linoleic acid might also help to support your pup’s skin and coat.1
May Help Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels Already Within A Normal Range
As with humans, maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is important for dogs. Oats are filled with a type of fiber known as beta-glucan. And beta-glucan might help support heart health. According to one study, dogs who had a diet supplemented with beta-glucan for a 71-day period had lower levels of bad cholesterol.2
Potential Digestive Benefits
Another major potential health benefit of oatmeal is that it’s a great source of fiber. Just one cup of oatmeal contains just over 8 grams of dietary fiber.3
Eating foods high in fiber content is important for your pet. Soluble fiber (which dissolves in water) adds bulk to stool as it passes through the digestive system. This may help to keep your dog regular.4
Some research suggests increasing a dog’s soluble fiber intake might help with constipation.5 If you’re tired of giving your dog pumpkin when they have issues “doing their business,” oatmeal might be an alternative. Of course, always speak to your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
How To Safely Give Oatmeal To Your Dog
Oatmeal is human food, even though you’ll find it in several brands of pet foods. As such, you want to be careful of the type and quantity you give your dog. One rule of thumb is to give your pup a tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds they weigh.6
Oatmeal has a lot of potential benefits, but it also packs a lot of carbohydrates and calories. If your dog eats too much oatmeal, they might wind up with an upset stomach. Also, never give raw oatmeal, always make sure it’s cooked. Raw oatmeal is too hard for your dog to digest.7
In addition, never feed your dog any kind of flavored, or sweetened oatmeal. They are high in sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients. One of these is xylitol, found in many human products as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can be fatal.8
Instead, use organic, unflavored raw oats instead of prepackaged oatmeal bags to make your own oatmeal. Additionally, when you make the oatmeal, use water instead of milk. Lactose in milk might cause stomach upset in some dogs.9
As with any type of new food you give your dog, talk to your veterinarian before introducing oatmeal to your pup’s diet.
Oatmeal Recipes For Your Canine Companion
As long as you take the proper precautions, you can give oatmeal to your dog in moderation. Not only will your pet find it delicious, it may also support their health.
A Doggie Oatmeal Dish
This is one of the easiest, fastest oatmeal snacks you can make for your pooch. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare, and less than 10 minutes to make.
- 1½ cups of rolled oats (Don’t use the quick-cook type. Use old-fashioned rolled oats instead.)
- 2½ cups of water
- Pour the water in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
- Pour in the oatmeal, and stir until thoroughly mixed with the water.
- Cook until the oatmeal is thick and the oats have completely absorbed all of the water. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
Use only one cup of oats if you want the oatmeal to be loose. Once cooked, pour the oatmeal in an airtight container and leave in the refrigerator. It should keep for about a week.10
Oatmeal Porridge For Your Pup
You can get a little creative with this dish if you like, using a variety of ingredients, including veggies, like zucchini or carrots. You might also consider slicing up some apples to add to the mix.
- 10 cups of water
- 5 cups of rolled oats (the old-fashioned kind)
- ½ cup of raw or cooked carrots
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of zucchini (finely chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh rosemary (finely chopped) or ½ tablespoon of dried rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley (finely chopped) or 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
- 4 teaspoons of organic bone meal powder
- 6 cups of ground turkey
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the oats and cover the pot.
- Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Don’t stir the oats, because if you do they’ll become very soft.
- Pour the oats and the rest of the ingredients into a casserole dish.
- Let the porridge cool completely and then serve.
This dish should make about 18 cups, so it should easily make for several weeks’ worth of treats for your dog.11 Talk to your vet so you’ll know how much to give your dog, and how often to do so.
Chicken Veggie Oatmeal Snack
Chicken, veggies, and oatmeal make a great dish for your pup. This is another quick and easy recipe to try.
- 1 cup of fresh veggies (you can use carrots, broccoli, or anything else your pooch likes)
- 1 teaspoon of gravy mix (check the sugar content)
- 1 chicken breast (make sure it’s unflavored and not from a can)
- 1 cup of organic rolled oats
- Chop up the vegetables, and the chicken into small cubes.
- Put the chopped ingredients into a pot, and barely cover them with water.
- Add the gravy mix and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the oats.
- Let the ingredients simmer until the oats are cooked and the chicken and veggies are tender.
- Let cool, and then put into small containers. Label the containers, and put them in the freezer. Keep one container out to serve to your dog.12
Check With Your Vet First
The importance of talking to your vet first before giving your dog any new kind of food can’t be over-emphasized. Oatmeal recipes are easy to make, and your pup will probably love them. Just get your vet’s okay, so you can have complete peace of mind.