Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods in the world, particularly for people who want to lose weight. If you have a canine family member, you might wonder if dogs can eat oats, too. After all, if it is known as a food that can help people keep a healthy heart, dogs may also benefit from it.
Fortunately, oatmeal is something that you can safely share with your pooch in moderation. In fact, oats can be a means of helping your dog lose weight and keep a shiny coat.
It can even be a great carbohydrate replacement in the diet of your pooch by giving your dog the recommended amount of oatmeal. While you can easily investigate the oatmeal serving suitable for your dog, it would be better to ask your veterinarian for advice just to be on the safe side.
Nutritional Value of Oats
Oats have a long history of benefits to both humans and animals, whether taken orally or topically. That’s why a lot of natural products have oats as ingredients. Shampoos, capsules and topical ointments are among the examples. Oats are also known to have healing properties apart from being nutritious.
Typically, dogs with grain or wheat allergies do well with oats as an alternative carbohydrate source. Oatmeal is also known as a food rich in good nutrients and low in bad ingredients. For example, high content of the following healthy substances can be found in oatmeal:
- Soluble Fiber: Usually this is what keeps the heart health in check, as it helps lower the cholesterol levels in the body. Fiber also provides relief for dogs dealing with gastrointestinal problems. If your dog is overweight at the moment, fiber will help him to feel filled much faster and thus manage his appetite.
- Vitamins and Fatty Acids: Oatmeal is rich in B vitamins such as pantothenic acid, iron, folate, manganese, zinc, and linoleic acid fatty acids. All these nutrients together serve as excellent coat enhancers and boosters of energy. This is why the main ingredients of many dog shampoos and conditioners are oats. Additionally, oats are great mood stabilizers, so with moderate consumption, you ‘re bound to have a healthy and happy dog.
- Protein: While protein is usually associated with meat, you might take it as a pleasant surprise that oats also contain protein. That’s what helps keep your pet healthy. This also helps him combat various infections and diseases. The good news is that oatmeal protein quality is almost the same as soy, egg, and milk protein, making it a good replacement for other reliable sources of protein.
On the other hand, oatmeal is low in:
- Gluten: Oatmeal contains a bit of gluten, but it doesn’t have a significant amount like wheat does.
- GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms): Oatmeal isn’t grown with the help of GMOs, so you can be sure that it’s completely natural.
Additionally, oats also have herbal healing properties, such as:
- Hormonal aid
- Digestive aid
As you can see, oats can be useful in a variety of circumstances. The key is to learn how to use oatmeal the right way for your dog’s health maintenance.
The Benefits of Feeding Oats to Your Dog
Listed below are a few other reasons why oatmeal is a good food choice even for our canine family members:
- Wheat Substitute: Many animals tend to have allergies to wheat and gluten, so oatmeal can be a safe and healthy alternative.
- Improved Circulation: Oatmeal stimulates your dog’s systems to produce more RBCs (red blood cells).
- Digestive System Stabilizer: The fiber in oatmeal can help to control the digestion of your dog. If constipation, gassy stomach, or diarrhea is the problem for your dog, oatmeal can help.
- Better Skin Condition: Oatmeal shampoos, soaps, and baths are typically used for alleviating skin itchiness in dogs.
What Kind of Oatmeal Can Be Given to Dogs?
Human Oatmeal products come in a variety of flavors. You should stick to the plain oatmeal flavors once you have decided to feed your dog some oatmeal. Do not choose the flavored ones because they may contain additives that are not safe for your pooch.
Go for organic or whole-grain oatmeal products because they are generally more nutritious than regular oatmeal products. You can also be sure they’re safer because they’re less likely to get rid by chemicals or pesticides. Always check the ingredient list and make sure it does not contain sugars and other unnecessary flavours, which may be bad for your pooch.
Although plain oatmeal is bland by human standards, you shouldn’t bother adding salt or sugar to your dog’s serving. Milk is also out of the picture because you wouldn’t want your pooch to suffer from lactose intolerance.
How Should You Feed Oats to Your Pooch?
If you are going to give oatmeal to your dog, you can give it in cooked oatmeal form or in uncooked rolled oats form. However, for better results, stick with the cooked version instead. That’s because raw or uncooked oats are harder to digest, and may therefore cause more harm than good.
When cooking oats, you should use only water instead of milk for preparation since dogs are known to be sensitive to lactose. Once you have finished cooking, wait before feeding until the oatmeal is cool enough. Dogs tend to be sensitive to temperatures so it’s best to wait until it’s almost room temperature before serving.
To introduce your dog to oatmeal, you can start mixing cooked oatmeal with his dog food. Serving size is generally 1 tablespoon for every 20 lbs. of body weight. It may not seem much, but that’s a good enough amount to test the waters and see whether your dog likes the taste or not.
Keep in mind that you should gradually introduce new foods to your pet as giving too much new food too soon can easily lead to stomach upset. Taste tests can be a good way of examining whether your pet finds oats yummy or not. Give him servings of sample oats after his meal and watch if he’s going to ask for more.
Once you’re sure that your dog doesn’t have any adverse reactions to oatmeal, you can increase his serving to a total of ½ cup of cooked oatmeal per week at the most. You may choose to divide this serving into two to three meals weekly.
Making Your Dog’s Oatmeal Yummier
The picture already contains ingredients such as salt, sugar, maple syrup, and milk. Luckily, when your dog gets bored with plain oatmeal, there are some food items you can add to make oatmeal exciting again. The permitted dog oatmeal additives are listed below:
- Fruits: There are many fruits out there that are safe for dogs to eat. Pick one that your dog likes and add small amounts to his oatmeal.
- Peanut Butter: Adding a teaspoon of natural, xylitol-free peanut butter can make your pooch’s oatmeal a lot tastier.
- Cinnamon: Dogs tend to love the smell and taste of cinnamon. Since it’s safe for dogs, you might as well spice up his oatmeal by adding a few sprinkles.
- Pureed Pumpkin: This can add more fiber and flavor to the oatmeal serving of your pooch. Make sure you use pure pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling, as the latter contains dog’s bad sweeteners.
- Plain Yogurt: You can add it to his oatmeal if your dog is a fan of Greek or plain yogurt. Yogurt is full of vitamins, calcium and good bacteria so that the nutritional powers of the oatmeal can be further enhanced.
Although oatmeal is inherently good, it can cause digestive upset if you give too much to your pooch. This is because the excessive content of fiber may eventually result in vomiting and diarrhea. By following the recommendations of your veterinarian, these symptoms can be easily avoided.
Small portions should be enough to harness the benefits of oatmeal for your pooch. Depending on your dog’s size, one to two tablespoons per serving is usually enough. If your dog seems to like it, don’t be tempted to give more than what’s necessary.
Also make sure that in exchange for oatmeal, you do not completely eliminate high-quality dog kibbles. While we can agree that oatmeal is highly beneficial, the nutrients needed to make a complete and balanced diet for canines are still lacking. Oatmeal should only be used as a food supplement or as a snack.
Oatmeal Treat Recipes
Oatmeal cookies and other snacks made for human consumption appear to be great food items to share with dogs, but the content of sugar makes it a bad choice for treats. After all, there are many flavors and ingredients in human food that amplify its taste. The problem is, these are not exactly safe for dogs to eat.
If you really want to make use of oatmeal to make snacks for your dog, there are recipes out there that can help you make dog-friendly treats. Listed below are a few recipes that you can try out:
Berry and Egg Oatmeal Snack
- ¼ cup full grain or old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of berries
- 1 large egg (beaten lightly)
- 2 pieces Berkley Jensen dog treats, pork and berry flavor (chopped)
- Heat the water and oats over medium heat using a small saucepan. Do this for around 3 minutes.
- Pour lightly beaten egg into the saucepan. Let it cook for approximate 2 minutes.
- Add the berries. Let everything cook for the next 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and put the oatmeal mixture in a doggy bowl.
- Sprinkle chopped treats on the bowl. Let it cool before feeding to your pooch.
Oatmeal Pumpkin Dog Treats
- 3 cups whole grain or old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- Preheat your oven to reach 175 ºC or 350 ºF.
- Pour oats into a food processor or blender.
- Turn on the device and let it run for approximatly 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the device when oats become flour-like consistently.
- Add pureed pumpkin and eggs.
- Mix until the dough looks even.
- Prepare a parchment-lined cookie sheet pan. Then, using a small scooper, put small scoops of the dough on the pan.
- Flatten the scoops using a flour-dipped fork.
- Bake the oatmeal cookies for approximately 18 minutes. Turn the cookies over on the halfway mark.
- Let cookies cool before giving to your pooch as a well-deserved treat!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Doggy Cookies
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups flour (whole wheat or any other kind of flour)
- 1 and ¼ cups hot water
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- Extra flour for rolling the dough
- Preheat your oven to 175 ºC or 350 ºF.
- Mix oats and flour.
- Add the water and peanut butter to the oat and flour mixture. Mix everything well.
- Add extra flour if you find the dough very sticky.
- Knead dough.
- Roll the dough on a floured surface. Roll until it’s ¼ inches thick.
- Use cookie cutter of choice, cut the dough into your preferred shapes.
- As for the leftover dough, you can roll them into balls instead.
- Prepare a greased cookie sheet and transfer the cut doughs there.
- Bake cookies for around 40 minutes.
- Let it cool before feeding to your pooch.
- Place cookies in a box that is airtight. When stored at room temperature, they’ll be good for a week. You can put it in the refrigerator to extend its lifespan by three weeks.
Conclusion: Oatmeal Makes Yummy Canine Meals!
Oatmeal has many health benefits for dogs, and best of all, it can be served in a variety of ways. You may choose to keep your servings of oatmeal as simple as possible, or you may level up to baked treats to take the boredom out of repetitive meals. In any case, always make sure you only give a moderate amount of oatmeal to your pooch as it can cause digestive problems if it consumes too much.