Granola might be one of our favorite breakfast snacks. It has healthy elements such as oats, dried fruits, seeds, and sometimes natural sweeteners. When your puppy dog stares at you with those glittery eyes, you cannot help but wonder, can dogs eat granola?
Ummm… yes… BUT! Feeding granola has its limitations. Almost all foods need to be fed in moderation.
This article will discuss how you should not just give in to your beloved fur baby’s puppy eyes. Let us look into the various aspects of feeding granola to dogs.
Is Granola Safe For Dogs?
Great question. The answer is not much, but you can still feed them granola. Granola is packed with precious natural components. This includes rolled oats and puffed brown rice. The pupper that bites the hell out of you might use some chewy foods.
These ingredients are high in protein and carbohydrates. These are regular components in your pup’s dry food. Your sweet baby can feel energetic throughout the day after tasting some granola.
It is important to remember that granola is made for human consumption. We know you like to toss one or two of your human snacks to your pup. It is only sometimes safe, though. Dog tummies are not the same as humans (article).
So, what are the health risks of feeding dogs granola?
Health Risks of Feeding Granola to Dogs
Like many other human foods, minimal quantities of granola should only be given to dogs. You cannot let your canine companion chow down on your favorite granola brands. The reason being:
1. Toxic ingredients
The poison for your dog might lie in your favorite granola bar. Nuts, chocolates, sugar, and xylitol are all highly toxic for your dog’s consumption.
Always look at the ingredients while getting some granola for your dog.
2. Allergies and sensitivity
Dogs can have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients commonly found in granola. These can be oats, gluten, certain fruits, etc.
3. Digestive upset
Too much granola intake (if we skip the toxic ingredients for now) can lead to digestive issues. Granola contains high amounts of fiber in it.
Too much fiber in their diet can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other stomach issues.
4. Choking hazard
Granola ingredients are intense and sometimes hard to chew. If your pup is a quick eater, he may try to swallow the entire thing in one go.
This can be very dangerous as the granola pieces might get stuck in your dog’s food pipe.
Take special care if you own a small dog.
5. High sugar or salt content
Dogs do not taste food the same way as humans. Salts or sugar only increase the chances of food poisoning and obesity in dogs.
Try keeping salt or sugar intake as minimal as possible, no matter what food you feed them.
6. Added preservatives and flavorings
Store-bought granola bars are easily accessible. But if you check, those are filled with artificial preservatives and flavorings.
These are especially harmful as dog tummies cannot handle them very well. And dogs do not require any flavorings at all.
Regardless of what you feed them, always consult your veterinarian beforehand. Enquire about allergies and sensitivities. Food allergies can be potentially fatal if not treated with utmost care.
What Ingredients Are Toxic For Dogs in Granola?
This yummy snack is yummy for some non-dog-friendly reasons. Common recipes for granola have ingredients such as chocolates, nuts, and xylitol. Let us break down why these ingredients (or granola) are harmful (article).
Chocolate contains toxic elements such as theobromine and caffeine.
Now, your life might start after your daily intake of coffee. But for your pup, this will be a stop button to their lives. It causes restlessness, breathing issues, and seizures.
Chocolate is highly toxic for dogs. You should avoid adding chocolate to any part of your pup’s diet.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute. It is often used in sugar-free granola and other products. It is very toxic to dogs.
Xylitol leads to fast insulin release, resulting in a drastic drop in blood sugar levels. It can also cause eventual liver failure.
3. High sodium content
Granola that is overly salty or contains added salt is unsafe for dogs. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning, a life-threatening condition.
4. High sugar content
The sweetest granola bars are poisonous to your beloved pup. Excessive sugar intake from granola can cause weight gain in dogs.
This further will lead to unhealthy heart conditions and dental problems.
5. Raisins and grapes
Raisins and grapes are a potent cause of kidney failure in dogs. Even small amounts of raisins can be hazardous to dogs.
Some nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, and macadamia, are toxic to dogs. Even though the crunch of some nuts enhances the heavenly feeling of granola, you should still avoid nuts like the plague.
Refrain from turning these into your puppy’s good-boy treats.
How to Prepare Granola Safely For Dogs?
When making homemade granola bars for your beloved, it is essential to use safe and nutritious ingredients. If you are on a budget right now but want to make some healthy and tasty treats for your pup, here we are for you!
You will need ingredients that are lying in your house!
- 2 cups uncooked rolled oats.
- ¼ cup unsalted peanut butter (xylitol-free)
- ¼ cup of pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup of applesauce
- 2 mashed bananas
- ¼ cup of dog-safe dry fruits
- Put the rolled oats, peanut butter, applesauce, pumpkin puree, and mashed banana in a mixing bowl. Mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Add more peanut butter or applesauce for consistency if the mixture looks dry.
- Spread it evenly on a baking tray (place a parchment paper underneath). Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the granola turns slightly crispy and brown.
- Remember to stir the mixture halfway through while it bakes.
- Please remove it from the oven and let it cool down on the baking tray. Once it is cool, break or cut the granola into smaller pieces.
- Store the granola in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It should stay fresh for many weeks.
Tip: If you do not have xylitol-free peanut butter, replace it with eggs, coconut oil, honey (in moderation), unsalted chicken or beef broth, etc.
Granola sounds like fancy food for your little puppy prince. And they deserve all the goodness in the world. But as a paw-rent, you cannot take chances when feeding them what you love to eat. Be careful about the ingredients. Avoid the nuts as mentioned above, additives, and preservatives.
Always consult a veterinarian before you introduce it to your dog. They could guide you on what steps to take if your dog ingests some granola.
You do not need to fret much if you are cautious about what you feed them. Happy paw-renting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Honey is safe for dogs to consume. So honey granola is okay for dogs to eat in moderation. Do not feed your pup too much of it because honey is a source of sugar. It can cause obesity and other health-related issues.
Some types of honey granola might contain high levels of dietary fiber too, so be careful with that.
Yes, dogs can eat plain, unsweetened yogurt in moderation. Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics for your pupper’s gut health.
Some dogs might not like the sour taste or texture of yogurt. Avoid the ones with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or toxic fruits.
Dogs can eat granola cereals as long as they contain only the basic ingredients. Never feed your fur buddy any treat that contains ingredients such as chocolates, nuts, high sugar or high salt, xylitol, etc.
Always check the ingredients in the cereal box for the above-listed components.