Watching your dog eating boring kibbles while you have healthy and tasty oatmeal can be hard. So before your heart melts and you share it with your dog, you must ask – “can dogs eat oatmeal?”
The answer is – Yes. Dogs can eat oatmeal but in moderation. Why? Because we all have heard the stories of how healthy oatmeal is, but there is a lot more you need to know. So here we have everything from the benefits and safe ways to feed your dog oatmeal.
Is Oatmeal Good For Dogs?
Yes, oatmeal is good for dogs if served in moderation. It is not only an “everyday treat” but also a healthier alternative to several dog foods. If you cook and prepare oats properly, it can benefit your dog in several ways:
1. Lots of fiber
Oatmeal is rich in fiber and can help with your dog’s digestion. If your dog often suffers from constipation, a fiber and water-rich diet is what they want. Cooked oatmeal can ease bowel movements so your dog can have the best poop of their life.
2. Vitamins and minerals
Oatmeal is also packed with vitamins and minerals essential for your dog’s functioning. It is necessary to fulfill their nutritional needs on a daily basis, and including oatmeal in their menu can make a visible difference in your dog’s health.
It includes vitamins and minerals like:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
3. Easy to digest
Sensitive stomachs or upset stomachs are one of the common health problems in dogs. That said, oatmeals are bland and very easy to digest. It is because they have high levels of soluble fiber, and water (when soaked) helps to make digestion easier. It is best for the days when your dog is sick and cannot eat certain foods.
4. Low in fat
Oatmeals are a human food that is low in fat yet makes dogs feel fuller. This is an excellent option for dogs with weight issues and who want to reduce or eliminate fat content. Many dog treats or processed foods like bacon, ham, or salami may taste delicious but contain fat. So, oat cookies or treats will be a great alternative to unhealthy treats.
5. Shiny coat and skin
Due to the omega-6 fatty acid in oatmeal, this delicious treat can also help your dog to get their dreamy- long, luscious hair coat. It improves skin health by fighting off infections and keeping the coat moisturized and shiny.
Types of Oatmeal That Your Dog Can and Cannot Eat
There are many types of oatmeal in the market. The most common ones can confuse dog owners on what to feed their dogs and what not to. So here is your guide for the same:
1. Plain oatmeal
We recommend that you only serve your dog plain cooked oatmeal. You should not add flavors, seasonings, or artificial coloring to make your oatmeal look attractive. Unseasoned oatmeal is very nutritious and does not need artificial ingredients to improve it. When it comes to our furry friends, we have to be very careful about what we feed them.
Even though plain oatmeal is excellent for your dog, you should serve it in moderation. Overfeeding human foods or any food in general can lead to digestive problems.
2. Instant oatmeal
When dog parents do not have time to cook proper food for their pooches, they often use instant oatmeal. It is quite a common practice, and well, instant oatmeal is not toxic to dogs. However, feeding them does not add nutritional value to your dog’s diet. These instant oatmeal is quicker to make because they are highly processed. This takes away the nutrients and health benefits.
Also, instant oatmeal contains preservatives and additives, making it likable for humans. But they can contain ingredients that can harm your dog’s health. This is why we do not recommend feeding dogs instant oatmeal.
3. Rolled oats
Dogs can eat rolled oats safely. If you prepare them in moderation and keep in mind the precautions- rolled oats will not harm your dog. We do not recommend giving your dog uncooked rolled oats, as they may not chew them properly and swallow them instead.
This can lead to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or upset stomach. Cooking and soaking the rolled oats and serving them plain and unseasoned is the best way to feed your dog oatmeal.
How to Cook Oatmeal For Dogs?
Here are the things you should remember when cooking and preparing oatmeal for your dog. It will differ from how you may like your oatmeal, but as dogs have the same stomachs as ours, you must go the extra mile for them!
Here is how to cook oatmeal for dogs:
1. Do not use milk
We know you love eating oatmeal with milk, but that is an exception for your furry friend. Dogs can be sensitive to dairy products or lactose intolerant. To avoid such allergies, you should serve them oatmeal cooked in water. This will not take away any nutritional value and will instead make oatmeal more hydrating.
2. Make it mushy
The best way to feed oatmeal to toothless or senior dogs is to serve them mushy-cooked oatmeal. This will be soft, so they don’t have to chew much. Also, as oats double their size once soaked and cooked in water, they automatically get soggy and mushy.
4. Make it unseasoned and plain
Once you have cooked oatmeal in water, please ensure not to add any seasonings or spices to enhance the flavor. Seasonings can lead to allergic reactions in dogs. The only spice you can use in oatmeal is cinnamon unless your dog is allergic to cinnamon.
It is best only to serve plain and unflavored oatmeal to dogs. If you eat chocolate-flavored or spicy oatmeal, please keep them away from your dog. These ingredients can be fatal to dogs.
Safe and Fun Ways to Serve Oatmeal to Dogs
Finally comes the fun part! Here is how you can make bland oatmeal even more special for your dog:
1. Mix with kibbles
If your dog is bored of kibbles, you can add some soaked and cooked oatmeal to their bowl. Here, it would be best to remember the proportions, as oatmeal may not give your dog all the nutrients it needs compared to kibbles.
But oatmeal can definitely lift up the taste and texture of your dog’s meals. You can do this on special occasions or add to their “Wednesday specials.”
2. Oatmeal cookies
Just because your dog cannot eat store-bought oatmeal cookies does not mean you cannot bake for them! Yes, it’s time for you to bring out the chef when you make oatmeal cookies for your dog. You can make these cookies with very simple ingredients like eggs, oats, and applesauce (article). This will be the healthiest you can make your oatmeal cookies to be!
Note: Please ensure not to add too much applesauce or sugar, especially if your dog is diabetic. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new treat to your dog.
3. Oatmeal with fruits
Another way to serve your dog oatmeal occasionally is to add fruits! You can even make little oats and fruit frozen treats for your dog. All you have to do is follow these instructions:
Step 1: Cook and prepare your oatmeal properly. Let it cool
Step 4: Pour the batter into small ice cubes and freeze them overnight.
And tadaaaaa! Here, you have your dog’s new favorite frozen treats. They are also excellent for toothless or senior dogs, as they help relieve their gums while being easy to eat.
Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat oatmeal?” is YES, dogs can eat oatmeal. Especially on days when they are bored of everything and want a taste-bud change, oatmeal is a bland and nutritious option. However, at last, it is a human food that should not be fed daily.
So yes, you and your dog can enjoy your Mondays with oatmeal!
Frequently Asked Questions
We do not recommend feeding your dog store-bought oatmeal cookies, as they contain harmful ingredients like sugar and xylitol. You must check the ingredients list before serving your dog such treats. You should bake oatmeal cookies for your dog at home to be safe.
You should make oatmeal for your dog with water instead of milk. Most dogs are sensitive to dairy products or are lactose intolerant. Hence, soaking and cooking oatmeal in water will not harm your dog.
No, dogs cannot eat uncooked oatmeal. It can cause digestive problems and even abdominal cramps in dogs. Raw oatmeal is hard to digest, so it should always be soaked and cooked in water. If your dog ate too much-uncooked oatmeal, please seek veterinary care immediately.
Yes. Dogs can enjoy the delicious aroma of cinnamon with their cooked oatmeal. These human foods are not harmful to dogs unless your dog is allergic to them. Also, please add cinnamon in moderation.
You should feed your dog cooked oatmeal only. Water should be used for cooking, not milk, as your dog can be intolerant to dairy. Another thing to remember is not to add artificial flavors or use flavored/ seasoned oatmeal for dogs. Your dog should only eat plain and cooked oatmeal in moderation.