If you are on a diet, one of your best bets for losing weight is whole grains, like oats. It is low in calories and low fat aiding a fast weight loss journey. What’s more, it is a great choice for a yummy and filling breakfast.
If you are wondering if you can share some oatmeal with your dog, whether or not your furry best friend is obese or on normal weight, you are on the track! And kudos to you for doing the extra mile searching since not all deemed healthy human foods are great for dogs.
Is oatmeal part of the shun list? Here you go!
Can Dogs Safely Eat Oatmeal?
Yes, oatmeal is a great treat for your dog! It is a good source of protein and soluble fiber that eases up a dog’s digestive upset.
Dogs with gluten or wheat sensitivities will also find oatmeal an excellent choice.
Most dog food manufacturers also include oatmeal as a key ingredient.
Oatmeal Fast Facts
Let’s get to know this popular breakfast food first. Know that anytime you feed your dog some oatmeal, you can bond with these trivia you can share, too:
There are several varieties of hulled oat grains you can choose from including instant oats, old-fashioned oats, steel-cut and whole oat groats.
- Instant oats– the oats we usually see in the market is called instant oats. Also aptly called “convenience oats”, you just put it in the microwave to cook.
- Old-fashioned oats– these are the typical oats used in traditional oatmeal that have been rolled and flattened.
- Steel-cut oats– these are non-rolled oats that are finely chopped and way chewier in texture in comparison with old-fashioned ones.
- Whole oat groats– this variety is the longest to cook because it is the least processed. This type of oat is just cleaned after being harvested then it is good to go!
Oatmeal has been around for over a hundred years and it has long been a staple breakfast tradition. In fact, oatmeal is on the table of over 75% of American households.
Do you know Quaker Man or the image and logo of Quaker Oats Company? It is one of the US’ first advertising mascots registered in 1877.
Celebrate National Oatmeal Day with your furry best friend every October 29.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Oatmeal for Dogs?
Carbohydrates are one of the six basic nutrients needed by your dog and oats are a great alternative especially when your dog is allergic to wheat or grains.
If your dog is also suffering from diarrhea, oat is a great bland diet to help it ease its tummy.
Apart from those, oatmeal is also packed with vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6– keeps your dog’s coat healthy
- Vitamin A– your dog’s skin, coat, muscles and nerves all require this essential vitamin to function
- Linoleic acid– it is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is good for your dog’s skin, too.
- Soluble fiber– this helps ease gastrointestinal upset, regulate blood glucose levels and lowers your dog’s risk of diabetes and cardiac disease.
- Calcium and phosphorus– these minerals work in conjunction to give your dog good bone health
- Copper– this mineral is important in the formation of collagen, bone and connective tissue.
- Iron– is a very important mineral because it is directly involved in the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin of your canine.
Should I Give Oatmeal to My Dog?
Definitely! If you plan to serve your dog oatmeal in moderation and as a treat, go ahead! Again, if your dog cannot stomach wheat, oatmeal is an ideal alternative.
Make sure also to get “oat” right! How?
- Never go for instant oats! Sorry Quaker but choose 100% whole grains versus processed grains. Whole grains will offer your dog full benefits while the processed and instant one loses its nutritional value already. Yes, instant oats are easier to prepare but if your dog does not benefit from it anymore and may upset its stomach, what is the point?
- Check the ingredients of your packed oatmeal. Make sure it is free from added sugar, additives and even flavorings. Sticking to the basics is always your best bet to avoid complications in your dog.
The next important thing to ask is how much is moderate and what is the best way to feed oatmeal to dogs.
How Can I Feed My Dog Oatmeal?
Is it your first time to share oatmeal with your pet? If it is, share a very small portion to your dog first then check within 24 hours how its tummy will react. It is important to gauge whether its tummy will handle it before proceeding with recommended portions.
If you plan to ask your vet also, why not! It is always a wise choice to involve your vet when feeding something new to your dog.
So now, prepare the best oatmeal for your dog by following these steps:
- Yes, to reiterate, grab that whole grain pack! No instant oats, please!
- Always cook your oats! Raw oats can also be an irritant to your dog’s tummy; plus it is also a choking hazard since they are tough to swallow.
- Prepare with water but not with milk. Dairy is difficult for dogs to digest so stick with the basic water.
- Skip the sugar and even your favorite toppings like salt, butter, chocolate, raisins as these are dangerous for your dog! Yes, skip the no. 4 and proceed to 5.
- Let it cool before serving it to your pet.
To serve it to your dog, you can simply add it as a topper to their usual meal.
If you want to add a topper to oatmeal to make it more exciting, you can also choose these safe ingredients:
- Peanut butter
- Fruits like bananas, strawberry, apples or blueberries
- Pureed pumpkin
- Plain yogurt
How Much Oatmeal Can Dogs Eat?
You might have heard that your dog’s primary source of food is its high quality kibble. For treats like oatmeal, it should be no more than 10% of their total serving.
Checking also the caloric content of oatmeal, a plain cup contains 150 calories. Your furry best friend only needs 25 to 30 daily calories per pound to maintain optimal weight. This means that if your dog weighs 25 pounds, its total calories should be 550 for the entire day.
Given this, a spoonful or two is a great serving size already for your dog. If your dog is less than 20 pounds, one spoonful is okay; at increments of 20, you can add a tablespoon more.
How often should you feed oatmeal to your dog? If you can eat it daily, just make it once or twice a week for your dog.
Again, your dog should never depend on oatmeal to complete its daily nutritional needs.
Conclusion: Go For Oat!
Go for it; or better yet, go for oat! Oatmeal is packed with nutrients essential for your dog. At the same time, it is a good food choice if it is allergic to wheat. Just make sure that your dog is fed in moderation and the right serving size is observed.
So if you are on a diet, you not only have a furry best friend, but a companion to go through with you on your journey to weight loss.