Oatmeal is one of the best breakfast foods for humans. That’s why you might be thinking about giving your dog oatmeal as well. But can dogs eat oatmeal? In short, yes, dogs can eat oatmeal in moderate quantities so long as it’s cooked.
In fact, this nutritious meal can be good for your four-legged buddy. However, you should keep a few things in mind when deciding to feed your dog some oatmeal.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Making Oatmeal Porridge for Dogs
Feeding raw oats to your dog is not a good idea, as she might have a hard time chewing and swallowing them. However, cooked oatmeal (oatmeal porridge) is okay so long as you avoid excess salt and don’t use milk.
It’s important to refrain from excess salt because dogs cannot tolerate a lot of this substance, and can even suffer from salt poisoning.
In terms of milk, lactose intolerance is very common in dogs, and a good chance exists that your dog cannot digest milk or other dairy products. When making oatmeal for your dog, instead of using milk, simply use more water.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal with Cinnamon?
You don’t have to worry about cinnamon. According to the ASPCA, cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. So, yes, dogs can eat oatmeal with cinnamon. In fact, having some cinnamon in her diet is beneficial for your dog. Cinnamon has proven to help prevent diabetes and treat infections and arthritis in dogs.
How Much Oatmeal Can Dogs Eat
Do not feed your dog a lot of oatmeal at once. Half a cup of cooked oatmeal is plenty for a small dog; bigger dogs can have a bit more.
The reason you should not give dogs a lot of oatmeal at once is that oatmeal is high in calories. As little as one cup of cooked oatmeal (234 grams) contains 158 calories. If you feed your dog a full bowl of oatmeal, she’ll get way more calories than she needs in a day, and will have no more room in her stomach for regular dog food. That would be bad because even though oatmeal contains nutrients that dogs need (e.g., potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron, and magnesium), it doesn’t contain animal protein, and dogs need to have plenty of animal protein in their diets.
Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?
Dogs can eat oatmeal, but would it be good for dogs to have some oatmeal in their diets?
Yes, as already mentioned above, oatmeal can provide your with many valuable nutrients that will help her to stay in good health.
#1: Oatmeal Can Be a Great Source of Magnesium for Your Doggy
As little as one cup of oatmeal contains up to 276 milligrams of magnesium. That alone is a good enough reason to include some oats in your dog’s diet, because magnesium is a very important nutrient for dogs and magnesium deficiency can lead to serious health problems in dogs.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 enzymes in your dog’s body to function properly, it’s also an important nutrient for bone health and the production of protein.
By the way, oats are not only a great source of magnesium, but it’s actually one of the best sources of magnesium.
#2: Oatmeal Can Provide Your Dog with Iron
One cup of oatmeal contains more than 7 milligrams of iron, which is also an important nutrient for dogs.
Iron is essential for blood cells to be able to carry oxygen throughout the body and it is also important for the functioning of many enzymes.
#3: Oatmeal Would Provide Your Dog with the Much-Needed Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber is a very important nutrient for your dog’s digestive system. The right amount of dietary fiber in your dog’s diet can help to prevent both constipation and diarrhea.
Too much dietary fiber, though, can actually cause diarrhea in dogs, so that is another reason why you shouldn’t feed your dog a large amount of oatmeal in a single sitting.
Besides keeping the digestive system running smoothly, dietary fiber may also help to reduce the chance of colon cancer in dogs.
#4: Oatmeal Is Also a Great Source of Potassium
As meat too is an excellent source of potassium, potassium deficiency is rarely a problem for dogs. However, if for some reason, you dog is not eating a lot of meat, then adding some oatmeal to your dog’s diet can also provide your dog with potassium.
Dogs’ bodies need potassium to keep a good fluid balance throughout the body and also for the proper functioning of nerves, muscles and many enzymes.
#5: Oatmeal Is One of the Best Plant Sources of Protein
When people talk about whether a particular dog food is good or not, then the food’s protein content seems to be the main indicator. That is so for a good reason, dogs do need quite a lot of protein in their diets to be healthy. Dogs bodies need protein for growth and development, but they can also use protein for energy.
Oats are a great source of protein, one cup contains around 26 grams of protein. And the protein from oats can definitely be useful for dogs, but don’t expect to fulfill your dog’s protein need by oats alone.
All proteins are not the same. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and most plant sources of protein do not contain all of the amino acids that dogs need.
To fulfill your dog’s protein requirement with plant based protein sources, you have to combine different sources (e.g. legumes and whole grains) together. However, if there’s plenty of animal sources of food in your dog’s diet, then you don’t have to worry whether your dog gets all the amino acids she needs or not, because animal protein contains all the essential amino acids required by your dog’s body.
Unlike cats, dogs could, though, survive on plant based protein as well. And if for some reason your dog eats mainly plant based foods, then protein-rich grains like oats are definitely a good choice.
Oat Allergies in Dogs
Oats are a main ingredient in many commercial dog foods; that fact alone suggests that oat allergies are not common among dogs. However, if you notice anything strange in your dog’s looks or behavior after you have fed her oatmeal, consult with a veterinarian.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal Cookies?
Be careful about slipping your dog oatmeal cookies, as some of the components might be dangerous. Oatmeal cookies that contain chocolate or raisins are definite no-nos, as both foods are severely toxic to dogs.
If the oatmeal cookies you have baked or bought do not contain raisins or chocolate, then it would be okay to give your dog one or two, but it’s not recommended to do so. The oatmeal cookies are still likely to contain a lot of sugar, which is not very good for your dog — too many calories and bad for your dog’s dental health.
If you enjoy baking, then you could, though, leave out all the dangerous ingredients and bake oatmeal cookies especially for your dog. You could later use these cookies to treat your dog while teaching her a new trick or two.
Can Puppies Too Eat Oatmeal?
Adult dogs can eat oatmeal, but what about puppies?
If your puppy is already eating solid foods, then yes, feeding her some oatmeal is perfectly safe. Just make sure to not use milk and a lot of salt when cooking the oatmeal.
And, of course, only give your pup a small amount of oatmeal at a time. A few tablespoons should more than enough.
Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal
Dogs can eat oatmeal, but only in moderation. When cooking oatmeal for your dog, do not use a lot of salt and leave out the milk entirely. Oatmeal porridge can serve as a great occasional meal for your dog, but it’s best not to give your dog oatmeal cookies, even if they do not contain chocolate chips or raisins, the high amount of sugar would still be bad for your doggy.
Does you dog like to eat oatmeal porridge? Or do you have an oatmeal cookies recipe suitable for dogs? Don’t hold back and share with us in the comments below.
- “Cinnamon.” Good Dog Food Company. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
- “Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs.” PetMD. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
- “Iron Requirements & Deficiencies in Dogs.” Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith. Pet Education. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
- “The Benefits of Dog Food Fiber.” Dog Food Advisor. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.