Getting goodies like vitamins, minerals and fibre into your pet’s diet doesn’t need to be as hard as you might think it is.
In fact, countless dog food companies already put all kinds of grains into their preprepared meals to help round out your pet’s defences and make them healthy and happy.
If you’re looking to take matters into your own hands though, you may well wonder – can dogs eat oatmeal?
They certainly can, but there are some pieces of advice alongside this that are good to follow too.
Is oatmeal good for dogs?
Oatmeal is good for dogs, yes, but your pooch won’t need the same kind of portion sizes as their human masters to reap the rewards.
In fact, whereas people will treat oatmeal itself as a big main meal of the day, your dog is likely to enjoy its nutritional rewards just as easily with a small helping mixed into their other food.
Of course, you’re advised to avoid feeding dogs uncooked or raw oatmeal in much the same way as human beings ought to not eat it.
It simply is too dry for your dog to enjoy, and because of that is highly unlikely to go down well – expect spluttering and coughing. It might well be enough to put your dog off oatmeal for life!
Therefore, sprinkling loose raw oatmeal grains over your dog’s food might seem like a good idea, but simply doesn’t do enough to help your pooch really feel the benefits.
Similarly, dog owners are advised to avoid giving their pooches any instant oatmeal.
Although it’s far and away easier to prepare, it’s also been treated with enough additives and processes to greatly diminish its nutritional value – particularly to the more sensitive digestive processes of your dog.
By and large though, your dog has a lot of health benefits to gain from eating oatmeal.
The nutritional value of it will help boost their immune system, promote healthy digestion and remain active throughout their life.
Nevertheless, it’s highly advised that you serve your dog oatmeal as plainly as possible.
Although adding flavours and sugars to it might seem to make it more appealing, dogs don’t deal well with these kinds of things entering their system, and they take away from the overall nutritional benefits your pet would otherwise gain from eating oatmeal.
In keeping with this, a responsible dog owner likely already knows that giving their dog oatmeal made with milk is a bad idea.
Once puppies mature into fully grown dogs, they lose a lot of their capacity to digest and process milk, and lactose in general.
Because of this, if your dog has oatmeal made with milk, you’re offsetting the health gains your pet will enjoy with some pronounced digestive discomfort.
Instead, opt for good old fashioned water. Oatmeal made with water gives your dog everything he or she needs to enjoy this tasty breakfast, and none of the drawbacks.
Health benefits of oatmeal for dogs
The nutritional value of oatmeal is a big part of why it’s been such a solid breakfast choice in societies the world over for as long as anyone can remember.
And those benefits translate well to your dog too, although your pet will need much smaller portions to reap those rewards – no matter how big the breed.
Oatmeal is packed with fibre, meaning that it can add wonderfully to keeping your dog regular.
Dogs who have had recent stomach upsets or have had difficulties in their toilet time can soon see a good return to form, and that fibre also adds to the overall comfort of them digesting tricky meals too.
Beyond that, oatmeal is packed with vitamins and minerals that can help your dog to become more resistant to illness and infection.
That means that it will not only hasten your pet’s recovery if he or she has been unwell but also give them less of a chance of coming down with anything to begin with.
Don’t be surprised if getting some regular vitamins such as these into your dog’s diet helps them become all the more alert, perky and energised.
Your dog’s internal systems will be firing on all cylinders thanks to these nutrients.
Oatmeal contains superb amounts of Vitamin B, which is especially good for not only keeping dogs energised throughout the day consistently, but also contributes to the health and shine of their skin and fur coat. Your dog will look as good as he or she feels.
Oatmeal also adds some welcome omega acids that likewise help them maintain their good looks, to say nothing of how well it keeps them clear and free of nastiness inside.
Remember though, these benefits are best felt if the oatmeal you are giving your dog is nice and plain, with no added extras for flavour or colour.
Similarly, avoid making it with milk, to avoid any digestive complications your dog will experience from such a high input of lactose and dairy.
How much oatmeal can a dog eat daily?
Although the health benefits of oatmeal are superb, the amount that a dog actually needs to have those positive effects kick in is a lot smaller than human beings.
Dogs are less adept at digestive plant-based food and grains, so too much of what is a good thing to us can actually end up being detrimental.
Therefore, even the largest of dog breeds certainly wouldn’t need more than half a cup of oatmeal a day as part of their meal routine.
By all means, don’t feel pressured to give your dog this dish daily either, as they’re just as capable of feeling the goodness from it if it’s an occasional treat, or something you add to their diet when you want to help them get over or prevent illness.
Older dogs may well enjoy having oatmeal added to their diet in this kind of sensible moderation, because theirs are the systems most in need of boosting and strengthening as they age.
You may even find that your dog becomes surprisingly reinvigorated by this approach.
Although oatmeal is cooked up nice and hot, it’s best left to cool to room temperature before handing it over to your dog.
Our pets have sensitive mouths that don’t do well with temperature extremes, and an especially hungry and overly enthusiastic dog could eat hot oatmeal so rapidly that they also burn their insides before they realise what’s what.
As with any new addition to your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to introduce oatmeal to the way your dog has his or her meals in gradual increments, gauging not only if your pet even likes it in the first place, but also what portions work best.
What to do if your dog eats oatmeal
There are enough ways to enjoy oatmeal that your dog could just as easily be caught eating raw oatmeal as lapping up someone’s spillage of it or trying to wrestle it out of the box.
However your dog has eaten oatmeal, there are no risks involved unless the oatmeal is flavoured with chocolate or chocolate chips – or the artificial sweetener, xylitol.
Both of those are very toxic to dogs, and could severely hamper his or her health – seek the advice of your vet if you think your dog has eaten oatmeal with either of these ingredients.
If your dog has eaten raw oatmeal, keep some fresh water by to replenish a lot of hydration that your dog has likely lost from their mouth trying to get it down.
Raw oatmeal is no more simple for dogs to eat than it would be for human beings, and is just as ill-advised to try and consume it this way.
In that scenario, you might find your dog begins to cough and splutter – water will help wash the oats down, but you must likewise be prepared for him or her to throw up.
If your dog has eaten more oatmeal than you think is wise though, consider whether or not it was made with milk.
If it was, you’ll find that your dog is likely to suffer something of a stomach upset – but you needn’t call your vet in this scenario unless you know your dog has a dairy allergy or severe lactose intolerance.
Either way, dogs who eat too much oatmeal, even if it was made with water, will suffer some constipation and a stomach ache.
Keep close at hand to help them get over this discomfort, and consider ways you can prevent your dog helping themselves to oatmeal without your say so in the future.
Oatmeal is good for dogs, if served at room temperature and made with water, with no flavours – and in healthy moderation.
The health benefits of dogs eating oatmeal include boosted vitamin and mineral levels within, and also a healthy boost to their levels of fibre, helping their digestion and immune system.
Dogs ought never eat raw oatmeal, nor instant oatmeal that has been given lots of additives – keep it plain and simple, and there’s no reason not to keep oatmeal away from your dog.