For humans, breakfast is an essential meal in the day, and there are some staple ingredients that the species cannot do without. Oatmeal is one of those typical breakfast meals that you will find in many homes. It is preferred because it is highly nutritious, containing vitamins, fiber, and protein. The meal’s easy to prepare, and aside from the nutritional value, it tasted good and makes a significant part of a balanced diet as well. Animals’ diets consist of different components, but sometimes they can have something that their owner is having. If you have a pet, especially a dog, it will be looking forward to breakfast as eagerly as you. You need to pay particular attention to what you feed your dog to prevent any casualties. Dogs should have a lot of protein from meat in their diet, but it is fine to move away from that once in a while. The simple answer to ‘can dogs eat oatmeal?’ is yes; however, there are some things you need to know before taking that route. This article provides relevant information about oatmeal and how it can be incorporated into your dog’s diet.
Oatmeal and Dogs’ Diet
If you want to introduce oatmeal to your dog, you should know what is in it and what it can do to your dog. The content of the cereal that makes it suitable for humans also give dogs the same benefits but with a few limitations. Oatmeal is a textured flour that is made of oat grains that have the dry outer covering removed. The texture can be smooth, medium, or coarse, and humans eat it either raw or cooked into porridge form. Oats for dogs is an excellent alternative source of carbohydrates for those allergic to wheat and grains. Pet food manufacturers use tout oatmeal as the main ingredient in oatmeal for dogs because it is low in fats and calories. The cereal is rich in soluble fiber, which helps in glucose regulation in their blood. It also contains fatty omega-6 acid and linoleic acid, which help with skin health. Oatmeal should be used only as a topper or snack for your dog and not to replace its regular diet. It is a smart way to get your dog to drink more water, especially when it is prepared with warm water. On its own, oatmeal and its blandness have all the right components that will benefit your dog, but in controlled portions.
Benefits of Oatmeal for Dogs
Before feeding your dog oats, you need to answer the question, ‘is oatmeal safe for dogs?’ Yes, it is, and here are some nutritional values it can provide for your pet.
- High fiber content: Fiber is famous for freeing bowels and helping in digestion, and oatmeal does the same for dogs. It is useful for dogs that have gastrointestinal or bowel irregularity issues. This fiber is, however, soluble, and so it can help regulate blood sugar levels. It is an excellent meal for controlling weight in overweight dogs since it contains healthy carbohydrates. This is because when mixed with water, it forms a gel-like substance that is resistant to digestion. This form of fiber stays longer in the digestive system, giving a feeling of fullness or satiety, thereby reducing the need to eat more. It is considered a safe carbohydrate because it does not trigger allergies in dogs as other cereals might.
- Vitamin and Fatty acid content: Oatmeal contains vitamin B5 and 9, omega-6 fatty acids, as well as linoleic acid, which are known for keeping dogs’ skin healthy. These nutrients contribute to the growth of healthy hair, and it’s not surprising that oatmeal is an ingredient in some dog shampoo. Also, these nutrients play essential roles in increasing energy in dogs, lowering their chances of depression and anxiety.
- Protein content: Protein is known for facilitating the repair of worn-out tissues, and its presence in oatmeal does something close to that for dogs. It does this by helping the dog’s immune system in fighting illness, infections, and disease. Protein in oatmeal also helps with the growth of fur, and your dog will look and feel healthy if you sneak some in their diet.
Tips On How To Feed Oats To Your Dog
- Feed your dog only small portions of oatmeal, since too much can cause the dog to be overweight. Dogs do not need so many calories a day, so one or two spoons of the cereal is enough.
- Cooked oatmeal is better than raw one as it is easier to consume. Also, it is better to prepare it with water than milk, since dogs are sensitive to dairy. So the straightforward answer to ‘can dogs eat raw oats?’ is no.
- Since oatmeal is a human staple, you should be cautious when introducing it to your dog’s diet. Start gradually and assess the response you get from your dog: if it reacts negatively, discontinue serving and consult a veterinarian.
- Additives like sugar are a no-no when it comes to feeding oats to dogs. Even though adding extra ingredients like grapes and raisins are enjoyable for you, they are not exactly healthy for your dog. In fact, some of them are toxic and can pose serious health risks to your dog. Instant oatmeal should be avoided at all costs because even though it’s fast to prepare, it contains additives that are not good for your dog.
Oatmeal comes with some fantastic benefits for both dogs and humans. However, you should not feed your dog the cereal daily just because you enjoy it every day. Moderation is crucial in this regard because you might experience some bloating and vomiting if you overdo it. Oatmeal serves as an excellent snack for healthy dogs or a way to get some fiber into your dog diet to help with digestive issues. Can dogs eat cooked oatmeal? Absolutely yes: make sure it is well prepared and cooled to make it easy to swallow. If you are not sure about adding it to your dog’s diet, ask a vet for professional advice to ensure your dog doesn’t get hurt.