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Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? | Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?

is oatmeal good for dogs

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast choice amongst humans, so it’s only natural to wonder “is oatmeal good for dogs?”  Those longing puppy dog eyes may be tough to say no to every morning, so let’s learn together: can dogs eat oatmeal?

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Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? (The Short Answer)

Yes, in general, oatmeal is not only safe for dogs but also healthy for them! Check out our peanut butter oatmeal dog treat recipe!  However, there are a few things you must keep in mind.  First, only feed it as a snack and not regularly or as a meal.  Secondly, only feed your dog plain, unflavored oatmeal using water instead of milk.  Third, only feed your dog cooked oatmeal and not raw oatmeal.  Following these guidelines and the rest of the details in this article will help keep your pup safe while feeding them this delicious food!

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Is Oatmeal Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat oatmeal?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Is oatmeal good for dogs?

Oatmeal is packed with an abundance of nutritional value for both humans and dogs.  It’s very high in fiber, which can help regulate bowl movements and blood glucose levels.  It also has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all of which can benefit your dog when fed in moderation.  For dogs who are sensitive or allergic to wheat or grains, it’s a great carbohydrate alternative.  Two specific nutrients oatmeal contains are Vitamin B, which helps your dog’s coat stay healthy and Linoleic Acid which helps your pup’s skin.

The appropriate serving side of oatmeal for your pup is roughly one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds they weigh.  So a 60 pound dog should consume no more than 3 tablespoons at a time.

Is Oatmeal Bad For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat oatmeal?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Is oatmeal bad for dogs?

Like many healthy foods for dogs, there are still plenty of ways oatmeal can become unhealthy or even dangerous for them instead.  Let’s dive into a few things to keep in mind when feeding your dog oatmeal.

First is that oatmeal should always be cooked and never sprinkled raw over their food.  Raw oats, while not toxic, are very tough for your dog to digest and therefore should be avoided.  When cooking your dog’s oatmeal, be sure to do so with water and not milk as a dog’s stomach is not designed to process dairy and giving them excess dairy in this way is not healthy for them.

The next thing to consider is what kind of oatmeal you are buying for them.  Stay away from flavored oatmeal and instant oatmeal as these tend to have many preservatives, chemicals, and additives that are unhealthy and sometimes dangerous to dogs.  Always check every ingredient of your oatmeal as some even have xylitol, an extremely toxic artificial sweetener that could be fatal if consumed by your pup.  Always opt for plain oatmeal with as few added ingredients as possible.

Lastly, avoid adding any traditional “toppings” to your oatmeal that would make it unhealthy for your dog like sugar, salt, butter, chocolate, raisins or grapes.  These can be very bad and even poisonous for your dog.  There are plenty of dog-friendly toppings to make eating oatmeal even more fun for them like kiwi, papaya, almond butter, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, or plain yogurt.  Again, like with any food, use moderation even with healthy toppings.

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Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal Cookies?

Maybe.  Due to the very high sugar content, which could upset your dog’s stomach, we don’t recommend it.  However, if the oatmeal cookies contain raisins or chocolate you should absolutely avoid feeding it to your pup as those two ingredients are highly poisonous to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies?

No!  You should never give oatmeal raisin cookies to your dog as raisins are highly toxic! Plus cookies, like whipped cream and graham crackers, are high in sugar and therefore not great for your pup

Are Oats and Honey Safe for Your Pup?

Oats and honey are both safe for dogs in limited quantities.  However, you should only feed this to your dog if the oats are cooked so it’s not rough on their digestive system.  Keep in mind, while honey is generally safe for dogs, it contains a lot of sugar so only feed this treat to them sparingly and in small quantities.

Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal With Brown Sugar?

While brown sugar isn’t toxic, it’s very unhealthy for dogs.  You should avoid adding additional sugar to your dog’s oatmeal.  Instead, opt for healthier toppings such as strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, canned pumpkin, or plain yogurt.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Oatmeal? / Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Oatmeal?

While it’s not toxic, you should not feed your dog raw oatmeal.  Uncooked oatmeal is very tough for dogs to digest and can upset their stomach.  Stick to oatmeal cooked in water.

Can Dogs Eat Instant Oatmeal?

No, you should avoid giving your dog instant oatmeal.  While it’s quicker and more convenient, it often contains preservatives, additives, and additional ingredients which can be harmful to dogs.  Choose regular, plain oatmeal instead and if you do choose to feed your dog instant oatmeal be sure to double-check every ingredient is safe for them to consume.

Is Oat Milk Safe for Your Pup?

Yes, in moderation, dogs can have oat milk.  Just like with almond milk, it should only be given in small amounts.  Ensure that xylitol is not a listed ingredient as it is toxic to dogs.  Also, do not choose flavored options but instead opt for plain, unsweetened options to provide the healthiest drink for your pet.  Remember, they should only have a few licks at a time just to have a taste!

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Oatmeal?

The answer to our original question of “is oatmeal good for dogs?” is “yes!”  As long as you buy plain, unflavored oatmeal and cook it in water you should be giving them a healthy, tasty treat to enjoy!  Make sure the only toppings added are dog-friendly as well and to avoid added sugars.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.