Oats are a main ingredient in many granola bars and cereals, making them an energizing on-the-go snack—especially when on the trail or camping with your dog. You may even be tempted to offer a taste to your furry hiking companion, so the question is: can dogs have oats?
Yes, dogs can have oats! In fact, they are a good source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Learn which types and forms of oats are safe for dogs to enjoy.
Are Oats Good for Dogs?
As a nutrient-dense food, oats are good for dogs and even offer a variety of health benefits. They are considered a natural superfood primarily because of their fiber content, which varies between 3–8 grams per serving. Fiber aids in regulating digestion, lowering cholesterol & blood sugar levels, and supporting weight loss. Oats are also an excellent source of carbohydrates (19–27 grams per serving), which are key for giving your furry friend energy before getting exercise.
When introducing a new ingredient to your dog, it’s important to start with a small portion to avoid an upset stomach. Feed your dog a few oats to see how their body responds. From there, you can gradually increase the amount over time.
Rolled Oats vs. Steel-Cut Oats vs. Quick Oats
There are many varieties of oats out there, but what’s the difference between them? When it comes to choosing between rolled, steel-cut, or quick oats, these three types are practically the same but vary in how they are manufactured.
Rolled oats are steamed, rolled into pieces, then dried. Steel-cut oats, on the other hand, are less processed; they’re simply cut with a steel blade. The most processed are quick oats, which are cooked, dried, rolled, and then pressed.
Although steel-cut oats are less processed than rolled or quick oats, the same nutrients can be found in all. Not to mention, oats simply taste good and offer a satisfying texture! That’s why we combined them with chicken and sweet potato in our rawhide alternative chews!
Can Dogs Have Oatmeal?
Yes, dogs can have oatmeal, although it’s important to follow these guidelines first:
#1. Choose Plain Oatmeal: Some oatmeal products incorporate ingredients that can be toxic for dogs, such as xylitol (an artificial sweetener) or raisins. All oatmeal should be unflavored and free of any sweeteners.
#2. Use Water: To avoid any dairy concerns or sensitivities, make oatmeal with water instead of milk. This will also help reduce calories!
#3. Watch the Serving Size: Do not offer an entire serving of oatmeal to your dog, especially if it’s their first time trying it. Just a spoonful or two in a shin bone or cone chew toy is plenty.
#4. Let It Cool: This one may sound obvious, but you do not want to hurt or startle your dog with hot oatmeal!
#5. Add Dog-Friendly Toppings Only: Again, hold the raisins! Peanut butter and dog-safe fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, or apples are fine to add sparingly. Toppings can add up in calories, so be mindful of how much you serve.
Remember: any human foods should be fed depending on your dog’s weight and dietary needs. Contact your veterinarian with any questions.
In general, oatmeal is a great soft food to incorporate in your dog’s routine. According to the American Kennel Club, the vitamin B content supports a vibrant and healthy coat while a certain type of omega-6 fatty acid, called linoleic acid, helps keep the skin healthy.
Can Dogs Have Oat Milk?
Because many furry friends can be sensitive to dairy, dogs can have oat milk as an alternative to cow's milk. Similar to plain oats, oat milk contains high levels of fiber and protein. As always, start off with a small amount and monitor whether your dog reacts favorably.
Also, pay attention to any added sugar or artificial sweeteners that are toxic to dogs; the unsweetened options are the best choice.
Not only can dogs have oats—they’ll likely love ‘em! From an oat-covered dog chew to a little oatmeal stuffed in a shin bone, oats are a tasty, textured way to add some deliciousness to your dog’s day. And with so many nutrients and health benefits to offer, you can feel good indulging your furry friend.