Oatmeal For Dogs: Tasty Treat or Dietary Disaster?

Why did the farmer start a punk rock band? He was tired of hauling oats.

Can dogs eat oatmeal? This good source of fiber is known to help lower cholesterol in humans, making it a great gluten free snack, but what about for dogs? Your dog's body works differently than yours, but plain oatmeal can still be a good treat for your furry friend with minimal effects on their digestive system.

Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?

In moderation, oatmeal can be an excellent addition to your dog's diet. Vitamin A, Vitamin B, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and linoleic acid (a type of omega-6 fatty acid) are only a few of the nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants found in oatmeal that will keep your dog looking and feeling his best. The soluble fiber in oats also aids in regulating your dog's bowel movements and blood glucose levels. When those levels are controlled, diabetes, heart disease risk, and total cholesterol levels reduce as well.

Are There Health Benefits?

If you want to share your oatmeal, make sure it's cooked and do not sprinkle raw oats on top of your dog's food. Eating it raw will only make it more difficult for your dog to digest and can lead to constipation and gastrointestinal distress due to the fiber content. It should also be plain or mixed with another dog-friendly human food, like peanut butter. Ingredients like salt, butter, chocolate, raisins, or grapes can be highly detrimental to your dog's wellbeing. Never give your dog heavily processed flavored oatmeal because it contains more added sugar, additives, and flavorings, and may also contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. Once the oatmeal is cooked, your canine companion should only eat it at room temperature, as feeding your dog hot food will burn the inside of his mouth.

Are There Health Risks?

A dog's stomach will become irritated if he consumes too much human food. Just because you eat oatmeal for breakfast every day doesn't mean your pooch would like to. Offer your dog a small amount of oatmeal at a time since it contains a lot of carbohydrates and is high in calories. Large quantities can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, or bloat, which are minor inconveniences for you, but can be fatal for your dog.

How Much Oatmeal Should My Dog Eat?


Dogs should only receive 10% of their daily calories from human food and treats and the remaining 90% from their dog food to maintain a balanced diet. One cup of simple, cooked oatmeal contains around 150 calories, which can quickly drive him over his daily calorie limit. Knowing this, limit it to a spoonful or two while serving it. A good rule of thumb is to give your dog one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds of body weight. That way you keep your furry friend trim, fit, and healthy.

What foods do your furry friends enjoy? Share with us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: 5 Tips for Getting Dogs to Eat Green Beans