Oats Are For Goats, But Dogs Like Them Too!
Have I ever mentioned here before that I really want to keep pet goats someday? Gotta save up to buy that farm!
Anyways, last week I posted about the benefits of making your own dog treats at home, and included a recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Treats. At the end of that post, I mentioned possibly writing about the benefits of oats later on in the challenge. Today is that day!
I guess dogs probably aren't the first animal that comes to mind when you think about feeding oats. Oatmeal is often used as a filler in commercial dog foods, and it is, of course, a grain. Many dog owners try to avoid such ingredients when picking out dog foods, and not without reason. Grains are becoming an increasingly common allergen for pet dogs.
Although my older dog, Kitsune, does suffer from allergies, he is not allergic to grains. I don't currently include oatmeal as part of my dog's regular diets, but often use it as a treat ingredient. I've found that dry oatmeal can be ground (I put it in our blender) and used in place of flour in dog treat recipes.
What are the Benefits of Feeding Oatmeal?
The main benefit of feeding oats seems to be that they are high in fiber. This can be particularly useful to dogs suffering from...bathroom issues. I've mentioned before that Kitsune has a really sensitive stomach. Feeding him high fiber foods often seems to help him when he's experiencing bouts of GI upset.
Many dogs seem to enjoy the taste of oats, and they are relatively low in calories. I mentioned that they are often used as a filler in commercial dog foods. If you have an overweight dog, adding plain, cooked oatmeal to his food can help your dog feel full without adding a lot of extra calories.
In humans, oatmeal is touted for helping to reduce high blood pressure, artery clogging, and for improving the immune system. I'm unaware of any studies done to test whether the same holds true for dogs, but it makes sense that it could.
Oats also contain nutrients like B and E vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Not all dogs with grain allergies will be allergic to all grains. Dogs that cannot eat wheat, soy, or corn products sometimes can eat oats.
I often enjoy a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast myself, but I put way too much sugar in mine to be able to share it with my dogs. When buying oatmeal for dogs, look for plain oats. Prepackaged flavored oatmeal for humans is often full of sugars and artificial flavors that wouldn't be good for dogs. You can flavor your dog's oatmeal with dog safe ingredients if you want to, but stay way from the sugar.
Does your dog like oatmeal? How do you feed it?
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.