O is for Oats

ppppOOats 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!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaI 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.

Any Precautions?

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.

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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.

  • greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog

    Oatmeal is good for dogs, definitely. In moderation of course. I have found a miracle natural way to firm up stools: psylium husk powder. Have you ever used it? If your dog has soft or mushy stools, which is common in greyhounds (the dogs that i have), using a few tablespoons of psylium husk in their food daily will tremendously help firm up those stools and make your clean up so much easier! You can of course buy the expensive name brands (Metamucil, Benefiber) but if you buy psylium husk in the vitamin/supplement aisle of the grocery store it tends to be significantly cheaper... And there's no sugar additives. You can buy sugar-free Benefiber, etc, but it's much more expensive than buying plain psylium husk.
    Thanks for the reminder to add some oatmeal to our babies' diets...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • I'm going to have to look into that! My Kitsune has soft stools quite often and we've never been able to figure out why. After countless tests and never finding anything wrong our vets have just concluded that he has a sensitive GI tract and is prone to bathroom issues. He's very healthy otherwise. Feeding Kitsune pumpkin has always seemed to help a lot but I'm going to do more research on the psylium husk powder. Thanks for your comment.

      • greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog

        Good! Let me know how it works. I always like to hear back from folks as to whether or not it works for them. I have a dogsitting business and often dogs will come with soft stools. I always add some psylium husk powder to their meals and within a day or two, they're nice and firm. Another thing that works, although it takes a bit longer to work, is the cereal All Bran Bran Buds. Just sprinkle some of that on the food or in some yogurt and that helps firm up the stools as well. I heard about that from my vet. It will take a week or longer to see results though, which is why I like the psylium husk. I hope it works for you. It's no fun picking up soft mushy poops! 🙂