Can I Give My Dog Oatmeal?

Can I Give My Dog Oatmeal?Owners should know more about oatmeal’s many health benefits. This classic breakfast food could work wonders for your dog’s upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, constipation and digestion in general.

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It’s well known that wholesome oatmeal improves digestive function. But the high fiber, iron and vitamin B-6 means dogs can also benefit in several other ways. Healthy oats are an appropriate food for Fido.

Even if your dog doesn’t necessarily need it for a bowel boost, oatmeal can still be shared with a precious pet. Oats, without additives, are outstanding nutritionally. Canines can chow down.

Can I Give My Dog Oatmeal? Answer: Yes

Sometimes there are good reasons to give this food.

Consider a few things before feeding your dog oatmeal. Obviously, it should be cooked. Choose a pure oatmeal with no artificial fruits or flavorings. Don’t give your dog prepackaged versions containing preservatives and other additives. Provide your pet with wholesome oatmeal, without sugar, for maximum health benefits.

A high quality dry oatmeal recipe dog food is a consistent and convenient way to add oats to your furry friend’s diet.

Oatmeal Occasionally

Oatmeal doesn’t contain a ton of protein. That’s okay because you shouldn’t serve it on a regular basis. Utilize this health food when appropriate. Oatmeal will complement, not replace your dog’s regular meals.

This hearty and delicious grain is best when your dog is experiencing mild gastro issues. Irregular bowel movements are an ideal time to turn to good old oatmeal. Feed half a cup or so. It works!

Older dogs usually benefit the most. After all, they’re more likely to need digestive help.

Pet Preparation Tips

Oatmeal should be prepared with no sodium (salt) or sugar. Add an egg for extra protein. A touch of cinnamon is okay. Cool it to near room temperature so your dog’s mouth can’t possibly be burned.

Check out this recipe!

Avoid instant brands because they have artificial flavoring and less desirable ingredients. Read labels! Oatmeal should be made using water since lactose-laden milk may not agree with your buddy’s stomach.

Homemade or organic will, of course, be most beneficial. Consider mixing a bit of oatmeal in with regular dog food. Probably the easiest choice is to go with quality dog biscuits that incorporate oatmeal.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Some of oatmeal’s benefits don’t exactly apply to dogs. For example, it’s known to lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risks. Dogs have shorter lives and heart health typically isn’t an issue.

On the other hand, if your canine has a weight problem, oatmeal makes a lot of sense. It’s low in calories and fat, especially without milk. It’s also great for a canine coat which is why it’s used in dog shampoo.

At the very least, your dog will receive nutrients from small portions of oatmeal. Iron, in particular, is sometimes lacking in mediocre dog foods.

Foods for Fido’s Fiber

Perhaps oatmeal’s best attribute, as it applies to dogs, is the soluble fiber. This is largely why it’s great for gastrointestinal purposes. Bowel movements improve because it’s very stabilizing, much like pumpkin.

Conclusion on Oatmeal

Oatmeal is healthy for your pet dog. Provide it when the time is right. Oatmeal improves digestion which makes it a nutritious digestive remedy. Choose your oatmeal wisely, without additives. Be sure to cook a pet’s portion, but also let it cool down before your dog chows down. Plain oatmeal is best.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.

58 thoughts on “Can I Give My Dog Oatmeal?

  1. Pat

    My 14 year old Toy Poodle has high enzymes and was put on NF low protein and, of course, she does not like it. Can I add oatmeal to her dog food and also a little sweet potato? She is also on Denamarin for the enzymes.

  2. Zero

    Personally, I can’t be bothered preparing my German Shepherd oatmeal. It’s too much work. However, being Asian, we have rice every day and there are occasions when I feed my dog rice. He loves rice despite it being tasteless.

    1. Confused

      How much more work is it to prepare oatmeal compared to rice? And how does someone who wouldn’t feed their dog oatmeal end up here in the first place?

  3. Jimmy

    Chicken thigh, peas and either oatmeal or rice is my go-to for my dog. Also, supplement with some calcium to help keep his bones strong.

  4. Ruth Romo

    I have a 8 month old German Shepherd. I give her chicken, parsley, carrot and an egg mix with her dry food. She loves it. Now I will be giving her oatmeal. How often can I give her oatmeal?

    1. Donald

      You certainly can. I have a new pup on all raw meat and bones, oatmeal, yogurt,cheese and vegs. I also use a dehydrator for his before bed treat instead of milk bones. BARF is the way to go. I was unsure at first, but he’ll never miss a meal.

  5. H. Kathryn Lamat

    I soak steel cut oats in good water overnight. I mix the plumped oats and any unabsorbed water in with the crunchies, as a way to diminish the amount of store-bought crunchies my dogs consume. In my opinion, they do not need to be cooked. I eat soaked oats.

    The only difference is I get raisins in mine. Also, I would never use Quaker Oats or any brand name oats. I buy organic (which also means non-GMO) steel cut oats at the local health food store.

    1. Susie

      Can I ask why you give your dog store bought crunchies if you are concerned with health and buy organic? Do you mean the supermarket kind which are not good?

  6. Dina

    Thank you for that wonderful answer about oatmeal. Just mixed some of the steel cut into his food and he did eat it all. This for me is wonderful as my dog is a very picky eater even about the treats he will take. So I want to know how often can I give him oatmeal and is the steel cut okay?

  7. Lisa

    Our 5 month old Golden Retriever has had diarrhea for 2 weeks on and off. He has been on boiled chicken and rice but the doctor said he’s not getting enough nutrients. He gave us some prescription dog food for sensitive stomach but the diarrhea hasn’t stopped. I was considering adding in some oatmeal to see if that helps. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

    1. Greta

      I was having the same sort of problem with our raw fed German Shepherd. She’d been getting whole ground chicken, but it became apparent that she’s allergic to chicken! We switched her to fish, pork and beef products as well as some emergency kibble when her raw food ran out over the transition.

      There’s been no diarrhea problems since. Taste of the Wild makes a good grain-free food and their fish-based kibble has no chicken in it.

    2. Tayla

      Eating boiled chicken and rice this is definitely not enough, especially for a puppy! A dog should be eating predominantly meat. Chicken isn’t as high in nutrients as a red meat.

      Get a good meat from a pet store and make sure it isn’t super fatty or rancid. I also chop up vegetables and mix them into their food. It can include green beans, celery, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas and cauliflower.

      Meals can be supplemented with a grain-free dry food which is essential for puppies and active dogs. We feed ours Taste of the Wild Prairie. You can also use a bit of natural yogurt and olive oil. I adopted a stray with the worst gas ever and after a few months it’s completely gone with the help of this diet.

  8. Pegi

    We’ve been feeding our four dogs, all medium to large mixed breeds, old fashioned oats and chicken breast every morning for years. I mix the oatmeal with water or broth from the chicken. They love it and seem to be quite healthy.

    They have regular canned dog food and dry kibble for dinner. I’m wondering if the oatmeal everyday is okay and if I should be adding veggies like carrots, kale or sweet potatoes.

  9. Dee

    Our dog, a Shih-Poo, is having bowel problems. What can I give him to relieve his constipation, and how much? He’s about 16-18 pounds. He will not eat dog food and I’ve tried everyone there is.

    1. Jason

      Hi Dee. I have two German Shepherd/Husky mixes that tend to have bowel issues. Normally a healthy portion of wet rice and water will soften their stools enough to get it out. Rice with boiled chicken, over the next few days, will help thicken it without constipating them again.

      After 2 or 3 days your pup should be well enough to go back on regular food. Most dogs will stop eating their food if it is causing them discomfort, so maybe look for a digestion specific food? I wish you the best of luck!

    2. Susan

      I had the same problem with my dog. Feed him Stella ‘n Chewy’s freeze-dried dog food. It’s amazing! Any flavor will do and there are many. My dog now eats like a ravenous wolf. He eats it so fast that I have to feed him a small amount at a time.

      I recommend it to anyone who has a picky eater or for dogs that may have health issues or lack of appetite. I haven’t seen one pet not go crazy over this food! If you find it too pricey, mix it with a kibble. My favorite is Orijen.

      1. Dee

        Where can I find this dog food and what kind of kibble do you use? Our dog will not eat any kind of dried dog food. He even stopped eating canned food. I have wasted so much food and money trying to find something he will eat besides boiled or sauteed chicken with carrots and rice. I think that’s what causing his constipation. I wish I could afford a trainer to teach him better eating habits.

        1. James Post author

          Hi Dee. Susan indicted she uses Orijen, it’s her kibble of choice. She also mentioned Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried dog food. Both of these are available online. Look at her comment and see the blue clickable links, it takes you directly there. I hope that helps.

        2. Hess

          Dee, like you mentioned before, your pup is having bowel/constipation issues. Please consult your vet for possible treatment. When a pup has these issues they often stop eating because they’re uncomfortable, in pain and know something isn’t right.

          There are many good ideas mentioned here to help heal him, as well as wonderful probiotics for pups in pet stores and online that will help. For many pups, it is a ongoing issue that needs an attentive and caring owner.

          1. Leena

            Try giving your puppy some pureed Pumpkin, not the stuffing kind. A tablespoon mixed in with his food would help.

  10. Ruby's Mum

    I have a 12 year old Jack Russell that keeps itching and scooting on the carpets. I’m pretty sure it’s her anal glands and I’ve booked a vet appointment. She had this problem only a few months ago. Is there a way I can prevent this from reoccurring? She already has a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

    1. Jason

      Sometimes it’s as simple as a pocket in there causing some discomfort. Most dogs will get this at some point in their life. A vet may just pop it and send you on your way. I highly doubt it’s due to a dietary issue as long as she hasn’t been straining when she goes to the bathroom.

    2. Christel

      Our Jack Russell is scooting as well. I have recently been to the vet with her and he emptied the anal gland, but she is still scooting. I have also read that it is a habit of Jack Russell Terriers to scoot.

      1. Monica

        Many times ears and rears are attributed diet and/or allergies. Unfortunately, a lot of dogs are allergic to chicken and beef and grain. Our vet put us on the ZD diet of prescription dog food.

        Honestly, I am just trying to cook for them now. I know the whole raw thing is the way to go, but they are both seniors and have digestion issues. So I’m not sure how I feel about starting raw this late in the game.

        However, we are adding oatmeal tomorrow. Sounds like everyone has had success and, yes, I am using it only with water and got the whole oat organic kind. Lots of good info here. Thanks!

  11. Lonna

    I feed our English Bulldog and Border Collie mix dogs whole oatmeal cooked with water and fed with coconut oil mixed in. They gobble it fight down.

  12. Evelyn

    I make myself and my Shih Tzu, she’s Lucy and 4 years old, fresh oatmeal with fat free milk and she loves it. Is it okay to use fat-free milk? She doesn’t like it with water and neither do I.

      1. Jenifer

        Your dog, especially a Shih Tzu, cannot handle milk from such an incredibly large animal. Human beings shouldn’t even be consuming dairy milk. It has been linked to breast cancer and osteoporosis. Please do more research.

        1. Dodie

          I do not drink cows’ milk simply because I prefer cheese, but milk is not the culprit for osteoporosis. Any statistics can be skewed to read whatever you would like them to be. Our problem is not in milk, it is in what we feed the cows and how we raise them.

  13. Peter

    I cook raw oats which I buy in bulk, (not packaged) soak overnight in milk and my American Staffy X Ridgeback loves it for breakfast and she looks great. I saw that it was suggested to cook in water. I don’t know why milk was not suggested.

    1. Hannah

      Because dogs are essentially lactose intolerant. They cannot process dairy products properly. You should only be using pet milk or lactose-free if you are giving your dog milk.

      Otherwise you risk causing a range of bacterial infections and also diarrhea (a common symptom of lactose intolerance) which can very quickly lead to severe dehydration.

      1. Evie

        In fact, only some dogs are lactose-intolerant. I am fortunate my dog is not. She gets a couple of tablespoons of my cooked oatmeal every morning, with yogurt or kefir and also a tablespoon of cottage cheese at dinner. She doesn’t get diarrhea.

        1. Christel

          Our jack Russell gets kefir and quark as a treat. She loves it and never gets sick from it. Quark is fermented, then strained buttermilk, and not sweetened of course. Reading all the above I am now thinking of baking her some treats containing oats, eggs and kefir.

        1. Angela Dibble

          This is true, it’s best for us and our pets to cut out or down on dairy products. It’s in our culture and upbringing to drink cows’ milk. It’s hard to break away from that, but a lot healthier if we can. I mix a handful of oats into my dog’s food most days. It really does stabilize his stomach and fill him up more then oat-free meals do.

          1. Carol

            It really depends on the individual dog. My 7 year old Border Collie-Alsatian cross has iron guts! He has Weetabix cereal with milk some days for breakfast, but I stay alert to effects on his stomach (none so far) because lactose intolerance is potential problem.

            I wouldn’t put my standard Poodle any where near milk! She’s had all sorts of costly problems with her digestion and chicken seems to be the culprit. She now has sweet potato with a high quality dry kibble for breakfast, boiled rice and fish plus high quality dry kibble for dinner. It’s a high maintenance diet, but it has improved her significantly. I will try her and Barney on oatmeal.

  14. Cindy

    I have an overweight Labrador who also has a dry itchy skin. Nothing I have tried helps lose weight and vet recommended foods are way above my budget. I have just started giving him oats porridge, cooked with some canned food and he has stopped the constant scratching after a week. Now to see if the weight reduces too.

    1. James Post author

      Hi Cindy. Is it possible to allow your dog to be more active outdoors? If you combine your plan with a way for him burn more calories you will definitely see results.

      1. Cindy

        In reply, he has two long walks a day but is not allowed to play with a ball or any games like that, much as he loves them. He has problems with his shoulders and too much exercise or high energy activity leaves him limping badly or barely able to walk.

        1. Bo

          Cindy, I’m so glad to stumble upon this post. Bo is a 55-60 pound 18 month old American Black Mouth Cur. She loves to run, play rough and swim with super high energy. She displays a limp in her right hind leg and I have no money for a vet. I’ve been feeding her chicken hearts, quarters and breast.

          Also some beef kidney raw or seared to warm up because I freeze it all to kill bacteria. Some fish plus not enough kale, broccoli as well. Also, 1 teaspoon Diatomaceous Earth with a teaspoon of honey and tablespoon plain yogurt. I’m unsure how to balance activity restriction. Help!

    2. Rick Garcia

      Cindy, Try to use Dinovite and the diatomaceous earth in your dog’s diet. I have two Pembroke Welsh Corgi and this regulated the itching, energy and the balanced diet. Although, I exercise my boys three times a day and play catch for at least an hour daily. On weekends they run around chasing each other for hours. I hope this helps. Also, I watch what I feed them and no treats.

    3. Christel

      You might find that, if you eliminate the cause for the obesity, your dog’s skin will normalize. Give 1 tablespoon of good oil over your dog’s food. This is good for his skin and coat. 1 egg yoke is also good.

      Dogs in the wild will raid a nest as they love eggs. I have found that vets like to prescribe Hills Science, Eukanuba and all the other premium brands. They get a lot of money from the manufacturers for doing so.

  15. Tania Davola

    Thank you for the excellent information. At last I’ve found people that know what they’re on about and without being arrogant.

    1. James Post author

      Tania thank you for the compliment. We all share one thing in common which is dog ownership. Just doing our best to provide good info. Your comment is appreciated.

  16. Gordon

    Until a few years ago, half the working border collies in Scotland lived almost wholly on oatmeal. I knew a few shepherds running dogs in international level sheepdog trials who fed their championship dogs 1/3 branded dog meal and 2/3 porridge.

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