What You Must Know About Giving Your Dog Oatmeal!

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Can I Give My Dog Oatmeal?Are you wondering if you should give your dog oatmeal? 

Straight to the point:

This classic breakfast food is safe for pets, super beneficial actually — in certain scenarios.

Just be selective about the type of oatmeal your dog gets to eat. Keep reading to go about sharing the right way!

Oatmeal Makes Sense For Dogs

It often works wonders for:

  • Upset stomach
  • Gassiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Doggie digestion

Yup! Wholesome oatmeal tends to improve digestive function for animals as well.

And being high in fiber, iron and vitamin B-6, dogs can also benefit nutritionally. Fed in moderation, hearty oats are a great choice.

Nevertheless, consider a few things before giving your dog some oatmeal…

Share But Be Selective

For one, the oatmeal always should be cooked. Otherwise, your dog would be more likely to have indigestion.

And choose a pure variety with no artificial fruits or flavorings.

Here’s a bit of advice from Dr. Seabolt which hammers that home:

When feeding your dog oatmeal, consider that the prepackaged products often contain lots of sugar and artificial flavors. These things are not only unhealthy, but can cause symptoms of an upset stomach (like diarrhea) and even trigger allergies.

So avoid anything that’s prepackaged since they typically have tons of preservatives and other additives.


Recommendation: A quality dry oatmeal dog food recipe is a consistent and convenient way to add oats.


Oatmeal Only Occasionally

The fact is oatmeal doesn’t contain a ton of protein. That’s OK because you won’t serve it regularly.  

Feed this health food when it is most useful.

Oatmeal should complement, not replace your dog’s regular meals.

Again, this grain is best for mild gastro issues. As such, irregular bowel movements are an ideal time for it.

Try feeding half a cup or so to stimulate movement within the gastrointestinal tract. Sounds weird, but it works!


FYI: Older dogs usually benefit most because they are more likely to need digestive help.


Pet Preparation Tips

Prepare oatmeal with no sodium (salt) or sugar. You can add an egg for extra protein, and just a touch of cinnamon is fine if your pet seems to like this spice.

Cool it to near room temperature (so your dog’s mouth can’t be burned).

Check out this oatmeal recipe!

Oatmeal should be made using water.

Lactose-laden milk may not agree with your buddy’s stomach.

Homemade or organic oatmeal will be most beneficial to your dog’s tummy. Consider mixing some oatmeal in with regular dog food.

Some of oatmeal’s benefits don’t apply to dogs.

For example:

It’s known to lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risks, but this isn’t normally an issue for canines.

Oatmeal makes a lot of sense if your pet has a weight problem!

The reason?

It is low in calories and fat (especially without milk).


Bonus: Oatmeal is also great for a shiny coat.


At the very least, your dog will get some nutrients. Iron, in particular, may be lacking in dog food.

Oatmeal Provides Valuable Fiber

Soluble fiber is, perhaps, oatmeal’s best attribute when it comes to dogs.

And this happens to be why it’s good for gastrointestinal purposes.

Bowel movements improve because it is stabilizing (much like pumpkin).

The Bottom Line

Oatmeal is healthy for dogs too!

It can improve digestion which makes it a nutritious digestive remedy.

But choose an oatmeal with no additives. Plain and organic would be the healthiest choice for your dog.

Cook modest portions, and let it cool down before your canine chows down.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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68 thoughts on “What You Must Know About Giving Your Dog Oatmeal!”

  1. Are fermented oats okay for a Lab?

  2. My Jack Russell (age 6) ranges from stomach issues to loose bowel. He only likes human food which I think causes this. My husband is the culprit. He will give him whatever he wants and tells me I’m starving him at 17 pounds. I don’t think he is starving.

    To make matters worse, he makes his food moist because he doesn’t think he should chew. I can’t stress how important chewing is. I attempt to feed him Cesars or dry food. Nothing is working at the moment. Help!

  3. I add oatmeal to a bowl and add boiling water on top. Leave it to stand awhile. It gives the oats time to swell. Then, pop it into the microwave for about 3 minutes. It is cooked deliciously.

    My dogs have oats for breakfast and Hill’s pellets for dinner. Every second day I alternate so that they don’t get into a boring eating routine.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 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?

      1. Quick cooking oatmeal takes only a couple of minutes in the microwave whereas even instant rice takes 3 times as long.

      2. It isn’t more work. I eat oatmeal myself so I prepare a large batch in a rice cooker. Throw in Irish oatmeal and water, push a button and done. No stirring, no mess. It refrigerates well and keeps for several days.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 do so?

  8. To make cookies for my dog using oats, should they be soaked beforehand or cooking them in the oven will be good enough? Thanks!

  9. You mention oats helping dogs with bowel problems, but do you mean constipation or diarrhea? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lucy. Oatmeal can normalize bowel movements, so it tends to help for both types of irregularity.

    2. Oatmeal helps absorb excess water and helps bulk up stool by adding fiber. It works well for both conditions.

  10. What if my 1 year old dog doesn’t have a good appetite? Can I still give oatmeal?

    1. 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.

      1. I read that dairy is not appropriate for dogs. Did you read otherwise?

      2. I am so glad to read your comment. I belong to a holistic feeding group, and was sharing that I feed my dog oatmeal and add some eggs and raw goat milk. He loves it.

  11. Is it okay to feed oatmeal to a dog on a grain-free diet? My dog loves oatmeal but wonder if I’m doing the wrong thing.

  12. 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 (non-GMO) steel cut oats at a local health food store.

    1. 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?

      1. I had problems getting my dog to eat soft oats by themselves. Mixing with his dry dog food is a great idea. Thanks Kathryn.

  13. 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?

  14. 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. 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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 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!

      1. Thanks Jason, for your reply. When you say wet rice, do you cook it first or just soak it?

        1. Whoops sorry! I meant to cook it!

    2. 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. 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. 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. 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, as well as wonderful probiotics that will help. For many pups, it is an ongoing issue that needs an attentive and caring owner.

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

    3. Try Stella and Chewy meal mixers. Not the patties. Use the round little balls and raw. I was cooking for my dog, but he prefers this. I also feed him some of our steel cut oats every morning.

  17. Ruby's Mum says:

    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. 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. 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. 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!

  18. How is oatmeal prepared to be safe for my 8 year old overweight Chihuahua?

  19. 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.

  20. 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. My Shih Tzu Jake loves freshly cooked oatmeal in skim milk, only no sugar.

      1. 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. 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.

        2. How a dog tolerates cows’ milk has nothing to do with size of either the dog or the milk producer, and everything to do with if the dog can either breakdown or tolerate the lactose, or if they don’t have a casein (milk protein) allergy.

          If your pup has milk and seems to tolerate it, ie. stools seem solid and regular after – then your dog tolerates milk. If your dog appears unwell afterwards, stop feeding it milk. Simple.

          The reason goat’s milk is easier to digest for dogs, and lactose sensitive people, is that it contains less lactose than cow’s milk. It’s not because a goat is smaller than a cow and therefore more natural.

  21. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    2. That’s because dogs are lactose intolerant and milk tends to make their stools too loose.

      1. Most human beings are lactose intolerant as well. Drinking milk from another species really isn’t the best idea.

        1. True. It’s best for us and our pets to cut out or down on dairy products. It’s in our culture and upbringing. 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. 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.

  22. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

      1. Please make sure if you are going to use diatomaceous earth that it is the food grade which is not the same that’s used for pools!

    3. I have a black Lab with the same problems. I will try this. Thanks!

    4. 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.

    5. Itchy skin often comes either from wheat allergens or protein allergens. Perhaps have a look at grain-free pellets which are probably cheaper than what the vet has mentioned.

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

    1. 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.

  24. 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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