Oats are one of the most grown cereals. To a considerable extent, this is because they can grow well in a wide range of soils though not in a wide range of climates. Primarily, oats are used to feed livestock. However, oats can be eaten by humans as well. In particular, oatmeal encompasses a number of the ways that oats are prepared. One, it can refer to oats that have had their husks removed before being steamed and flattened. Two, it can refer to oats that have had their hulls removed before being ground. Three, it can refer to oats that have had their hulls removed before being chopped up. Regardless, oatmeal is eaten a lot. As a result, dog owners might be curious whether their dogs can eat oatmeal as well.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
The answer is that dogs can eat oatmeal but also that dogs shouldn’t eat a lot of oatmeal. The American Kennel Club says that the general rule is that a dog can eat one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds of weight. As such, it is very much something that dogs should eat as a snack rather than as a staple. If dog owners feed too much oatmeal to their dogs, there is a very good chance of gastrointestinal issues or worse.
Oatmeal Contains Lots of Nutrients
Oatmeal contains lots of nutrients. Some of these are beneficial for dogs. For example, some fiber is good for a dog’s digestive system in much the same way that some fiber is good for a human’s digestive system. Similarly, there are vitamins and antioxidants, which can help out in other ways. Eating oatmeal isn’t the only way for dogs to get these things. However, it is definitely one way that they can do so.
Cook the Oatmeal
Some dog owners have been known to sprinkle uncooked oatmeal on their dogs’ food. That is an issue because that makes digesting the oatmeal more difficult than it needs to be for their canine companions. As such, if dog owners want to feed oatmeal to their dogs, they should always cook it.
Cook the Oatmeal Using Water
On a related note, dog owners should always cook the oatmeal using water rather than milk. This is because it is normal for mammals to lose the ability to digest lactose after being weaned. There are some dogs that can continue eating milk and milk-related products with no issues whatsoever even as adults. However, it is by no means guaranteed that a particular dog will be capable of doing so. Under these circumstances, it is a good idea for dog owners to be cautious by cooking the oatmeal using water rather than milk.
Serve the Cooked Oatmeal At Room Temperature
Once the oatmeal has been cooked, it is a good idea to let it cool for some time so that it can be served at room temperature. There is no reason to run the risk of burning the dog’s mouth and throat by serving oatmeal that is too hot for the dog to handle.
Avoid Instant Oatmeal
Generally speaking, interested individuals should avoid feeding instant oatmeal to their dogs. Primarily, this is because instant oatmeal is more processed, which is a problem because that means that instant oatmeal is less nutritious as well. Instead, interested individuals should go for the least processed kind of oatmeal that they can find because that should be the most beneficial for their canine companions. Besides this, it is possible for certain kinds of instant oatmeal to contain substances that are bad for dogs.
Avoid Flavored Oatmeal
Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that dogs should avoid flavored oatmeal. Sugar isn’t toxic for dogs. However, eating too much sugar is still very bad for them because it increases their chances of getting diabetes, tooth decay, and a wide range of other medical problems. All of which should be avoided as much as possible. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners can be even worse. Some of them are harmless to dogs. In contrast, xylitol is toxic for dogs, so much so that dog owners should seek out medical assistance as soon as possible if their dogs eat anything containing the substance. There are other ingredients in flavored oatmeal that can be problematic for dogs as well, so it is best to just avoid feeding flavored oatmeal to dogs altogether.
Don’t Add Anything to the Oatmeal
This means that dog owners shouldn’t add anything to the oatmeal that they feed to their dogs. There are a lot of ingredients that people like to use for flavoring their oatmeal that are bad for dogs in one way or another. To name some examples, dogs can eat small amounts of salt and butter, but dogs definitely shouldn’t be eating either one of those two things in great quantities. Meanwhile, chocolate and raisins are toxic for dogs, meaning that both should be avoided by dogs as much as possible. If people want to feed oatmeal to their dogs, they should make sure to serve it separately from their own.
Be Prepared to Seek Out a Veterinarian
People should keep a watchful eye on their dogs after feeding their dogs oatmeal. It should be safe for consumption by most dogs out there so long as it is eaten in moderation. Unfortunately, it is very much possible for dogs to have a particularly bad reaction to oatmeal for one reason or another. If people notice something wrong, they should be prepared to seek out a veterinarian in case it is something even more serious than it seems. Besides that, veterinarians are also a great source of information about canine diets. As a result, people who want their pets to be as healthy as possible should definitely make use of said resource by asking the questions that come to them. By doing so, interested individuals can do a great deal to make sure that their dogs get everything that they need from their food.