If you have a dog, you likely already know about the top food no-nos for canines: chocolate, grapes, coffee, alcohol, it seems the list goes on. But what about oats? Turns out, the health benefits of oats, in moderation, can help your furry friend tremendously when added to his daily diet. However, it is important to note that if you are considering giving your dog oats, you’ll still want to check with your veterinarian first because just like humans, every dog is different! Here’s what you need to know:
How Oats Are Healthy for Dogs
- Non-allergic: Oatmeal is a healthy, safe carbohydrate option for dogs with wheat or other grain allergies.
- Protein: The high protein content of oats contributes to healthy fur and help your dog fight illness and infection.
- High in fiber: If your dog is a senior or suffers from gastrointestinal issues, he’ll benefit from oats’ high fiber content. Oats also serve as a good soluble fiber source, which helps regulate blood glucose levels. And if your dog is overweight, oats are a healthy carbohydrate alternative for weight management.
- Rich in fatty acids and vitamins: There’s a reason many dog shampoos contain oatmeal—the vitamins and fatty acids like linoleic acid and vitamins B5 and 9 are proven to contribute to a healthy coat. In addition, the rich fatty acid and vitamin content can serve as a natural energy-booster and has even proven to be a good mood stabilizer, by helping to lower anxiety and depression.
How to Feed Oatmeal to Your Dog
As with introducing any food to your dog, it’s a good idea to start in moderation to see how your dog handles the new food. Simply add a small spoonful to your dog’s normal dinner time meal, or start your dog’s day off right with a little scoop every morning. If she adjusts well to oats, you can increase this amount to one tablespoon per 20 pounds of your pup’s weight. Remember to stick to cooked, unflavored oatmeal, and those without additives. And just a reminder to keep in mind, even though oats are a safe food for dogs, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before introducing your dog to any new foods.