Can Dogs Eat Whole Grain Oats?

We know that dogs are our close friends and love sharing food with them.

It’s that day when you’re making a nice, healthy bowl of oatmeal and your pup assures their presence every time you handle this cereal.

This may lead you to wonder whether or not dogs can eat whole grain oats.

We are here to offer guidelines and help you make an informed decision.

So, can dogs eat whole grain oats?

Yes, dogs can eat whole grain oats in moderation.

Oats are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals significant for your dog’s digestion and energy boost.

They also contain antioxidants, which can help protect your dog’s cells from damage.

However, oats are rich in carbohydrates; can cause bloating and stomach upsets if your pup consumes in excess.

This article will take you through the nutritional value of oats for dogs, their health benefits, and some tips on feeding your dog this whole-grain cereal.

Keep reading to learn all you need about feeding your dog whole grain oats.

Can dogs eat whole grain oats

How to safely feed your dog oats

When feeding your dog oats, keep a few things in mind:

Provide whole and plain oats

Ensure the oats you’re feeding your dog are plain, whole grains with no added sweeteners or flavorings.

This is crucial as sugar and sweeteners can harm your dog.

You also want to avoid giving your dog processed oats that contain chemicals.

Processing may present the challenge of stripping oats of many nutrients while exposing your dog to chemicals, including salts which can cause pancreatitis.

Cook the oats

The best way to feed your dog oats is to cook them first.

This makes it easier for your dog to digest and prevents stomach upsets.

You can cook the oats in water or milk.

If you decide to cook the oat in milk, ensure the milk is non-fat or skimmed for your pup’s safety.

Don’t add toxic ingredients

While cooking your dog’s oats, it’s advisable not to include toxic ingredients such as grape flavorings, chocolate, xylitol, onions, and garlic.

These can harm your pup.

Once cooked, let the oats cool before serving your dog.

You can add some boiled chicken or beef broth to make it more appealing and easy for your dog to eat.

Feed your dog incremented amounts

When introducing oats into your dog’s diet, start by feeding them small amounts.

This will help you gauge how they react while allowing their digestive system time to get used to it.

If things go well, you may gradually increase the amount of oat you’re feeding them.

Remember to plan a well-rounded, balanced diet as you feed your dog oats.

whole grain oats

A simple recipe for preparing your dog oatmeal:


1/2 cup of whole-grain oats

1 and 1/2 cups of water

1/4 teaspoon of salt


  • Combine the oats, water, and salt in a pot over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and let it cool before serving your dog.
  • Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How does eating oats benefit my dog?

Oats being nutritiously dense and healthy whole-grain cereals will offer your dog the following benefits:

Aiding in digestion

Oats are high in fiber which can help regulate your dog’s digestive system.

The soluble fiber also helps absorb water and form soft stools, making them easier to pass.

This is beneficial, especially if your dog suffers from constipation or diarrhea.

Providing a boost of energy

Oats are complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly, releasing energy over time.

This makes it ideal for giving your dog before physical activity as they’ll have a sustained energy source to help them perform at their best.

Promoting their coat and skin’s health

Oats’ unsaturated linoleic fatty acids can help promote your dog’s healthy coat and skin.

Additionally, the colloidal oatmeal from oats can soothe itchy and dry skin.

Promoting heart health

The beta-glucan in oats can help reduce cholesterol levels and promote your pup’s heart health.

This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Oats also help lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production, which helps dilate blood vessels.

When should I not feed my dog oats?

There are some situations when feeding your dog oats is not advisable.

These include when:

Your dog is allergic to oats

Just like people, some dogs can be allergic to oats.

The symptoms of an oat allergy in dogs include itchy skin, rashes, excessive licking, and vomiting.

Speak to your veterinarian if you think your dog may be allergic to oats.

Your dog has diabetes

As oats are a complex carbohydrate, they can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

This can be challenging for dogs that suffer from diabetes to regulate their blood sugar levels effectively.

If your dog has diabetes, speak to your veterinarian before giving them oats.

Your dog has pancreatitis

Oats are high in fat which can be problematic for dogs that suffer from pancreatitis.

The fat in oats can trigger a pancreatitis attack, so it’s best to avoid giving them to dogs with this condition.

If you’re unsure whether your dog has pancreatitis, speak to your veterinarian.

You’re feeding your dog other treats

If you’re giving your dog other treats, you may want to limit their consumption.

Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

Giving your dog too many treats, including those made with oats, can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Will oats containing gluten affect my dog?

Oats are known to be gluten-free but may contain trace amounts of it.

For dogs that are sensitive to gluten, this can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.

If your dog shows symptoms of sickness after eating oats, then discontinue feeding them and consult the vet.

What is the best way to feed my dog oats?

The best way to feed your dog oats will depend on their individual needs and preferences.

Some dogs may enjoy eating dry oats, while others prefer them cooked.

You can also add oats to your dog’s regular food or make them into a treat.

Does eating oats subject my dog to any risks?

Eating oats is generally safe for most dogs.

However, some risks can be associated with feeding oats, including choking, gastrointestinal problems, and weight gain.

Can I feed my dog processed oats?

You can feed your dog processed oats such as oatmeal, bran, and rolled oats.

However, processed foods can be high in sugar, salt, and other additives, so it’s best to check the label before feeding them to your dog.

Can my dog have oatmeal porridge regularly?

Yes, your dog can have oatmeal porridge regularly as long as it’s made with plain oats and doesn’t contain any sugar, salt, or other additives.
However, give the dog oatmeal porridge as a treat or snack rather than a meal, as it’s not a complete and balanced food.

Final Thoughts

Oats are a healthy and nutritious snack for your dog.

They’re a good energy source, promote heart health, and help regulate your dog’s digestive system.

However, there are some situations when you shouldn’t feed your dog oats, such as if they’re allergic to them or have diabetes.

It’s also important to feed your dog oats in moderation as they are high in calories and can cause obesity or other health problems.

If you have concerns about feeding your dog oats, speak to your veterinarian.

Megan Turner

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