Oatmeal is, without a doubt, a healthy and delicious breakfast option.
It is also a good source of soluble fiber, which is beneficial for your dog’s digestion.
However, it’s essential to know the safety considerations around oatmeal before adding it to your dog’s diet.
So, can dogs eat uncooked oatmeal?
No, uncooked oatmeal will cause a build-up in a dog’s stomach, leading to indigestion and constipation because it’s hard and grainy.
Furthermore, uncooked oatmeal contains phytohaemagglutinin, a dangerous toxin for dogs.
What are the reasons for not giving your furry friend uncooked oatmeal?
Is there a recommended approach to cooking oatmeal for dogs?
Stay tuned for these and other concerns regarding oatmeal and your dog’s safety.
Risks of Uncooked Oatmeal for Dogs
Oatmeal has numerous benefits for dogs when cooked.
You should avoid giving your canine uncooked oatmeal because:
Phytohaemagglutinin in uncooked oatmeal is toxic for dogs.
This component causes indigestion and can be fatal in severe cases.
When consumed in large quantities, phytohaemagglutinin leads to anorexia, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss in dogs.
Cooking destroys phytohaemagglutinin toxin making oatmeal safe for dogs.
It Causes Stomach Ailments
Uncooked oatmeal is hard and grainy.
Swallowing large oatmeal pieces cause a build-up in your dog’s stomach, leading to indigestion and constipation.
In severe cases, the blockage caused by uncooked oatmeal can be fatal.
It’s attributed to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the stomach lining.
Cooking oatmeal breaks down the hard grains, making it easy for your dog to digest.
The risk of indigestion and constipation is significantly reduced.
It Lacks Essential Nutrients
Feeding your dog raw oatmeal deprives them of essential nutrients found in cooked oatmeal.
Cooking breaks down phytates present in grains making minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium more available for absorption.
Cooked oatmeal is also rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants essential for your dog’s health.
High in Calories
One cup of dry uncooked oatmeal has 307 calories.
This high-calorie meal is not ideal for dogs struggling with obesity.
Excess calories from uncooked oatmeal lead to weight gain and other health problems such as pancreatitis.
You don’t want your dog to become obese, as this will expose him to health challenges.
Maintaining an obese dog is expensive due to the medical bills incurred.
Cooking oatmeal reduces the calorie content by almost half.
A cup of cooked oatmeal has 166 calories.
This makes it a safe breakfast option for dogs.
Uncooked instant oatmeal contains preservatives and xylitol.
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener used in many human foods.
It’s safe for humans but highly toxic to dogs.
When consumed in large quantities, xylitol leads to hypoglycemia and hepatic necrosis in dogs.
These conditions are life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention.
Preservatives like sodium, potassium, and calcium in uncooked instant oatmeal are not ideal for dogs.
Excess sodium leads to dehydration, while too much potassium can damage a dog’s heart.
Calcium build-up from consuming large amounts of uncooked oatmeal causes kidney stones.
Stones block the urinary tract causing immense pain and discomfort.
If not treated on time, the blockage leads to renal failure.
Dogs are Lactose Intolerant
Dogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest cow’s milk products.
Most oatmeal recipes call for the addition of milk or yogurt to make them creamy.
Feeding your dog such oatmeal will cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, and vomiting.
The symptoms vary depending on the severity of your dog’s intolerance.
Humans have enzymes that help in the digestion of lactose.
Dogs lack these enzymes, making them intolerant to cow’s milk products.
You can make oatmeal safe for your dog by cooking it with lactose-free milk or water.
Some dogs are allergic to grains such as wheat.
These allergies manifest as itchy skin, rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting.
If your dog is allergic to wheat, feeding him oatmeal will cause a severe reaction.
The only way to know if your dog is allergic to wheat is by taking him for an allergy test or feeding him a hypoallergenic diet for 8-12 weeks.
You should also avoid feeding your dog oatmeal if he’s allergic to other grains such as barley and rye.
These allergies are less common but just as severe.
How to Cook Oatmeal for Dogs
Preparing porridge for your pooch is not different from how you do it for yourself.
A key consideration is to avoid adding dairy products, salt, or other additives during the cooking process.
Below is a procedure to cook oatmeal for your furry:
- Simmer two and a half cups of water in a saucepan.
- Add half a cup of rolled oatmeal and stir to mix.
- Boil the mixture, then reduce heat. Continue stirring the simmered mixture.
- Cook until the oatmeal becomes thick and absorbs all the water.
Benefits of Oatmeal for Dogs
Cooked oatmeal is nutritious and recommended for dogs.
It’s an excellent source of:
- Fiber: Maintains a healthy digestive system. It prevents constipation and other stomach upsets in dogs.
- Vitamin B: Sustains a dog’s metabolism and immunity.
- Manganese and phosphorus: Promotes the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Linoleic acid: Keeps a dog’s skin and coat shiny, strong, and healthy. It plays a vital role in preventing shedding.
- Antioxidants: Boosts your dog’s immune system, thus saving you extra vet visits and medication expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat oatmeal with milk?
Dogs should not eat oatmeal with milk because they are lactose intolerant.
You can use lactose-free milk or water when preparing oatmeal for your dog.
Can dogs eat oatmeal with brown sugar?
Dogs cannot eat oatmeal with brown sugar because it contains xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
What are the side effects of feeding dogs uncooked oatmeal?
The side effects of feeding dogs uncooked oatmeal include stomach upsets, diarrhea, and vomiting.
These symptoms vary depending on the severity of your dog’s intolerance.
The Bottom Line
Dogs cannot eat uncooked oatmeal as it is harmful to their health.
You should cook oatmeal before feeding it to your dog.
Do not add salt, sugar, or other spices while cooking.
Cooked oatmeal is healthy food for dogs with numerous benefits such as promoting a healthy digestive system and boosting immunity.
If your pup is new to oatmeal, start by feeding him small quantities and observing his reaction.
If he’s allergic to wheat, refrain from feeding him oatmeal.