Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Looking for something you can give your dog to fill them up and help to encourage optimal health? Oatmeal is a healthy alternative to grains and wheats that dogs enjoy and help to keep them fueled longer.
As with a lot of other “human foods,” it’s important to avoid giving your dog too much of a good thing. Read this post to find out how much oatmeal is good for dogs, what the benefits are, and how to avoid overdoing it.
BENEFITS OF OATMEAL FOR DOGS
While we think of dogs as being primarily carnivorous, the truth is that they actually do tend to eat a fair number of carbs and grains.
When you look at the back of your dog food packaging, you’ll find that it actually likely contains a decent amount of grain. This is used to bulk up your dog food and will also help to provide them with more energy.
The problem with grains and wheat is that they can be high in gluten, they can increase the number of calories, and they can even bring a risk of diabetes and other issues with them. If you are looking at adding oatmeal to achieve a lower protein diet, perhaps check out grain-free dog food.
Oatmeal presents a safe alternative on the whole. For one, pure oatmeal does not contain gluten. This means it won’t run the risk of causing digestion issues that can prevent your dog from being able to properly absorb the nutrients in their dinner otherwise.
At the same time, oatmeal is what we refer to as a complex carbohydrate. This is also why humans like it a lot!
As a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal releases its sugar more slowly than a simple carb. That means it takes longer for it to affect your dog, and it means that the energy supply is steadier and longer than it otherwise would be.
This in turn means that you don’t get the sudden spike in blood glucose that you get by eating bread for instance. That means that you don’t get the following spike in insulin, which the body releases in order to try and absorb the increased sugar.
This is important because repeatedly spiking insulin can eventually cause the body to adapt and thus become insulin resistant. And as many people will already realize, insulin resistance is what causes diabetes.
Not only that, but the slower supply of energy keeps your dog feeling fuller and helps to keep them energized throughout the day. This is all good news!
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
That’s not even the best part, though. The best part about oatmeal is that it contains omega 3 fatty acid. This is the fatty acid that is found in oily fish that has been shown in many studies to help combat inflammation. That means in turn that it can reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis which can otherwise lead to discomfort and difficulty moving. On top of that, it can also help to reduce inflammation in the brain, which in turn boosts cognitive performance and prevents conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dogs don’t need quite as much omega 3 as humans do. But still, it can be a great addition
WARNINGS AND HOW TO FEED DOGS OATMEAL
While all this is true, it’s also important to recognize that your dog can get too much of a good thing here. That’s because oatmeal is high in soluble fiber. This is good for regulating blood sugar but it can also lead to some issues if you give them too much. This might even lead to some gastrointestinal problems – while small amounts of oatmeal are actually good for them!
Two ways to give your dog oatmeal are either to feed them just a little on a spoon, or to give them some mixed with their regular dog food or some meat pieces for breakfast.
One other important note to consider when feeding a dog oatmeal is that you shouldn’t give them oatmeal that is intended to be eaten as cereal, or that has been given any other kinds of additives or sugars.
These help to make oatmeal tastier and more enjoyable for humans. But if dogs eat this sugary, sweetened oatmeal, then they will be getting too much sugar. Remember that the natural doggy diet is much lower in sugar, and that they are also proportionately much smaller than humans – they need significantly less! Too much sugar can lead to nerve damage, diabetes, weight gain, mood complaints, lethargy and more. It’s very important that you don’t share your sugary cereals with your dogs therefore.
But if you know what you’re doing and you’re careful, then oatmeal is a great option on the whole. Follow this advice and give your dog a breakfast that will keep them going until lunch!