Can dogs eat oats and what are the health benefits of them?

Can dogs eat oats and what are the health benefits of them?

Can my dog eat oats?

Oats are full of nutrition for humans. Many opt for them due to their nutritional benefits for their morning bowl of porridge. We use them regularly to add a little depth to our baking. My wholegrain oat muffins are honestly delicious and so moreish you cannot stop at just one. But, have you ever given any to your dogs?


This is the question that crossed our minds as we were making our daughter breakfast one morning. We wanted something other than toast to give to her, and she was refusing her dairy-free yoghurt as she had just learned to hold items. Finding her independence, she wanted to hold her own food and feed herself. So we decided to start baking porridge into bars for her instead. As the dogs eat her leftovers and all the food she drops for them, of course we had to make sure it was dog friendly too.


Click here for our Peanut butter and banana oat bars for dogs recipe 


What we didn’t realise at the time was that oats are not only safe for your dog to eat. They also contain a huge assortment of health benefits and a wealth of nutritional value for dogs too. Of course, this meant we had to incorporate them into more of our cooking!


The Nutritional Profile of Oats for Dogs

High in Dietary Fibre

Oats are extremely high in dietary fibre. This is especially true for beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are a type of soluble fibre. They especially help in:

  • Aiding digestive health
  • Promoting positive gut health
  • Regulating blood sugar levels


A Great Source of Protein

Oats are a great source of non-animal protein and great for providing a varied diet for your dog. Protein is essential for healthy muscle growth and repair in dogs alongside overall development. Our dogs love to run and play which means it’s especially important to help take care of their muscles to assist in preventing health conditions later in life.


Vitamins and Minerals

A healthy and varied diet for dogs is one with a great assortment of vitamins and minerals to help support them. Oats in particular are a great source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins. These play crucial roles in supporting your dogs metabolism, immune system and overall well-being.



Oats are rich in antioxidants, such as avenanthramides. These can help to reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage and support heart health in dogs.


Now, we’ve discussed the untraditional way we started to incorporate oats into our dogs diet. Or rather, our daughter started to incorporate oats into our dogs diet. We’ve talked about the nutritional profile of oats. But we haven’t really discussed all the health benefits that oats can give to dogs. It’s very easy to say the only foods that dogs will benefit from are from animal proteins. However, that is not always the case. They can get many other health benefits from other foods including fruits, vegetables and, you’ve guessed it, oats too!


What health benefits can oats give for dogs? 

Oats contain a myriad of health benefits for dogs. These include, but are not limited to:


Improved Digestion:

Oats are very high in fibre. This fiber content can promote healthy digestion and alleviate gastrointestinal issues in dogs such as constipation and diarrhoea. However, make sure to feed in moderation and start with small amounts. Radical changes to your dogs diet can have the opposite effect. This means you will need to give small amounts and build gradually to a size-appropriate portion for your dog.


Weight Management

Alongside being high in fiber, oats are also low-calorie and nutrient-dense. This means it is an especially great choice of ingredient for those dogs who are never quite full. If your dog has an endless appetite, including oats within their homemade treats can help them to feel full without consuming an abundance of extra calories. This means they are excellent for assisting in managing your dogs weight and helping to maintain a healthy physique.


Cardiovascular Health

We bet you never once thought adding oats to your dogs treats would improve their heart health! The antioxidants and diber in oats can support cardiovascular health in dogs by lowering their cholesterol levels. Plus, they can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood circulation.


Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels

Oats have a low glycemic index. This means they take longer to digest and can assist in regulating dogs blood sugar levels. This makes them a suitable choice for dogs with diabetes and insulin resistance too.


Healthy Skin and Coat

The antioxidants present in oats can help to combat free radicals that may damage skin cells. Plus, the abundance of vitamins and minerals can contribute to a shiny coat and keeping your dogs skin healthy.


A Boost in Energy

Now, if you’re anything like us with a working breed – you may find you have too much energy already! Alas, oats are a truly great source of complex carbohydrates. This means they can help to sustain energy levels to support active dogs and their lifestyles.


A Guide to Feeding Oats to Your Dog

Most importantly, we cannot stress enough to introduce new foods slowly to your dog. If in doubt or your dog has health conditions we would highly recommend seeking veterinary advice before modifying their diet in any way. With this in mind, if your dog is happy, healthy and able to eat homemade treats, the tips below should help you in your homemade recipes.


Should I feed my dog cooked or raw oats?

Raw oats can be extremely difficult for dogs to digest. This means it can cause them discomfort and upset their stomach. They may also not be very appetising to your dog. There really is no benefit to choosing to feed your dog raw oats instead of cooked. For this reason, we recommend feeding cooked oats to help make them easier to digest for your dog.


How much should I feed my dog?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the individual dog. Every dog is unique and no two dogs are the same – even if they are the same breed! A dog who is overweight will require less than a dog who is healthy or underweight. Plus, if your dog has health problems, oats may not be a suitable choice. Also, a Labrador will be able to eat more than a Chihuahua, as their daily calorie needs are greater and it will not replace their daily food. It is always best to consult your vet for your dogs unique needs.


What type of oats can I give to my dog?

Plain and unflavoured oats with no added ingredients or additives listed are the best choice when selecting oats for your dogs. Plain oats are extremely cheap with most supermarkets selling them for less than £1 a bag which makes them a very affordable choice for families. Be careful when choosing to make sure they are 100% oats, especially as certain artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol can be highly toxic for your dog.


We hope this article has helped you in making an informed decision about the ingredients you choose for your dogs treats. Plus, proving that they can eat healthy home-baked treats that don’t cost the world alongside their natural treats and chews. And finally, please help to support us in sharing these articles for you and your dog to enjoy by taking a look at our store for your dogs’ apparel, grooming, treat and enrichment needs. Or, alternatively by giving us a follow, like and/or share on our Instagram account to help us reach more pup parents who would love our articles, recipes or products too.


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