Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Is It Safe?

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: October 20, 2022
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Oatmeal is a popular breakfast dish that often offers several benefits to people. You might also eat it when you’re feeling sick. Some people swear by it to lose weight and be healthy, but can your dog eat it? Yes, dogs can eat oatmeal! 

How much can they have? How often? Are there any risks? Those are great questions that will be answered in this article. You’ll learn which kinds to feed your dogs and when it may be a great idea to provide it for them. Grab a spoon, and let’s dig into dogs eating oatmeal! 

What Are the Benefits of Oatmeal?

Grains in a dog’s diet are still debatable among experts. Balance is the key. While eliminating all grains is undesirable, the diet shouldn’t be predominately grain-based. Diabetes-prone dogs must consume a diet high in protein, moderate in fat, and containing some whole grains. With that in mind, it is safe for them to eat in moderation. 

Oatmeal provides vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, a form of omega-6 fatty acid, which can preserve the strength of a dogs’ skin. Oatmeal contains avenanthramides, gas molecules that aid in enhancing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. It is an excellent alternative carbohydrate for dogs who may be sensitive to wheat or grains. 

It’s also a tremendous source of soluble fiber, which helps dogs with irregular bowel motions and regulates blood sugar levels. Due to its high starch and fiber content, oatmeal is suggested for dogs experiencing diarrhea. The fiber will absorb the liquid in the intestines, which should eliminate diarrhea. However, too much fiber can do the opposite and cause diarrhea.


Oatmeal provides vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, a form of omega-6 fatty acid, which can preserve the strength of a dogs’ skin.

©Masha Avena/

What Kind of Oatmeal to Feed Your Dogs

Keep it as straightforward and plain as possible when introducing oatmeal to your dog’s diet. Pets don’t require additives or added sugars in the fruity or maple-flavored packets sold at the grocery store, even though we may have grown accustomed to them. Even artificial sweeteners that are hazardous to dogs, like xylitol, can be included in some varieties of quick oatmeal. It’s best to stick with simple oatmeal. 

The least processed oats are the best for canine consumption. Steel-cut or traditional rolled oats are more nutritious than instant oatmeal. Oats that have been flavored or use seasonings or additives like raisins should never be given to dogs because they are hazardous to them. Oats should always be fully cooked and cooled before serving since they are more difficult for your dog to digest when they are raw. 

Avoid using any milk, both dairy and non-dairy versions, when making oats for a dog. Dogs have difficulty digesting the lactose in dairy products, and plant-based milk may also contain additional nutrients too difficult for dogs to digest, including nuts. For your dog, mixing oats with simple water is the best alternative. 

How Often and How Much to Feed Oatmeal to Dogs?

Oats should be viewed as an occasional food for your dog, just like most human delicacies. This is partly a result of oats’ high fiber content. Overfeeding your dog can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting. 

Additionally, it contains a fair amount of calories and carbohydrates, and consuming too much at once can cause bloat, a potentially fatal condition. Oats can be given to your dog occasionally as a treat once or twice a week if they are consuming a nutritionally balanced diet. 

One spoonful (tablespoon) of cooked oats per 20 pounds of body weight is a decent guideline for feeding your dog. For instance, an 80-lb dog shouldn’t consume over 1/4 cup of prepared oats in one day.

pug with owner eating oatmeal

Oats should be viewed as an occasional food for your dog, just like most human delicacies.


What to Do the First Time You Give Them Oatmeal

Remember that while oatmeal makes a tasty treat, it should never replace all of your dog’s meals. It might be rich in some nutrients, but many of the vitamins and minerals they need for normal growth and development are still missing. 

Try to be as liberal as possible while preparing oats for your dog. They might easily exceed the daily required number of calories with just one cup of plain oatmeal, which has about 150 calories. Most dogs only need about 25 to 30 calories per day, per pound, to maintain a healthy weight. So, if a dog weighs 30 pounds, it will require 750 calories during the day. 

After giving oatmeal to your dog, see how he reacts to it. Start with giving them a tiny amount and observe how he responds to it. Even though it’s improbable that he’ll have any adverse effects, if you do, call your veterinarian right away. To be sure there is no negative effect, wait 24 hours. You should be good to add it to his diet in moderation if he likes it and seems to tolerate it.


Giving your dog oatmeal is safe in moderation; like everything else, they are given as treats. It can be helpful for dogs experiencing diarrhea as well. When starting with oatmeal, ensure you don’t give them more than the recommended amount. The right amount is about a tablespoon per 20 pounds of a dog’s weight. 

Exceeding that amount can cause diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. If your trying to treat your dog’s diarrhea with oatmeal and it doesn’t help, you may need to let a vet check out your pup. Preparing oatmeal for your dog shouldn’t be too hard, and hot water is all that is required. Avoiding unnecessary oatmeal flavorings or additives is crucial to giving them a healthy boost. 

You’ll be in the clear if you only give them the recommended amount for their weight one or two times a week. If you know a dog owner who could benefit from learning more about oatmeal and how it can help their pup be sure to send it to them. Don’t forget to check out other articles below about what dogs can and can’t eat! Your pup will thank you because you care enough to learn what they can eat! 

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Khaikaew

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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