Educating yourself about healthy human foods that you can share with your furry best friend is not only fun but is key to optimal pet health.
When you prepare food for your dog, mix in some healthy and tasty toppings like oatmeal with blueberries or papaya. Always examine the diabetes food connection, and if your dog is overweight or has chronic health problems, it’s never too late to tweak your dog’s diet. In this blog, we’ll discuss the health benefits of oatmeal.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) adds that “Oatmeal is high in fiber and contains a plethora of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. “Served in moderation, oatmeal can benefit a dog in a variety of ways,” says Dr. Carly Fox of New York City’s Animal Medical Center.
“It is a great alternative carbohydrate for dogs that may be sensitive to wheat or grains.” Oatmeal contains vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps to keep a dog’s skin strong and healthy.”
The AKC explains that it’s also a great source of soluble fiber, which can regulate blood glucose levels and help dogs that have irregular bowel movements. But Dr. Fox cautions that feeding your dog foods containing a lot of fiber can lead to GI upset, including diarrhea and vomiting.
They recommend using plain water when cooking oatmeal for dogs and not using milk because dogs are sensitive to dairy and don’t break down lactose as humans do. Never feed raw oats to your dog, and if you’re sharing an oatmeal breakfast, it’s important to keep in mind that many of the ingredients that we eat may be toxic to dogs. Some of these are:
- Xylitol (sweetener)
- Flavored oatmeal
Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to allow for the oatmeal to cool before feeding. Instant oatmeal is a no-no for dogs because it’s highly processed. Feed a tablespoon or two at the most for every 20-pounds of weight.
Oatmeal is one of the best grains to add to your dog’s meals. If you’re going to feed oatmeal, like any grain that you’re going to feed, it’s best to feed it in the whole form so that it gives more fiber and vitamins.
PEDMD adds that “Some pet food manufacturers tout oatmeal as a key ingredient in their pet foods. This natural option is low in calories and fats, and its fiber content may help regulate gastrointestinal problems in dogs.”
They explain that “Oatmeal is a great alternative carbohydrate for dogs who may be sensitive to wheat or other grains. Oats are full of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps keep skin strong and healthy. They are also a good source of soluble fiber, which can help regulate blood glucose levels.” They also recommend only feeding a scoop for breakfast once in a while and starting off with a small spoonful.
Any refined grains will have had most of their bran and nutrient-rich germ removed, allowing for less nutritional benefit. Because rolled oats highly nutritious in that it is packed with cholesterol-fighting soluble fiber, it’s definitely worth feeding. That said, if your dog has diabetes, consult with your vet before feeding any grains.
Oatmeal for Dogs: Benefits for Your Dog’s Skin
When it comes down to bathing your dog in oatmeal, PETMD says that oatmeal baths work for mild itching and flaking of the skin. Because it’s an inexpensive home remedy, oatmeal shampoos have become popular as a natural home remedy for canine atopic dermatitis because it helps the skin form a protective barrier that retains moisture, and prevents skin dehydration.
That said, it’s important to visit your vet if your dog has hot spots or a serious skin condition. Here’s the take on oatmeal as an anti-inflammatory for dog’s skin.
Oatmeal can also be used as a skin paste to reduce skin inflammation in dogs. You can also combine oatmeal with a rooibos tea solution for optimal treatment. If your dog has scaly skin, you should ask your vet about diagnostic testing and a blood profile to get a diagnosis. Scaly skin, also called pet dandruff, is common in dogs and cats but can turn into something more serious.
You can also discuss allergic skin disease with your vet. Dogs with allergic skin disease may also show signs of scaliness or greasiness. Primary or secondary infections caused by bacteria like MSRA or yeasts can also result in scaly skin, with yeast skin infections linked to yeast infections. Look out for ringworm in pups and kittens that results in scaliness from the fungal infection.
- Use your home food processor or coffee grinder to blend or process all your oatmeal bath ingredients.
- Test by adding a spoonful into a glass of warm water. It should turn milky. If not, grind the oats to a finer consistency until the solution is a fine silky one, ready to bath your pup in.
- You can use an oatmeal dog shampoo as an anti-inflammatory treatment to calm your dog’s skin irritations. Oatmeal is made from oat groats that are rolled, ground, steel-cut, or crushed.
- You can leave the oatmeal shampoo on your dog’s skin for 10 minutes and rinse off with cool water.
- Use a brush with soft bristles or rubber tips if your dog has sensitive skin.
- Oatmeal can also be used as an exfoliant to help remove dead skin clear any pore blockages.
Note: Check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is not allergic to oatmeal. You can also ask your groomer to use oatmeal dog shampoo to keep her skin healthy.
Oatmeal for Dogs: Is it Good for Your Dog?
Here are 5 reasons you may want to add cooked oatmeal to your dog’s diet:
- Alternative carbohydrate: Your dog may be allergic to wheat or other grains, which makes oatmeal a good choice. Oats can keep your dog’s skin strong and healthy because they are full of linoleum acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid.
- Fiber: Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber that can help regulate your dog’s blood glucose levels and gastrointestinal problems.
- Low in calories: There are only 150 calories in 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal. You can add 1 teaspoon of plain cooked oatmeal for dogs prepared with water twice a week.
- Low in fat: Cooked oatmeal is low in fat, which is another health benefit for your dog. Avoid any toppings like milk, cream, or raisins to the oatmeal you give your dog.
- Vitamins and minerals: Oatmeal contains Vitamin D, Calcium, Potassium, Thiamin, Phosphorus, and Magnesium, which are all good for your dog’s health and immune system.
Note: Check with your veterinarian before you add any foods like oatmeal to your dog’s diet.
Now you know how to shampoo your dog with oatmeal shampoo to soothe her irritated skin and how to safely add cooked oatmeal to her diet.
Because the body responds quickly to the effects of nutritious foods, you’ll soon notice the positive effects of feeding healthy. The most important take with oatmeal is to never feed flavored oatmeal that may contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol that is toxic to pets.
Keep in mind that if your dog has scaly skin, you’ll need to work with your vet to come up with an integrative treatment plan and perhaps use supplements to optimize immune system health. As usual, ensure that your dog’s diet is packed with antioxidants to help eradicate or reverse oxidative damage to the skin. Antioxidants help to control inflammation and itching.