Oatmeal for Dogs: Great Affordable Benefits!

Have you ever heard that oatmeal does a heart good? Maybe you’ve just heard that oats are good for your body. Heck, I used to give my horses oats, and let me tell you, they loved every nibble. But are there any benefits to giving oats to dogs? Moreover, is it even safe? Today, let’s dig in and discover the benefits of oatmeal for dogs.

a cute white dog licks his lips as he knows how good oatmeal for dogs is for him
disclaimer note

Budget tip:
The amazing side benefit of oatmeal for your dog when you do it right is that it’s cheap, yet it has a TON of health benefits. You can give it to your pup in dog food, made as oatmeal, or even in a homemade dog treat. Or you can give your dog an oatmeal bath to help more with itchy skin. Whatever you and your vet decide is best, rest assured that you won’t spend much, but your return with great benefits for your dog can be great. That’s a HUGE win-win for you and your dog!

Can my dog safely eat oatmeal?

First things first, right? Is oatmeal safe for dogs? I always recommend talking to your vet, before introducing new foods or supplements into your dog’s diet. 

However, generally speaking, yes. In fact, if a dog does not like or can’t eat rice, a vet will often recommend a small amount of oatmeal when needed.

Some vets will say that a bit of raw oatmeal or raw oats sprinkled on top dog food is great for health benefits. Although, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, like my dog Henry, this option might cause an upset stomach.

However, it has been determined small amounts of oats properly prepared can be beneficial for dogs. 

What types of oatmeal and oats can my dog safely eat? 

Surprisingly, most oatmeal your dog can eat. But it should be free of additives and artificial sweeteners, with no milk or added sugar. This includes:

  • Plain oatmeal (not instant)
  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Rolled oats

What types of oatmeal and oats are bad for my dog?

As mentioned above, any types of oats or oatmeal with additives, artificial sweeteners, with milk or added sugar should be avoided

  • Steel-cut oats can be too much fiber if your dog has a sensitive GI system and cause an upset stomach 
  • Quick oats
  • Instant oatmeal

What are the benefits of oatmeal for dogs?

The benefits of oatmeal for dogs are very similar to those for humans. Oatmeal can help dogs with:

  • Digestion and specifically dogs’ stomach issues
  • Weight issues and overweight dogs
  • Supports heart health
  • Aids healthy skin, including itchy skin 
  • Improves dog’s coat (okay, so humans don’t have coats, but we do have hair. So, it’s still similar.)
  • Balances out diarrhea issues

Note: some dog food even has oatmeal as part of the ingredients. 

Do you know the signs that you get when you need a new vet? In this article, I share the top 15 red flags that happen when you need to fire your vet. 

What is the best plain oatmeal recipe for my dog?

First, you’ll want to give oatmeal to your dog at room temperature. You don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. Yep, it’s the Goldilocks syndrome.

To prepare plain cooked oatmeal for your dog:

1. Simply mix plain water with uncooked oatmeal.

2. Then cook until soft. Generally, this only takes a few seconds or minutes.

2. Next, let the oatmeal cool to room temperature.

3. Finally, give it to your dog.

Do you know that an optimal amount of water can actually reduce your dog’s expenses? In this article, I share all the details. 

How much oatmeal is safe to feed my dog and receive benefits?

The issue with oatmeal, or any food or supplement you give your dog, is that there’s a balancing act. You want to give the right amount, but NEVER too much as it can make your dog sick and upset his/her digestive tract.

Your vet will be able to tell you the exact amount that is right for your dog given your dog’s current issues. 

However, it’s generally recommended to give oatmeal no more than twice a week to your dog. 

The exact amount will vary depending on the size of your dog. 

Do you know that overfeeding your dog not only diminishes your dog’s health, but also hurts your pocketbook? In this article, I share a detailed example and explain how you save when you feed your dog the appropriate amount. 

What if I make homemade dog treats with oatmeal? 

Oatmeal for dogs in homemade treats can be a great idea! Just make sure the dog treat doesn’t contain ingredients such as raisins, nuts, nutmeg, or sugar. I like to keep my dog treats as simple as possible so that I’m not giving Henry unhealthy things. I personally love oatmeal cookies! Henry does as well. This recipe from Pook’s Pantry is great for dogs! I mean who can resist making oatmeal cookies when there are just three ingredients and the pup is sure to love them?

While, there are many dog treats you can make with oatmeal, including peanut butter and pumpkin. Always make sure your ingredients are as simple as possible and don’t have toxic items like xylitol.

Moreover, never give your dog human food such as homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. Save those for you!  

NOTE: If you’re giving your dog treats with oatmeal, you probably won’t want to add any more to his/her diet. 

Additionally, if your dog’s food contains oatmeal, you may not want to add any additional to his/her diet.

Do you know that you can save money with homemade dog treats? In this article, I go into all the details. 

What other ways can I give my dog oatmeal?

Depending on your dog’s issues, you may want to try a topical oatmeal application. For instance, if your dog is itching or has a skin ailment, you may want to try an oatmeal bath. In most cases, the best forms of oatmeal for skin ailments (at least if you want a topical application) will be such products as: 

While a bath and shampoo for a dog are basically the same, they’re often labeled differently. Either way, they should help improve your dog’s 

  • Skin
  • Coat
  • Reduce itchy skin issues

Conversely, I was shocked to notice the difference without using conditioner. Admittedly, I thought conditioner for Henry couldn’t make that big of a difference. Nope! I was wrong big time. His fur was more difficult to cut and he just looked more like a chia pet. Besides, I think the double dose of oatmeal from the shampoo and conditioner really does help with itchy allergies. 

Henry after his oatmeal for dogs bath.
Henry after his oatmeal bath.

How can oatmeal for dogs help reduce my overall expenses? 

This is the nuts and bolts part. I always love sharing how you can save money with simple little steps like giving your dog oatmeal. Although, I tend to be a nerd for such things, consider the cost of treating the following dog issues for a moment: 

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Summary of Oatmeal for Dogs: Great Affordable Benefits!

Oatmeal is one of those foods that is relatively cheap. While it provides a lot of health benefits to humans, it can as well for our dogs. The key is to know how much oatmeal to give your dog and prepare it properly. You’ll want to check with your vet on the proper dosage for your dog. However, you don’t want to overfeed your dog oatmeal if he/she’s already receiving oatmeal in food or treats. 

Although, if your dog isn’t getting any oatmeal or not much at all then you may want to consider adding a bit. Again, always talk with your vet first. 

In case your dog is like Henry, then homemade dog treats with oatmeal are his favorite. But if you decide to go with just the topical application at bath time, don’t forget the conditioner. I am still amazed at the difference it made for Henry. 

Honestly, I’ve been pleased with the benefits of oatmeal for Henry. He certainly loves it as well! 

A cute Husky sticks out his tongue after finishing eating his oatmeal. This dog loves oatmeal for dogs!

Do you give your dog oatmeal? How does your dog like oatmeal best – plain or as a doggie treat? 


Categories Other Savings and Tips

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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