Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?

April Saylor
By April Saylor. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on May 4, 2023
woman eating oatmeal in beg with a pug resting beside her

NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

When it’s cooked and fed in moderation, oatmeal can be a great snack to share with your dog. Just make sure it’s prepared safely—steer clear of any dangerous ingredients that can make your dog sick and follow portion guidelines so she doesn’t have too much.

But can dogs have raw oats? And what about oatmeal cookies? Here’s what to know about preparing oatmeal so it’s safe for dogs to eat.

Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?

Plain, cooked oatmeal can be a great addition to your dog's diet. This heart-healthy breakfast is rich in soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins that help support your dog’s coat and skin. 

The high fiber content helps promote digestion and weight management. So incorporating cooked, plain oatmeal into your dog’s food bowl may help regulate her digestive system and keep her feeling full longer, which is helpful for dogs who may need to shed a few pounds. 

But when sharing your oatmeal, always steer clear from any extra ingredients that may make your dog sick, such as raisins or too much sugar.

Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Oatmeal?

Sprinkling raw oatmeal into your dog’s food bowl might seem like an easy way to add fiber to her diet, but the uncooked grains are difficult to digest and can give her an upset stomach. Instead, prepare plain oatmeal with water and let it cool before sharing with your pooch.

How to Safely Prep Oatmeal for Dogs

Cooked, plain oatmeal can be a good addition to your dog’s diet and contains many nutrients. But always avoid feeding your dog oatmeal that contains harmful toxic ingredients. Check the package for any of the following:

  • Chocolate

  • Raisins

  • Xylitol (which may be found in sugar-free instant oats or flavored varieties)

When cooking oatmeal, use water instead of milk because it’s better for your dog’s digestive system. Cook the oatmeal as normal, without adding any sugar or salt. Let the oatmeal cool to room temperature before sharing with your dog, and start with small amounts as a complement to their usual food.

Always check with your vet before making any major changes to your dog's diet, especially if your pup has any health conditions or sensitivities.

How Much Oatmeal Can Dogs Eat Safely?

As with any new food, start slow. Just because oatmeal is OK to share with dogs does not mean she should have more than a few spoonfuls at a time! You’ll want to avoid giving your dog too much oatmeal at once because the high fiber content can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset. 

Note that these are just general guidelines. It’s always best to check with your vet before making major changes to your furry friend’s food bowl. 

Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal Cookies?

Not all oatmeal is created equally, and therefore not all oatmeal snacks are safe for dogs. Oatmeal cookies that contain ingredients such as raisins, chocolate, nutmeg, or xylitol are harmful and should be avoided.

But even if your oatmeal cookie doesn’t contain raisins, chocolate, or nutmeg, the high levels of sugar, butter, and oil found in baked goods can make your pet sick. Stick with plain, cooked oatmeal and avoid the cookies altogether—unless you can find a pet-safe option that satisfies your dog’s sweet tooth, like:

There are plenty of naturally sweet human foods that dogs can also safely snack on. Just keep in mind that any treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s overall diet. The other 90% should come from a well-balanced dog food.

Featured Image: Adobe/evgeniarusinova

April Saylor


April Saylor

Freelance Writer

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