Granola is a popular breakfast staple in the United States that is a go-to for people who need a quick, healthy breakfast before heading out the door.1 Granola is a mixture of toasted rolled oats, nuts, and, usually, some type of sweetener, such as honey or sugar. The mixture is high in fiber and protein and is calorie-dense. Granola may also include micronutrients, such as copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, and vitamins B and E.
Given the nutritional value of granola, one may wonder if dogs can share this delicious breakfast staple. Can dogs eat granola? Is it safe? Mixed feelings surround this topic, with answers pointing to both yes and no. Since granola may contain potentially harmful ingredients, it is best to avoid feeding any to your dog. In this article, we’ll break down granola and determine if and when it’s safe to feed it to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Granola?
The reason for yes and no answers is that dogs can only eat granola with no harmful ingredients and only in moderation as a special treat. Store-bought granola tends to contain harmful and toxic ingredients, such as chocolate and raisins. Certain nuts can be found in granola that are harmful to dogs, such as macadamia, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts. These nuts are high in oils and fats and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis if given in large amounts.
Sugar can be another culprit in store-bought granola. Too much sugar can cause obesity, diabetes, weight gain, and heart problems and may even contribute to arthritis in dogs. Also, if you want to give your dog a small bite of granola, ensure it’s free from xylitol, as this sugar substitute is extremely toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Have Honey Granola?
Honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that may be beneficial to dogs in small quantities. You don’t want to give your dog too much honey due to its sweetness, but occasionally, it’s okay.
The safest way to feed granola with any added ingredients is to ensure the ingredients are safe for your dog. Honey is not toxic to your dog, but it’s high in sugar, making it ok to give only sparingly. For example, if you’re munching on a granola bar that only has oats and honey, you can give your pooch a bite.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is safe for dogs in moderation, again, with no added harmful or toxic ingredients. Store-bought flavored oatmeal often has additives that can be harmful, and you should avoid feeding these types of oatmeal.
The safest way to give oatmeal is to use plain oatmeal with no additives. You can mix a spoonful into your dog’s food or let him gobble up a tablespoon on its own as a treat. Oatmeal can be an excellent source of carbohydrates for dogs with wheat or other grain allergies and is chock-full of omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin.
Tips for a Healthy Diet
Feeding your dog a healthy diet that is complete and balanced is essential for his overall well-being. Dogs require a mixture of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water for optimal daily nutrition.
When searching for dog food, ensure it states “complete and balanced” on the label. It would also be best to look for dog food approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure the food meets all safety and nutritional requirements.
Your veterinarian is an excellent resource to use for determining what dog food you should feed your particular pooch. Also, unless your dog has a grain allergy, consider avoiding grain-free diets, as the inclusion of grains is beneficial for most dogs.
In addition, the FDA warns of a potential link between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. While there is currently no conclusion regarding this topic, consult your veterinarian about the risks and whether you should feed your dog grain-free dog food.
Granola is a healthy breakfast item for humans, and it can be beneficial for dogs in moderation, as long as the granola has no added harmful or toxic ingredients like raisins. Giving granola to your dog is best as a special treat, and it’s ok to put plain oats in your dog’s food for a carbohydrate boost. Just remember, your dog can eat granola only if it contains no added harmful ingredients.