If you like to start your morning with a bowl of granola, you might wonder if you could give it to your do, too. Whether it’s okay for dogs to eat granola or not, you will need to consider all the ingredients present in your granola product of choice.
Eating granola is extremely common for humans. At times our dogs beg and attempt to get our attention just to have some. But as much as you want to throw your dog a piece of it, you have to think of the fact that not all the foods you eat are safe for them too.
Humans and dogs differ in the manner of breaking up foods which means your pet might endure stomach ache or vomiting from the foods you have given them.
Can Dogs Eat Granola?
With the rising epidemic of obesity in our pets, including our dogs, it’s perfectly natural to wonder whether our canine companions might derive benefits from whole grain treats. Can dogs eat granola safely? Can they eat cereals safety?
With “human” foods, the answer is always context-dependent. The individual ingredients make a difference, as do additives such as salt and sugar. Let’s take a closer look!
If your dogs are anything like mine, they love to chew and gnaw. Typically a simple and crunchy treat, granola bars may interest dogs for the chewing challenge they present, along with satisfying basic canine curiosity.
Because granola itself, and granola bars, contain a mixture of foodstuffs, we’ll need to ask whether they are safe for dogs on their own, as well as in combination.
Whole Grains and Digestive Health
Two of the most common ingredients in granola are rolled oats and puffed brown rice. These whole grains are safe for dogs in limited amounts.
Indeed, whole grains like ground yellow cornmeal are found in many brands of dog food, not only as filler. This is to provide cohesion for kibble, but also as a source of what limited carbohydrates and dietary fiber dogs require for energy and digestive health.
The greatest risk that a chunk of a plain granola bar presents to your dog is that its fiber content may be a cause of temporary diarrhea. Digestive irregularity in dogs is a reason that some people turn to whole grain foods such as oatmeal and brown rice.
Cooked plainly — without salts, sugars, or other additives — a few meals of brown rice and boiled chicken breast is often recommended as a way to help dogs overcome constipation. The same tact can be taken with warm oatmeal.
Ingredients and Additives Matter!
Of course, all granola bars are not extremely simple. Many contain a variety of nuts, which can not only be high in fats that dogs have difficulty processing, but are also potential allergens, both for people and dogs.
Avoid giving your dog a piece of granola bar that includes almonds, cashews, pecans, or walnuts, which are among the fattiest nuts. Depending on your dog’s tolerance of peanuts and peanut butter, some may enjoy peanut butter sprinkled with plain granola grains.
Another dog-safe treat, a plain yogurt with a dash of granola bits, may also appeal to your dog on special occasions. Granola products are much less safe for dogs, and they should be avoided if their ingredient lists become too complex.
By this, we mean especially those that contain raisins. We still do not know why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, but whether it’s a granola bar or a bowl of oatmeal, if it contains raisins, it’s best kept away from your dog.
Avoid Chocolate and Sweeteners
No matter your stance on dogs and chocolate toxicity, offering your dog a granola bar that features chocolate, nuts, and raisins is a recipe for gastrointestinal upset at the very least.
Rather than run the risk of causing diarrhea or vomiting on the one hand, or necessitating a trip to the vet on the other, keep your dog’s exposure to whole grain products as simple and unadorned as possible.
That includes granola bars, cold cereals, hot cereals, and other breakfast staples that are high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. Most cold cereals marketed toward our children should be avoided by our dogs.
Honey-nut varieties and those featuring marshmallows, chocolate, or fruit flavorings are out as well.
Dogs can eat granola and granola bars if they don’t include anything that’s dangerous for dogs to eat. If you are unsure whether dogs can eat a specific ingredient, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. Also, make sure that the ingredient is safe for dogs before giving granola to your dog.
Do you cook regularly for your dog, whether it involves granola or not? Please share your favorite recipes in the comments below!