Oatmeal has long been embraced for its numerous health benefits. On the outside, oatmeal baths and shampoos are helpful in soothing a dog’s irritated, itchy skin.
When consumed as a part of a nutritionally balanced diet, oatmeal offers your dog a host of benefits on the inside.
Oatmeal’s Nutritional Value
Oatmeal is packed with natural, soluble fiber, which is essential for maintaining optimal gastrointestinal function and in lowering cholesterol levels.
Oatmeal also contains some protein. Oatmeal contains a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B5, folic acid, zinc, iron and manganese.
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, enables the body to extract energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It also plays a role in maintaining a healthy coat.
Folic acid promotes the bone marrow’s production of red blood cells. Iron is one of the components needed to create hemoglobin, which is needed in the red blood cells to carry oxygen.
Manganese enables the body’s enzymes to produce of fatty acids and energy. It also influences the body’s efficient utilization of carbohydrates and proteins.
Zinc participates in maintaining a number of the body’s functions, including growth, cellular division, immunity and skin and coat health.
Therapeutic Reasons to Try Oatmeal
If your veterinarian suspects that your dog is allergic to wheat, oatmeal presents an excellent grain alternative. Although small amounts of gluten are present in oatmeal, the level is much lower than that found in wheat.
Another situation in which oatmeal may be therapeutic is if your older dog has difficulty with moving his bowels regularly. The natural fiber content of oatmeal will be helpful, especially when supplemented with probiotics.
You can add some probiotics by stirring a spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt into the prepared oatmeal. Dogs who are overweight will feel satiated more quickly when they eat more fiber, which enables them to lose weight.
If your furry friend exhibits any of these health concerns, ask your veterinarian for his recommended therapeutic amount of oatmeal to effectively alleviate the condition.
Not Just For Breakfast Anymore
Oatmeal can be offered to your dog while you enjoy your own breakfast.
Buy plain oatmeal that does not contain any added flavors or sugars, and then cook it thoroughly with water. Do not add sugar or salt. Once the cooked oatmeal cools, mix one tablespoon per 20 pounds of your dog’s weight into his dog food.
Alternately, consider baking some oatmeal and peanut butter cookies from a dog biscuit recipe. You can also place a tablespoon of oats in a tea infusion ball, steep it in one cup of hot water for 20 minutes, and then pour the cooled liquid over his dry kibble.
Many people who choose to live a holistic lifestyle also wish to feed their pets similar natural diets. By purchasing wild, or organic, oatmeal, you will be making an environmentally friendly choice.
You will be providing a natural option that is higher in its nutrient content than commercially grown preparations. Organic oats will also be free of residues from harmful pesticides and herbicides.
From maintaining his heart health to keeping his coat lustrous, small amounts of oatmeal in your dog’s diet will help him to reap the benefits of good health. In turn, you will reap the benefit of enjoying his company as a cherished family member for years to come.
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