Are oats healthy for dogs?
Oats are an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re also high in fibre and protein compared to other grains.
Oats contain some unique components — in particular, the soluble fibre beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides. Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation and itching and reduced constipation.
In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that make them a weight loss friendly food.
Oats are among the healthiest foods your dog can eat.
Oats contribute to the environment by adding biodiversity, use in multi-cropping with legumes, restricting herbicide requirements, minimising erosion and water run-off and reducing aquifer depletion.
13 Science Informed Reasons to Include Oats in Your Dog’s Diet:
- Oats Are Incredibly Nutritious – oats are rich in carbs and fibre, but also higher in protein and fat than most other grains. They are very high in many vitamins and minerals. Oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Oats Are Rich in Antioxidants and Polyphenols including Avenanthramides – oats contain many powerful antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These avenanthramide compounds, almost solely found in oats, may help reduce blood pressure and also have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. (6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- Oats Contain a Powerful Soluble Fibre Called Beta-Glucan – oats are high in the soluble fibre beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, act as a prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness. (1, 11, 12, 13)
- They Can Lower Cholesterol Levels and Protect LDL Cholesterol from Damage – oats may lower the risk of heart disease by reducing both total and LDL cholesterol and protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. (1, 14, 15)
- Oats Have Anti-Itching Properties – avenanthramides, polyphenols unique to oats, have shown to have anti-itching properties. (36)
- Oats Can Improve Blood Sugar Control – due to the soluble fibre beta-glucan, oats may improve insulin sensitivity and help lower blood sugar levels. (16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
- Oatmeal Is Very Filling and May Help Your Dog Lose Weight – oatmeal may help you lose weight by making your dog feel fuller. It does this by slowing down the emptying of the stomach and increasing production of the satiety hormone peptide YY (PYY). (12, 21, 22, 23, 24)
- Oats Are Beneficial in Multi-Cropping – oats are especially valuable in environmentally sustainable crop rotation systems, helping to ensure sound cropping and soil conservation practices. (25)
- Oats Greatly Reduce the Need for Herbicides – oats are often used as a “natural herbicide” – grown as a companion (or starter) crop to help establish forage legume crops by shading areas where weeds would grow. As a result, reduced herbicide use in oat production helps prevent contamination of surface and ground waters. (25)
- Oats Reduce Surface and Groundwater Contamination – soil nutrient requirements (N, P, K) of oats are less demanding than those of wheat, barley and corn reducing the requirement for fertilisers and reducing both surface and groundwater nitrate contamination. (25)
- Oats Don’t Deplete Underground Water Aquifers – oat crops can flourish with much less water than most other crops reducing the need for irrigation and consequent reduction in water aquifers. (25)
- Oats Provide Excellent Soil Erosion Control – the dense cover provided by oats helps prevent soil erosion. Oats also require less tillage for seedbed preparation, which further helps prevent erosion. (25)
- Oat Stubble is an Ideal Medium in a No-Till or Minimum-Till Program – more moisture is available for seedling establishment of other crops in oat residue compared to planting into row crop residue. (25)