Is your dog staring up at you with those adorable round eyes as you sprinkle granola on your breakfast? If so, you’re may wonder if you can share! In this article, we’ll answer the question of whether dogs can eat granola, take a look at its ingredients and explore the benefits and risks of sharing with it your pooch.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Granola?
- Which Granola Ingredients Are Safe for Dogs?
- Benefits & Risks of Granola For Dogs
- Should You Let Your Dog Eat Granola?
- Alternatives to Granola
- Summary – Can Dogs Eat Granola?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Granola?
Can dogs eat granola? The short answer is… maybe.
Dogs can eat small amounts of granola as long as you check the ingredients label for harmful ingredients. In most cases, it’ll be safe for your pooch but as a general rule, make sure the granola has no additions like chocolate, raisins, or nuts.
While dogs may be able to eat some varieties of granola, they don’t need it, so it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diets. You can think of it more as an occasional reward-type treat, but don’t go overboard or replace your dog’s meals with it.
Like many foods made for humans, some things are completely unsuitable for dogs. Herein lies the risk with granola. Sometimes granola includes ingredients that are not only unsuitable for dogs, some are potentially harmful.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly is in granola. Often, it has oats, nuts and dried fruit, all of which are considered healthy for humans. However, some of these items may harm our furry friends.
Oats are safe for dogs. They even offer some health benefits like fiber and nutrients. Just make sure you pick plain, unsweetened oats. Avoid added sugars or flavors since they’re not good for your pet’s health.
Some nuts can be dangerous for dogs, so be very careful here. Dogs shouldn’t eat pecans, macadamias and walnuts as they can be toxic. Additionally, nuts with salt or added flavours could be harmful
Finally, almonds and peanuts may cause digestive issues.
Dried fruits like cranberries, apricots and raisins are toxic for dogs. Take this seriously since these can cause kidney failure or other health issues. Even tiny doses of these fruits can be dangerous, so play it safe by completely avoiding them.
Benefits & Risks of Granola For Dogs
What’s so good about granola besides that delicious taste? A spoonful of granola has about a gram of fiber. Fiber isn’t necessary for a dog’s diet but can help with digestive issues. Your dog can safely eat about 2 – 4% fiber in their diet. Other dog-safe, fiber-rich foods include pumpkin, carrots, and green beans.
Adult dogs should eat up to 50% carbohydrates in their diets. If your dog eats kibble, he likely already has carbs covered. However, for a few extra carbs, plain granola won’t hurt. A quarter-cup of granola has about 14 grams of carbs, a small fraction of your pooch’s daily intake.
Besides adding healthy fibre and carbs to your dog’s food bowl, granola also often contains calcium, protein, and potassium. All of these are healthy diet additions that benefit your dog’s muscles, tissues and blood pressure.
If you’re not vigilant about checking your granola’s ingredient list, it could put your dog in danger.
Firstly, commercial granolas may contain high sugar levels. If your dog eats too much, it’ll upset his stomach. While sugar isn’t toxic to dogs, it’s not good for them.
If granola contains chocolate, the caffeine and theobromine content could cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Grapes, raisins, sultanas and other dried fruits are toxic to dogs and could lead to kidney damage or even cause kidney failure… in some cases this can be fatal.
Beware of artificial sweeteners, too, as they can hurt your furry friend. One common artificial sweetener in granola is xylitol, which can induce a blood-sugar crash. If this happens, you’d need to see the emergency vet immediately.
Finally, you should be aware of the sodium content of granola, as too much salt can cause sodium ion poisoning and cell dehydration. In severe cases, salt overload can cause fatigue, confusion, and brain swelling. High sodium levels in your furry companion may also lead to stiff joints and cramping muscles.
Should You Let Your Dog Eat Granola?
This is a question you’ll have to ask yourself and perhaps your vet who can advise you specifically about your dog.
One thing’s for sure though, dogs don’t need granola in their diet.
However, if you’re going to give your dog a granola treat, be sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients likely to cause it harm. Furthermore, only ever give any treat to your dog in moderation.
Finally, if you do let your dog eat granola for the first time only give a little and see how it reacts and wait before feeding more.
Alternatives to Granola
We’ve already mentioned a few fibre-rich, dog-safe foods: pumpkin, carrots, and green beans. But are there other foods like granola that dogs can eat? Check out the list of alternative dog-safe foods below.
Your pooch can digest this carbohydrate easily. It’s a great food for dogs with upset stomachs or other eating problems. Plus, many dog foods use brown rice as a main ingredient.
Another lip-smackin’ treat for your dog is peanut butter. It’s full of healthy fats, vitamin B, and Vitamin E. Just supply it in moderation because it’s so calorie-dense!
This delicious fruit is dog-safe and has healthy antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins. Plus, they’re low in calories, so they may be a good treat for dogs who need to lose weight!
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Granola?
In summary, granola is generally safe in moderation unless it contains foods known to be harmful to dogs such as:
- Sweeteners such as xylitol
- Dried fruits like apricots, raisins and cranberries
- Certain nuts
Even if it contains no substances dangerous to dogs, it doesn’t mean dogs should eat granola either in large amounts or on a regular basis. Exercise moderation if you want to gie your dog a little granola as a treat but make sure you know that it doesn’t contain an ingredient that will make your dog unwell.
Of course, if you’re in any doubt about giving your dog food made for human consumption, it’s best to talk to your vet, especially if your dog has underlying health risks.
Do you let your dog eat granola? Or perhaps you have a question to ask our reader community about granola? Please post your comments / questions in the section at the bottom of this page.
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