Granola may be considered a healthy option for humans, but what about our furry friends? As a dog owner, you want to be sure you’re feeding your pup the most nutritious food, but a treat every now and then never hurts. That said, is granola the right option?
Dogs can eat granola if you prepare it yourself and ensure it has no harmful ingredients, such as macadamia nuts or chocolate. However, since most store-bought granola contains several kinds of cereal and nuts, not to mention preservatives, it’s best to avoid them altogether to be on the safe side.
This article will explore the ingredients commonly used in granola and why they aren’t considered the best for your dog. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with your vet before introducing new foods to your pup’s diet.
When Can Dogs Eat Granola?
Dogs can eat granola when it is plain and doesn’t contain any ingredients that could be problematic, such as artificial sugars, chocolate, and raisins, which are dangerous foods that can cause severe illness when consumed.
If you’re feeding your dog store-bought granola (or any other treat), always read the ingredients list before offering it to your pet. If the ingredient list is long and complex, it’s best not to feed it to your dog as it likely contains a number of preservatives.
As long as the granola doesn’t contain toxic foods, your dog can enjoy it at any time. Still, it’s best to familiarize yourself with what ingredients are safe for dogs and what isn’t before giving your pet new food.
Can You Give Dogs Granola Bars?
You cannot give dogs granola bars that are intended for human consumption because they aren’t made with a dog’s nutritional needs in mind and often contain too much sugar and salt. Plus, they may have high levels of fiber, which can give your dog diarrhea.
Many granola bars contain raisins, chocolate, or xylitol, which are all bad for your dog to eat. Additionally, if you’re feeding your dog too much sugar, it can lead to weight gain or even diabetes.
Dogs don’t process sugar the same way we do, so it’s best to limit the amount they eat.
That said, there are granola bars out there specifically made for dogs. These options are always safe to feed your pup as an occasional treat!
I recommend the Bark Bars Peanut Butter Crunch Pet Treat from Amazon.com. They are made with all-natural ingredients and have a taste your pup is sure to love.
Or, if you plan on making your own granola for your pet, you can use the 8Bars Energy Bar Maker Mold. It works well to help you prepare plenty of treats at one time, and you can store the extras in your fridge.
How Often Can Dogs Eat Granola?
Dogs can eat granola in the same amount as you would give them treats, and most experts recommend only giving your dog treats as 10% of their diet. To determine this number, you will need to count calories for your dog. Once you know how much they can eat in a day, you can calculate that 10%.
For example, if your dog eats 1,000 calories every day, you can give them a 100 calorie treat.
Many people often overfeed their dogs, making it essential to track their nutrition levels. So, it’s vital you make sure your granola treats aren’t taking away from your dog’s nutrition.
Plain granola offers some nutrients and fiber, but not nearly as much as a healthy cup of kibble. Granola should never be used as a meal substitute.
Your dog can safely eat one or two small, homemade granola treats a day, depending on their size. However, you shouldn’t offer this every single day since you want to make sure your pet is eating their healthier meals as well.
As long as you don’t go over that 10%, it should be fine.
Granola Ingredients to Avoid
As mentioned before, as long as you are feeding your dog plain granola, it should be safe for them to eat.
It’s much easier to make your granola for your pet since you control the ingredients that go into it. For example, many people add peanut butter or plain Greek yogurt to their dog’s granola, which are excellent sources of nutrients that are considered dog-friendly.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients you should be avoiding.
Some nuts are toxic to dogs, especially macadamia nuts. If you’re unsure if your pet has an allergy, it’s best to avoid them altogether. Plus, the American Kennel Club recommends not feeding your dog nuts, and they are high in fat and contain too much salt.
Raisins and Chocolate
Granola also often contains raisins and chocolate – which are both very toxic for dogs.
Raisins come from grapes, which are incredibly harmful to dogs to eat. The fruit is known to harm your dog’s kidneys.
Plus, chocolate is poisonous to dogs since it contains theobromine, and dogs can’t metabolize this chemical. Though depending on the size of your dog, a small amount wouldn’t be an issue.
Dogs shouldn’t consume too much sugar, as it can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The American Kennel Club recommends that you read food labels before offering your dog food as there are several sugar additives that dogs shouldn’t eat, and they can appear in foods you might not expect them to.
Not only do dogs not taste food the same way we do – they will happily eat peanut butter with tuna, for example – dogs don’t process food in the same way we do, especially sugar. This can lead to a bad reaction and illness.
Xylitol is a natural sugar that is extremely harmful to dogs and is often found in granola bars – never let your pup eat foods that contain it.
You want to avoid giving your dog certain types of “people food,” as these snacks contain ingredients not meant for your pup to eat. The ASPCA lists all of the foods you want to avoid giving to your pets, including garlic, onions, grapes, and salt.
Granola Bar Recipes
There are several different granola bar recipes that you can make for your pup. All you need is plain granola and peanut butter or plain Greek yogurt.
Simply mix the granola in the yogurt or put a spoonful of peanut butter in the granola. You can offer it like that, and your dog will love it.
Granola is typically made using oats, which are generally considered safe for your pup. Another option would be to use puffed brown rice, which, again, should only be used as a treat.
Make sure that the yogurt doesn’t contain any sweeteners. They can be toxic for dogs to eat, which is why we recommend plain Greek yogurt. Most peanut butter brands are safe for your dog, but natural peanut butter would be the best choice.
Please note that you should only share these snacks with your pet from time to time. You don’t want to offer your pup too much granola since it contains a lot of fiber.
However, it can still make the perfect snack every once and a while. It gives your dog some variety in their diet, which they get excited about.
If you don’t feel like mixing your own doggie snacks, I recommend that you try Bark Post’s Easy Banana Oatmeal Grrranola. The recipe is safe and healthy for both dogs and people to eat- so you can share a snack with your pet.
Your dog can safely eat plain granola. However, there are several ingredients you should check for before offering it to them as a treat. Raisins, sugars, chocolate, and nuts are not suitable for your dog to eat and should be avoided at all times.
The best way to feed your dog granola is to make your own recipes. That way, you know what your dog is eating, so you can prevent them from getting sick. Also, remember to ensure your pet gets most of their calorie intake from their kibble.
- Spoiled Hounds: Can Dogs Eat Granola? What To Know About Dogs and Granola
- AKC: Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
- Citizen Canine: Granola Bars For Dogs?
- Spoiled Hounds: Nuts Dogs Can Eat and Nuts Harmful to Dogs
- Bark Post: Easy Banana Oatmeal Granola Bars for Dogs
- AKC: Artificial Sweeteners: Which Ones Are Safe For Dogs?
- AKC: How Many Treats Can Your Dog Really Have?
- ASPCA: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
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