The main question when considering the ingredients of dog food is whether it is good for your pet or not. When it comes to oat flour, there are many pros and cons to consider. Let’s have a look at them below.
Oatmeal contains beta-glucans which are soluble fiber components shown to lower cholesterol in people with elevated levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). The same benefits are being researched in dogs who also have high cholesterol or whose blood triglyceride levels are too high.
Foods containing beta-glucans may boost the immune system function in pets because their bodies need to produce more antibodies to go after these fibers. Studies show that diets enriched with beta-glucan significantly increase antibody production. Regular oatmeal is a source of these fibers and it is known to help pups who have had intestinal surgery, but not all dogs benefit from this diet addition.
Pups receiving a high level of omega-6 fatty acids from their regular meal plan are less likely to have an adverse reaction when consuming beta-glucan enriched foods because their bodies already produce enough antibodies.
When a food contains both insoluble fiber (cellulose) and soluble fiber (beta-glucans), having had intestinal surgery can cause gas and bloating in some dogs with sensitive stomachs since the body will try to digest the combination at the same time slowing down digestion. A small number of dogs will not tolerate any amount of fiber in their diet so it is important to monitor your dog’s response to the addition of fiber.
Many vets recommend oatmeal for dogs with digestive issues, but not all of them are aware of the high level of carbs in whole grain oats. The soluble fibers call for an increase in insulin production causing blood sugar levels to rise and then fall rapidly leaving your pup feeling lethargic (low blood sugars). Grain-free diets are generally lower in carbohydrates which is why they may be a better choice for pups with diabetes.
High-quality commercial pet food will contain 50% or more meat/animal protein while some lesser-known brands may have up to 20 – 25%. Carbohydrates should make up 25-45% according to experts; however, one of the most common questions is “why are there no carbohydrate percentages listed on pet food labels”? When you see statements like “high in carbohydrates” or “made with oatmeal”, it means that the ingredients of high quality (meat/animal protein) outweigh any low-quality (plant-based proteins/carbohydrates).
The bottom line is; if your dog has had surgery, make sure you know what foods he can and can not tolerate. Maintain a healthy weight for your pooch by limiting treats and exploring alternative types of carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils & green beans. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh water for keeping your pup hydrated as well as maintaining electrolytes.
Oat flour isn’t good for dogs in large amounts and not every pup can handle it in any amount. If your dog is healthy, feel free to add oatmeal in smaller quantities to their meals.