Oat milk has become one of the most popular alternatives for regular cow’s milk and among its many benefits is that it is also lactose-free making it the go-to for humans with lactose intolerance.
However, does this mean our furry friends can also enjoy the joys of milk now with oat milk? Take a look below and find out if that is true.
What Is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is a milk-like liquid made from whole grain oats and water. It is one of the most common alternative kinds of milk like almond milk or soy milk in the United States today.
Its spike in popularity is due to several factors such as it plant-based, meaning it is safe for vegans to consume. It also has a significantly lower carbon footprint than cow’s milk making it a choice that is good for the environment as well.
Oat milk is also preferred over almond milk for those with nut allergies, and because it is said to have a creamier taste and feel than almond milk.
Oat milk like other plant-based types of milk is also free from lactose which makes it a prime choice for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Can Dogs Drink Oat Milk?
In a nutshell, the answer is yes but in moderation. Unlike cow’s milk which has lactose, oat milk which is made from whole grain oat and water is safe for dogs to consume. However, do note that this applies only to unflavored oat milk and not flavored versions as they usually have ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
Sugar that is often used to enhance the flavor of these drinks is toxic for dogs as it can lead to metabolism changes, weight gain, diabetes, and cavities and adversely affect their skin and coat.
Another common oat milk flavor chocolate has theobromine which dogs cannot digest and leads them to have seizures, increased heart rate and muscle spasms.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Falafel?
Should You Add Oat Milk to Your Dog’s Diet?
It is understandable that you want to provide your pet dog with the best experiences you can and help it get the best nutrition possible.
However, even though plant-based milk like oat milk is safer than traditional cow’s milk for dogs and has nutritional benefits as well, you should always consult your vet before adding anything new to your dog’s diet.
There are pros and cons attached to every plant-based milk and depending upon your dog’s breed and general health it can affect him or her differently. Do take the time to consult at length with your vet and weigh the potential benefits and disadvantages of supplementing your dog’s diet with oat milk before doing so.
Most pooches growing up in a loving environment where their nutritional needs are met with a high-quality diet, will not need an oat milk supplement to their diet. However, you can still give it as a treat occasionally for fun, after checking with your vet if it is safe to do so.
Benefits of Oat Milk for Dogs
Oat milk is not just safe for dogs to consume but also has a number of different nutritional benefits that can help them be healthier and happier.
It is a great supplement to a dog’s diet when needed and a safe option for a low-effort treat or snack when your fur friend has been a particularly good boy! Here are just some of the benefits of oat milk for dogs.
- Dairy-Free: Oat milk is free from the allergens and irritants that are commonly found in traditional cow’s milk and milk products.
- Blood Sugar: Since oat milk has a low glycemic index, it can be useful in controlling or regulating your dog’s blood sugar levels.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Oat milk is also a great supplement for adding more vitamins and minerals to your dog’s diet. Oat milk is rich in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin D.
- Fiber: Oat milk also has a moderate to high fiber content depending on the manufacturing and is great for maintaining good bowel health in dogs.
- Anemia: Oat milk also helps maintain your dog’s red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels preventing anemia.
- Immune System: It provides a boost to your dog’s immune system because of the antioxidants and vitamins in it, helping him or her fight off infections better.
- Bone Health: Oat milk is also beneficial for your dog’s overall bone health as it is usually further fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Avocados?
What Are the Risks of Oat Milk for Dogs?
Oat milk is usually not toxic or harmful to dogs at all in moderate amounts. However, like any human food, too much of it can cause some problems in your canine’s health.
Generally, it is a good supplement but it is important that you closely monitor and regulate the amount of oat milk your dog has based on the recommendation from your vet.
The main concern in feeding oat milk to dogs is because of the high fiber content in oat milk. If your dog has a large amount of oat milk then they will have issues digesting the fiber in the milk and cause intestinal issues for them.
This can range from mild discomfort and stomach ache to severe constipation and abdominal pain. Some dogs also end up experiencing diarrhea because of this.
It is also extremely necessary to make sure your dog is not allergic to any ingredients in oat milk before adding it to their diet. It is best to schedule an allergy test with your vet for your dog to find out the things he or she is allergic to, if you haven’t done so already or if it has been several years since the last allergy detection test.
It is also vitally important you check the ingredient list of the oat milk you are thinking of buying as some brands have added sugars or sugar alternatives or artificial sweeteners added to the milk, which are all very toxic for dogs.
You need to especially be on the lookout for artificial sweeteners like xylitol which are extremely toxic for dogs and cause them to have low blood sugar levels and harmful liver injuries as well.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Butter?
The Last Sip
Now that you have a good idea of the benefits of oat milk for dogs, there are also a number of ways in which you can add oat milk to your dog’s daily diet in a fun way. It is recommended that you start slow, mixing a little into their food or treats at the start to get them used to the new ingredient.