Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Dog Food

Most dog owners choose the so-called “natural type” as their dog’s food, feeding various porridges with meat and vegetables. However, sometimes veterinarians recommend transferring pets to natural products for therapeutic purposes. In this case, a dietary menu consisting of cereals, meat, cottage cheese, vegetables, etc., is prepared. 

Not all cereals are considered dietary: some of them are not allowed in a dog’s diet. Bonus-section: how and with what to prepare grains so that you get a well-balanced and nutritious food.

Types and benefits of cereals for dogs

To begin with, we need to remember what kinds of cereals are and what their value is. Everyone is familiar with rice, millet, oat, buckwheat, and pearl cereals; they are part of man’s usual “grocery basket.” But there are many more kinds of grains. They differ in nutritional and taste qualities and have different recommendations when introduced into the dog’s diet.

Buckwheat

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

About the valuable properties of buckwheat, everyone knows. It is a dietary product for both humans and animals. The vast amount of vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B9, E, PP) and trace elements (I, Ni, Fe, Cu, P, Co, etc.) in the composition of this cereal allows its use for therapeutic and dietary purposes. In addition, buckwheat has a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism, speeds up metabolism, strengthens the cardiovascular and bone systems; plus, all this is hypoallergenic.

In terms of protein composition, buckwheat is comparable with meat and essential amino acids – with legumes. The energy value of buckwheat is very high. Buckwheat in a dog’s menu is the best option of all. It should not be boiled but boiled in the evening: this method saves the maximum number of nutrients.

Rice

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Rice is a valuable cereal product. Unlike other cereals, it doesn’t contain the plant protein gluten, which causes allergies, and so is suitable for dogs with celiac disease. 

Rice is rich in trace elements (Mg, Ca, Fe, Zn, Cu), vitamins (E, B group), and unsaturated fatty acids. It has absorbing and enveloping properties, removes toxins, and has a beneficial effect on mucous membranes. Therefore, rice broth as an astringent can be used for diarrhea. 

A rice dish gives a prolonged energy boost since the cereal consists of 78% complex carbohydrates. Therefore, rice is suitable for improving the nervous, cardiovascular, and urinary systems. However, despite its broad list of benefits, it is not always good, as it contains a lot of starch and can cause constipation in the dog.

Nor is rice suitable for feeding dogs with metabolic disorders. It is better to offer this food to your dog at regular intervals. Choose uncooked rice for your pet. 

Rice does not need to be boiled for a long time: pour water over it, bring it to the boil, and turn it off after a couple of minutes. It cooks perfectly well without boiling, preserving as many nutrients as possible.

Oatmeal

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

There are two options – groats and flakes (“Hercules”). Both types of processing of oats are suitable. A rich supply of vitamins (A, PP, B, E), trace elements (Na, K, Mg, Ca, etc.), unsaturated fatty acids, high protein content – all this makes the product dietary. 

The enveloping properties of oats allow the use in the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, oats have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and help you quickly gain muscle mass. 

But like rice, oats are not suitable for all dogs, as their daily presence can cause digestive problems or allergic reactions. 

Give oats to the dog carefully: at first, in tiny doses, add oatmeal to the main dish. Then, if there are no adverse reactions – you can safely feed your pet with this helpful product. It is better to choose cereal between grits and cereal; it has more valuable substances. To boil oatmeal, pour water over the groats and bring them to a boil, and they will finish cooking on their own.

Millet

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Very valuable for their nutritional and healing qualities, millet groats are, unfortunately, hard to digest and absorb by animals’ bodies. In addition, it often causes allergic reactions. Therefore, even small quantities of millet can harm the pet’s health. Consequently, it is not recommended to include it in the dog’s diet.

Manna

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Even though semolina is made from high nutritional value wheat grains, it refers to a super-refined product undergoing severe industrial processing. 

For this reason, nutritionists often call semolina useless for humans and animals. With a minimal content of auxiliary elements, it is oversaturated with carbohydrates. Therefore, it should not be included in the dog’s daily diet.

Sometimes semolina is prescribed explicitly by veterinarians in cases of:

  • underweight pets;
  • for feeding prematurely born puppies;
  • As part of a therapeutic diet for dogs with gastrointestinal diseases. 

This is a temporary measure, and when health improves, it is recommended to stop feeding semolina. In addition, overweight dogs should not eat semolina.

Barley

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

This barley derivative has the same characteristics as pearl barley. It is not recommended for continuous feeding of animals. It is acceptable only occasionally and in small quantities to add it to the main dish.

Wheat

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Like semolina, “Poltava” and “Artec” cereals are derived from wheat. However, unlike semolina, they are not refined products, have a sufficient amount of vitamins (A, C, D, group B) and minerals (Mg, I, Zn), but there are limitations for consumption. 

First of all, they are not suitable for pets with celiac disease because they contain gluten. This is because wheat cereals are not fully digested, and some of them pass through the gastrointestinal tract “in transit.” 

Wheat derivatives are not recommended if pets are prone to constipation and overweight. Wheat has many carbohydrates in its composition, so it is not suitable for dogs with metabolic disorders and animals with a sedentary lifestyle. Wheat cereals should only be offered to young, pretty active pets.

Cornmeal

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Corn grits are categorically not recommended for feeding dogs. It is practically not absorbed by the body of animals. Therefore it has no nutritional and energetic value. Furthermore, consumption of corn gruel can provoke intestinal obstruction and cause exacerbation of existing gastrointestinal diseases. As opposed to mush, boiled fresh kernels of corn can sometimes be treated to dogs, but only to a limited extent.

Legumes

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

Just like corn grits, legume porridge should be excluded from the dog’s diet completely. None of the legumes (peas, beans, beans) are digestible in the animal’s body dry form. At the same time, beans cause severe gas and bloating, leading to the development of constipation. 

As for the green pods of fresh plants in summer can be offered as a treat in small quantities.

How and what cereals are cooked for dogs

We can conclude that the most preferred for use in the diet of dogs are: buckwheat, rice, oat, wheat, and barley cereals.

We can conclude that the most preferred for use in the diet of dogs are: buckwheat, rice, oat, wheat, and barley cereals.

Kashi for feeding pets can be prepared from one type of cereal and “assembled” of several: they will have a high nutritional value and excellent taste. Do not change cereals frequently in the dog’s diet; it may provoke digestive upset. It is better to choose a basic cereal and mix in a few other grains, changing them from time to time. It is not recommended to make porridges that are viscous so as not to damage the animal’s intestines. Crumbled porridge is preferable because it is better digested. Do not forget that cereals should constitute no more than 30% of the pet’s diet, so porridges should be prepared with various meat additives.

Can Dogs Eat Cereal? What cereals can and cannot be given to dogs

What cereals should not be given to dogs

The pets’ diet should be pearl barley, corn, millet, semolina, and porridge from legumes. These products’ nutritional and energetic value for dogs is either zero or minimal, and the possible harm to their health is excellent.

What can be added to your dog’s porridge

It is not necessary to salt the food for the pet at all, you can add only a little salt, but it is better to refuse it. It is not allowed to use spices for the dog’s menu. Oil is advised to use very moderately.

The best additions for dog porridge are meat and vegetables:

  1. Meat should choose lean varieties (beef, rabbit, poultry), from pork or mutton, it is better to give up. By-products can be used. The liver has a particular nutritional value. It is rich in vitamin A, essential amino acids, and trace elements (primarily iron), often used to improve blood quality and prevent anemia. Other by-products are also helpful: heart, kidney, and rumen.
  2. Any meat ingredients should not be given raw because of the danger of helminth infections and infectious diseases. It is recommended that they should be thoroughly refrozen first and then wholly or lightly boiled.
  3. Fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins and fiber, good for the intestines. Not all kinds of vegetables are suitable for feeding dogs. Eggplant, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and mushrooms are not allowed. Allowed in limited quantities and occasionally: potatoes, cabbage, beets. It is better to use pumpkin, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, celery, and zucchini for constant feeding.

Natural feeding, in any case, requires vitamin supplements prescribed by the veterinarian. A pet’s menu is usually made up for one week.

Natural feeding, in any case, requires vitamin supplements prescribed by the veterinarian. A pet’s menu is usually made up for one week.

Approximate diet for dogs

Properly compiled menus for pets are the key to their excellent health and good mood. Therefore, it is essential to know what and in what proportions it is recommended to include in a dog’s diet:

  1. Meat and by-products are the main components of a dog’s daily menu. The proportion of meat products in the total daily food intake should be at least 50%.
  2. Fish fillets should be given no more than twice a week. The fish must be low-fat sea fish because river fish risk helminth infections and are too bony. It is better not to offer fish in raw form and certainly boiled.
  3. A variety of vegetables allowed for feeding the dogs should constitute about 10-20% of the daily food intake. They provide the animals with vitamins and fiber.
  4. Cereals recommended for canine diets should constitute at least 30% of the daily food intake and should be offered as crumbly porridges with meat and vegetable additives.
  5. Dairy products in about 10% should be in a dog’s diet without fail. They are helpful as a source of calcium and help normalize intestinal microflora. 
Ordinary whole milk, homemade or processed, is not recommended in pets’ menus. Dairy products should not be high in fat, contain sugar or flavorings. Dogs will suit sour milk, white yogurt, cottage cheese.

Knowing how to organize a balanced diet for your dog correctly, you will be able to compose a diet that ultimately provides the daily energy needs of the pet’s body. That, in turn, guarantees the normal development of the dog, prevents diseases, and strengthens the overall health of the pet.

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