Yes, dogs can eat granola in moderation and of specific flavor. However, granola contains raisins, nuts, and chocolates which poses a risk to your dog’s health. Hence, it is vital to check the ingredients of granola before you feed them to your dog.
What Is Granola?
Granola is a breakfast or snack cereal made mostly of rolled oats and puffed brown rice with brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and almonds. Sylvester Graham produced his eponymous Graham flour and Graham Crackers in the 1800s, and granola was born. Dr. James C. Jackson devised a batter for sheets that were cooked, broken up, re-baked, then broken up again, which he termed “Granola.”
Is Granola Safe for Dogs?
Whole-grain granola is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, as it is made up of rolled oats and brown rice, which are entirely safe for dogs. However, check if the ingredients contain raisins, chocolates, nuts, added chemicals, preservatives, and flavors that affect your pet’s health. This differs for different granola brands.
Why Is Granola Good for Dogs?
Let us first look at the overall nutrients which granola has:
|Vitamin A||286 µg|
|Vitamin C||2.7 mg|
|Total Fat||11.02 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6.9 g|
*Serving size 100 g
The question arises, how is this safe for dogs to eat? The answer is the presence of:
Calcium: Dogs need calcium to keep their bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. It also improves the blood circulation in their body.
Potassium: Potassium regulates the body fluids of your dog and also keeps away acidity. It maintains the blood vessel functioning.
Dietary Fibers: Dietary fibers keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy and keep diseases like colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diabetes away.
Protein: It keeps the immune system healthy, repairs dead cells and tissues, generates hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Carbohydrate: Carbohydrate is the source of energy for dogs. It helps other nutrients to function correctly in the body.
Vitamin C: It fights toxic elements in the dog’s body and also acts as an antioxidant. It keeps the immune system healthy, cures injuries, and maintains the body’s blood sugar levels.
Vitamin A: It is a fat-soluble vitamin and keeps the immunological functions at par. Also, it aids in maintaining the reproductive system of the dog’s body.
Why Is Granola Bad for Dogs?
Even if granola is safe for dogs, there are 3 toxic ingredients that you must look out for before feeding your dog granola:
Raisins: Raisins are strictly prohibited for dogs as it is deadly for dogs to eat. If your dog consumes even a bit of raisin, he may face severe unhealthy consequences.
Nuts: Macadamia nuts have high-fat content, which leads to inflammation and pancreatitis in dogs. Hence, your dog must not consume nuts.
Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which is deadly for dogs. These items disallow your dog to metabolize correctly.
Regularly feeding your dog granola can be hazardous. So, let us check out the effects that other ingredients of granola leave in your dogs when over consumed:
High Fiber Content: Too much fiber causes diarrhea and gastrointestinal tract upset in dogs.
High Sugar Content: High sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes in dogs. In a dog’s diet, corn syrup solids, anhydrous dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, nectar sucrose, molasses, and maple syrup are hazardous. It affects the cavities, causes obesity and diabetes, triggers oral infections, and affects the metabolism.
Salt: Granola is rich in salt that leads to dehydration and causes vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures in dogs.
Fats and Calories: Commercial granolas contain walnuts, macadamia nuts, and canola oil high in fat. A significant amount of calories can lead to obesity and make your dog lethargic.
Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol can cause a rare disease, Arteriosclerosis in dogs. This affects the arteries in your dogs and leads to heart attacks.
Toxic Ingredients: Some granola contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener, poisonous for dogs and should not be given to dogs in any amount. Granola contains raisins, chocolates, and nuts which are not suitable for dogs.
Choking and Blocking Hazards: As most dogs swallow down the food without chewing it, the chunks in granolas might cause choking, leading to obstruction.
How Much Granola to Feed Your Dog?
Never feed granola regularly to your dog. A small amount once in two weeks without the toxic ingredients will be of no harm to your dog.
How to Feed Granola to Your Dog?
Offer granola moderately during the training sessions. You can also add it to dog food occasionally. Remember to check the ingredients before giving them to your dog and check for allergies after you have offered granola for the first time.
What If My Dog Ate Granola?
Your dog consuming granola without your supervision can be harmful. Following are the consequences if your pet has consumed more granola:
- The salt present in granola results in sodium poisoning in your dog. The symptoms are:
- Heart issues
- Behavioral changes
- Xylitol in granola, when consumed by dogs, gets rapidly absorbed into their bloodstream. As a result, your dog’s pancreas releases a lot of insulin, causing a sudden drop in the blood sugar level. This condition is referred to as hypoglycemia.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia from xylitol toxicity are:
- Excessive drooling
- Brain hemorrhage
- Liver failure
- Loss of consciousness or slow to respond
Since xylitol toxicity can also lead to death, it is considered a medical emergency. Hence, if you suspect your pet of consuming any food containing xylitol, it is best to reach out to your vet immediately. Additionally, in some cases, a dog may not exhibit any symptoms of xylitol toxicity until the consumed food is digested.
- The chocolate and raisin poisoning symptoms which your dog will show as a result of consuming granola are:
- High heartbeat
- Excessive urination
- Heavy panting
- Abdominal pain
Keep your dog under proper observation for 24 hours or immediately seek help from your veterinarian. Your dog will need adequate medication after being poisoned by raisins, chocolates, and other ingredients. Also, remember to provide a lot of water. This helps in flushing down the toxicity in the dog’s body.
Alternatives to Granola
There are better healthy alternatives to granola for your dog, which includes:
- Apples (without seed and rind)
- Cooked green beans
- Cooked squash
- Sweet potatoes
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Granola Cereal?
Yes, dogs can eat granola cereal in moderation, provided the toxic ingredients are absent.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Granola?
Yes, honey is not harmful to dogs. Hence honey granola is also safe if fed in moderation. However, too much honey can lead to obesity as it is a source of sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Granola Without Raisins?
Raisins are strictly prohibited for dogs. However, granola without raisins is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter Granola?
Peanut butter is safe for a dog to eat, provided it does not contain xylitol and other preservatives. It is best to prepare peanut butter at home. Therefore, peanut butter granola is safe for dogs to consume occasionally.
Can Dogs Eat Granola Bars?
No, dogs should not eat granola bars as they contain raisins, nuts, chocolates, and high sugar. First, let us look at the different types of Granola Bars.
- Oats and honey granola bars: This, if fed in moderation, will pose no harm to your dog, but too many oats and honey granola bars can lead to diabetes and obesity due to high sugar content.
- Nature Valley granola bars: Nature Valley granola bars advertises themselves as “healthy,” but the ingredients are highly toxic for a dog to consume. Hence, dogs should not eat nature valley granola bars.
- Can dogs eat peanut butter granola bars: It is safe for dogs to eat peanut butter granola bars in moderation, as long as they have no xylitol added. Another factor to be considered – the fiber and sugar content. These can pose a risk to your dog’s health.
Can Puppies Eat Granola?
It is best not to provide granola to a puppy before he turns at least 3-4 months. This is because the digestive system of a puppy is more vulnerable than that of a dog. Therefore, it is best to hold back granola before the puppy is exposed to human food.
To sum up, whether dogs can eat granola, let us make moderation the key. You can serve granola to your dog in moderation, which means, neither you can feed him every day nor you can make granola your dog’s staple. You must lookout for the ingredients present in the granola you buy from the store. Keep granola out of reach of your dog to avoid dangerous circumstances.