It will be fine in the long run if your dog eats granola once or twice. However, granola can cause serious health issues in a puppy if eaten regularly!
A crispy granola treat is always a delight for humans, but it can be a different story for dogs. Granola is like a cereal mix of flaked rice, oats, nuts, seeds, and other similarly crispy but sweet edibles.
Some store-bought granola can contain added sugar or chocolate to give it more flavor, which isn’t great for doggy consumption.
Can granola be a healthy treat for dogs? What is harmful about giving your dogs granola? I answer this and more in my article, so grab a bowl, and let’s get started.
Is Granola Safe For Dogs?
It depends on the ingredients used to make granola. Dogs can have it just fine if it does not have macadamia nuts or chocolate. These ingredients can pose a serious or immediate threat to your pet. Raisins are another ingredient that you should look out for, as they are toxic for dogs. Always check the ingredients list before feeding your dog anything meant for human consumption.
Some ingredients that might be okay to give once or twice or once in a while are sugar and honey. Sugar or any sweetened edible harms your pet’s health in general. Another thing to remember is that your dog may be allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients in the granola, like seeds. If your dog generally reacts badly to all kinds of different ingredients, it’s safe to say that your dog should steer clear of any granola in its diet.
Now hold up; I never said to disregard granola completely. There are healthy variations of granola that you can add to your dog’s diet without worrying! It’s always good to have granola made at home instead of buying it elsewhere for both you and your dog. The internet contains such recipes you can easily make at home. I will be discussing these recipes later on in the article.
Why Giving Your Dogs, Granola Can End Up Badly?
There are plenty of ingredients in granola that can be downright toxic for dogs. We will discuss such ingredients in detail here and why they cause so much harm.
1. Macadamia Nuts
These nuts can be extremely toxic for dogs. Even a small amount of this nut can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Some symptoms you should keep your eyes on are a rise in temperature, loss of appetite, tremors, weakness, vomiting, and high heart rate.
There are substances like theobromine and caffeine in chocolate. Both of these things should never be in a dog’s meal. They can affect the central nervous system, cause vomiting and diarrhea, and an increased heart rate. Dark chocolate is even more toxic for your pet. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening.
3. Raisins and Grapes
These dried fruits can damage the kidney, leading to fatal diseases. It would help if you never fed raisins or grapes to your dog, even in a small amount.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Most store-bought granola contains xylitol, a highly toxic artificial dog sweetener. Xylitol can cause an influx of high amounts of insulin in the body. After this, your dog’s blood sugar level can drop down to a level that may be fatal. It may also cause seizures and liver failure.
Dogs are not inherently allergic to all nuts, but some nuts can trigger allergies. Walnuts and pecans have a high amount of fat, so feeding your dog too much may cause pancreatitis. If not chewed properly, they may also obstruct the gastrointestinal tract.
These are only a few ingredients you should never feed your dog. It’s not only important but a life-saving precaution to read the ingredients list before you feed your dog some granola. Also, you should consult your veterinarian.
Does Granola have any Health Benefits for Dogs?
Since granola is a cereal mix made up of many ingredients, sometimes replaceable, it is hard to say whether it has any significant nutritional value or health benefit for dogs.
Here are some ingredients that are sometimes used in granola that may be good for your canine friend:
Oats are a very healthy source of dietary fiber. They also contain complex carbohydrates that provide a ton of energy. Oats are not known to cause any stomach irritations usually.
Many dogs like chewing on coconut, especially if the teeth are coming in. Coconut is usually harmless and has healthy fats that may make your dog’s coat shinier.
3. Almonds And Cashews
These nuts can be a source of healthy fats and are good to give in moderation, provided they are unsalted.
4. Flower Seeds
Flower seeds are a source of antioxidants, good fatty acids, and minerals, and they can be added to dog-friendly granola.
5. Blueberries And Cranberries
Many high-quality dog foods contain these berries. They should be unsweetened before adding them to the granola mix.
The common thing about these ingredients is that they can quickly become a choking hazard if too big. As a responsible pet owner, you should ensure that not even one of the ingredients is potentially harmful to your tail-wagging buddy.
It’s also important to remember that granola cannot replace everyday nutritious dog food for your dog. If you wish to give granola, give it in small amounts, but it should never be the primary diet of any dog.
How to Make Dog-friendly Granola?
Dogs love a granola or trail mix bar, sometimes as a treat. Let me show you how to make easy vegan granola bars for dogs!
- You will need an oven for this. Start heating ( preheating) your oven at 400 Fahrenheit.
- Take a baking sheet and then raise its side so that it’s able to contain our mix.
- Take some cashews, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ and stir them together.
- Bake this mix for about 10 minutes. Make sure that you keep stirring so that it becomes evenly toasted.
- Remove our mixture from the oven to add a hint of ginger and some cranberries. We couldn’t add this before because we don’t want our fruits to be cooked.
- Take out your baking dish. Anything that could help you make the granola bar shape that you want. Put a parchment paper on top of it and sprinkle some nonstick spray.
- Take out an s saucepan and bring it to medium heat.
- Add molasses, coconut oil, unsweetened peanut butter, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and just a bit of salt.
- Let your sauce simmer, but not long enough to burn it.
- Add the sauce mix to the nuts you roasted earlier and stir enough so that everything is coated in this sauce.
- Place another sheet on top and press down to give it that even bar shape.
- Open your fridge and place the tray there to let it cool for 2-3 hours.
- Take out your tray. Take a cutting board and place your recipe on top of it intact.
- Start chopping it up into pieces in any shape you like. You will need a large knife.
- Again, preheat the oven to 300 Fahrenheit. Take a baking tray and place your bars on top of it. Line it with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. You can also stop when you see the edges turn brown.
- Let the bars cool down completely.
- Store in an airtight container or plastic wrap.
See, this was pretty easy to make, even if you are not a seasoned Baker!
Remember, this is not a dog’s entire meal! These delicious and Dog-friendly Granola bars should only be given occasionally as a treat.
Now because this recipe is not store-bought and contains no alien or harmful ingredients, you don’t have to worry about it causing any harm. Dog food doesn’t have to be gross! In fact, we humans can also indulge in this crispy treat.
Because we have cooked everything properly, it should cause no digestive issues in your dog’s stomach. It’s way better than uncooked granola!
How much granola can dogs eat?
The amount can depend on what size and breed your dog is. The smaller the dog, the less granola you should give. Granola should be at most 10% of their daily calorie intake.
Can dogs eat granola?
Without sugar, xylitol, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, grapes, raisins, and chocolate, granola is usually fine for dogs to eat. However, it helps if you consult your vet.
How can I safely give granola to my dog?
Your best bet is to make the granola mix yourself after recognizing all harmful and life-threatening ingredients and not including them in your recipe.
We’ve established that while granola, especially one that’s store-bought, can have potentially harmful ingredients, variations of granola mix are safe for dogs. You also cook and make granola yourself very easily at home.
It is recommended to check in with your vet before introducing your dog to granola to make sure they don’t have any allergies.
Ankita Sharma is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.