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Granola Is Good For Humans, Is It Good For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Granola?

granola fruits

When your schedule is packed, just grab a few granola bars, and you’re good to go. However, your furry friend with their sweet tooth might want to eat some too.

Since anything with whole grains is deemed healthy, giving them a bite might make sense. But, the question is: Can dogs eat granola?

True, granola is a perfect snack and breakfast choice – for humans at least. But in the canine world, the human foods that are good for us might just do the opposite to your dogs. In fact, some of the healthiest “people” food is toxic to dogs.

Keeping this in mind, it doesn’t hurt to regularly check the food your furry friends are eating and see if they’re indeed good for dogs to eat. Good thing, Dog Food Guide is here to answer all your can dogs questions, your granola-related queries included.

Everything You Need To Know About Granola

You’ll find granola products everywhere, and this is all thanks to James Caleb Jackson – an American physician who, in the year 1863, concocted the first breakfast cereal, aka “granola.” 

Like muesli (another kind of cereal), granola is a mixture of rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. The big difference is granola is baked and mixed with honey, peanut butter, oil, sugar, or maple syrup to get that chewy and crunchy texture that we all love. 

Now, you’ve probably heard that this is healthy. And in some ways, it is. Some can, in fact, be considered a health food. 

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Its nutrient profile all depends on the ingredients that make up the granola. Generally, you can expect granola to provide you with tons of fiber. Depending on the ingredients present, it can also provide you with other nutrients like:

  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • B Vitamins
  • Copper 
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium

Homemade Vs. Store-bought Granola

Want to know which is better between the two? The answer isn’t that simple because each one offers a couple of enticing benefits. Also, not all ready-to-eat granola are created equal. The same goes for homemade ones.

However, if you wish to get an idea of how good one from the other is, here is a list of its pros and cons:

Store-bought Granola: What To Expect

  • Since they’re ready-made, you don’t have to worry about prep time.
  • These have a longer shelf life.
  • It’s cheaper than homemade ones.
  • Many granola bars and cereals are high in sugar and fat. We mentioned “many” since a few good brands are low in sugar and fat and offer high fiber and protein content.

Homemade Granola: What To Expect

  • Be able to create a healthy one by choosing whole foods and adding less sugar and oils.
  • Making your own granola bars will allow you to customize their taste according to your liking.
  • Prep time can be a hassle if you’re too busy.
  • The cost is higher since (most likely) you’ll opt to buy wholesome ingredients.
Can Dogs Eat Granola

Can Dogs Eat Granola?

Crunchy, chewy, and sweet, for sure, your dogs will be up for a delectable chewing challenge whenever they see your granola bar. But, should you feed granola to your dogs? Can dogs eat granola?

The short answer is IT DEPENDS.  

Granola (like other whole-grain treats) is not made equal. There are those which would bring more harm than good to your dogs. On the other hand, others are totally dog-friendly. Dogs can eat granola only if it’s the dog-safe kind.

Potential Risks Of Feeding Granola To Dogs

True, some granolas are good for your dog while others are bad for your dogs to eat. However, eating the right kind of granola also comes with risks. 

Want to know how and when granola can harm your pet dog’s health? See all the possible risks dogs might face when eating granola:

Can Cause Gastrointestinal Upset

Made mainly of rolled oats and, at times, puffed brown rice, granola is known for its brimming levels of fiber. Feeding your dogs the right amount is indeed beneficial. 

But once your dog eats too much granola, you can expect these dietary fibers to disrupt your dog’s gastrointestinal system and cause problems like diarrhea, gas, and vomiting.

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May Bring About Unwanted Weight Gain

A calorie-dense food like this has to be eaten sparingly, especially if they’re the kind with too much sugar and fats. Like in humans, regularly eating foods with high fat and sugar content can cause weight gain, which can, later on, bring about other serious health problems.

Can Cause Sugar-Induced Health Problems

Apart from weight gain, your dog will likely develop diabetes, tooth problems like cavities, and heart disease when eating foods with too much sugar.

Granola Is Good For Humans, Is It Good For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Granola? 1

It Can Contain Harmful Ingredients

Nowadays, you’ll find granola cereals and granola bars in different sizes and flavors. So, apart from the rolled oats, some will also include puffed brown rice. These two (and other whole grains) are generally safe for dogs. 

However, there are ingredients added into the mix that are harmful or even toxic to dogs. So, if you want your dogs to eat granola, you have to make sure that the granola product your dog is eating is free from the following ingredients:

Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic, and consumption of this can lead to chocolate poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, panting, excessive urination, tremors, and heart attack, or cardiac failure. Given its lethal effects, dogs should avoid chocolate granola bars at all costs.

Raisins

Another typical granola dried fruit ingredient that you shouldn’t feed your dog is raisins. Since raisins are technically dried grapes, eating a small amount could make your dog lethargic – a sign that your dog suffers from grape toxicosis. Other symptoms include anorexia, dehydration, and tremors.

Nuts

Granola sure tastes better with a helping of nuts. Unfortunately, not all nuts are good for dogs. Peanuts (peanut butter included) and cashew nuts are okay in small quantities. On the other hand, Macadamia nuts are deadly and should never be given to your dog.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol that is extremely toxic to dogs. Ingesting small amounts of this sugar substitute can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, seizure, and death.

Granola Is Good For Humans, Is It Good For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Granola? 2

Benefits Of Letting Your Dogs Eat Granola 

Want to give your dog granola bars for behaving well? You may do so as long as it’s the right kind.

Now that you know all the ingredients that shouldn’t be included in your dogs’ granola, all you have to do is to find dog-friendly granola bars, and you’re all set. Eating granola, after all, does come with a few health benefits. What are those? Check out below:

Aids Digestion

One thing to like about granola bars and cereals is their high fiber content. Eating a healthy amount will help regularize your dog’s bowel movement, form their stools, and prevent irritable bowel syndrome.

Helps Limit Your Dogs’ Food Intake

Since granola is high in fiber and some are high in protein, dogs tend to get a feeling of fullness after munching on this so-called health food. So, if your dog has trouble maintaining its weight, giving them plain granola occasionally might help.

Lower Cholesterol Levels 

Oats are known for improving heart health by lowering the levels of bad cholesterol. Since excess cholesterol in dogs can lead to a rare disease called arteriosclerosis, letting your dog eat an oat-filled granola bar now and then maybe good.

Improves Muscle Health

Some granola may contain calcium. An essential mineral to maintain dog health, calcium promotes muscle health and keeps bones and teeth healthy.

Final Verdict

Dogs can eat granola as long as it is the dog-friendly kind. So, if you have xylitol-free peanut butter granola, honey granola, or whole-grain granola, you can let your dog have a bite. But do this sparingly.

Now, if you can’t find any dog-friendly granola, you can whip up your own. Alternatively, plain granola will do. Just sprinkle some on top of a teaspoon of yogurt or peanut butter, and voila! Your dog is in for a paw-some treat!

Granola Is Good For Humans, Is It Good For Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Granola? 3

Bonus Recipes

GRANOLA BLUEBERRY DOG TREATS RECIPE

Granola Blueberry Dog Treats Recipe

Dog Mom Chef
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chill Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 8 mins
Servings 45 pcs
Calories 38 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Granola
  • 1 cup Hot Water
  • 2 Eggs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add whole wheat flour, granola and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Stir until mixed.
  • Add eggs and about ½ cup hot water. Mix well.
  • Continue adding water until a dough like consistency.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and place the dough ball onto the surface, kneading it for about 3 minutes. If it's too sticky, you can place it into the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill.
  • Roll the dough out to approximately ¼ inch thickness, then cut with the cookie cutters. Hint: Dip the cookie cutter into the flour on the counter for easier cutting.
  • Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet or a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20-minutes. Check for doneness.
  • Store in an air-tight container.

Notes

Make sure not to overwork the dough when kneading it. You'll lose some of its stretch if you overwork it. It will get that pizza dough spring back where you roll it out and it shrinks back up.
Find a peanut butter that does not have any artificial sweeteners like xylitol in it, which is toxic to dogs.
There are so many fun dog cookie cutters, so try out different cookie shapes and sizes with this cookie cutter from Amazon.
Granola Peanut-Butter Crunchies for Dogs

Granola Peanut-Butter Crunchies for Dogs

Claudia Kawczynska
Prep Time 15 mins
Bake Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Organic rolled oats (not instant) uncooked
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp Flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup Coconut shredded or grated
  • 3 tbsp Chopped dried fruits (you may add more if preferred) like apricots, pears, apples, blueberries
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 Egg slightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Unsalted peanut butter (preferably homemade)
  • 3/4 cup Almond milk or low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, or butter and dust with flour.
  • Grind all the seeds slightly in a food processor or blender. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. 
  • Heat the coconut oil and honey long enough to soften. Beat an egg in a small bowl. 
  • Put the peanut butter (best at room temperature) into a food processor, add the almond milk or yogurt and process; add the egg, oil and honey, process again.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing with a wooden spoon. The mixture should hold together well enough to be easily shaped into balls; if it seems too wet, add some whole-wheat flour. 
  • Shape into 1½-inch balls and place on the baking sheet; they can be spaced closely. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • (Optional: halfway through, turn each granola ball over so they brown evenly.) Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight jar. These treats can also be frozen.

Notes

Substitutions: Grated veggies such as carrots or zucchini can be used instead of the fruit.
VERY BERRY DOGGY GRANOLA BARS

Very Berry Doggy Granola Bars

3M Bakery
Prep Time 15 mins
Baking TIme 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 1 dozen

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups Old-fashioned rolled oats – gluten free
  • 1 cup Coconut unsweetened, flaked 
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries dried, unsweetened, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cherries or Blueberries dried, unsweetened, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce
  • 1-2 Bananas mashed (depending on size)
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted natural crunchy Peanut Butter organic
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup organic

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C (350º F.) and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  • Place the oats, coconut, cranberries, cherries (or blueberries), seeds and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Combine the peanut butter, banana, applesauce and maple syrup in a bowl and stir with a fork until the mixture is creamy.
  • Add the peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture and either mix together, you may need to use your hands, until the mixture appears to be thoroughly combined, OR mix with your stand mixer, on a medium speed using a paddle attachment until everything is combined. The mixture is sticky and doesn’t look as if it has come together, that’s OK, in the next step it happens.
  • Press the sticky mixture into the parchment-lined jelly-roll pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes, depending on your oven, or until it is golden and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the jelly roll pan.
  • When cooled, use a knife to cut it into small bars or break into bits.

Notes

Storage, Refrigeration and Freezing instructions:
Store in zip lock bags or air tight containers in your refrigerator.
Allow to come to room temperature before feeding.
Home-baked dog treats contain no preservatives, so they can mold or spoil the same as home-baked people cookies/cakes do. Other variables, ingredients/moisture content of the treat and climate conditions will also determine the storage time.
Refrigeration will prolong the life of home-made dog treats.
Freeze for up to 6 months – Always allow treats to thaw completely before feeding.
Feed these VERY BERRY DOGGY GRANOLA BARS only as a treat.
Treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s diet.
As with any treat, always provide fresh water after feeding.
Be sure to check the recipe for any known foods or ingredients your pet may be allergic to. If in doubt, check with your Vet.

Will Granola Hurt My Dog?

No, if done sparingly. Dogs can eat granola cereal as long as it doesn't have any harmful ingredients in it. Make sure the granola that you feed your dog doesn't have any harmful ingredients like raisins or chocolate. Watch out for the fiber content too. If your dog eats too much fiber too fast, it could give them diarrhea.

Can Dogs Eat Granola and Cranberries?

The answer is yes – and also no. Cranberries are not toxic for dogs. When fed in moderation, they are generally safe and may even have some health benefits. Like many human foods, however, cranberries do pose some risks for dogs.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Granola?

The biggest risk for dogs eating granola is the fiber. The fiber could cause temporary diarrhea, and the dog might benefit from oatmeal and brown rice instead. If you want to try to make granola, you'll want to go for these items. For many dogs, nuts are a problem too, and lots of granola bars have nuts in them.

Will Oats Hurt Dogs?

No. It is a fabulous alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook oatmeal before serving it to your dog and select only oatmeal that has no added sugar or flavor additives. This is just a short list of human food for dogs that are healthy and safe.

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