Can dogs eat porridge with milk? Should they? And do they like porridge?
We tend to fall head over heels for our dogs. How could we not? Those puppy dog eyes are hard to resist, and we often find ourselves wanting to share all of our meals with them.
However, dogs can have sensitive stomachs and may not be able to handle all human foods.
While it is admirable that you would want to share your food with your canine companion, some foods can be toxic to dogs and can cause stomach upset.
One of the many questions we get asked often is if porridge and milk is safe for dogs, and for your Westie in particular.
Porridge and milk is a great, healthy breakfast for humans, but what about our furry Westie friends?
Let’s find out!
Can Dogs Eat Porridge?
The good news is that dogs can eat porridge! In fact, porridge can be healthy for your Westie and it is safe for them to consume.
Porridge is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and your Westie can benefit from them too.
That being said, before you start plating up another bowl of porridge in the morning for your dog, there are a few things that you should know.
Dogs should not have any other additional ingredients such as sugar, milk or syrup on the porridge. Just the porridge oats themselves are safe for your Westie to consume.
This is why it is best to check the ingredients on your porridge before giving any to your dog. Simple porridge oats are fine, but other additions like sugar are not suitable for your pooch.
Porridge oats have many vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, vitamin B, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and some small amounts of potassium and calcium.
Porridge oats are also a natural antioxidant and full of fiber, which is fantastic for your furry friend!
Antioxidants can help lower blood pressure, and porridge oats can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and aid digestion!
While porridge is safe for dogs, it should only be fed in moderation, not as their entire diet.
Can Dogs Have Milk?
It is best not to give porridge with milk as many dogs can be lactose intolerant, and milk can cause stomach issues for your Westie!
While milk is safe in small amounts, it is not advised to serve milk with the porridge oats.
Milk is also high in fat and natural sugars and can cause reactions in dogs such as loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting and digestive issues.
In fact, dairy is one of the most common food intolerances that dogs can have. The majority of dogs are lactose intolerant and will not be able to digest milk properly.
If you are unsure if your Westie is lactose intolerant, the common signs to look for are diarrhea, vomiting, gas, loose stools and abdominal pain.
While most dogs are able to digest cheese or yogurt, milk can cause adverse reactions for many.
It can be hard to tell if your Westie is lactose intolerant, and large amounts of milk would pose a problem for most dogs.
If you give a small amount of milk to your Westie and they are very unwell, then it is likely that they have an intolerance.
This is why we would recommend that you avoid giving your dog milk entirely, just to be sure, and only use water with porridge oats rather than milk.
How To Give Porridge To Dogs?
Before you start preparing your porridge as normal, there are a few things that you should consider before giving it straight to your dog.
As always, you should check with your Westie’s veterinarian before changing or adding anything to your dog’s diet to ensure that it is safe to do so.
First of all, check the package of your porridge to see if there are any unwanted additives or ingredients that could pose a risk to your dog.
For instance, you will not want to give them porridge oats with sweeteners, sugar, dried fruit or syrups. It is best to stick to plain, organic porridge.
That does not mean that porridge has to be boring for your pet!
You can add dog-friendly ingredients to make it more interesting such as peanut butter (without xylitol), sliced up bananas, apples, strawberries, pumpkin puree, yogurt, cinnamon or blueberries.
Remember that dogs cannot eat as much as us humans, so only a small amount should suffice. You should also ensure that the porridge is sufficiently cooked so that it is simpler to eat and easier to digest.
As an example, you can grab a medium sized saucepan, and mix some water or chicken broth with some pumpkin puree.
Then, bring the mixture to a boil, and turn the heat down to a low setting. Add in the porridge oats, and stir in to combine with the water/broth and puree.
Then, let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the oats are softer and the mixture is thick. Allow the porridge to cool down before serving it to your dog.
If you want, you can toss in some blueberries or some sliced up banana or apple to add to the flavor for your Westie!
If it is the first time that your Westie is having porridge or something different than its regular food, then it is a good idea to only give them a few spoonfuls to ensure that they can eat it without suffering from sickness or stomach problems.
It is important to note that porridge should not be a meal replacement for your dog.
Dogs need several essential nutrients and proteins for a well-rounded and balanced diet, which they will not wholly get from porridge. Therefore, it should be given as a snack rather than as an entire meal.
The serving of porridge should only be a few spoonfuls rather than a whole bowl, as it is best to give in moderation so that your Westie does not get an upset stomach.
What Foods Should Dogs Not Have?
Dairy is a very common allergen and food intolerance for dogs, but dogs cannot eat a range of human foods. Some of the most common are:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Excess Salt (chips, pretzels etc)
- Sugary Foods
Read our full article on What Can Westies Not Eat? Common Foods To Avoid.
To summarize, dogs can indeed eat porridge! Porridge oats are actually highly nutritious and even beneficial for your Westie in small amounts.
However, you should not feed your dog porridge with milk as most dogs are lactose intolerant.
Instead, serve a small amount of porridge cooked with water or chicken broth. Add some bananas or blueberries and other dog-friendly fruits to make the porridge more interesting and rich in vitamins and nutrients.
More On Westie Eating…
- How Much Food Should a Westie Eat? And How Often?
- What Can Westies Not Eat? Common Foods To Avoid
- What Foods Are Westies Allergic To? (Westie Dog Allergies)
- Can Dry Dog Food Give Your Westie Itchy Skin?
- How Big do Westies Get? How Much Do Westies Weigh?
- What Human Biscuits Can Dogs Eat? (Risks & Benefits)
- Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? Is Your Westie Eating Rocks?