Can My Dog Eat Cheerios?

by Stuart | Last Updated:   March 31, 2019
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Dogs are curious animals who will try just about anything, that includes any foods they can get their teeth on. Cheerios are a common house staple that often finds their way onto the floor or end up being left in a bowl of milk on the table.

Can dogs eat cheerios?

Yes, cheerios are safe for dogs but they don’t provide much benefit. Cheerios contain little sugar and provide a tasty crunchy treat for your dog, but should only be considered filler as they provide little nutrition.

Cheerios are made mainly from whole-grain oats. This is not something your dog needs. The most Cheerios do is provide your dog with filler empty calories if they’re on a high-energy diet.

Part of being a pet parent is helplessly watching your dog run over to gobble up something that has fallen on the floor. Don’t worry, if a few cheerios fall during your busy morning rush, you and your dog can rest easy knowing things are going to be ok.

Are Cheerios Safe for My Dog?

The first thing that comes to mind when asking yourself ‘can my dog eat Cheerios?’ is likely your dog’s safety. Dogs are not built the same way as humans, so it’s essential to make sure that the foods they’re eating will not cause any shock or harm to their system.

Where do cheerios stand on the list of human foods for dogs? The truth about Cheerios is that they will not cause immediate damage to your dog’s system. In other words, your dog will not be poisoned or have a bad reaction if they eat some Cheerios.

While your dog is not in immediate danger if they finish off your morning bowl of Cheerios, they don’t have much to gain.

Nutrients in Cheerios for Dogs

Cheerios do not offer dogs any necessary or even bonus nutrients. Cheerios are made mainly from whole-grain oats. This is not something your dog needs. The most Cheerios do is provide your dog with filler empty calories if they’re on a high-energy diet.

It’s important to remember that Cheerios have sugar in them. While the cereal is recommended as a healthier alternative for consumption by humans, the same cannot be said for dogs. Your dog’s body is not built to handle sugar in the same way that you can.

Even treats with less sugar, like Cheerios, can create difficulties for your dog’s system if eaten on a regular basis.

Risks of Feeding Your Dog Cheerios

When dogs eat too much sugar they run the risk of developing diabetes. This is one health issue that could be contributed to by the consumption of Cheerios. While we humans digest oats easily, your dog’s stomach functions differently.

As harmless as they seem, Cheerios may cause your dog to experience stomach discomfort, irritation, and gas. A treat gone wrong!

On a more serious note, giving your dog Cheerios on a regular basis can cause long-term health issues. Dogs, like humans, can develop urinary tract infections. They may even develop into a chronic problem for some dogs.

What many pet parents don’t realize is that they may be contributing to their dog’s chronic UTIs. one of the most common causes of chronic UTIs in dogs is the consumption of grains like wheat, corn, oats and more. That includes Cheerios!

Another possible issue you could come across if you feed your dog Cheerios is allergies. Wheat allergies are common in dogs, especially in specific breeds. The most common symptoms of a wheat allergy reaction from Cheerios are:

  • Vomiting
  • Skin irritation
  • Inflammation of the ears
  • Itching and scratching
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in mood and behaviour

While giving your dog a few bites of Cheerios here and there may not seem like a big deal, it could turn into a painful problem for your pup.

Dog at table eating cheerios for breakfast
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Tips For Feeding Your Dog Cheerios

Cheerios are not toxic to your dog. If you do give your dog a Cheerios treat once in a while or catch them licking up your leftovers from breakfast, there’s no need to panic.

Here are some things you can do to keep Cheerios consumption as safe as possible for your dog:

  • Give your dog the oatmeal version of Cheerios. These have less sugar, making them healthier in the long-run.
  • Make Cheerios a treat. Don’t give Cheerios to your dog on a regular basis. Allow them only as a reward on rare occasions.
  • Quantity matters. Just because Cheerios are not toxic, does not mean you should give your dog a full bowl of milk! If you really want to give your dog the treat of Cheerios, sprinkle a few into their food to make sure they don’t have a negative stomach reaction.
  • Monitor the flavours. Cheerios come in a wide variety of flavours. Each different flavour of Cheerios has a different set of ingredients and sugar content. Check the label of the Cheerios you choose. Try to feed your dog Cheerios with the lowest possible sugar content.
  • No chocolate Cheerios. This is non-negotiable. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause food poisoning and even death if not treated quickly enough. If your dog consumes chocolate, they will surely experience an overabundance of energy, severe thirst, and convulsions.
  • Dogs don’t need a bowl of cereal. If you give your dog Cheerios, do not mix them with milk. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so consuming milk will likely cause them stomach discomfort and may even make them sick.

Healthy Treat Options for Dogs

There’s no need to cut treat time out of your dog’s life. There are plenty of healthy and safe treat options that you can reward your dog with.

If you’re committed to giving your dog the cereal experience, choose a better alternative like bran flakes, which will give your dog a healthy boost.

When it comes to giving your dog treats, grain-free options are safer and healthier overall. Some healthy human food treats for dogs are:

  • Cheese
  • Baby carrots
  • Peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Apple slices
  • Eggs

Remember that there are some human foods that you must never feed to your dog, as they are toxic. Here is a list of forbidden foods for dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Yeast dough
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Avocadoes
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Keep your dog’s consumption of human foods within healthy boundaries and they’ll be happy and full of energy. If you’re a new parent, resist that temptation to feed your dog scraps from the table!

Final Thoughts

The final verdict on Cheerios for your dog is that you can take them or leave them, but it’s better to leave them. Cheerios don’t offer your dog any nutritional benefits and can leave them on an unhealthy sugar high.

If your dog is a Cheerios fanatic, cut down on how much they eat them to be safe. Replace Cheerios with a tastier and healthier snack!

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Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.