There are some dogs who seem to be able to eat just about anything without any issues. Other dogs, especially designer breeds, tend to have sensitive stomachs. They can also be prone to various allergic reactions. For that reason, you should be careful what you feed your dog.
In the grand scheme of things, a dog’s diet should be balanced and suited to the particular breed.
We all love to sneak human foods to our furry friend now and then. Unfortunately, we can overdo it. When that happens, our dogs end up getting too much sugar in their diets. While good on occasion or to be used as training treats, regular food should be only given in moderation.
Are Cheerios Safe for My Dog?
Cheerios cereal (we’re talking the plain, original kind) only have 1 gram of sugar per serving. A serving, by the way, is 1 cup which is way too much for a dog. The nutritional benefits for humans are not the same as they are for dogs. Yes, they’re made from whole grain oats with less sugar than other popular breakfast cereals, but small amounts are key.
The plain, original Cheerios are a better option than some of the other cereal brands out there. Many families already have them on hand and they’re easy to transport to the park.
The only thing to remember is to start slowly. Don’t put an entire bowl of cheerios down for your dog. Instead, give him/her a couple of them. You want to see if the cereal will cause stomach problems or not. Generally speaking, they’re pretty safe for most dogs.
Are There Benefits to Feeding My Dog Cheerios?
The only real benefits of feeding Cheerios to dogs is the convenience. They may have fewer calories than some dog treats on the market, but they lack any significant nutritional value for dogs. As with anything, feeding Cheerios to your dog is okay in small amounts.
They’re also good to use when training a dog. Puppies love the taste. They’re soft and easy on their little (but sharp!) teeth. The only downfall would be the amount used. First time training sessions could involve a fair amount of treats and you don’t want to overdo it.
Can Cheerios or Other Human Breakfast Cereals Harm My Dog?
Plain Cheerios are the best option for treating your dog. Other breakfast cereals tend to include a lot of sugar which can contribute to obesity if given on a regular basis.
In addition, the more ingredients there are, the greater the risk your dog will have an allergic reaction. In fact, Cheerios carries a wide variety of types and flavors that should never be fed to dogs.
Types of Cheerios to Avoid & Why
Avoid cereals with artificial ingredients (flavoring, etc.) and watch the amount of sale and sugar.
A few cereals to avoid include:
Honey Nut Cheerios
Honey Nut Cheerios are tasty for humans but contain about 9 times more sugar than the original Cheerios brand. In addition to regular white sugar, this cereal also includes honey and brown sugar.
Too much of any human food is bad for dogs. In addition, dogs need protein to thrive and while some cereals may be fortified, it isn’t enough to sustain good health.
Unfortunately, a dog can’t thrive on high amounts of grain.
It should go without saying, but anything chocolate is bad for dogs. That said, there are some dogs out there who could eat a handful and not get sick. Don’t take that risk.
If you’re looking for the best cereal option to feed our dog occasionally, stick with the original Cheerios. You can be sure that anything else is going to contact more sugar and artificial flavors.
It’s not that your dog will immediately become sick. The problem is that, over time, the addition of these unnatural additives and sugars can have a huge (and negative) impact on a dog’s health.
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Let’s just say that anything other than plain, lower sugar Cheerios should be avoided.
9 Nutrition-Savvy Tips for Dog Owners
Dogs need the perfect balance of nutrients in order to thrive. The bottom line is that high-quality commercial pet foods should be able to provide that.
1. Cereal Doesn’t Have the Nutrition a Dog Requires
The occasional human treat probably isn’t going to cause any long-term harm in your dog. However, it’s best not to lean on that type of food. Whether it’s low-sugar cereal treats or premium pet treats, it’s easy to find something your dog will love.
2. There Are Healthier Alternatives to Dog Treats
Yes, Cheerios are convenient and easy to carry around in a small bag. Dogs love them and they can help with training puppies. However, there are all kinds of convenient foods that are a lot more nutritious for dogs.
Raw baby carrots, green beans, and other types of vegetables can be easily carried around as well. Puppies should have smaller bite-sized pieces that they won’t choke on.
3. Avoid Feeding Your Dog Dairy Products
Have you ever wanted to give your dog his/her own ice cream cone? Watching a dog lick a vanilla ice cream cone is the stuff of all great photographs. Unfortunately, dairy is one of the worst things you can give your dog.
Some dogs may do just fine if it’s only an occasional treat. Other dogs may experience symptoms of lactose intolerance. Gastrointestinal upset includes everything from a sore tummy to vomiting and diarrhea.
4. Carbohydrates and Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
Too many carbohydrates in a dog’s diet are linked to allergies. In fact, they can cause chronic UTI’s in dogs. Urinary tract infections in dogs are painful and most often need to be treated with antibiotics.
5. High Fiber Content in Cereal
It may seem like a good idea to feed dogs cereal with high fiber content. Unfortunately, those high fiber cereals are formulated for human needs, not dogs. While tiny amounts may be okay, be careful.
Too much fiber can cause painful bloating and can make constipation worse. If your dog is having trouble with bowel movements, be sure to see a veterinarian. Sometimes things like constipation can signal an underlying condition.
6. Watch Out for Wheat Allergies in Dogs
When feeding a dog something new, start slowly. Watch for symptoms of allergic reaction including hives, itching, swelling around the face and eyes, and other skin reactions.
7 Avoid Cereal Treats Containing Ingredients Toxic to Dogs
When feeding your dog human food, make sure it has no nuts, chocolate, nutmeg, almonds, or artificial sweeteners like Xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause death.
8. Dental Problems
Any amount of sugar is not good for dogs. Many treats made especially for dogs have ingredients that may help scrape plague from teeth. Cereal with high sugar content can contribute to dental problems in your dog.
9. Make Your Own Dog Treats
Look for recipes that are nutritionally balanced for dogs. Pinterest is the #1 place to find top-notch recipes for your dog. Other options include bake-at-home treats like those found at: Knead Love Pet Treats.
What’s Up Next?
We feed our dogs so many things from the kitchen table. At least some of us do! If you’re wondering what else is okay (or not okay) to feed your dog, have a look at these amazing posts:
You’ve probably heard the saying “everything in moderation” and it couldn’t be truer for dogs. Keep in mind that small dog breeds have much lower caloric needs than larger dogs. A few added human treats can add up to unwanted pounds.
Obesity in dogs can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, fatigue, and other problems.
Dogs need the right amount of animal protein and vitamins to thrive. It’s okay to feed your dog Cheerios in small quantities! Just don’t make them a replacement for healthier foods.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post! Please be sure to come back for more important updates on your dog’s health matters.