Are Cheerios Safe for Dogs?
You’ve probably started your morning with Cheerios more than a few times. This lightly sweetened cereal has filled the bellies of millions of children and adults around the world. If you’ve fed your babies these classic little o’s, then you’ve probably questioned whether they’re safe for your four-legged baby, too.
Cheerios are quite safe for dogs depending on the flavor you’re feeding. Cheerios used to come in just one flavor (Honey Nut), but the company has widely expanded its product in the past decade. You can find Cheerios coated in yogurt, flavored with fruit, or sweetened with chocolate. What’s safe for your dog is dependent on what’s in the specific flavor you’re offering.
- CEREAL: Whole grain oats cereal with real honey and natural almond flavor
- GLUTEN FREE: Gluten free and simply made without artificial flavors or colors; Good source of iron and calcium
- WHOLE GRAIN: First ingredient is whole grain and fortified with 12 essential vitamins and minerals
- HEART HEALTHY: Three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain oat foods, like Honey Nut Cheerios cereal, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Honey Nut Cheerios cereal provides .75 grams per serving
- PERFECT SNACK: A pantry staple for breakfast or a wholesome snack
Cheerios and dogs cannot be separated! Low in sugar high in crunch, your dog can’t resist its taste. This whole grain oats treat is full of empty calories because it offers little to no beneficial components of a dog’s diet.
The Honey Nut flavor is safe for your dog. You shouldn’t pour them a heaping bowl of cereal, but handing them off as treats is fine. Pay close attention to the variations that contain nuts, especially almonds. Almonds aren’t digested well by doggy stomachs, so most dogs come down with vomiting and diarrhea afterward. Frosted Cheerios might be a favorite in your household, but the additional sugar can really tear up your dog’s tummy. See here the benefits of yogurt for your dog!
Chocolate Cheerios are an absolute no-no for your dog. Chocolate of any kind should be avoided at all costs with your dog. Even small amounts can be toxic, especially to small dogs, or it could cause some pretty nasty stomach upset, including vomiting.
Overall, your safest bet is to only give your dogs the plainest version possible. The more ingredients there are in the cereal, the more likely it is your dog will experience negative side effects.
Is There Any Nutritional Benefit to Dogs?
Not really. While the American Heart Association claims the cereal has great benefits to the heart, they’re specifically referring to humans, not dogs. The minerals and vitamins added to the cereal might have some minor effect on canines, but any kind of cereal is essentially empty calories to a canine.
Some vets recommend using Cheerios in lieu of commercial dog treats if your dog is overweight. Cheerios have just enough flavor to make your dog think they’re getting the world’s best treat, and they’re just low enough in calories to be appropriate for a doggy diet.
They’re also good for puppies you’re trying to train. Some dogs will become quite set on only eating their treats because they have so much more flavor than their dog food. To avoid this, you can give them treats that are fairly bland in flavor, like Cheerios, so they enjoy the treat but still show interest in their food.
Multigrain Cheerios for dogs?
The debate is still ongoing whether or not multigrain cheerios are good for your dog. However, it is clear that multigrain cheerios are way healthy than your average flavored cheerios. Flavored cheerios come with a ton of additives, sweeteners and have a high level of sugar which is ultimately harmful to your dog. They might be okay for a once in month type of treat but you should always buy flavored cheerios after checking the ingredients yourself.
Chocolate Cheerios are not good for dogs!
Chocolate flavored Cheerios, or any cereal for that matter that contains chocolate or caffeine, must be completely ruled out as they are incredibly toxic to dogs.
As a rule of thumb. Avoid anything chocolate related or caffeine-related in your dog’s diet. Chocolate flavored cheerios are a big “NO” for your dog. Chocolate is extremely toxic for all dogs here’s why.
Caffeine and Chocolate have the ingredients “Methylxanthine” which leads to:
- Excessive thirst
- Possibly death.
Cheerios as training treats
There are a thousand dog treats available in the market that are way better than cheerios and it is observed that dogs prefer dog treats over their normal routine food. This is where cheerios can help you, their blandness in taste and flavor makes them a unique dog treat whereas it still keeps your pup interested in the regular food for daily intake. For training, purposes give your dog 1 cheerio at a time or even less if you see him gain weight.
Can Dogs Have Cheerios If They Have Digestive Issues?
Cheerios are easy to digest, they have high fiber content which means they help your dog in diarrhea or constipation. Always consult a vet before taking such a step, why you may ask? Well because stomach conditions vary from dog to dog so it is useful to ask your vet for advice first.
Keep Cheerios as a Snack
Whatever you do, don’t make Cheerios a staple in your dog’s diet. The majority of their calories and nutrients should be from dog food because it’s carefully formulated to supply all of the nutrition they need. Whatever you do, don’t give your dog a human-sized portion of Cheerios. Even though the cereal is fairly simple in nature, too much will cause stomach upset or turn them off of their next meal because they’re full of carbs.
Breakfast cereals are created for the nutritional needs of a human. While you might enjoy Cheerios for breakfast, they’re not meant as a meal replacement for your dog. Stick to using Cheerios as light snacks or training treats for your dog and you’ll help them stay as healthy as the day they were born.
Article Referenced from:
- Responses of dogs with food allergies to single-ingredient dietary provocation. JG Jeffers, EK Meyer, EJ Sosis – Journal of the American Veterinary …, 1996 – europepmc.org
- Can Dogs Eat Honey? – American Kennel Club
- Laetrile toxicity studies in dogs. L Laetrile – JAMA, 1978 – jamanetwork.com
- Chocolate intoxication. S Gwaltney-Brant – Vet Med, 2001 – aspcapro.org
- Identification of allergens responsible for canine cutaneous adverse food reactions to lamb, beef and cow’s milk. Á MARTÍN, MPAZ SIERRA, JL GONZÁLEZ… – Veterinary …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
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