Many people do question what they can give their dogs, especially when it comes to feeding them cereal. Although Cheerios contain sugar, they are made with mild ingredients. But what you want to know is can dogs eat cheerios though?
On the surface, cheerios look like a safe treat for pets. However, they are not made with the healthiest of ingredients. Also, it does feel like a nutritionally empty treat.
Let us look more at whether you should feed cheerios to your dogs or not. There are tons of drawbacks to adopting it as a training treat. Firstly, cheerios do not deliver much in nutritional value as food. Secondly, whole gain oats in cheerios do not act as an essential component in your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?
Nevertheless, you can use cheerios as treats sparingly. Cheerios are bad only when you give them too many. Even more so, there is nothing inherently harmful to it. Being low in sugar, whole grain oats does not impact their blood sugar levels. But there are tons of other treats that will benefit your pet nutritionally much more. We suggest you keep cheerios a rare treat, where they are only given a few at a time.
We are talking about plain Cheerios here. If you would like further information on other varieties of cheerios. We have listed them below.
Please check out the below table from the USDA FoodData Central Database showing what you can find in the original/plain Cheerios. This will give you more of an idea of why dogs do not need cheerios. It is just empty calories but if you insist, they must be only be used as a rare treat.
100g Serving of Plain/Original Cheerios
|Total Lipid (fat)||6g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||74g|
|Fiber, total dietary||10g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||5g|
How Much is Too Much?
Now, if you insist on feeding your dog Cheerios, please take the below information seriously. Cheerios really do not have any nutrition in them. They are what we call empty calories.
As mentioned above, you should only be giving your dog a few Cheerios. If you are asking how much is too much, then you are probably feeding them Cheerios too often and more than they should be. But we have answered this question below in case you still insist on it or they have got into your Cheerios box.
To be on the safer side, they should not be eating anything more than 1/4 of a cup. They should be eating even less if it is their first time.
Some signs to look for when feeding cheerios for the first time. If your dog shows signs associated with stomach upsets stop them altogether. If they are having stomach problems such as vomiting or diarrhea, visit your vet.
Other Varieties of Cheerios
When it comes to Cheerios there are tons of varieties and a lot of ways to eat them. Here, we have listed some of the popular types of cheerios. We have evaluated how safe it is to feed your dog.
- Plain cheerios are perfectly safe for your pets. It has got a minimal amount of sugar and other harmful ingredients.
- Honey nut cheerios have more sugar and flavor than plain cheerios. However, the flavor is relatively safe to feed your dogs. Since it is more flavorful than regular cheerio, feed only in smaller quantities.
- Cheerios and milk are safe to give to your dogs in small amounts. But you cannot give a large bowl of milk and cereal. Milk itself has fat in it and hence your dog cannot consume too much of it. You do not want to risk long term health risks such as obesity. In the case of skim milk, it does not harm them in small amounts. Technically, just like cereal, skim milk does not deliver nutritional value.
- Organic cheerios contain as much risk as plain cheerios. Regardless of whether cheerios are organic or not. It does not impact the safety of dogs. You want to limit it just as much as plain cheerios.
- Gluten-free Cheerios are made with the same set of ingredients as regular cheerios. Maintain the same amounts you would follow in the case of regular cheerios.
- High protein cheerios is a strict no-no. For instance, this type of cereal contains almonds in it. A dog’s stomach may not digest almonds that well. It may trigger vomiting and diarrhea upon consuming it.
- Rice cheerios neither benefit nor harm your dog. Rice is one such ingredient that pretty much counts as a non-nutritive filler in a dog’s diet. Your pet can safely consume rice cheerios when fed in smaller quantities.
- Frost Cheerios is a straight no. They contain too much sugar. The amount of sugar present in them can cause diabetes, obesity, or heart problems.
- Multigrain cheerios are safe to give it to your dog sparingly. Your pet cannot thrive on just a high amount of grains. It needs a diet built around animal proteins. This type of cheerios cannot be a regular part of your dog’s diet.
- Flavored cheerios: Cereal brands come up with a new flavor year after year. Here, we have made a list of different flavored varieties of Cheerios.
- Apple Cinnamon – Though cinnamon is safe, the apple variety is high in sugar. You have to exercise caution.
- Banana – This flavor is safe.
- Blueberry – Blueberries are not safe and can only be fed in tiny amounts to your pets.
- Cinnamon – Yes, this is a safe option.
- Fruity – Since it is high in sugar, we do not advise it.
- Honey – Honey is safe but contains more sugar. You can feed small amounts to your dog.
- Honey Oat – Though high in sugar, this cereal is safe.
- Maple – Since it is high in sugar, feed only in small amounts.
- Pumpkin Spice – It contains nutmeg which is harmful to your dog. Hence it is not to be fed to your dog.
- Strawberry – Though high in sugar, it is safe for dogs.
What you should also take into consideration is that some if not all these flavored cheerios are not actually made with real fruit. You are best to avoid anything that has anything artificial or has preservatives in it.
Instead, you can switch to healthy, non-grain-based treats. Which can be green beans, baby carrots, watermelon, etc… If you are following a limited protein diet to treat kidney/liver diseases, then protein-rich treats should be strictly avoided.
This is a conversation you should be having with your vet if they have a kidney/liver problem. Along with any other medical illnesses.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are a common pet problem, especially in cats and dogs. It often happens when owners feed corn, wheat, and oats. So as you can see from the topic if your dog eats a lot of cheerios, this is a possibility.
Kids casually throw cheerios around with dogs and cats in the house. The little rings containing grains, carbs, and sugar sets the stage perfectly for urinary tract infection. It also triggers a more possible allergic reaction.
When your dog is suffering from chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs), eliminate cheerios along with wheat, corn, and oats in your dog’s diet. Most of the bigger pet problems begin from a deceivingly small indulgence. Besides cheerios, you should not give any human breakfast cereals to pets. Read the below quote from the VCA Hospitals website about how to prevent an UTI occurring in future.
Your veterinarian will let you know if there is anything that can be done to prevent your dog’s UTI from recurring. Often, a diet change may be recommended. They may also recommend some medications or supplements that can help to change the pH of the urine, making it harder for an infection to take hold. It is best to discuss UTI prevention with your veterinarian in order to put into place strategies that have been shown to be effective.
Read the original article – VCA Hospitals
Other Medical Conditions
There are a few other medical conditions that restrict your dog from enjoying cheerios. Dogs with diabetes, cancer, or kidney diseases cannot be fed cheerios. Ask your veterinarian more about the medical condition of your pets. Make sure you are well informed before you feed your dog any human food.
Overall, your dog can eat certain types of cheerios. A lot of them are not toxic to dogs, but that does not mean they can eat them all the time. The main problem you will face is that some cheerios are literally covered in sugar. Dogs should not be eating sugary human foods; they cannot process it the same way we do.
If you insist on using cheerios as treats for your dog, they should only be the plain version. Everything else should be forgotten about. We have just listed the wide range of cheerios, so you can see the problems they can cause. Along with if they have gotten their hands on them. You will then know how serious the situation is.