Is it safe to give your dog Cheerios as a treat? Find out if dogs can eat Cheerios in this comprehensive guide to one of the most popular breakfast cereals.
Cheerios are one of my favourite snacks. I don’t often have them for breakfast but I often snack on a handful in the daytime. If you’re like me and own a dog, you may have been tempted to share a few with you little pal.
But can dogs eat Cheerios… or should they?
While some dogs may enjoy the taste of this tasty breakfast cereal, it’s important to understand if Cheerios are safe for your furry friend before you offer them up as a snack.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?
- What Are Cheerios?
- Cheerios Nutritional Information
- Are Cheerios Good for Dogs?
- Are Cheerios Bad for Dogs?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?
Fortunately dogs can eat Cheerios. However, as with all human foods it’s wise to be cautious about allowing your dog to eat them. Additionally you shouldn’t allow your dog to overeat them.
In the rest of this post, I’ll provide nutritional details of Cheerios and outline the benefits and risks of allowing your dog to eat them. After all, we want to ensure our furry friends remain happy and healthy.
What Are Cheerios?
Cheerios are a super popular breakfast cereal that appeals to children and adults alike. They are made from whole grain oats, which are blended together with a variety of other ingredients.
You should note, there are many different varieties of Cheerios:
- Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Frosted Cheerios
- Very Berry Cheerios
- Multi Grain Cheerios
- Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries
- Cheerios Oat Crunch Berry
- Strawberry Banana Cheerios
- Honey Vanilla Cheerios
- Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Alongside the breakfast cereal range, there are also Honey Nut Cheerios Treat Bars.
For the purposes of this article, I’ll be discussing Original Cheerios.
Cheerios Nutritional Information
Original Cheerios are a low-fat cereal, with only one gram of fat per serving and no cholesterol or trans fat. They also contain some fiber, coming in at two grams of dietary fiber per serving.
While Cheerios do contain sugar, it is lower than most cereals at three grams per serving.
While this does mean they’re not as bad for dogs as some other cereal products, they still deliver calories so they should never be overfed.
A half cup of Original Cheerios contains 100 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates.
Treats should never form the basis of any dog’s diet.
The US Department of Agriculture shows the following nutritional information (among others) in 100g of Original Cheerios:
|Total lipid (fat)||6.41g|
Are Cheerios Good for Dogs?
As you’ve seen in the nutritional information above, Cheerios do provide some value in terms of vitamins and minerals. They do contain important nutrients like vitamin B6, Iron and zinc.
Vitamin B6 helps dogs to metabolise protein, iron helps red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body and zinc is vital for a healthy immune system and thyroid function. Cheerios also contain fibre which is beneficial for a healthy bowel.
However, although Cheerios do contain nutrients your dog needs, it shouldn’t be the main source of them. So while the odd Cheerios treat shouldn’t cause harm, it’s not likely to be really good for your dog either.
Are Cheerios Bad for Dogs?
While original Cheerios are a relatively harmless snack for your dog, it’s important to remember they also contain ingredients that can be bad in excess.
Additionally, certain kinds of Cheerios contain of sodium and sugar, which can be really bad for your dog’s health, especially if eaten in large doses for prolonged periods. A canine diet high in sugar will deliver unnecessary calories… and if consumed in enough quantities it may lead to canine obesity.
Furthermore, some varieties of Cheerios may contain ingredients that can be harmful for dogs even in small doses.
Finally, too much fibre can lead to gastrointestinal problems including gas and bloating. If your dog does eat too many Cheerios it may suffer from nausea, vomiting and / or diarrhoea.
In the case that your dog overeats Cheerios and becomes unwell, contact a veterinary professional immediately.
How to Introduce Cheerios into Your Dog’s Diet
As with any new food, especially treats, if you choose to give your dog Cheerios don’t give too many. Allow a few as a treat and see how your dog reacts to them. Assuming your dog doesn’t show signs of discomfort, you should be okay to let them have the occasional Cheerios treat.
Remember though, treats should never form a large part of your dog’s diet and so never allow your dog to have bowlfuls of Cheerios as this can never be healthy.
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?
Dogs can eat original Cheerios as an occasional treat. Most varieties will probably not cause harm, although you should never overfeed them.
I’d never go as far as to say that any human food is going to be good for dogs and of course some foods can be extremely harmful. The key then is moderation… treats should be occasional and never over-supplied.
Finally, always check the ingredients of the Cheerios you’re thinking of letting your dog have as a treat. If your dog is allergic to certain ingredients you’d want to know what Cheerios contain beforehand.
Additionally, always check any food like breakfast cereals for the presence of the sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs: it can cause fatality even in small doses.
Do you let your dog eat Cheerios as a snack? Had any bad experiences as a result? Please let me know about them or ask a question in the comment section below.
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