Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?

Can Dogs Eat Cheerios

Cheerios is no doubt one of the most popular training treats or convenient snacks for dogs. While Cheerios may look like a healthy snack, is it safe for doggy consumption? I’ve heard many pet owners use Cheerios as a doggy treat which got me wondering, “Can I give my dog Cheerios?” or “Can I give my dog Honey Nut Cheerios?” Here’s the short answer first before we dive deep into this question. 

Can dogs eat Cheerios? Yes, dogs can eat Cheerios in moderation as it is not toxic to them. However, Cheerios doesn’t provide much nutritional benefit to dogs and is considered an empty-calorie food. It’s best to use Cheerios as an occasional rare treat.  

Can dogs have Cheerios?

Cheerios for dogs
Can dogs have Cheerios to eat?

While dogs can have Cheerios, it isn’t the best treat or snack for them. So, if you’re wondering, “are Cheerios ok for dogs?” you’ll want to take a look at the ingredients in Cheerios first. Right below are the ingredients in Cheerios. We’ll also discuss its nutritional facts. 

Cheerios Ingredients

  • Whole grain oats. 
  • Corn starch.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt.
  • Tripotassium phosphate.
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) added to preserve freshness.

Nutritional Profile of Cheerios (1 Cup or 26 grams)

Name, UnitAmount
Calories, cal93.3
Sugar, g1.3
Sodium, mg126.7
Total Carbohydrate, g19.3
Total Fat, g1.7
Saturated Fat, g0.3
Protein, g3.3
Dietary Fiber, g2.7
Iron, mg8
Vitamin D, mcg1
Calcium, mg87
Potassium, mg224

Based on this information, let’s go over how Cheerios can be beneficial to our canine friends next. 

Are Cheerios good for dogs?

Cheerios safe for dogs or unsafe for dogs
Can dogs eat Cheerios as treats?

If you’re wondering, “is Cheerios good for dogs?” or “are Cheerios safe for dogs?” you’ll be glad to know that there are some ingredients in Cheerios that are good and safe for doggy consumption. 

Let’s go over them in detail.

Whole grain oats in Cheerios is safe for doggy consumption

In moderation, whole grain oats can be a healthy addition to your canine friend’s diet. If your pooch has a wheat allergy or has gluten sensitivity, then oats are a great carbohydrate alternative. 

Oats are packed full of linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6 helps provide dogs with healthy, moisturized, and strong skin. It’s important that owners properly prepare the whole grain oats before feeding them to their furry family members.

However, many vets believe that whole grain oat is not a necessary component of a dog’s diet. These Cheerios act as a filler only and treating your furry family member to Cheerios only provide them with empty calories. This means they are high in calories and provide not many nutrient benefits to dogs. 

Just 1 cup of Cheerios or 26 grams, there are 93.3 calories. That’s a lot of calories for dogs considering how small the Cheerios treats are. 

Plus, our pooch needs high energy and high protein diet.

Handy Hint: If your canine friends are allergic to grains and wheat, try Amaranth flour instead. It is gluten-free, not a grain, packed full of protein, and contains all essential amino acids. It’s also good for your dog’s gut.

Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) in Cheerios added to preserve freshness

The vitamin E in Cheerios comes from mixed tocopherols which helps the Cheerios stay fresh longer. It is a natural preservative that you’ll find in many dog foods as well. 

Many believe that natural preservatives like vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) are much safer than using artificial preservatives. 

Vitamin E, in general, is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps dogs with the following: 

  • Fat metabolism.
  • Proper cell function.
  • Fight against oxidative damage.

However, the Vitamin E, iron, Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium in Cheerios are very minimal to be beneficial to our four-legged friends. Also, our canine friends can receive many of the same nutrients in Cheerios in healthier and dog-friendly snacks and treats. 

With that said, can Cheerios be bad for dogs? Let’s discuss this next.

Are Cheerios bad for dogs?

Let’s see how Cheerios can be bad for dogs.

High calorie and carbs in Cheerios is considered empty calorie snack for dogs

While Cheerios is not toxic to dogs, it’s not the healthiest treat or snack either. As we can see, in just 1 cup or 26 grams of Cheerios, there are 19.3 grams of carbohydrates and 93.3 calories. 

The high carbs and calorie count in Cheerios make this an empty-calorie snack or treat for dogs. Dogs aren’t receiving many nutrients other than increasing their calorie and carb intake for the day which can lead to weight gain and obesity over the long run. 

Keep in mind the 10% rule when it comes to doggy treats and snacks. Any treat or snack you offer to your precious pooch should not go over 10% of his or her daily calories. 

In general, most dogs require 25 to 30 calories per pound each day in order to maintain their weight. If we have a small dog and a medium-sized dog, here’s what we have:

  • A small 10 pound Chihuahua needs 250 calories per day: 10% or 25 calories from treats and 90% or 225 calories from a well-balanced main diet.  
  • A medium-sized 70 pound Labrador needs 1,750 calories per day: 10% or 175 calories from treats and 90% or 1,575 calories from a well-balanced main diet.  

We can see here that the smaller dog is more affected by the high calorie in 1 cup of Cheerios than the medium-sized dog. 

If your Chihuahua manages to consume 1 cup of Cheerios, then he or she would be consuming almost 3 times his or her calorie intake limit for treats. 

Remember your dog’s vet is always there to help you. If you’re concerned about your dog’s daily calorie intake, we highly recommend that you consult your vet and ask for his or her recommendation as each dog is different and one dog’s dietary need is different from another dog.

You might also like: Chihuahua Health Issues – Complete Guide

Be careful when giving your pooch treats and make sure they are not high in carbs or calories. Choosing canine-friendly treats is a better alternative, which we’ll discuss below.

Too much sodium in Cheerios can cause salt poisoning in dogs

In just 1 cup of Cheerios, there is 126.7 mg of sodium. That is considered a lot of sodium for dogs. Keep in mind that dogs only need about 0.25 to 1.5 grams of salt for every 100 grams of food. 

Consuming too much salt can put your pooch at risk for salt poisoning. Signs of sodium poisoning include: 

  • Extreme thirst leads to drinking a lot of water.
  • Urinating more frequently.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Lack of coordination. 
  • Muscle weakness and tremors. 
  • Convulsions.
  • Lethargy.
  • Coma (in severe cases).
  • Seizure (in severe cases).
  • Death (in severe cases).

Fun Fact: The color of your dog’s vomit can tell you why he or she isn’t feeling well and vomiting. Check out our Dog Vomit Color Guide to learn more and keep it handy!

High fiber in Cheerios can cause upset stomach in dogs

Fiber is necessary to your dog’s diet. Your K9 friends need fiber to have and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Fiber helps in bowel regularity and produces stools that are formed and firm. If your pooch has diarrhea, eating food with fiber can help. 

However, too much fiber consumption can have the opposite effect. When dogs consume too much fiber, their bodies may have a difficult time absorbing vital minerals and this leads to fiber imbalance. 

As a result, consuming too much fiber can lead to the following symptoms: 

  • Loose and watery diarrhea. 
  • Going to the bathroom more frequently. 
  • Accidentally defecating inside the house.

When dogs feel the need to go to the bathroom and can’t hold it any longer, it’s very common that they will defecate wherever they currently are and that includes inside the house. 

So it’s important that we take a look at the nutritional profile of any doggy treats before we feed them to our canine friends. 

If it contains too much fiber as in the case of Cheerios, then moderation is key. Only feed your pooch a small or moderate amount of Cheerios (less than 1 cup) so that he or she won’t have to experience an upset stomach or diarrhea. 

Fun Fact: The color of your dog’s diarrhea can tell you what’s causing your dog to have diarrhea. Check out My Dog Has Diarrhea But Is Acting Fine to learn more!

Are Cheerios healthy for dogs?

Cheerios aren’t necessarily the healthiest treat for dogs. But are Cheerios good training treats for dogs? Many pet owners have used Cheerios as dog treats because they are a great filler treat and something crunchy for dogs to munch on. 

So, can dogs have Cheerios as a treat? Dog owners (myself included) rely on Cheerios as dog training treats because they are small, crunchy, and easy to eat, and don’t distract dogs from their training sessions.

Can dogs eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

can my dog eat Honey Nut Cheerios
Is Cheerios bad for dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat Honey Nut Cheerios in moderation. However, while Honey Nut Cheerios are not toxic to dogs, there is more sugar in this flavored Cheerios. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Honey Nut Cheerios and its nutritional fact.

Honey Nut Cheerios Ingredients

  • Whole grain oats. 
  • Sugar. 
  • Oat bran. 
  • Corn starch. 
  • Honey. 
  • Brown sugar syrup.
  • Salt.
  • Tripotassium phosphate.
  • Rice bran oil and/or canola oil.
  • Natural almond flavor.
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) was added to preserve freshness.

Nutritional Profile of Honey Nut Cheerios (1 Cup or 37 grams)

Name, UnitAmount
Calories, cal140
Sugar, g12
Sodium, mg210
Total Carbohydrate, g30
Total Fat, g2
Protein, g3
Dietary Fiber, g3
Iron, mg3.6
Vitamin D, mcg2
Calcium, mg130
Potassium, mg150

Can dogs have Honey Nut Cheerios?

Taking a look at the nutritional profile of Honey Nut Cheerios, it’s best not to feed our K9 friends Honey Nut Cheerios regularly. 

Is Honey Nut Cheerios bad for dogs? Yes, in just one cup of this flavored Cheerios, there are more calories, carbs, fat, sodium, and sugar than the regular plain Cheerios. 

Speaking of sugar, there’s 12 times more sugar in Honey Nut Cheerios than there are in plain Cheerios. 

If your pooch accidentally consumes a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios (and this can happen very easily), they will have consumed way too much sugar and this would be 12 grams of sugar that our four-legged friends don’t need. 

Too much sugar consumption can lead to a whole host of health issues in dogs including diabetes, weight gain, obesity, dental issues such as tooth decay and cavities, metabolic changes, and even pancreatitis.

Are Honey Nut Cheerios good for dogs?

No, Honey Nut Cheerios are not good for dogs. There’s way too much sugar in Honey Nut Cheerios and regularly feeding this flavored Cheerios to your precious pooch can lead to weight gain, diabetes, dental issues, arthritis, and obesity. 

There is plenty of other healthy doggy treats to choose from so it’s best to stay away from Honey Nut Cheerios.

Are Honey Nut Cheerios ok for dogs?

From the ingredients standpoint, Honey Nut Cheerios is ok for dogs in that there are no ingredients in them that would be considered toxic or poisonous to dogs. 

However, from the nutritional profile perspective, Honey Nut Cheerios is not ok for dogs since this cereal is packed full of sugar, sodium, calories, and carbs.

Can dogs eat Multigrain Cheerios?

Yes, dogs can eat Multigrain Cheerios in moderation. Can dogs have Multigrain Cheerios? No, dogs should not have Multigrain Cheerios every day since it contains high amounts of grains and that’s not what our dog’s body needs. 

Instead, our furry family members need a high protein diet from meat. They should also receive their vitamin intake from canine-friendly vegetables like Brussel Sprouts.  

If you would like to feed your dogs Multigrain Cheerios, moderation is key. You can give them Multigrain Cheerios as a rare occasional treat. 

Can dogs eat Pumpkin Spice Cheerios?

No, dogs should not eat Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. While actual pumpkin is great and nutritious for dogs, the pumpkin spice in Cheerios isn’t. To fully understand why, let’s take a look at the ingredients in pumpkin spice Cheerios. 

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Ingredients

  • Whole grain oats.
  • Sugar.
  • Corn starch.
  • Refiner’s syrup.
  • Canola oil.
  • Salt.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Baking soda.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Cloves.
  • Annatto extract color.
  • Natural flavor.
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) was added to preserve freshness.

As we can see, there are two ingredients in Pumpkin Spice Cheerios that are toxic and harmful to dogs. They are nutmeg spice and cloves. 

Nutmeg spice in Pumpkin Spice Cheerios is toxic to dogs

Dogs should stay away from Pumpkin Spice Cheerios because they contain Nutmeg spice. Nutmeg is not safe for doggy consumption because it contains a compound called Myristicin which is toxic to dogs. 

Dogs that consume nutmeg in high doses may experience the following symptoms, which can last for up to 48 hours: 

  • Dry mouth. 
  • Increased blood pressure. 
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Abdominal pain. 
  • Hallucinations.
  • Disorientation. 
  • Seizures (in severe cases).

Cloves in Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are harmful to dogs

Dogs should also stay away from Pumpkin Spice Cheerios because it contains cloves which is harmful to dogs. That’s because cloves contain a compound called eugenol. 

In large doses, dogs may experience the following symptoms: 

  • Diarrhea. 
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting. 
  • Liver toxicity. 
  • Gastrointestinal upset.

So, can dogs eat Cheerios?

Cheerios are a convenient treat during training sessions so it’s no wonder why many owners give their puppies Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios as dog treats. If you’re going to use Cheerios as doggy treats, moderation is key. 

We highly recommend that you only give your pooch plain Cheerios instead of the flavored ones like Honey Nut Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, apple cinnamon Cheerios, or blueberry Cheerios. 

Avoid feeding your pooch too many Cheerios as they are high in fiber which can cause upset stomach and diarrhea. Stick to a moderate amount because they are also high in sugar, sodium, carbs, and calories.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.

CHEERIOS is a registered trademark of GENERAL MILLS IP HOLDINGS II, LLC. Dogleashpro does not claim any ownership of the CHEERIOS name, logo, or any identifying mark in any way. This article is for educational purposes only.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheerios

https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/nutmeg-cinnamon-toxicity/

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