Many types of human-grade foods are safe for dogs. So, you might have asked yourself this question before: Can dogs eat Cheerios?
The answer to this question is yes. Very small quantities of Cheerios are not detrimental to your pet’s health.
However, like any other cereals, they do have their share of sugar and sodium, so overdoing is never a good idea.
Benefits for dogs
The best thing about Cheerios is that they are mostly made out of whole-grain oats. This means that they contain larger quantities of fiber compared to other cereal varieties.
Fiber is important for dogs as it can regulate digestion. However, other healthier sources of fiber can be pumpkin if you do not want to feed Cheerios to your pet.
Low in sugar
Being made specifically for children, Cheerios contain lower amounts of sugar compared to other cereals. This means that one or two pieces are not going to raise your dog’s blood sugar to massive levels.
Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which is the primary substance in red blood cells. The latter are in charge of transporting oxygen and nutrients to your dog’s internal organs.
Most Cheerios varieties are enriched with iron, so they are fairly healthy in this respect.
Another nutrient that Cheerios are enriched with is vitamin D, especially since cereal makes a good portion of most kids’ diets.
Fortunately, vitamin D is great for preventing bone health problems such as rickets and osteoporosis, so your dog can get the same benefits, too.
How much to feed
Before you start feeding Cheerios to your dog, it’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian whether you are supposed to do it or not.
Your veterinarian is the person that’s fully knowledgeable about your dog’s specific health conditions, so they can tell you whether they’re a no-go or not.
The following table gives you some pointers as to how much of this cereal is safe, depending on your dog’s breed, size, and weight.
There are just 34 grams of sugar in 100 grams of Cheerios, and while that might be less than in other cereal types, it’s still there.
As you know, dogs should have a diet mostly composed of protein and fats, so sugar shouldn’t be present at all. However, it’s mostly dangerous for diabetic dogs, not for those who have perfect health.
One hundred grams of Cheerios contain as many as 637 mg of sodium.
Dogs should not consume sodium at all as it interferes with some of their body functions, and in time, it can even lead to cardiovascular health problems.
While this cereal is made with whole-grain oats, so it’s significantly healthier than other brands, it still has grains, so it can upset your dog’s tummy.
Cheerios should be occasional treats for dogs that seem to love them, but they should not make out an important part of their diet.
Preparing the food
Simple Cheerios can be fed as they are. They do not have to be prepared in any specific way.
Even so, while we’re at it, we’d like to note that you should avoid chocolate and almond Cheerios varieties as they can seriously put your dog’s health in danger.
Chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs, and there have been toxicity cases that have even led to pets’ deaths in the past. Almonds are not easy to digest by dogs.
Due to their sugar and sodium content, Cheerios should not be used as training treats. As you know, whenever your dog responds to a command, you should reward him or her with a snack.
However, a training session usually lasts for 15 to 30 minutes, and during that time, you might give your pet at least 10 to 12 treats.
If your dog is a giant breed, ten to twelve Cheerios might do him or her no harm, but the same does not apply for Chihuahuas, for example.
Since some dogs like to eat their Cheerios just like people, meaning with a small amount of milk, you can try this alternative, too. Keep in mind that many dogs are lactose-intolerant, so goat milk or plant-based milk might make better choices in this case.
Cheerios are better than other cereals, but they should not be fed to your dog every day. Even small quantities contain sodium, sugar, and grains, which can upset your dog’s stomach and can create other issues, such as blood sugar imbalances and cardiovascular health risks.
There are lots of healthier treats available for you to use as snacks for your dog, such as green beans, baby carrots, homemade jerky, or baked potatoes, so long as none of these contain any salt, sugar, condiments, or spices.
Last, but not least, make sure you always consult your vet before adding any type of new food to your pet’s diet. Taking your dog to the vet clinic once or twice a year and getting blood tests can also help you prevent a variety of diseases.