Your dog is being such a good boy, so you search for the treats.
But none are there. Oh no, you’re out!
So you fumble around your cabinet and spot the Cheerios.
Can Dogs Eat Cheerios?
When you’re asking if dogs can eat cheerios, are you asking if they will harm your dog or if they’re healthy? The answer will depend on what you’re looking for.
Most dogs can eat plain, oat-based cheerios without any side effects. In general, they will not harm a dog. Unlike foods such as chocolate and grapes, they are not toxic.
Many dogs like the crunch of cheerios like humans like the crunch of potato chips. Remember, we’re talking about the Cheerios themselves, not a bowl full of milk.
Are Cheerios Healthy for Dogs?
Although Cheerios aren’t toxic for dogs, they don’t provide much nutritional value either. In other words, they are empty calories. With that being said, they can make an okay treat once in a while in a small portion. Just don’t feed him a full bowl of cheerios every morning for breakfast (obviously).
One of the positives is that plain cheerios are low in sugar. Still, too much could elevate his sugar levels, which could cause diabetes and other problems. They’re also made with mostly whole grain oats and although that sounds healthy, it doesn’t provide anything necessary to your dog’s diet.
Most Cheerio brands contain corn, which is also a common allergen to dogs. Allergic reactions may not be a huge change, so you should also look for itchy paws/skin and stomach irritations.
Cheerios tout their cardiovascular benefits and their ability to control cholesterol, as stated by American Heart Association. However, the benefit is not the same for dogs given that their bodies are different.
Dogs need nutrients that aren’t provided by Cheerios, such as protein, so it is not a suitable dog food.
To make sure you don’t give your dog too much:
- Use cheerios as an occasional treat
- Sprinkle a few in his dog food
- Use a few as training treats
Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
Similar to plain cheerios, honey nut cheerios aren’t harmful to dogs but they don’t provide any essential nutrients. Some people think that there might be some added value of the honey; however, how much honey your dog gets in a small serving and the quality of it is probably not great.
Many people think that honey nut cheerios are the best Cherrio flavor to feed dogs. If your dog has a nut allergy, you’ll want to stay away from this one.
Can Dogs Eat Other Cheerio Flavors?
You should also remember that cheerios come in a variety of flavors. Although the added sugar content in some brands may not be too harmful to humans, it can represent a bigger sugar spike in dogs. Banana Nut Cheerios have added sugar, but shouldn’t cause any health problems when fed as a treat.
With that being said, you should stay away from chocolate cheerios because—well, chocolate is always a terrible idea for dogs. You may also aim to stay away from high-sugar Cheerios, such as Cinnamon Cheerios.
Dogs can react differently to different foods. If you feed your dog something new, use common sense. If he reacts, pull away the treat and don’t feed him it again.
Should You Feed Your Dog Cheerios?
To decide whether or not you want to feed your dog Cheerios as a snack, review these pros and cons.
- Low sugar
- Still some flavor
- Enjoyable snack
- No nutritional value
- Some Cheerio flavors are higher in sugar
- Can’t be used as dog food
- Bad for dogs with wheat or corn allergies
…Something to Keep in Mind with “Cheerios”
Although we’ve stated that Cheerios aren’t the worst snack to feed your dog, there’s something else to consider. There’s many brands “knock-off” Cheerio brands that may have a slightly different ingredient deck. Although it’s likely similar, you’ll always want to check the label to compare. For example, some brands may be higher in sugar, making you opt for the more expensive, brand name Cheerios.
On the other hand, it’s possible other brands could have less sugar, so it’s worth checking out for both your health and your doggo’s!
Other Cereals To Feed Your Dog Other Than Cheerios
As we mentioned, cheerios aren’t harmful, but they aren’t the best option either health-wise. If you’re looking for a healthier cereal to feed your dog as a treat you may want to consider:
- Bran flakes—they’re high in fiber, which means benefits to your dog’s digestion. They’re also usually sugar-free. If they’re too stiff for your dog, you can soften them a bit with warm water.
- Cream of wheat— When a dog has a sore stomach, some vets recommend rice or cream of wheat since it’s soft on the stomach and pretty bland tasting. On the other hand, like cheerios, it doesn’t provide any essential vitamins. Of course, if your dog has a wheat allergy, you’ll need to stay away from this cereal.
Cereals to Avoid
Many cereals aren’t healthy but aren’t harmful either. However, some are toxic to dogs. The most obvious ones contain chocolate and raisins. Don’t feed your dog these:
- Coco Puffs
- Reese’s Puffs
- Raisin Bran (or any cereal that contains raisins)
- High-sugar cereals (Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch). While these won’t necessarily harm your dog, they are filled with too much sugar for his diet.
Summary on Whether Dogs Can Eat Cheerios
When choosing a treat or snack for your dog, there’s a couple things you want to keep in mind. One of the first factors is health content. The original cereal Cheerios doesn’t have much nutritional value to offer your dog. With that being said, unless your dog has allergies or sensitivities, it shouldn’t hurt them in small quantities either.
Compared to other cereals, Cheerios are low in sugar. They’re still an unnecessary carb for your dog’s diet, but they can be a tasty snack for them now and again. If your canine accidentally eats some Cheerios, it usually isn’t a cause for concern. However, if your dog has pre-existing health concerns or has eaten a large quantity, you’ll want to call your vet to learn if there’s potential risks.
If you choose to give your dog a few pieces, keep in mind the type you purchase. Some brands contain added sugars and flavors, which aren’t great, so we’d recommend sticking to bland varieties. Although you may think your dog will think it tastes “boring,” you should also consider that dogs have more sensitive palates, meaning that they’ll enjoy a low-sugar brand just fine.