Can Dogs Eat Cheerios? Are Cheerios Safe for Dogs?

General Mills Cheerios is a staple food in many homes, and it’s not unusual to wonder if your dog can eat them. The short answer is yes. Your pet can eat Cheerios. If it has already eaten them, no harm will come to them. However, there are a few things to consider before you replace your pet’s kibble with Cheerios.

Join us as we look at the possible dangers, as well as any health benefits your pet may receive if they eat them. We’ll also give you some tips on feeding as well as a recipe for a delicious treat.

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Are Cheerios bad for my dog?

Plain Cheerios contain no ingredients that will harm your dog, as they are primarily whole grain oats.

dog eating
Image credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Nutritional Value

Though they don’t have any harmful ingredients, they also don’t provide much nutrition for your dog. Since they do not give any essential nutrition, we consider the calories empty calories not suitable as a well-balanced meal.

Ingredients

Although we mentioned that there are no harmful ingredients in plain Cheerios, there are quite a few flavored Cheerios cereals as well, including Honey Nut Cheerios. While most of these other flavors are also safe, you always need to look out for an artificial sweetener (Xylitol), which is a very dangerous chemical to dogs, and even a small amount can cause death.

There are a few other ingredients you need to worry about as well, including almonds, that may be difficult to digest, and may be present in some flavors. Chocolate Cheerios is another example of a flavor you should not serve your dog.

If you are using a flavored Cheerios, we recommend scouring the ingredients for xylitol before giving any to your pet.

bowl of cheerios
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Lactose Intolerance

An additional problem can occur if you include milk with the cereal or if your dog eats your cereal quickly while you answer the phone. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and even a small amount of milk can cause terrible bouts of diarrhea and discomfort.

We only recommend feeding dry Cheerios to your pet to minimize the risks associated with lactose intolerance.

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Are Cheerios good for my dog?

There may be a small benefit to your pet from any vitamin fortification in the cereal. It’s also a treat that your pet loves that doesn’t have ingredients that are bad like some dog treats. Cheerios contain no fat or added sugar, so they will not promote obesity or dental decay, and they are the right size for handing out during training sessions. Cheerios are also much less expensive than many popular dog treats.

dog eating
Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

How do I feed my dog Cheerios?

The best way to feed your dog Cheerios is one at a time during training sessions. Another great way is to use them as an ingredient in these popular Peanut Butter Cheerio Dog Treats we got from Paws Give Me Purpose. We made a batch of these, and our dogs loved them.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups Cheerios (plain, Honey Nut, or Multi-Grain)
  • 1 cup whole wheat or coconut flour
  • ½ cup unrefined extra-virgin coconut oil
  • Two large eggs or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Step 2: In a large bowl mix all ingredients to form a dough
Step 3: Form one-inch squares, making sure the dough is tightly packed
Step 4: Place squares on a lightly greased, or non-stick baking sheet
Step 5: Bake for 8 – 10 minutes
Step 6: Allow to cool at least one hour before serving
Step 7: Store extras in an airtight container and refrigerate

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Summary

It’s best to feed your dog plain Cheerios without the milk as an affordable treat that most dogs enjoy. It’s a helpful tool for training, and it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. Honey Nut Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios are also good if you want to add variety. We do not recommend allowing your pet to have milk or a large amount of Cheerios at one time. Remember to look for Xylitol if you use a flavor we haven’t discussed.

If we have helped put your mind at ease about feeding your pet Cheerios and have given you a few ideas about how you can add variety to your dog treat, please share this look at if dogs can eat Cheerios on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image: Pixabay