Yes. Dogs can eat certain kinds of cereals in moderation. Cereals don’t add much nutrition to your canine’s diet unless fortified with some fruits. However, you can offer them as treats. If you run out of ideas, you may pick up cereals to feed your dog as snacks. Remember, you must provide them with only plain cereals, not flavored ones, as they may cause choking hazards and affect their health instantly.
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What Are Cereals?
Cereals are breakfast food made up of roasted grain, traditionally taken with milk. The grains include oatmeal, cornflakes, wheat, and rice. It contains fewer calories and is popularly consumed by many as a diet. In addition, it is a beautiful treat for those who love crunchy food. Thus, your dog will also enjoy munching on this crunchy snack. “Cereal” was derived from the word “ceres,” the Roman goddess of agriculture and harvesting.
Are Cereals Safe for Dogs?
Although they contain some nutritional value, not all cereals are safe for dogs. Some kinds of cereals that are safe are listed below:
Why Are Cereals Good for Dogs?
Cereals are less nutritional and cannot be your dog’s regular diet. However, cereals are far better than other dog treats and snacks with zero nutrition. Here is why cereals are suitable for dogs:
- Cereals are loaded with fiber, enhancing healthy digestion and controlling constipation or diarrhea. It also helps in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
- They give a sense of fullness to the appetite and thus will prevent obesity in dogs.
- Cereals produce quality carbohydrates.
- They also help in lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Cereals provide relief for dogs with food allergies.
- Cereals are rich in vitamins, protein, and minerals that help reduce stress.
- Cereals also stabilize blood sugar levels.
Why Are Cereals Bad for Dogs?
Although cereals are healthy for dogs, overfeeding them can affect your pet. Cereals contain high carbohydrates, which leads to some health issues. These include:
Cereals contain carbohydrates and fats. So excessive consumption of cereals can make your dog gain weight.
Cereals contain sucrose and are rich in sugar. Hence when cereals are regularly fed, dogs are prone to diabetes.
If dogs eat sugary treats, they develop tartar and plaque, and removing the sugar foodstuffs stuck between their teeth becomes difficult. It causes their teeth to decay.
Diets rich in whole grains or cereals can cause urinary tract infections and kidney failures due to urinary crystal formation.
A dog’s digestive system is more sensitive than a human’s. Thus, nuts like almonds cannot be digested by their stomach, which can cause indigestion.
Some ingredients in cereals that are bad for dogs
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener ingredient in sugar-free snacks, is used in some store-bought strawberry yogurt. It is hazardous for dogs, causing hypoglycemia and severe liver damage. Therefore, ensure the brand you buy doesn’t contain xylitol. Some similar names of xylitol that you can find on the labels include:
Some dogs are intolerant to nuts causing nut allergies in them.
Soy in cereals can cause allergic reactions in your dog. Symptoms of soy allergy in your pet include:
- Ear infections
- Itchiness in eyes
- Excessive sebum discharge
- Inflammation of the eyelids
- Redness and soreness of the skin
- Continuous sneezes
- Continuous licking resulting in hair loss
A raisin in cereals can be hazardous to dogs as it has mycotoxin, which can lead to:
- Kidney failure
Chocolates and choco chips in cereals can be hazardous to your canines. Chocolates contain toxins like theobromine and caffeine, making your dog restless and causing abnormal heart rates and seizures.
How Much of Cereals to Feed Your Dog?
- Before introducing new food to your dogs, consult your veterinarian and follow his suggestions.
- Check for dog-safe ingredients.
- Even though cereals contain some nutrients that can be good for your dogs, limiting this food to occasional treats and snacks is always best.
- Being a pet parent, you know that snacks or treats should take at most 10% of your dog’s daily calorie count, and the rest would come under dog food.
- Finally, feed cereal depending on your dog’s age, activities, and size.
How to Serve Cereals to Your Dog?
Here are some points to be considered while serving cereals to your dogs.
- First, offer plain cereals with a low glycemic index of 12 percent calories per serving.
- Do not add milk, as dogs are lactose-intolerant.
- Cereals are not wholesome food containing essential nutrients that your dog’s metabolism requires, nor are they substitutes for natural whole grains.
- Blending the cereals with some cooked vegetables, fresh and chopped fruits, healthy proteins like eggs, homemade dog-safe peanut or almond butter, or wet canned food are best to acquire additional health benefits from cereals.
Some cereals that should be avoided are listed below:
- Cocoa Puffs
- Lucky Charms
- Reese’s Puffs
- Fruit Loops
- Raisin Bran
- Count Chocula
- Great Grains
- Oatmeal Crisp
What if My Dog Ate Cereals?
If your dog eats cereals that are not dog-safe or consumes more, you should take him to a vet immediately. The following are the symptoms to look out for:
- Abdominal pain
- Upset Stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach soreness
Alternatives to Cereals
You can always go for kibbles or foods specially made for dogs. However, cereals that are dog safe are listed below:
- Bran Flakes
- Cream of Wheat
- Oat Bran
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Apple Jacks Cereal?
No. Dogs should not be offered Apple Jacks Cereals. This cereal contains high sugar and preservatives that may upset your canine’s stomach.
Yes. Cheerios are safe to offer your dog. However, they are not nutritional and can be limited to treats.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Chex Cereal?
Yes. Chex, be it rice or corn, are safe for dogs. Check if these cereals contain ingredients that are unsafe for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal?
Cinnamon toast crunch is safe for dogs. However, they may be high in sugar. Therefore limit the quantity to occasional treats.
Can Dogs Eat Frosted Flakes Cereal?
Frosted Flakes are safe for dogs. However, you can feed only very few flakes occasionally. Check the ingredients before providing any kind of cereal.
Can Dogs Eat Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereal?
Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereals are safe but unhealthy owing to high sugar and preservatives.
Can Dogs Eat Fruity Pebbles Cereal?
Fruity Pebbles are safe, but these cereals contain more sugar than other brands, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal?
Cereals like Honey Bunches of Oats are safe for dogs, but in moderation, owing to added sugar and preservatives.
Yes, dogs can eat Honey Nut Cheerios safely.
Can Dogs Eat Kix Cereal?
Kix cereal is safe for dogs to eat. However, it is better to offer them in minimal quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Life Cereal?
Life cereal is safe for dogs. It has less sugar than many other cereal brands and is void of calories.
Can Dogs Eat Trix Cereal?
Trix Cereals are safe for dogs but contain high sugar, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
Cereals are healthy treats for your dogs and can be offered in moderation. Some matters of concern while feeding these cereals to your dogs are artificial sweeteners, preservatives, checking for dog-safe ingredients, and feeding quantity. Apart from that, cereals are safe for dogs.