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Cereals are products that have been processed from whole grains to ingredients that can be used in everyday foods. These include corn cereal, oatmeal and wheat-based cereals. Cereals are dense in nutrients so that answers the question, ‘can dogs eat cereal,’ but they should not make up the majority of the dog’s diet.
The issue with carbohydrates levels in the cereal is that they increase the levels and insulin, leading to weight gain—not ideal when you are trying to help a dog lose weight. Cereal also comes with sugars, which negatively affects the canine dental health, especially if dry cereal is given.
Benefits of Cereal for Dogs
Particular cereals come with nutritional advantages. Bran flakes and oatmeal come high in fibre which is good for the dog’s digestive system. It reduces constipation or diarrhea effects in the body while also reducing the blood cholesterol levels in dogs. The ingredients also give your dog a sense of fullness. You may see the dogs eat less throughout the day.
Having dogs eat cereal flakes will work toward preventing rapid weight gain. Some bowls of cereal also come with vitamins and minerals that provide health benefits. Most cereals also provide relief for pets because of their hypoallergenic attributes—good for avoiding dog allergy. It would be recommended, though, to go for the non-sweetened cereal variety like wheat cereal or rice because of the bland variety of the food.
Complex carbohydrates as well provide adequate energy for physical activities with a reduced need for the dog’s insulin production as compared to processed foods. It is important as excess insulin may lead to obesity and heart disease .
Risks of Feeding Cereal to Dogs
Before feeding your dog any cereal, try and look at the ingredients and the nutrient profile. If the corn flakes have a high sugar content, perhaps, 10 grams of sugar each serving, it would be advisable to leave the cereal alone and feed them dog-friendly treats.
The reason is too much sugar consumption may lead to weight gain, diabetes in dogs, and even tooth decay. The bacteria present within your dog’s mouth utilizes sugar to produce acid. It would destroy the enamel gradually the same way it does in people.
Depending on the dog’s size and the cereal brand you choose, it can also be a choking hazard. At times cereals can clump together, especially if they have been soaked in a liquid. Clumped cereal will be tough for the dog to swallow, as it can be lodged within the throat.
While cereal is not toxic to dogs as well, there is a risk factor of the high level of carbs. These would lead to short and long-term problems such as pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas.
There are also additives and types of cereals that you need to steer clear of, such as chocolate or raisin bran. Chocolate is dangerous to dogs because it has theobromine. Unfortunately, canines cannot process and metabolize it, which makes it dangerous to dogs.
Dog’s bodies are also sensitive to theobromine resulting in symptoms like diarrhea, frequent urination, vomiting, thirst and seizures in extreme cases. Chocolate poisoning is not a joke, and you should take the dog to the vet as soon as you think it has occurred.
How Much Cereal is Safe to Give to Dogs?
It is safe to only give small amounts of cereal to the dog, and the frequency needs to be occasional as well. Too much of it in the dog’s food will lead to obesity, which will come along with diabetes. Please consult with the vet, especially if you have never fed the dog cereal before.
The veterinarian may recommend feeding them cereal, but it should be in specific quantities. An eighth of a cup should suffice for the small to medium-sized dogs. Large dogs can handle a quarter of a cup, which would be once a week. Of course, the cereal needs to plain and without excess sugar to avoid the excess build-up. Cereal is also a solution if they have gastrointestinal problems, but it needs to accomplish the aforementioned requirements to be a good choice.
Please do not try to feed the cereal with milk as it can cause other problems. It is very high in protein for dogs, and it can lead to pancreatitis if they have too much of it. Alternatively, you can serve the cereal with dog food or kibble, so it does not feel too foreign for your dog.
Consuming too much cereal may not have a harsh, short term effect on the dog, but the best thing is still to monitor them over a few days. They will be fine as the problems to look out for in the long term like obesity and diabetes. It can make them more hyper than usual, but there is no need to worry as they will be back to their normal self in hours.
Can dogs eat cereal brands like Cheerios?
Yes, dogs can eat cheerios, provided it is an occasional treat. It is relatively safe for dogs as Cheerios do not have ingredients or elements that are toxic to dogs, but they also do not have any nutritional value as opposed to the high caloric count.
Can dogs eat Weetabix?
Dogs can eat Weetabix as they are made of whole grain wheat combined with sugar and salt. It is safe for dogs as they do not have toxic ingredients. It is probable that the dog will not enjoy it due to their tastelessness. They also have a high caloric count.
Can dogs eat Coco Pops?
No, do not give your dog coco pops or chocolate-flavored cereal. Chocolate is not safe for dogs because it has theobromine which affects the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.