Do you seem to always have sweet puppy eyes looking at you, asking for a bite of your puffed Cheetos every time you open the bag? If so, you’ve likely wondered if it’s safe for your furry friend to share your cheesy snack with you since many dogs love Cheetos.
Cheetos and cheese puffs or cheese balls are a yummy snack for you to eat from time to time, but it’s important to know what to expect if your dog eats Cheetos. Fortunately, we’ve pulled together all the information you need on feeding your puppy these tasty treats!
Can Dogs Eat Cheetos?
The short answer to this question is yes, if dogs eat cheese puffs in very small quantities, it’s safe and shouldn’t cause any issues. However, it’s important to consider what ingredients are in Cheetos to determine if it’s a healthy snack for your dog.
The ingredients in Cheetos have no nutritional benefits for your dog and can potentially lead to health issues down the road, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. With these factors in mind, it’s important not to let your dog eat these cheese balls regularly.
What is in Cheetos?
While the ingredient list can vary based on which form of Cheetos you’re buying, they all have some ingredients in common. These same ingredients include:
- Enriched cornmeal
- Vegetable oil
- Cheddar cheese seasoning made with cheese cultures
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Whey protein concentrate
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Citric acid
Some of these ingredients pose potentially harmful side effects for your pet dog if they eat cheese balls regularly. The enriched cornmeal can be dangerous for your dog because it includes many additives, preservatives, and seasoning.
Specifically, the cheddar cheese seasoning contains Monosodium glutamate or MSG. There are mixed feelings on whether MSG is dangerous for dogs, but some believe it could be harmful to your dog’s brain health.
In addition, the salt added to Cheetos puffs and other versions can cause incredibly high sodium levels, which can be detrimental to your dog’s health if they eat too many of them. Regardless of the version of cheese puffs, you have in your home; these potential dangers exist in them all.
Nutritional Facts of Cheetos
Not only are there concerns over some of the ingredients of cheese puffs, but there’s also concern over the nutritional aspect of them. Regular Cheetos are full of empty calories and saturated fats, which can be dangerous to your dogs in higher quantities. When your dogs eat Cheetos, there’s not much value in them other than a tasty treat.
Specific Types of Cheetos
Some dogs eat Cheetos of different varieties, but they can have specific concerns that come along with them. For this reason, it’s important to keep those in mind as well.
Can Dogs Eat Organic Cheetos?
While the word “organic” may make you think these Cheetos would be a better option for your dog than crunchy Cheetos, that isn’t the case. The main ingredient is organic cornmeal, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of nutritional value and high sodium levels that are still present. Unfortunately, organic Cheetos are just as bad for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Flamin Hot Cheetos?
Flamin Hot Cheetos are especially dangerous for dogs because of the flamin’ hot seasoning. Spicy foods are not good for dogs to eat because they can cause stomach pain and other digestive issues. Your dog should avoid any spicy snacks, and this also includes jalapeño Cheetos. If your dogs eat hot Cheetos, there’s a greater chance of negative effects due to the spices.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Cheetos?
Baked Cheetos contain the same poor ingredients as crunchy Cheetos, including vegetable oil; they are just baked instead of fried. For this reason, it’s best to avoid them as well or let your dog only have small quantities.
Healthy Alternatives to Cheetos
If your dog loves crunchy foods, some other human foods would be better for them to eat instead of cheese puffs. Some options include broccoli, apples, and carrots which many dogs seem to thoroughly enjoy snacking on! Of course, you can always give them treats specifically made for dogs or their dog food instead of feeding them junk foods.
In general, it’s best to avoid artificial flavors, choosing a food that has natural flavor instead. For example, if your dog loves cheesy snacks, you may want to give them a small piece of cheese made with skim milk instead. As long as your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, this is a much healthier option for a cheesy treat.
While a few bites of Cheetos won’t harm your dog, it’s best to avoid letting them eat Cheetos regularly. Not all human foods are suitable for dogs, and Cheetos ingredients make them lack nutrition and can even cause dogs to have health issues down the line. It’s best to choose a natural snack for your dogs to enjoy versus junk food.
Most dogs eat cheese from time to time, so if your dogs are insistent, it’s much better to give them a low-fat cheese slice instead. When dogs eat Cheetos, they may enjoy them at the moment, but the possible risks aren’t worth the moments of a yummy snack.