Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios? Dangers (We Asked A Vet)

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If you’re like me, you probably enjoy giving your dog a little taste of your food every now and then.

We can’t help it; they’re just so stinkin’ cute! But it’s important to know that not all human food is good for dogs.

So, can dogs eat honey nut cheerios? We asked a vet to find out.

Dogs can eat honey nut cheerios in moderation. For a dog, honey nut cheerios provide no nutritional value and are simply empty calories. However, they are non-toxic and won’t cause any harm if eaten in small quantities. The danger of honey nut cheerios for dogs comes from overeating.

Below we will go into more details about dogs eating honey nut cheerios, the dangers, what to do if your dog eats too many, and other frequently asked questions about dogs eating cheerios.

Let’s dive in.

Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios? Dangers (We Asked A Vet)

What Are Honey Nut Cheerios Made With?

Honey nut cheerios are mostly made with whole grain oats, sugar, corn starch, salt, honey, brown sugar syrup, molasses, and vitamins and minerals.

When looking at the ingredients in honey nut cheerios, we can see some potential dangers for dogs.

The biggest concern is the fat, salt, and sugar content. Too much of any of these ingredients can cause issues with your dog.

Nutrition Facts

honey nut cheerios nutrition facts

1 cup of honey nut cheerios only contains 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fat, and 210mg of sodium.

This is relatively low in sugar, fat, and salt compared to other cereals and snacks.

But, as we know, dogs have a much different metabolism than we do, so even these small amounts can cause problems. The biggest concern with the ingredients is the sodium and sugar for a dog.

This is a lot of sugar and sodium for dogs, especially small dogs.

So what’s the consensus?

Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

I contacted our veterinary consultant and a few animal nutritionists for their opinions.

The answer is yes. Dogs can eat honey nut cheerios as a treat, but it shouldn’t be a staple in their diet. 12 grams of sugar and 210mg of sodium is a lot for a small dog, and too much of either one can cause health problems.

Honey nut cheerios are basically empty carbohydrates and calories for a dog. Take a look at the VCA hospital’s guidelines for dog nutrition. You will see that honey nut cheerios contain no real benefits from them. 

So, while your dog may enjoy a small taste of honey nut cheerios, they are not the ideal choice for a treat. 

In addition, puppies should not be given empty-calorie foods like honey nut cheerios. They are in an important growth and development period and need all the nutrients they can get from their food.

Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios As Training Treats?

Can dogs eat Honey Nut Cheerios

Yes, you can use honey nut cheerios as training treats for your dog.

The smaller pieces and sweetness of the cereal make it a good choice for a treat. Just remember to give it to them in moderation and not to use them all the time.

You will also want to only feed them one at a time if you know your training session will be longer. This will help prevent you from overfeeding them.

In addition, you should calculate how much you can feed them based on your dog’s size, age, and activity. That way, before your training session, you know exactly how much you can bring with you, and once those are out, you’ve hit the limit.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

Honey nut cheerios are safe for dogs to eat as a treat occasionally. They do not contain any toxic ingredients for dogs but are high in sodium and sugar.

Just make sure your dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients. If unsure about your dog’s allergies, always start with a small amount and watch for any adverse reactions.

Moderation is key. Too much honey nut cheerios can lead to weight gain, dental issues, diabetes, and other possible dangers.

The biggest concern is the amount of sodium in honey nut cheerios. Too much sodium can cause problems with dogs, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • High blood pressure
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Salt poisoning

So, while honey nut cheerios are safe for dogs to eat, they should only be given occasionally.

Can Dogs Eat Plain Cheerios?

Can dogs eat Cheerios

Plain cheerios are actually a better choice for a treat than honey nut cheerios. This is because they are lower in sugar and calories and higher in fiber.

The only downside is they are not as tasty, so dogs may not be as motivated to eat them.

However, plain cheerios are still just empty calories that provide no real value.

Are Cheerios Healthy For Dogs?

While you have probably heard that honey nut cheerios have health benefits for us humans, the same does not hold true for dogs.

Yes, honey nut cheerios contain some vitamins and minerals, but not enough to make a difference in your dog’s health.

Plus, to really eat enough to see the benefits, they would also need to consume tons of sugar, sodium, and calories – which just negates the potential benefits. 

Dogs thrive on protein-heavy diets, and cheerios have almost none. So, honey nut cheerios can be fine for a treat, but they won’t provide any real health benefits for your dog.

How Much & Often Can I Feed My Dog Honey Nut Cheerios?

Can dogs eat Honey Nut Cheerios

If you have an older dog and want to treat them to some honey nut cheerios, start with a small amount. If they enjoy it and have no adverse reactions, you can feed them a few honey nut cheerios.

Treats should never account for more than 10% of a dog’s diet, so don’t go overboard.

When speaking with Dr. Littlejohn, he mentioned being very careful with small dogs. Owners can often forget just how little their dog is. 

Many end up feeding their dogs way too much human food by accident. The proportion of food you give them should match their size. Just because it seems like a tiny amount to you does not mean it applies in the same way to your dog.

This becomes even more important when you feed a dog foods high in sodium, fat, sugar, or other harmful ingredients. These types of food just be an occasional treat and nothing more.

Dangers Of Dogs Eating Honey Nut Cheerios

A dog’s most significant issues when eating honey nut cheerios are allergies and overeating.

Overeating

A few cheerios will not kill your dog, but if they eat the whole box, they could be in trouble.

A dog that gets into too many cheerios could face problems like food bloat, diabetes, cavities/teeth issues, salt poisoning, obesity, or pancreatitis.

The biggest risk is salt poisoning. This is because 1 cup of cherries contains 210 mg of sodium. This is far too much for a dog to consume. This is especially dangerous for small dogs since a much smaller amount of sodium can lead to salt poisoning. 

Salt poisoning symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Lethargy 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors/seizures 
  • High temperature 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Unconsciousness/coma

Allergies

In addition, a dog that has allergies to any of the ingredients in honey nut cheerios could have a reaction ranging from mild to severe. 

Mild reactions may include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face or extremities
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Severe reactions can include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the throat or tongue
  • Shock
  • Cardiac arrest

Some ingredients in cheerios dogs could be allergic to are nuts, wheat, and soy. If your dog has allergies, it is best to avoid giving them honey nut cheerios altogether.

What To Do If Your Dog Overeats Honey Nut Cheerios?

Can dogs eat Honey Nut Cheerios

I reached out to Dr. Littlejohn to find out what he’d recommend caring for a dog that ate one too many honey nut cheerios.

Vets will usually ask the following things (in order):

  • How long ago did they eat the cheerios?
  • How much did they eat?
  • How big is the dog?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your dog’s behaviors?
  • Are they drinking water?
  • Any signs of physical pain or discomfort? Vomit? Diarrhea? Blood?
  • What’s the color of your dog’s gums?

These questions help the vet examine the situation to determine the level of risk. For example, If you have a tiny dog that ate an entire box of cheerios, they are at a much greater risk than if large dogs ate a bowl of cheerios. 

Knowing the common questions a vet will ask can help you understand what you need to look for. Since each scenario will be unique depending on how much was eaten and how big your dog is, there’s no one size fits all answer.

The only thing you can do when a dog eats honey nut cheerios is to wait and see if they start showing any symptoms of discomfort.

If your dog starts to show symptoms, it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately for further instructions.

You can also use online services to speak directly with a vet for immediate help.

Click here if you wish to speak with a vet online right now.

*Important note: Small dogs are at the greatest risk since they have tiny digestive tracts! This means a smaller amount of cheerios can do much more damage. For large dogs, the biggest concern is bloat.*

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Honey Nut Cheerios Can I Give My Dog?

Can dogs eat Honey Nut Cheerios

The number of honey nut cheerios you can give your dog depends on their size. Smaller dogs can have a few pieces, while larger dogs can have a small handful.

They should never eat more than 10% of their daily caloric intake from treats, so make sure to factor that into how many cheerios you give them.

If you are unsure how many to give them, it is always best to err on the side of caution and give them less rather than more.

Final Thoughts

So, can dogs have honey nut cheerios?

Yes, adult or senior dogs can have honey nut cheerios as a treat, but puppies should avoid eating them. Human foods without any nutritional value is just empty calories for dogs. For puppies growing, they need a diet that is nutrient-rich and high in protein, not sugar and sodium.

For adult and senior dogs, a few pieces of honey nut cheerios as an occasional treat is completely fine.

However, suppose they overeat sugar and sodium. In that case, it can be harmful and lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, or salt poisoning. That’s why moderation is the key.

If your dog does overeat honey nut cheerios, keep an eye out for any symptoms of discomfort and contact your veterinarian if your dog seems off after eating some.

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