Cheerios have been around for generations. They are well-known as a low-sugar and heart healthy breakfast food option that everyone in the family can enjoy. However, does that include your four-legged family members? The short answer is, “No.” Let’s take a deeper look into why Cheerios are so wonderful for humans to eat but, why they are not recommended for pooch consumption.
First of all, Cheerios are not necessarily labeled as a “dangerous” food for dogs. In fact, this popular breakfast cereal is used as a training treat by many dog trainers simply to change up the dog’s normal treats and also because dogs seem to enjoy their crunch! So, while dogs technically can have the occasional Cheerio treat, they should not consume them in large quantities or frequency.
Cheerios act as low-grade filler for our canine companions. Dogs are carnivores after all and should be consuming a great deal of fresh, natural and high-quality proteins every day. By providing a dog with Cheerios (especially in large quantities or frequency) it is the equivalent to feeding him a poorly made dog kibble that is stuffed with non-beneficial fillers. His daily diet should significantly consist of high-quality protein sources (both in their daily kibble and their treats).
How do you know if the kibble and treats are made of high-quality protein sources? The best way to tell is to investigate the ingredients list found on the packaging. The first ingredient (or first few ingredients) should be something similar to “chicken meal, chicken by-product, beef meal, beef by-product, pork meal, pork by-product.” These protein sources are not necessarily the “best of the best” but, on the other hand, they are not technically the “worst of the worst” when it comes to our pet’s food ingredients. If the kibble or treat is made from a meat source (chicken, beef, pork, turkey, fish, etc.) that is labeled as “fresh” then this kibble or treat is considered exceptionally high-quality and is definitely a good option for your pooch.
What kind of ingredients should be avoided?
It would be rather difficult to find a kibble or treat that does not contain some kind of filler. You could always try to make your own dog food and dog treats which would take the surprise element out of the ingredients list. However, if you are going to purchase treats and kibble for your pooch it is best to avoid any kind of corn, wheat, oats, or other fillers as the first few ingredients. A quality option for your pooch will list these items closer to the end of the list or not use them at all.
Cheerios are a mass produced food for humans and that means that they are made with processed ingredients. Processed foods are not really a great option for anyone but, certainly not your dog. Try to avoid giving him anything that uses artificial colors, preservatives, or other additives as they serve no nutritional benefit to him.
Overall, Cheerios as an occasional training treat are not going to harm your pooch, but they are not going to benefit him either. They are never meant to be given as a meal for your pooch and if possible, should be avoided. High-quality and high-protein kibble and treats are much better options!