Feeding pets is sometimes tricky because some foods are not helpful for their digestive system while others are even harmful or fatal. To avoid medical emergencies for your dog, you sometimes look up food on the internet if it is okay to feed it to your dog. So, can dogs eat hot Cheetos?
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is a spicy variety of the famous afternoon TV snack. This puffy and iconic deep-fried cornmeal might appeal to human tastes and, to the extent, your dog, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has health benefits.
Capsaicin, a common ingredient for most, if not all, spicy foods, is present in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Spicy food, as most pet experts say, is usually not recommended for dogs due to their digestive sensitivities. With that said, capsaicin isn’t exactly toxic to dogs, but let’s clear out more information in this article just to be sure.
Can dogs eat Hot Cheetos?
Dogs can safely consume only one or two pieces of Hot Cheetos, but not a whole bunch and not especially a whole bag! Hot Cheetos is not very spicy compared to raw chili peppers but when given in large amounts, it is still not a healthy snack for your dog. Here are reasons why:
1. Capsaicin isn’t digestive-friendly for most dogs
Dogs with sensitive stomachs might not take capsaicin-rich foods very well. It’s best to avoid spicy food when you know your dog has a sensitive stomach or has a history of food allergies.
Moreover, spicy foods will cause your dog to keep reaching for water, which will make them feel unpleasant, just as when you feed a person with Hot Cheetos and they aren’t very used to spicy food.
2. Hot Cheetos has empty calories
The cornmeal used for making Hot Cheetos isn’t that beneficial for your dog. Most pet food manufacturers avoid or lessen the amount of corn and gluten in their products because they have little to no nutritional value for pets. Some argue that such grains will only cause obesity in your pet, which is another reason to avoid intake of such cornmeal food.
3. Onion and garlic aren’t dog-friendly
Both these ingredients are found in Hot Cheetos and are known to be dangerous to dogs in general. Onion and garlic should be avoided as much as possible – even small amounts of these kitchen spices aren’t ideal for your dog due to the threat of anemia.
4. Hot Cheetos is high in salts and fats
The salt and fat content in Hot Cheetos isn’t healthy for dogs when taken in large amounts. That’s because dogs become at risk for pancreatitis when they consume a lot of these.
My dog has eaten Hot Cheetos, what should I do?
There’s a chance that your dog might pick up bits of Hot Cheetos that you accidentally dropped on the floor. Don’t freak out right away if your dog has eaten one or two pieces of Hot Cheetos. Simply watch for signs of discomfort on your dog, by which you can simply take them to the vet when needed.
Usually, one or two pieces of Hot Cheetos won’t be enough to trigger a digestive upset or reaction. However, if your dog grabbed an entire bag of Hot Cheetos and already ate a lot, that’s a bit more concerning. Call your vet for advice on this matter or simply watch your dog for any problems.
What can happen to my dog if they ate a lot of Hot Cheetos?
Diarrhea and other similar digestive upsets are usually what comes after your dog has gobbled an entire bag or bunch of Hot Cheetos. Typically, dogs may vomit the Hot Cheetos or feel lethargic after eating it.
In any case, it’s best to call your vet right away and monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort. Make sure to stick to your vet’s advice in the meantime.
What are the alternatives to Hot Cheetos?
If you still want to feed your dog with human food, it’s best to avoid Hot Cheetos entirely because of the aforementioned bad effects on their stomach and overall health. Here are alternatives to Hot Cheetos for your dog:
1. Peanut butter
Most of us know that peanut butter and dogs go very well with each other. Peanut butter has a lot of vitamins that are okay for dogs so most pet owners use it as a snack or treat.
Peanut butter has the following benefits to dogs:
- Protein for energy and muscles
- Has folic acid and B-vitamins
- Tastes great for dogs without added salt or sugar
- Great for administering medicine to a picky eater
If your dog suffers from bad breath problems, apples are a great snack for your pet. Just make sure you take out the seeds and core to avoid toxicity. Apples are not only crunchy enough to stimulate your dog’s teeth but they are also packed with vitamins and nutrients for your pet.
Apples have the following benefits for your dog:
- Vitamin A for better vision
- Vitamin C for immunity and healthy coat/skin
- Fiber for a healthier digestion
- It will help fight bad doggy breath
- Calcium for strong bones
Whether you get chicken from the grocery store, from the wet market, or wherever you find it convenient, chicken is a great way to supply your dog with sufficient protein for their daily energy needs. Raw feeding is usually the best way to feed your dog chicken.
Chicken has the following health benefits for dogs:
- Omega-6 fatty acids for a shiny coat
- Protein for energy
- Lean meat for muscles
- Ideal for weight management
- Glucosamine for joint and bone health (ideal for dogs with a history of hip/elbow dysplasia)
Dogs will also benefit from veggies as a snack. If you practice feeding them broccoli, pumpkins, and the like, they will carry the habit to adulthood and it won’t be too difficult introducing them to a wide variety of foods.
Vegetables benefit dogs by providing various supplementary nutrients, such as vitamins A and C. If you suspect that your dog lacks certain nutrients, your vet might advise adding vegetables to their diet as a nutrient source.