You are sitting on your couch, watching television, and eating hot Cheetos.  Your dog is looking at you, waiting for you to give them one but should you? 

 Although they are not going to kill your dog if you give them one, the ingredients are not good for your dog’s system.  It can cause various side effects if they are eaten in a large quantity.  One should not hurt them but if they want more you should not give them to your dog.

Why Avoid Feeding Hot Cheetos to Your Dog

When you look at the ingredient list for hot Cheetos, they are not the healthiest for you or your dog.  When you feed your dog this type of snack there is a possibility of there being side effects.  Their immune system can handle a couple of the Cheetos but too many can upset their system.  They offer nothing nutritionally and are high in calories.  

  • Cornmeal:  Hot Cheetos are a cornmeal snack and in days past, cornmeal was a common dog food filler.  Research has shown that cornmeal is hard for a dog to digest so it has been removed from most dog foods.  Too many hot Cheetos can cause them to suffer from digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and more.
  • Unhealthy Ingredients: This product contains GMOs and MSGs plus modified starch and canola oil, all of which have no nutritional value.  Some of the other ingredients that have no nutritional value are salt, artificial colors, sugar, and spices.  
  • Fat Content and High Sodium:  These are bad for your dog’s health and can lead to heart disease, pancreatitis, and diabetes.  If your dog gets an overdose of sodium, it could lead to hypernatremia, which is the medical term for having too much salt in the body.  This can lead to vomiting, dehydration, fatigue, and seizure.  If your dog is diagnosed with this medical condition, they may need emergency intervention from their veterinarian.  A dog should not have more than 100mg of sodium a day.
  • Medical issues:  Your dog could suffer from obesity, hypertension, breathing problems, and arthritis.
  • Short-term side effects:  These can include fatigue, dehydration, diarrhea, digestive problems, and seizures if they eat too many or given them regularly.
  • Garlic powder:  Hot Cheetos normally contains garlic powder, which contains thiosulfate.  This is a compound that can cause severe oxidative damage to their red blood cells.  This can lead to them developing hemolytic anemia, which is when the red blood cells are destroyed faster than their body can make them. 
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dog ate cheetos

Although you are not going to give your dog this many hot Cheetos, a serving, which is 13 pieces, contains 160 calories.  They also only contain two grams of protein and 270 grams of sodium.  There are hardly any micronutrients or fiber. 

The seasonings that give them their orange color contain the yellow #6 die that is toxic to dogs.  There are also other chemical additives that they do not need and could have a reaction to. 

Your Dog Ate Hot Cheetos: What to Do?

If they just ate one or two hot Cheetos you should not worry too much unless they had a weak immune system and that can cause concern.

  • Offer lots of Water:  The spices in hot Cheetos can cause inflammation so make sure that your dog is offered a lot of water
  • Watch for odd Behavior:  Watch for hyperactivity, constipation, lethargy, constipation, or anything else that is unusual for your pet.  They should all be treated as red flags so you should talk to your veterinarian to see if they want to see your dog.

Most symptoms will appear within 24-48 hours so if you notice any symptoms contact the veterinarian.  If your dog seems fine after 48 hours, the chances of having any bad side effects or being in any danger are over.  By this time, their digestive system will have flushed out all the ingredients that were harmful out of their system by this time.  

cheese cheetos

Healthy Snacks for Your Dog

It is only natural that your dog wants some of what you are eating or just wants a snack in general. Since hot Cheetos are not a good snack for your dog, try feeding them something healthy while you are enjoying your hot Cheetos.  You can feed them snacks such as:

  • Fresh Vegetables:  These can include a baby carrot, a piece of raw potato, green bean, or broccoli.  
  • Fresh Fruits:  These can include watermelon, slices of bananas, apple slices with no seeds.
  • Other Good Snacks:  These can include plain rice cakes broken into pieces or air-popped popcorn with no butter or salt.  Break their milk bones in half and spread peanut butter on it or give them a teaspoon of peanut butter.
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Make sure that you give them treats that are easy on their teeth.  Do not give them anything with caffeine as this can be toxic to dogs, such as grapes, chocolate, onions, or raisins.  

Conclusion

  • Generally, dogs hate hot spicy foods and if they try one or two, they will not want another one because of the flavor.
  • Hot Cheetos will not kill your dog if they eat a few of them.
  • Although hot Cheetos are not toxic to dogs, the onion and garlic powder that is added to them can be toxic if they eat too many of them.  Even in small amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal irritation and anemia.
  • Always read the ingredients for any human food you are considering sharing with your dog.
  • If you want to feed your dog a snack, choose one that is specially made for them or some fresh vegetables and fruit if they will eat them.
  • If you feed your dog hot Cheetos, you are filling their stomach with empty calories so they will be too full and not want to eat their food so they may not get the nutrients they need.
  • Hot Cheetos can irritate their mouth and throat because of the spicy flavor.
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