Picture yourself at a barbecue enjoying a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and a cold beverage. Of course, your dog sees you crunching on a tasty snack and wants some too. But can dogs eat hot Cheetos? The truth is, eating hot Cheetos if you're talking about one or two won't seriously hurt your dog, but it's not a good idea.
Can dogs eat spicy foods?
The answer is no, and that includes onions, garlic, peppers, and other spicy foods.
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Many people love spicy foods, and sometimes, it is fun to give your dog the same kinds of food that you eat. But certain human foods can cause health issues for dogs and might even make them sick. And it's not just "junk food" that can cause problems for dogs. Can dogs eat spicy vegetables that we might consider tasty and healthy? These foods can cause stomach upset and mouth or throat pain.
Hot chili peppers contain capsaicin. While capsaicin is not toxic to dogs, even eating a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and burns in the mouth, throat, and stomach.
Issues with feeding dogs Flamin' Hot Cheetos
While the list of ingredients in Flamin' Hot Cheetos doesn't include chili peppers or capsaicin specifically, it is likely that the hot sensation comes from capsaicin. This is a naturally occurring ingredient that could be included in the "natural flavors" listed in the ingredient list. There are additional issues with the ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. Onions and garlic powder, even in small amounts, can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in dogs, including hemolytic anemia.
Can dogs eat Cheetos that aren't hot? Highly processed foods, including Cheetos, really aren't good for dogs. The high fat content in snacks like this can cause pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pancreatitis is a painful condition that can be life-threatening and often requires hospitalization. Then, there's the salt. If ingested by dogs in large amounts, salt can lead to salt toxicity, dehydration, or vomiting and diarrhea.
And, of course, these foods are packed with empty calories, and they lack nutritional value. According to the label, 13 Flamin' Hot Cheetos contain 160 calories. Using these as treats, even occasionally, can cause obesity in dogs, which contributes to chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes mellitus. Are hot Cheetos bad for you too? For some of the same reasons, they are, but they likely won't make you sick. And of course, humans can make the choice to indulge from time to time.
What should you do if your dog ate hot Cheetos?
If your dog eats a large quantity of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, it's best to call your veterinarian and ask what to do.
If your dog sneaks a Cheeto off your plate, don't worry about it. One Cheeto is unlikely to cause any complications. The issue with feeding dogs Flamin' Hot Cheetos would likely come from consumption of more than one. They may recommend that you bring your dog in to be examined. It is likely that your dog will experience diarrhea and other gastrointestinal upset, so be ready to take them outside regularly. Otherwise, follow your veterinarian's instructions.
Can dogs eat Cheetos puffs?
One Cheetoh puff is going to be ok.
If your dog had their way with the whole bag, that would be more of a concern. for one, the bag could cause problems if it gets stuck in their intestinal tract. For another, the amount of salt, fat, and seasonings in the Cheetoh puffs could cause GI problems. You'll likely be dealing with some diarrhea if your dog got into the Cheetoh bag for their midnight snack.
Can dogs eat Funyuns?
No, dogs should not eat Funyuns or other onion ring-type chip snacks.
The issue is that these snacks have a lot of salt and fat and no nutritional content. Eating a lot of them can upset a dog's stomach or enhance other problems if a dog is already prone to things like pancreatitis.
Can dogs eat Doritos?
No, dogs should not eat any flavor of Doritos.
Doritos themselves won't hurt your dog, but it's still not good for them. As with other salty and crunchy snacks, these snacks have a lot of salt and fat and no nutritional content. The hot flavors of Doritos can have capsaicin, onions, and garlic in the seasoning, which are known to be bad for dogs.
Doritos are made with corn meal. Purina, the dog food company, says that corn meal provides easily digestible carbohydrates, which are an energy source. Dogs aren't usually allergic to corn, so it's generally considered a safe food. Still, all of the other potentially harmful seasonings and ingredients should take Doritos off the menu.
Can dogs eat Cheezits?
Feeding your dog an occasional Cheezit is ok.
But beyond that, there isn't any nutritional benefit to eating salty snacks like Cheezits. The amount of cheddar cheese in a Cheezit might give your dog a slight amount of calcium. Eating one or two Cheezits won't hurt your dog, but there are many healthier alternatives. the amount of salt and fat in a snack like this can be dangerous for small dogs as well as dogs who are prone to medical conditions like pancreatitis.
Can dogs eat MSG?
MSG is a flavor enhancer that is used in a lot of foods. It can be used in foods even when MSG is not on the label. The FDA doesn't require that MSG be specifically labeled in human food. MSG occurs naturally in hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate, tomatoes, and cheeses. If your dog food has any of these ingredients in it, they are getting naturally occurring monosodium glutamate.
There is not a lot of information on the effect of monosodium glutamate on a dog's health in general. The FDA considers MSG to be generally safe for humans and it is used as a common food additive. When you search online for info about MSG and dogs, most websites say to avoid giving dogs MSG without really explaining why it's harmful. These are also websites that are. notvery trustworthy or authoritative and they all seem to copying information from each other.
Dogs Naturally magazine says MSG is "likely" bad for dogs and has "potential" risks involved with brain damage. The AKC includes hot dogs on their list of hazardous cookout foods that dogs should avoid, but again, doesn't explain why MSG is harmful. Because there is the potential for side effects, it's best to avoid giving your dog more than a small amount of food that contains MSG.
Opt for healthy human foods as treats
Because there is the potential for your dog to have digestive system problems if they eat too much, it's best to avoid giving your dog human snacks with spicy flavors. If you think your dog might grab the bag when you're not looking, keep your spicy snacks, salty snacks, and fatty snacks out of their reach. Giving your pooch a fun snack is a good idea, but choose healthy, non-processed options. Dog-friendly snacks include apple slices, cooked sweet potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Of course, there are also countless treats made specifically for dogs.
It is generally considered to be true that humans shouldn't eat a lot of foods cooked in vegetable oil, that are filled with artificial colors, artificial flavor, or preservatives. This is because these foods are highly processed and lose a lot of their original nutritional value. We should consider that these foods aren't great for our canine friends either.
The bottom line
Dogs can enjoy a variety of foods, but salt, fat, sugar, onions, garlic, and spicy peppers, which are all ingredients in Flamin' Hot Cheetos, are not on that list. Dogs shouldn't have more than a nibble of Cheezits, Funyuns, Doritos, or other salty and fatty snacks. A lot of snacks have other ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs, like xylitol. Fortunately, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat safely. Beyond that, stick with their regular dog food as that gives them what they need nutritionally.