While Cheez-Its aren’t toxic to dogs, they’re not the best treat for your pup. These scrumptious crackers are high in salt, fat, and artificial additives that aren’t suitable for a dog’s diet. Although a small amount won’t necessarily harm your pet, it’s better to avoid making a habit of sharing Cheez-Its with them. Read on to learn more about why these cheesy crackers aren’t the ideal snack for your furry companion and how you can provide them with healthier alternatives.
|Exercise caution, avoid feeding
|calories from fat, sodium from salt
|Sodium poisoning, weight gain
|seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy
How Many Cheez-Its Are Unsafe for Dogs?
Let’s break it down: a serving size of Cheez-Its is 27 crackers, containing a total of 210 calories. That means each cracker packs around seven calories. Now, that might not seem like a lot, but remember, dogs need fewer calories than humans. For example, a 10kg (22lb) adult neutered dog of healthy weight typically requires around 400 calories per day1. So, even a few crackers can make a significant dent in their daily caloric intake.
What Makes Cheez-Its Unsafe for Dogs?
The primary concerns with Cheez-Its for dogs are the high levels of salt and fat they contain. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, and excessive salt intake can be harmful to their health. Consuming too much salt can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and, in more severe cases, salt poisoning. Signs of salt poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and even seizures.
The high fat content in Cheez-Its can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and exacerbate existing conditions like pancreatitis2, which can be painful and potentially life-threatening for your dog. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, resulting in digestive issues, abdominal pain, and other complications.
Signs Your Dog Ate Too Many Cheez-Its
If your dog has indulged in a few too many Cheez-Its, keep an eye out for the following symptoms that may indicate they’ve overdone it:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling or bloating
While most cases of a dog eating a few extra Cheez-Its will result in mild symptoms that can resolve on their own, it’s essential to monitor your pet closely. If the symptoms persist or worsen, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian for guidance. They can help you determine whether your dog needs medical attention or if it’s a situation that can be managed at home with careful observation and care.
Common Cheez-Its Ingredients
- Wheat flour: Wheat flour is typically fine for dogs. However, overfeeding your dog food with high wheat flour content can lead to weight gain and stomach issues.
- Vegetable oil: vegetable oil is typically safe for dogs. However, avoid feeding your canine companion foods with high vegetable oil content.
- Salt: Salt is highly toxic for dogs if overfed. This makes Cheez-Its highly toxic for dogs because they are filled with sodium.
- Skimmed milk: Like regular milk, skimmed milk is safe for dogs in moderation. However, avoid feeding your canine companion Cheez-Its if it’s lactose intolerant.
- Cheese: Cheese can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs as it has high amounts of fats.
Mansfield CS, James FE, Robertson ID. Development of a clinical severity index for dogs with acute pancreatitis. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Sep 15;233(6):936-44. doi: 10.2460/javma.233.6.936. PMID: 18795856.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is best to avoid giving your dog Cheez-Its as they are high in salt and fat, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. With that said, 1 Cheez-It should not cause any serious harm.
Yes, a single Cheez-It won’t harm your dog’s health. But it would be best to avoid feeding it to them intentionally and regularly because you may not know how your dog will react and Cheez-Its in general are not healthy for dogs to consume.
While Cheez-Its are not toxic to dogs, they are not considered safe due to their high salt and fat content, which can lead to health issues if consumed in large amounts.