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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.

caution icon

Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Exercise caution, avoid feeding
Nutritional Issues calories from fat, sodium from salt
Potential Risks Sodium poisoning, weight gain
Poisoning Symptoms seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

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
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • 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.
  1. Basic Calorie Calculator for Dogs and Cats

  2. 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.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.