People feed dogs all manner of ‘human food’, but before you offer them anything, you need to ensure that it is safe for consumption. And if you are munching down on a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, you may want to offer a few to your four-legged friend. But before you do so, you want to make sure that it is safe. Well, the truth is that these are hardly going to be a nutritious snack for your pooch, but then again, they are not particularly healthy for you either! A few of them are unlikely to pose any major health risks, but they are probably better off avoided. So, let’s find out a little bit more about this subject.

Top view of beagle dog eating pet food from metal bowl

What Do Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Contain?

Original Cheetos have origins dating back to the 1940s. Essentially, they consist of cornmeal which it oven-dried and deep-fried until they make their famous ‘puff’ shape. While the original ones are coated in a cheesy seasoning, the Flamin’ Hot variety is covered in a spicy chili powder. And as you may already be aware, spicy food is generally not good for dogs. Hot chili peppers contain capsaicin, and while this is not explicitly toxic, consuming it can lead to stomach upset. Also, these Cheetos contain both garlic and onion, which are not suitable to give to dogs. Plus, they are high in sodium, fat, and oil, which should not be consumed in high quantities by your dog. So, you can see that this is not a nutritious treat for your pooch, so you are better off avoiding them, but the consumption of one or two is unlikely to cause major issues.

Are Hot Cheetos Bad for Dogs?

There are a couple of main issues with giving your dog Hot Cheetos. Processed snack foods provide no nutritional benefits to your pup and can be categorized as ‘empty calories’. If your dog eats a lot of them, this could rack up their daily calorie limit while they get nothing in return that is going to benefit their body. The second major problem is that this snack contains ingredients which shouldn’t be given to your dog. There is the onion and garlic, which is not good even in small quantities and can lead to anemia. Also, you have the high fat and salt levels, which increase the risk of your dog developing pancreatitis. As the fat comes in saturated form, it is more difficult for your dog’s body to process properly. Lastly, you have the spiciness, which can cause an issue to the digestive tract of dogs.

Ultimately, there are certainly worse things for your dog to eat, but there are a lot of better choices as well. If your dog has a particularly sensitive stomach, they are certainly best being avoided.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Eaten Hot Cheetos?

If your dog ate Cheetos, the first thing to do is not panic. Whether they have snatched one from the bag or you have dropped one on the floor, it is unlikely that they are going to be affected in an overly negative way. The only time you need to be more concerned is if your dog has eaten a lot of them. So, if they have somehow managed to get into a bag and eaten many Cheetos, it may be best to get in touch with your vet to get their advice. It may just be a case of observing your dog to ensure that they are not in any major discomfort and cleaning up any unpleasant surprises which are the result of the upset to their stomach!

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

The most likely problem that will occur if your dog eats Hot Cheetos is that they will get a case of diarrhea. If this happened, you need to be ready to take them outdoors as and when needed. Possibly they may vomit the Cheetos back up again, but this may be better in getting them out of their system. Your dog also may show signs of discomfort or tiredness. Follow any instructions that you have received from your vet until the issue is resolved.

Cute french bulldog lying near bowl in room with sunshine

What Human Food Can I Give to My Dog?

If you don’t want to stick to pre-approved dog food the whole time, there are some human foods that are suitable for your four-legged friend, which are going to be a lot better than Hot Cheetos! A great source of protein is a big spoon of peanut butter, which is full of nutrients and vitamins. Or you could try chopping up an unseeded apple, which has the added advantages of freshening up your dog’s breath and cleaning residue off their teeth.

If you think that your dog needs some more protein in their diet, cooked and unseasoned chicken is a good option. Alternatively, eggs contain digestible protein, and they are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Turning to vegetables, there are plenty of nutritious treats in this field such as pumpkins, green beans, and broccoli. As you can see, you are not short of choices, so think about this before reaching for a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos!

Final Thoughts

Hot Cheetos are not a nutritious snack and you are better off giving your dog any. If you worry about your pooch getting their paws on a bag while you are not looking, you should keep them in a more secure place. There are plenty of other snacks out there that your hound will love and ones which will not cause the same gastrointestinal upset. Some of the ingredients found in Hot Cheetos are simply not suitable for canines. That being said, it is unlikely that your pooch will suffer any major health complications from consuming one or two of these snacks. You just need to make sure that you keep an eye on them to check for negative side effects.

Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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