Can Dogs Eat Cereal? Is Cereal a Safe Treat for Your Dog?

Cereal is a simple, inexpensive breakfast staple. Whether you’re chewing on a healthy brand of flakes or your favorite sugar loops, cereals help you gain enough energy throughout the day. Sometimes when you’re having your morning meal, you might also have wondered if it’s safe to share your bowl of cereal with your dog. This leads us to the question, can dogs have cereal?

The simple answer to the question is yes, dogs can eat cereal. But, not all cereals are edible for dogs.  The cereals containing toxic contents like excessive sugar, raisins, and xylitol, may cause health complications in your dog, which is always better to avoid.

However, with necessary precautions, cereals can serve as an occasional treat for your dog. Whether it is for positive reinforcement during training or escaping your dog’s daily monotonous diet, cereals can be an excellent choice.

You might also be interested in Can Dogs Have Peanut Butter?

What Are Cereals Made Up of?

cereal dor dogs
Photo credit: New Food Magazine

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, cereals are the grass family’s edible seeds or plants. A number of cereals contain oats, rye, barley, maize, wheat, and sorghum.

In addition, most of the cereals have additional flavorings, sugar, and preservatives that may vary according to products, flavors, and brands.

As suggested by the USDA Food Data Central, in a normal pack, 100 gm of cereal contains;


Is Cereal Good for Dogs?

Most dog owners love to feed their dog any food that is new and cereal might be one of them. While there are many kinds of cereal with different flavors and nutritional values, they do not provide much nutrition for your dog. So they aren’t necessarily good for your dog. The nutritional values labeled on the packaging are based on human consumption. Most importantly, they lack the required fiber and protein for your dog.  However, most cereals are low in fat and calories, so, they will not promote weight gain in your pet as long as you’re offering cereal in moderation. But as cereal does not provide much of other nutrients, it can be only served as an occasional treat to your pooch, not a full-time meal.

According to The Spruce Pets, healthier, sugar-free cereal treats may have some health benefits for your dog, such as helping to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and even boosting your pooch’s energy.

How Much Cereal Can My Dog Have?

Dog Food Cereal
Photo Credit: Dog Central

Overfeeding any food or treat to your dog is a bad idea. Although cereals may not harm your dog, you must always be careful to never overfeed them. Cereals don’t have substantial nutritional values that can be beneficial for your dog. In fact, crunchy and grain-free dog treats are a way healthier choice than cereal.  Too much sugar can cause a blood sugar spike in your dog’s body. So you must take caution.

According to vets, frequently eating sugary cereals can put your pet at risk for obesity or even developing diabetes. If the cereal is not healthy for you to eat, it probably is not good for your dog, either.

Again, you must take your vet’s suggestion before you give your dog human food. They can advise you well on which cereals might be harmful to your dog.

Which Cereal Is Safe for My Dog?

Dog Food Cereal

There are many kinds of cereal with different brand names and flavors. Among them, most of the dog owners prefer Cheerios for their dogs. Cereals like Fruit loops, frosted flakes and Lucky Charms that contain high sugar content must be avoided as they are toxic to dogs. Cereals with sugar, raisins, xylitol, and chocolate MUST be avoided because they are poisonous for your dog.

Want to find out if your dogs can have grapes? Check out this article.

Some of the cereals that you can feed your dog are:

  • Cheerios
  • Corn Flakes
  • Rice Krispies
  • Special K

What Happens if I Feed Cereal to My Dog Frequently?

Regular consumption of cereals with high sugar content can cause obesity in your pooch. Again, there are also cereals that contain chocolate, xylitol, and raisins; all of which can be very toxic and deadly for your dog.

Just like humans, your four-legged friend can get tooth decay too because some cereal may get caught between their teeth. And what’s more, it can even lead to tooth loss.

Can Dogs Have Cereal with Milk?

Can dogs have cereal
Photo credit: ENB inc.

To keep it simple, your dog does not need to drink milk at all. Although it contains calcium, protein, and some vitamins, your dog can get those nutrients from a regular diet. Some dogs are also intolerant of lactose. Moreover, milk already contains a lot of fat and possibly, added sugar. Adding cereal will make it even more sugary. The consumption of milk with cereal can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog.

Read more about whether your pooch can drink milk here.

How Can My Dog Have Cereal? How Do I Feed Cereal to My Dog?

Feeding your dog cereal depends on how big your dog is. It is important to feed your dog the cereal of correct grain sizes in order to avoid choking hazards. Pieces of cereal can clump together because of which there may be higher chances of your dog choking on it. Choking is not the only problem here – the cereal clumps may even get lodged in your pet’s digestive tract. If you suspect that your dog has an intestinal blockage, consult your vet immediately.


Your dog can eat cereals that do not contain excessive sugar, raisins and xylitol. Even though cereal works as an occasional treat to your dog, be sure to feed it in moderation to avoid obesity, diabetes and other health problems. It is highly suggested that you take your vet’s advice before you feed anything to your dog. 

Visit our website for more info on what foods you can feed your dog and what foods you should avoid feeding them.

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