Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos? Surprising Revelations Ahead!

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos

Hot, Flamin’ Hot, or XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Which one is your favorite?

Relaxing on a comfy couch, eating your favorite puffs, watching your favorite show, and snuggling with your dog, what more can you ask for in your leisure time?

While you’re busy munching on your mouth-watering cheesy snacks, your dog is busy staring at you.

Dogs absolutely love Cheetos. Though dogs love to eat everything they can get their mouth on, their love for cheese treats is special.

But can dogs eat hot Cheetos? Well, read along to find out.

Do Dogs Like Hot Cheetos?

There are approximately 1,700 taste buds in the mouth of a dog, quite a little compared to the 9,000 taste buds on the tongue of a human. This means that, unlike humans, they have less sensitivity towards different tastes.

Therefore, you might have noticed that your dog doesn’t flip out after eating mild spicy foods.  Some dogs even like the taste of hot snacks. There is a high probability that your dog likes hot Cheetos too.

But let your dog be the judge. Give him a puff and see if he likes it or not.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

No, dogs can’t eat hot Cheetos.

Hot Cheetos are enriched with artificial flavor enhancers, preservatives, oils, spices, and cheese that make them extremely unhealthy for dogs. And, if your dog is lactose intolerant, Hot Cheetos will worsen his condition as they are loaded with cottage cheese. Especially if you have a senior dog or a growing puppy, the chemicals in Hot Cheetos can make them sick as they have a sensitive stomach and weak immune system.

To see how Cheetos can impact dog health, we must start by discussing their nutrient content.

Nutritional Value of Hot Cheetos

According to CHEETOS®, a regular Hot Cheetos pack (21 pieces) weighing 28g have the following nutritional values.

Saturated Fatty Acids1.5g
Vitamin A100IU

As Cheetos are used as treats and as per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, only 5% of calories should come from treats. Though other nutrients are not dangerous, the high percentage of fats cause issues as according to AAFCO dog food guidelines, only 8.5% of fats are recommended for dogs. Since Cheetos have 14% fat, more than the recommended, it is advised not to feed them to your dog.

Which Ingredients in Hot Cheetos Are Dangerous For Dogs?

Can dogs eat hot Cheetos? No. But why? What makes Cheetos toxic for dogs?

The answer lies in the following details.

i) Cheese

If you have noticed the packaging of the Cheetos pack, the front side contains a line that says “MADE WITH REAL CHEESE.” Cheetos contain cheddar cheese which is prepared by mixing milk, cheese cultures, salt, and enzymes.

Cheese in small quantities is not unhealthy for dogs. However, if your dog keeps savoring it all the time or is lactose intolerant, it can be harmful to their health. Why? Because cheese can cause vomiting, gastrointestinal upsets, diarrhea, obesity, etc.

Avoid feeding your dog with hot Cheetos altogether if he is lactose intolerant, as it can lead to severe pain and discomfort in your dog.

ii) Powdered Onion and Garlic

Onion and garlic are highly toxic for a canine. Though Cheetos contain these vegetables in powdered form, they are still as toxic as in their raw form.

Onions contain a toxin called N-propyl disulfide that breaks down your dog’s red blood cells of, resulting in anemia. Onions also contain organosulfur, which results in toxicosis and thiosulfate that cause dyspepsia.

Just like onions, garlic also contains thiosulfate that can cause hemolytic anemia as well as abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite etc.

iii) Enriched Corn Meal

If you read about what ingredients are harmful to a dog’s health, you’d probably come across the term Glycemic Index (GI). GI is the measure of food’s tendency to raise blood sugar level, inviting a number of blood-related problems. Higher the GI, the higher the sugar level.

As compared to oatmeal, wheat, corn, and barley, cornmeal has the highest GI, i.e. 69.

Not only this, but cornmeal is also allergenic, difficult to digest, and has lower biological value.

iv) Maltodextrin (Made from Corn)

Maltodextrin is a white powder produced from processing corn, wheat, rice, or potato starch. Though it is derived from plants, it’s highly a processed item which makes it dangerous for the dog’s health.

Maltodextrin can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and poor gut health. And as Maltodextrin used in Cheetos is from corn, it has high GI, which makes it unhealthier.

v) Monosodium Glutamate (MSGs)

Wonder what makes Hot Cheetos so tasty?

The answer is MSG. It is a popular flavor enhancer or artificial flavor used in snacks, salads, cuisines, etc.

However, this ingredient is not suitable for your dog’s brain as it can cause brain damage in dogs leading to heart palpitations, migraines, seizures, and even cancer.  

vi) Artificial Preservatives and Colors

Vets have always recommended feeding dogs raw and fresh foods.

Hot Cheetos contain artificial colors such as Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake, and Yellow, along with artificial preservatives. In addition to exacerbating dog’s allergies, such inorganic compounds are also carcinogenic.  

vii) Citric Acid

Though good for humans, citric acid is highly toxic for dogs as it causes severe stomach upsets, gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, and vomiting. Excessive consumption of citric acid can lead to central nervous depression as well.

viii) Salt

Hot Cheetos contain Disodium Inosinate, Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Guanylate, Sodium Caseinate, making up 11% of the total nutrients with a mass of 0.31g.In simple terms, these puffs contain a variety of sodium salts, and salts are not good for your dog’s wellbeing.

Though a puff or a two won’t hurt your dog, overdoing Cheetos causes salt saturation leading to sodium ion poisoning, vomiting, temperature, diarrhea, and seizures.

If your dog keeps on eating Cheetos, the extra salt intake may cause death to your dog. So, be careful!

What Are the Possible Outcomes of Dog Eating Hot Cheetos?

Dogs can have one or two pieces of Hot Cheetos, but eating an entire pack…

Let’s see what happens…

i) Loss of Appetite

As mentioned earlier, Hot Cheetos is loaded with calories and contains MSGs making your dog want to eat more, giving him a sense of fulfillment.

So, your dog’s tummy will be filled with this junk, and there’d be no room for his daily meals. Additionally, dogs get stomach upsets and dyspepsia after eating too much Cheetos; they won’t want to eat more. Loss of appetite.  

ii) Weight Loss

Loss of appetite leads to weight loss. When your dog starts skipping his meals and stuffing his tummy with such unhealthy food, weight loss is sure to follow. These snacks can’t provide them with their daily nutrient intake, leading to nutrient and mineral deficiency.

iii) High Temperature

Because of the ingredients such as salts, MSGs, low-grade oils, Cheetos can make dogs sick and cause high temperatures as well.

iv) Burning Sensation

Hot Cheetos contain spicy ingredients and artificial flavor enhancers that make it hotter. When your dog eats these hot cheesy puffs, some bits may stick to his nose, corners of lips, or cheeks that create a burning sensation. It gets worse if a dog has sensitive skin.

When your dog’s skin burns, they start rubbing their face on the floor or excessively lick or scratch their face.

v) Colored Poop

A visual outcome of a dog eating Hot Cheetos is a red-colored poop.

But not just colored, it also causes a burning sensation to them while pooping that can be painful for them.

What Diseases Can a Dog Get From Eating Hot Cheetos?

Can Hot Cheetos Make Dogs Sick?

Yes, Hot Cheetos can make dogs sick.

Even though Hot Cheetos are not poisonous to dogs, they can cause various diseases that can, sometimes, be fatal for dogs.

a. Headache

To make Hot Cheetos yummy, they are flavored with a variety of sodium salts. While this amount of salts is unhealthy even for humans, it’s 10 times more hazardous for dogs—because of their sensitive stomach— causing high blood pressure that leads to headaches or migraine attacks.

b. Pancreatitis

Hot Cheetos comprise high fat and spices, burdening the pancreas to release more enzymes—leading to digestion too early. Therefore, dogs can develop pancreatitis from spicy snacks. If consumed in large quantity, the chances are that pancreatitis would worsen, and your dog may need to be hospitalized. Afterward, your vet will put your dog on a low-fat diet until the problem is solved completely.

c. Diabetes

Not only salts and spices but sugars are also added to balance the taste so that when you put a Hot Cheetos in your mouth, all of your taste buds get hit by it.

Though it tastes good, it doesn’t make Hot Cheetos good for your dog. Sugars will give him diabetes and obesity, shortening the lifespan, especially of senior dogs.  

d. Heart Diseases

Most problems arising out of dogs eating Hot Cheetos is due to their high sugar, salt, and fat content. These ingredients seriously damage the internal body organs, including the heart. So, if your dog is chowing down one Hot Cheetos puff after another, this will increase the salt, sugar, and fat content in the blood. When the heart purifies the blood, all these harmful ingredients get stuck in there, giving them heart diseases. This is particularly dangerous for senior dogs.

e. Gastrointestinal Irritation (GI)

Gastroenteritis or Gastrointestinal refers to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract—the stomach and the intestines—which is caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, medications, or spicy foods. The GI condition often causes severe abdominal pains and vomiting, making your dog suffer.

According to Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., the deputy director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine,

“in large amounts, foods containing excess salt can cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs, leading to depression, diarrhea, high fever, excessive thirst, kidney damage, seizures, and vomiting.” She further adds, “it’s almost like they get drunk.”

f. Dehydration

This issue is also caused by excessive salts and sugars in Hot Cheetos.

If the blood is laden with extra nutrients, it’s the function of the kidneys to flush them out through urination. The more the salts, the more the urination, and the result is dehydration. Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s CVO and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care, explains, “if a dog is dehydrated, symptoms include, loss of appetite, vomiting with or without diarrhea, reduced energy levels, and lethargy, panting, sunken, dry-looking eyes, and dry nose.”

Dehydration which not only can cause lethargy in your dog but also constipation, headaches, and loss of appetite.”

How much Cheetos would be okay?

Looking at the toxic ingredients, dogs shouldn’t be fed with Hot Cheetos at all, especially those with lactose intolerance, stomach sensitivity, weak immune system, allergies to the specific ingredients of Cheetos.

So, can dogs eat hot Cheetos?

The answer is if you are eating your Cheetos and your dog is begging with his cute puppy eyes, then a piece or two won’t hurt him.

But not the entire pack. Never the entire pack!

But before banning your dog from eating Cheetos, do take your vet’s opinion or your next visit. He or she will give you a more thorough opinion on dogs eating Cheetos—follow that.


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