Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos? (Possible Consequences of Dogs Eating Cheetos)

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos
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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?

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!

Read along to learn more about Hot Cheetos and Dogs.  

Do Dogs Like Hot Cheetos?

There are approximately 1,700 taste buds in a dog’s mouth, 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 toward 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, making 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.

NutrientsAmountUnit
Carbohydrate13g
Fiber1.01g
Fat10g
Saturated Fatty Acids1.5g
Potassium40mg
Sodium300mg
Protein1g
Vitamin A100IU
Iron0.72mg

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 causes issues in dogs, 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?

infographic listing Hot Cheetos' ingredients that are bad for dogs
Infographic listing Hot Cheetos’ ingredients that are bad for dogs by keepingpet.com

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. Cheetos contain these powdered vegetables, but 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, resulting in anemia. Onions also contain organosulfur, which results in toxicosis, while thiosulfate causes dyspepsia.

Just like onions, garlic also contains thiosulfate, which can cause hemolytic anemia, 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 levels, 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. Since Hot Cheetos contain cornmeal, it is recommended to avoid feeding your dog Cheetos.

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 a highly processed item, making 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 a 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 unsuitable for your dog’s brain as it can cause brain damage, 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 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, and 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 well-being.

Though a puff or 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 Dogs Eating Hot Cheetos?

infograph showing possible outcomes of dog eating hot cheetos
Infographic showing possible outcomes of dog eating Hot Cheetos by Waqar khan from keepingpet.com

Dogs can have one or two pieces of Hot Cheetos, but eating an entire pack would make your pup sick, leading to a burning sensation, change in poop color, high temperature, anorexia, and weight loss. A dog may also experience dehydration and gastrointestinal issues after eating Cheetos.

Below we have briefly discussed the possible outcomes of dogs eating hot Cheetos:

i) Loss of Appetite

As mentioned earlier, Hot Cheetos is loaded with calories and contains MSGs making your dog want to eat more and 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.

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, and low-grade oils, Cheetos can also make dogs sick and cause high temperatures.

iv) Burning Sensation

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

When your dog’s skin burns, he would start rubbing his face on the floor or excessively licking or scratching their face.

v) Colored Poop

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

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

What Diseases Can a Dog Get From Eating Hot Cheetos?

Can Hot Cheetos Make Dogs Sick?

Infographic showing health risks associated with dog eating Hot Cheetos
Infographic showing health risks associated with dogs eating Hot Cheetos by keeingpet.com

Yes, Hot Cheetos can make dogs sick.

Even though Hot Cheetos are not poisonous to dogs, eating more than a couple could make your dog sick. After devouring a pack of Hot Cheetos, your dog will immediately experience gastrointestinal issues, headache, burning sensation, and dehydration. And in the long run, eating Hot Cheetos would increase the risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, and heart diseases in dogs.

a. Headache

To make Hot Cheetos yummy, they are flavored with a variety of sodium salts. While this amount of salt 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 quantities, the chances are that pancreatitis will 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 their lifespan, especially for senior dogs.  

d. Heart Diseases

Most problems arising out of dogs eating Hot Cheetos are due to their high sugar, salt, and fat content. These ingredients seriously damage the internal body organs, including the heart. So, if your dog chows down one Hot Cheetos puff after another, this will increase the blood’s salt, sugar, and fat content. 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

Excessive salts and sugars also cause this issue 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 salts, the more 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 can cause lethargy in your dog and constipation, headaches, and loss of appetite.”

How Much Cheetos Would be Okay?

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

Final Verdict: Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

No! Dogs can’t eat Hot Cheetos.

Hot dogs contain fats, salts, preservatives, flavorings, and spicy peppers, which are all harmful to dogs. So, it is best that you don’t feed any Hot Cheetos to your doggo. Eating Hot Cheetos would make your dog sick leading to gastrointestinal issues, a burning sensation, and dehydration.

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