Cereal is a common breakfast dish made from processed cereal grains. When eating, it is often mixed with dairy-based products such as milk or yogurt.
Maybe you have had an idea of sharing some with your furry friend but wonder if it is okay. The answer depends on multiple factors, such as the type and brand of cereal. There are many types of cereals that you can find in your local grocery store, and some brands are specifically made for dogs to eat.
Is Cereal Safe for Dogs?
Cereal is safe, and it contains lots of nutrients that can benefit your dog’s overall health. Though it adds nutritional value to your dog’s diet, it should only be used occasionally. The main reason cereal shouldn’t regularly feature in your canine’s diet is due to its high carbohydrate content.
Too many carbohydrates in a dog’s diet will increase their insulin levels, making them venerable to metabolic diseases. Cereal also has plenty of sugar in the form of sucrose, which has negative effects on a canine’s dental health. When you exclusively feed your pup dry cereal, it can get cavities.
Cereal is safe for dogs in very small amounts. You can opt to use it as a treat when training your dog or as a reward for being good.
When feeding cereal to your dog, you can give it to them as an accompaniment to healthy dog-friendly food.
Types of Cereals that are Safe for Dogs
Various cereals in the market are safe for dogs to consume. They include:
- Whole grain cereals – These include cereal grains, such as oats and barley. They are safe for dogs to eat, provided they are gluten-free and you serve them occasionally.
- Rice cereal – It is a popular brand choice by some pet owners as it does not cause any allergies. Unlike other cereals that can have adverse effects on a dog, rice cereals don’t have agglutinins that can be toxic.
- Cereal toppings – Dogs can consume cereal toppings as long as they are not made using artificial flavors, which can harm their health. Examples of cereal toppings include oatmeal, peanut butter, and nut butter.
- Cereal bar – These are cereal products that manufacturers claim are dog-friendly because there are no food allergens present when manufactured.
Health Benefits of Cereals to Dogs
There are several health benefits to giving cereals to your dog. They include:
- They have complex carbohydrates, which are a good source of energy. The carbs present in cereals are safer compared to those in processed foods.
- They contain dietary fibers, which are beneficial in maintaining healthy bowel movements. The fibers can also assist in the stabilization of blood sugar.
- They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins which assist in the reduction of stress levels.
- They are rich in nutrients that promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation.
- Cereals, especially wheat or rice brands, have hypoallergenic properties. Though considered bland by some, your pet will get lots of nutritional benefits without being at risk of allergens.
Risks of Cereals to Dogs
In rare cases, dogs can be allergic to cereals. If you introduce cereals to your dog and they cause adverse effects, rush your pup to a vet and find a safer alternative.
Below are some signs to look out for:
- Hyperactivity because of too much sugar in the cereal
- Excessive panting
Most types and brands of cereals are safe for dogs, but feeding them in moderation is important. Do not treat cereal as a substitute for your pet’s regular diet.
When buying cereals in a grocery store, ensure none of their ingredients can be potentially dangerous to your dog. Also, if your dog is lactose intolerant, do not mix cereal with any dairy product when feeding it.
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