Can Dogs Eat Cereal? Find Out

If you’re like me and eat cereal every morning, you might be wondering if cereal is safe for dogs.

Whether you’re a cereal lover or not, there’s no denying that breakfast is an important meal. But what do you do when your canine friend starts begging for a bite?

Can dogs eat cereal? The answer may surprise you!

Keep reading to learn more.

Can Dogs Eat Cereals

It really depends on what cereal you choose. You can feed most cereals to your dog, but you need to be careful with certain cereals. 

While cereal is not a nutritional addition to your dog’s diet, some cereals are okay to be given as treats. 

Crunchy, gluten-free dog treats are generally better than cereal.

Are Cereals Safe For Dogs?

Technically yes, although it’s not a hard and fast rule! Every variety of cereal has different ingredients. Some may contain toxic ingredients, such as nuts, raisins, and chocolate.

It is important to give your dog only whole-grain cereals. They should be low in sugar and have less sweetness. These cereals could even be good for your dog’s health, as they can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as boost your dog’s energy.

You can let your dog have a little bit of cereal if it falls on the floor during breakfast, but for the most part, you will want to give dry cereal. Dogs are less likely to tolerate dairy products and milk than humans are, particularly as they age.

What Type Of Cereals Can Dogs Eat?

All cereals are not bad for dogs. Some cereals can actually be quite healthy for dogs. It all depends upon the ingredients used and whether the cereal is free from harmful additives.

Many cereals are loaded with sugar, additives, corn syrup, and other ingredients. These types of cereal should be avoided for your furry friend.

Do not feed your dogs any sugary or unsuitable ingredients. Instead, give them plain cereal. 

Dogs can safely enjoy:

  • Plain Cheerios
  • Bran Flakes
  • Plain Rice Krispies
  • Plain Corn Flakes
  • Special K
  • Oat Bran

Dogs can also enjoy oatmeal, which is a healthy choice for them. Many cereal companies make low-sugar, gluten-free oatmeal for dogs that your pup will love! You can add some honey or peanut butter on top to add a little extra flavor and health benefits. It is also a good source of fiber. 

Indeed, vets often recommend this type of cereal, especially for dogs suffering from constipation and other stomach issues.

Eating any cereal regularly should be considered in conjunction with your veterinarian’s advice and should not replace a healthy, balanced diet.

Some cereals might also contain nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. You should not feed your dog these cereals if that is the case. Chocolate and dried fruit can be particularly harmful to dogs as they contain high amounts of sugar and fat.

Nutritional Benefits Of Feeding Cereals To Dogs

Not all cereals are bad. Some are actually healthy for dogs. Some cereals like Bran Flakes and Oatmeal are high in fiber. Others like Cheerios contain oats which help reduce cholesterol levels.

dog in bed leaning on owner's leg

Plain cereals, especially high-fiber types, will not harm your dog as long as they do not contain any sugar or additives.

However, you should always check the ingredient label first to make sure that the cereal is not sugar-coated.

With the right cereal, dogs can get nutritional benefits such as:

  • Vitamins – some bowls of cereal are fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Fiber – which helps prevent canine digestive problems (like constipation or diarrhea)
  • Protein – some cereal contains protein, which is essential for your dog’s diet
  • Carbohydrates – low-fat, low-sugar cereals can provide your pet with carbs
  • Energy – some high fiber cereal can help give your dog an energy boost

Remember, some dogs are lactose intolerant, so do not give your pup dairy products such as milk. Instead, you can substitute water or chicken broth for milk to make oatmeal or other cereals more appealing to them.

How Much Cereal Are Safe For Dogs?

You should only give small amounts of cereal to your dogs. It is okay to give your dog a small amount of cereal every now and again. You can also use them occasionally as a treat.

Your vet may recommend that your dog be fed cereal. If they do, you need to ask how much. Too much cereal in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity. Obesity can cause quite a number of problems in dogs, including arthritis and diabetes.

Do not feed your pup more than 1/4 cup at each mealtime. This ensures they get all the nutrients they need without becoming overweight.

You may need to give them some cereal if they have gastrointestinal difficulties or require a lot of fiber.

Feeding your dog cereal too often can alter their digestion and nutrient absorption. This is because it does not contain the right balance of nutrients that are essential for dogs to stay healthy.

If you have a new puppy, do not feed them cereal. They need to wait until they are at least 3 months old before you give them any sort of solid food. 

Remember that cereal should never be a substitute for a healthy diet.

We recommend checking labels before you buy any cereal for your dog. Make sure the ingredients do not contain anything harmful and focus on choosing cereals that are sweetened with fruit juice or honey instead of sugar or corn syrup to make it healthier for dogs.

How To Feed Cereal To Your Dog?

It’s okay to give your puppy a few Cheerios while they train or for breakfast. Everything is in moderation though!

While we may enjoy putting milk on our cereals, you should not fill your pup’s bowl up with milk.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), many dogs are lactose intolerant. This means that dairy products can cause digestive problems in our four-legged friends.

Milk can also cause other problems. It’s too high in protein for dogs if they have a lot, which can ultimately lead to obesity or pancreatitis.

The best way to feed your dog cereal is to give them small portions that are not sweetened.

You can also serve some bland, unflavored oatmeal with carrots and green beans. This will allow your dog to enjoy their treat without it causing any stomach issues or weight gain.

What Will Happen If Your Dog Ate Too Much Cereals?

Consuming too much cereal will not harm your dog. The best thing to do is take them to the vet if they are having any diarrhea or vomiting.

Your vet may recommend that your dog be fed cereal as it can help alleviate some gastrointestinal problems like constipation, chronic colitis, and other inflammations of the digestive system.

Generally, if your dog eats too much cereal, they will be fine. However, if you feed them too much every day, over time it may cause them obesity and other health issues.

If you give your puppy too much cereal, it can make them really hyper. There is no need to worry if this happens though since they will probably go back to their normal selves after a couple of hours.

As mentioned before, dogs are lactose intolerant so giving them dairy may give them diarrhea. If this happens, you need to stop feeding them dairy so their digestive system can recover.

Possible Side Effects Of Giving Your Dog Cereals

Some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients in cereal. If this is the case, your vet or a specialist can help you find an alternative food for your pup.

colorful cereals overflowing a bowl

If they are allergic or do eat too much, however, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Overly energetic – some dogs may get overly excited and start running around if they ate too much cereal.
  • Excessive panting – some dog breeds like Pugs and Shih Tzus will experience excessive panting if they drank too much milk.
  • Vomiting – dogs may vomit if they ate too much cereal or drank too much milk.
  • In rare cases, your pet may have problems with their pancreas or kidneys if they ate too much cereal.

If you notice that your dog has a lack of energy, is dehydrated, or is losing weight, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

People Also Ask

Can Dogs Eat Cereals Every Day?

No, they should not be fed cereal every day as it’s not a healthy long-term option. Cereal is best given as a one-off treat, not regularly. Some cereals contain lots of additives, sugar, or salt that can be harmful to your dog if they are consumed too often.

Can Dogs Eat Cereal Flakes?

Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat cereal flakes. They are very safe for your pet to have while training or as a snack if they are not too sweet. However, some dogs may be allergic to corn or cereal so you will need to monitor your dog closely.

Can Cereals Replace My Dog’s Regular Diet?

No, they should not replace your dog’s normal diet. Cereal is best given as a snack or treats for training. It won’t provide your dog with all the nutrients they need and can often be too sweet for them. A healthy balanced diet is always recommended.

Can A Dog Eat Frosted Flakes?

No, your dog should not eat Frosted Flakes. They contain too much sugar, which can be harmful to your dog if they eat them. Dogs should have a healthy diet with regular exercise and not have cereal or other snacks on a daily basis.


Most cereals are ok for dogs in moderation, but you should never give them too much. Check for harmful ingredients, and keep an eye on your dog while they’re eating to make sure they don’t react badly.

They are also not a replacement for your dog’s regular diet, especially if they eat too much and lead to digestive problems.

However, given occasionally as a dish or a treat, it can be a good way for your dog to get the nutrients they need.

Do you feed cereals to your dog? Did they like it?

Share your experience in the comments section below.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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