Can Dogs Have Cheez-Its – Benefits or Downsides?

Sure, we all know that Cheez-Its are delicious. Their crunchy texture and cheesy flavor make them the perfect snack.

But what about our furry friends? Can dogs have Cheez-Its? And if they can, is it a good idea?

Some dog owners might be excited to share this classic human snack with their furry friend, while others may be worried about the potential downsides.

Read on as we take a closer look at the pros and cons of giving your dog Cheez-Its, and see if this temptation is really worth it!

Can Dogs Have Cheez-Its? Are There Any Benefits?

The short answer is yes, dogs can have Cheez-Its. But before you start giving them this tasty snack, there are a few things to consider.

For starters, while Cheez-Its are safe for dogs to eat, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily good for them. There are no real benefits to feeding your dog this snack, and in fact, there are some potential downsides.

Like most human snacks, Cheez-Its are high in fat and salt.

And while a few Cheez-Its here and there probably won’t hurt your dog, feeding them a diet that’s high in fat and salt can lead to health problems down the road, including obesity and heart disease.

So, if you do decide to give your dog Cheez-Its, do so in moderation and make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise to offset the calorie intake.

Are Cheez Its Harmful to Your Dog?

While not harmful in small quantities, they are not recommended as a regular part of your dog’s diet.

In addition to being high in fat and salt, Cheez-Its also contain a variety of other ingredients that might not agree with your dog’s stomach.

For example, many brands of Cheez-Its contain onion powder, which can be harmful to dogs in large quantities. Onion powder is a common ingredient in many human snacks, but it can cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Additionally, the wheat flour in Cheez-Its can also be difficult for some dogs to digest. If your dog is particularly sensitive to wheat, it might experience digestive problems after eating.

cheez it crackers on white background

5 Risk of Feeding Cheez-Its to Your Dog

As we mentioned, there are some potential risks associated with feeding your dog Cheez-Its.

While most dogs will be just fine if they eat a few here and there, there are some dogs that might not tolerate this snack as well.

Dairy Can Upset Your Dog’s Digestive Tract

Dairy is one of the main ingredients in Cheez-Its, and while most dogs can eat dairy without any problems, some might be sensitive to it.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, eating Cheez-Its could cause digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Pancreas Inflammation Due to the High-Fat Amount

The high-fat content in Cheez-Its can also be problematic for some dogs.

Eating a lot of fat can lead to pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be very painful and even life-threatening in severe cases.

Vomiting or Diarrhea Due to High Salt Levels

Another concern with Cheez-Its is the high salt content.

While most dogs can eat a moderate amount of salt without any problems, eating too much salt can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, it can cause dehydration, which can be dangerous for dogs.

Allergic Reaction to the Wheat Flour

Some dogs are also allergic to wheat, which is one of the main ingredients in Cheez-Its.

If your dog is allergic to wheat, eating this snack can cause a variety of problems, including digestive upset, skin irritation, and respiratory issues.

Obesity, Diabetes, Liver or Kidney Failure Due to Many Calories

Finally, the high-calorie content in Cheez-Its can also be problematic for dogs.

If your dog eats too many Cheez-Its, they could start to gain weight, which can lead to obesity and a host of other health problems, including diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.

Health Concerns of Sodium-Ion Poisoning From Cheez Its

One of the biggest concerns with feeding your dog Cheez-Its is the risk of sodium-ion poisoning.

Sodium-ion poisoning occurs when a dog ingests too much salt and it causes an electrolyte imbalance in the body.

Symptoms of sodium-ion poisoning include

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Upset stomach

How To Give Cheez-Its to Your Dog – Safe Serving Tips 

If you do decide to give your dog Cheez-Its, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

friends petting dog at garden party
  • Only give them once in a while

First, make sure you give them in moderation. A few here and there won’t hurt most dogs, but eating a whole bag is probably not a good idea.

  • Give them after having their main meal

Second, it’s best to give them after your dog has eaten their main meal. This way, they’re less likely to beg for more and they won’t be as hungry.

  • Avoid giving your dog spicy Cheez-Its

Third, avoid giving your dog spicy Cheez-Its. These can be hard on their stomach and might cause digestive problems.

Also, avoid giving your dog Cheez-Its that contain onion powder. Onion powder is a common ingredient in many brands of Cheez-Its, but it can be harmful to dogs in large quantities.

  • Don’t give them to lactose-intolerant dogs

Don’t give Cheez-Its to lactose-intolerant dogs. As we mentioned, the dairy in Cheez-Its can upset their stomach and cause digestive problems.

If you’re not sure if your dog is lactose-intolerant, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian before giving them any dairy products.

  • If you have a small dog break the crackers into smaller pieces

If you have a small dog, it’s best to break the crackers into smaller pieces before giving them to your dog.

This will help prevent them from choking and make it easier for them to digest.

Safe Home-Made Alternative to Cheez Its for Your Dog

If you’re not comfortable giving your dog Cheez-Its, there are plenty of other snacks you can give them that are just as delicious and much better for their health.

Here are a few safe and healthy alternatives to Cheez-Its for your dog:

Carrots – Carrots are a great alternative to Cheez-Its because they’re low in calories and fat and they’re packed with nutrients that are good for your dog’s health.

Peanut butter – Peanut butter is another safe and healthy alternative to Cheez-Its. Just make sure you choose a peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that can be harmful to dogs.

dog licking peanut butter sandwich

Zucchini – Zucchini is another healthy and low-calorie alternative. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for your dog’s health.

Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are also a healthy alternative. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are good for your dog’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Cheez-Its Crackers?

No, you should not give your dog Cheez-Its crackers. The high sodium content in Cheez-Its can be dangerous for dogs and the crackers can also be a choking hazard. If you want to give your dog a cheese-flavored snack, there are plenty of safe and healthy alternatives that are better for their health.

Will Cheez-Its Hurt My Dog?

Cheez-Its can be harmful to dogs if they eat too many. The high sodium content in Cheez-Its can cause sodium-ion poisoning, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and an electrolyte imbalance in the body.

Why Does My Dog Love Cheez-Its?

There could be a variety of reasons why your dog loves Cheez-Its. The cheese flavor could be appealing to their sense of smell, and the crunchy texture could be satisfying to their teeth and gums. Additionally, the small size of Cheez-Its makes them easy to eat and digest.


Cheez-Its are a popular snack food, but they’re not necessarily good for your dog. If you do decide to give them to your dog, make sure you do so in moderation and avoid giving them to dogs that are lactose-intolerant or have other health problems.

They are high in salt and fat, which can be harmful to dogs.

There are plenty of other safe and healthy snacks you can give your dog that are better for their health. Carrots, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are all great alternatives to Cheez-Its.

Do you feed your dog Cheez-Its sometimes or do you prefer some other safer alternative?

Photo of author

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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