Can Dogs Eat Cheetos?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
There are few things in this world that make humans and dogs equally happy. One of those things is love toward food. Usually, toward the same food. However, there should be some limits when it comes to sharing unhealthy snacks with your pet. But, do you know how healthy or not it is to give your dog a cheese snack? Read on and discover what you should know and expect when you feed your dog with fast food like Cheetos.

There are many things that connect humans and their furry friends. A number of things actually, from mutual love, outdoor spirit, long walks and etc. But one thing that really connects us is a mutual love toward food. Especially unhealthy food. Did someone say Cheetos? Cheetos aren’t exactly at the top of the healthy food list, but we – as humans – have this strong tendency to loving them. However, there are some four-legged-furry beings that love having a bite as well, of this cheese heaven. But, the question is if they should eat it.

This cheesy snack comes in 21 different varieties! Of course, your dog wants a bite of it. On the side that dogs want a bit of everything, of course. However, many owners are asking themselves constantly if their dogs can eat Cheetos mainly because they don’t have a clue what Cheetos are made of.

Can Dogs Eat Cheetos?

Technically, dogs could eat anything. Even Cheetos. First and the most basic thing when it comes to your dog eating Cheetos is that if your dog grabs a cheese puff from the kitchen counter or your hand and eats it’s O.K. Your dog will be fine.

However, the real question here should be – Should you feed your dog Cheetos? Absolutely not.

Bear in mind that Cheetos are a part of junk food and its ingredients are not something that is to be recommended for your dog’s nutrition easily.

Cheetos Structure

Understanding why you shouldn’t feed your dog with Cheetos will be much easier if you understand what Cheetos are made from. Yes, Cheetos are primarily made out of cornmeal.

Cheetos Ingredients

At first look, you may not find anything strange on this list. However, if you take a second look you will see that canola and sunflower oil are on the list, and it should make you think twice. Why?

These oils are not virgin oil, but low-grade oils that are not suitable or good for anyone, including pets. In addition, what makes Cheetos great is cheese.

Cheese is questionable for dogs overall, especially when you take into consideration the fact that cheese in Cheetos is actually just seasoning made from whey. Basically, you are giving your dog processed whey. Processed whey is in reality just a huge amount of real cheese leftovers.

MSG is another ingredient that is not welcomed in dogs nutrition.

Monosodium glutamate, or in another words (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancer. On the other side, this component is rather tasteless itself.

MSG works by tricking the brain into thinking that food actually tastes good. In addition, MSG is identified as a type of neurotransmitter known as an excitotoxin, who’s a primary function is to over-stimulate the brain, causing an overproduction of dopamine. This creates a short sensation of satisfaction.

Are There Any Nutritional Benefits?

Simply said, no. There are no nutritional benefits to your dog when it comes to eating Cheetos. Only 13 Cheetos has 160 calories, 270 mg of sodium, and 1.5 grams of saturated fats.

There is no nutritional value in Cheetos for your dog, as the main ingredient is cooked cornmeal covered in cheese seasoning thanks to MSG, yellow number 6 coloring.

In addition, Cheetos puff is extremely high in saturated fats, salt, and sodium which are known for being extremely dangerous for your pet, and they could lead to a number of dangerous issues.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Cheetos?

Again, if your dog eats just one puff he will be fine, but anything above that, and often, could lead to a number of issues. Cheetos cheese puffs are extremely high in saturated fats. Sodium (salt) is extremely unhealthy and dangerous for your pet.

Consuming a significant amount of sodium (salt) can lead to a number of different, unhealthy and even dangerous conditions, such as:

  1. Vomiting: A dog may vomit due to a number of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are harmless and usually initiated because your dog just ate something or simply ate too much food, too fast. Reasons for vomiting maybe because he simply swallowed a toxic substance or your dog is just suffering from an unknown medical condition.

    Usually, the first sign that something is not OK with your dog is seen in moments when your dog actually refuses food, and simply your dog won’t eat.

    Also, vomiting can also be connected with the gastrointestinal system and in that case, the veterinarian is the only person that can confirm that condition.

  2. Obesity: Giving your dog a bite here and there doesn’t seem like a big thing in the beginning.
    However, as the time goes by and your dog becomes bigger and bigger you will get to the realization that maybe all of those moments that your dog spend begging for food are actually not that cute. Actually, those moments can start uncontrolled food intake. Obese dogs are in increased risk of getting more difficult and challenging conditions, like heart disease, cancer, a faster degeneration of affected joints and etc.
    The most common reasons for obesity is a larger food intake. However, sometimes the obesity can be an indicator of disease, like Cushing’s disease (overactive adrenal glands), or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland).
  3. Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition that can affects puppies as well as adult dogs. But the most important thing about this condition is that it can be cured. There are two types of Diabetes is dogs and each one can be developed from different reasons. Diabetes is often seen in smaller breeds.
  4. Loss of appetite: Reasons for dogs not eating are many and they can be an indicator of a possible underlying problem. Those underlying problems are not necessarily life-threatening, as they can be just minor stress. Refusing food is not common for dogs, so if two days pass by and your dog is still not eating, you should try with appetite stimulants for dogs. If even that doesn’t work out you should visit the veterinarian.
  5. Behavioral changes: Your dog can sometimes act out like a complete stranger as if it’s not your own dog. Reasons for this are many and you need to track your dog carefully if you want to learn what is behind these changes. Maybe your dog suffers from separation anxiety, maybe is in some sort of pain, or your dog is simply bored. Regardless of the reason, changes in behavior are always a certain indicator of major changes within your furry friend.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

Basically, a difference between regular Cheetos and the hot one is not crucial. Except that everything that’s flavored or colored contains more chemicals, and they might be slightly more dangerous to dogs.

Although the market is full of dozens of different flavored Cheetos, you should avoid some more than others:

  • Flamin’ Hot contains a number of unknown ingredients next to garlic powder.
  • Cheddar Jalapeno contains unknown spices, jalapeno pepper and garlic powder.
  • Flamin’ Hot Limon contains unknown unknown ingredients next to garlic powder.
  • Cheetos are known for being processed food with a number of unknown ingredients. No one is even sure what ‘natural ingredients’ or ‘flavor’ are, as food manufacturers aren’t always obliged to provide the complete list of ingredients.


    We understand that having to tell ‘no’ to your dog is sometimes the most difficult thing in the world, but sometimes it needs to be done for their own sake. However, if you can’t find the strength to say ‘no’ and refrain from sharing a bit with your dog, the best thing you can do is: never eat them when your dog’s around.

    If you already accidentally let your dog taste cheetos and now your dog is crazy about this cheesy snack, you should work on giving your dog some healthy snacks instead. Stick to proteins or treats that are made especially for dogs. You can also make some healthy, homemade dog treats your Fido will adore!


    First thing first, your dog won’t die if he grabs a cheese puff here and there. In general, it’s not harmful if your dog intakes it in a small amount. However, if your dog is allergic to any of the ingredients, it can be a major problem.

    Secondly, there no nutritional benefits for your furry friend with this food. Make sure that you don’t feed your dog with this snack. Just don’t make it a habit. As mentioned previously, cheese puffs contain a significant amount of salt which doesn’t work for dogs well. That salt is unhealthy both for humans and pets.

    At the end of the day, it is all about what is healthy for your dog and not just what’s good for him. So, your dog maybe adores the taste of Cheetos, but his body actually craves for something nutritional.

    Feeding your dog with a cheese puff or two, won’t hurt him, but it can create a habit. Creating a habit can lead to health problems in the long-run and you definitely want to avoid that.