Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos? 13 Full Explanations

It’s no secret that hot Cheetos are a popular snack all over the world. Now, if you were munching on your favorite snack and a few pieces fell to the floor, I wouldn’t blame you one bit. As a dog owner, I can attest to the fact that our pooch will wolf down any dropped food or treat.

To what extent, then, do you feel worried? However, hot Cheetos are not healthy for canines. On the other hand, they won’t harm your animal companion.

Hot Cheetos contain ingredients that aren’t good for a dog’s digestive system, leading to a host of unpleasant side effects if consumed in large quantities.

Obviously, you can’t stop here; further information is required. I have everything you need to keep your dog in tip-top shape, from preventative care to treatments.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

False, hot Cheetos are not safe for canines to eat.

Artificial flavor enhancers, preservatives, oils, spices, and cheese are just some of the many unhealthy ingredients found in Hot Cheetos, making them a terrible choice for canine diets.

Additionally, the cottage cheese content of Hot Cheetos will aggravate your dog’s lactose intolerance.

Due to their delicate digestive systems and immature immune systems, dogs, especially young puppies and older dogs, should avoid eating Hot Cheetos.

Understanding the effect Cheetos can have on a dog’s health requires first looking at what exactly is in a bag of Cheetos.

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Nutritional Value of Hot Cheetos

The following are the nutritional values for a regular pack of Hot Cheetos (21 pieces) weighing 28g, as provided by CHEETOS®.

Substances High in Saturated Fats1.5g
Vitamin A100IU

ASPCA guidelines recommend that only 5 percent of a dog’s daily caloric intake come from treats like Cheetos.

The high percentage of fats is problematic for dogs, even though the other nutrients are safe, because the AAFCO dog food guidelines recommend no more than 8.5% fats. It’s not a good idea to give your dog Cheetos because of the high amount of fat (14%! ), which is above the acceptable range.

Do Dogs Like Hot Cheetos?

As opposed to humans, who have around 9,000 taste buds on their tongues, dogs only have about 1,700 in their mouths. Because of this, they are less sensitive to subtle differences in flavor than humans.

If you’ve fed your dog any mildly spicy foods, you may have noticed that he or she doesn’t react negatively. Some canines even enjoy the flavor of piping hot treats. It’s likely that your dog shares your enthusiasm for spicy Cheetos.

But you should let your dog be the final arbiter. Just let him take a quick drag to gauge his interest.

Are Hot Cheetos Bad for Dogs?

It’s not a good idea to feed your dog spicy snacks like Hot Cheetos for a few reasons. To your dog, processed snack foods are like “empty calories” because they have no nutritional value.

If your dog consumes a large quantity of them, they may exceed their caloric intake for the day without receiving any nutritional benefit.

The second major issue is that some dogs may have allergic reactions to some of the ingredients in this treat. There’s the garlic and onions that can cause anemia if eaten in any quantity.

The high levels of fat and salt also increase the likelihood that your dog will develop pancreatitis.

Saturated fat is more difficult for your dog’s digestive system to process than unsaturated fat. Finally, there’s the heat, which can irritate a dog’s stomach.

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In the end, there are undoubtedly worse things you could feed your dog, but there are also a lot of better options. Avoid giving them to your dog if his or her stomach gets upset easily.

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Which Ingredients in Hot Cheetos Are Dangerous For Dogs?

Is it safe to give dogs hot Cheetos? No. But why? Why are Cheetos bad for canines?

The specifics that follow provide the solution.


You may have noticed that the front of the Cheetos package boasts the phrase “MADE WITH REAL CHEESE.” To make the cheddar cheese used in Cheetos, milk, cheese cultures, salt, and enzymes are combined.

Canines can safely consume cheese in moderation. However, it can be harmful to your dog’s health if they indulge in it frequently or if they have lactose intolerance. Why? For the same reason that too much cheese can make you sick to your stomach, give you diarrhea, make you put on weight, etc.

You should keep your dog away from hot Cheetos if he is lactose intolerant, as they can cause him a lot of pain and discomfort.

Powdered Onion and Garlic

Both onions and garlic are extremely harmful to dogs. These vegetables are found in Cheetos’ powdered form, but they are just as poisonous as they would be in their raw form.

N-propyl disulfide, a toxin found in onions, causes anemia in dogs by destroying their red blood cells. In addition to thiosulfate, which causes dyspepsia, onions contain organosulfur, which is responsible for toxicosis.

Hemolytic anemia, stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc. are all symptoms of consuming too much thiosulfate, which is present in both onions and garlic.

Enriched Corn Meal

The term glycemic index (GI) is likely to come up in your research on potentially dangerous dog food ingredients.

Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) are more likely to cause an increase in blood sugar, which can lead to a variety of health issues. The higher the glycemic index, the more concentrated the sugar content.

Cornmeal has a GI of 69, making it the highest among oats, wheat, corn, and barley.

Cornmeal has a low biological value, is high in allergens, and is difficult to digest. Avoid feeding your dog Cheetos due to the cornmeal that they contain in the Hot variety.

Maltodextrin (Made from Corn)

The starch from corn, wheat, rice, or potatoes is refined into a white powder called maltodextrin. Because of the extensive processing that has occurred since it was originally derived from plants, it is harmful to the dog’s health.

Maltodextrin consumption is linked to lowered immune function and compromised gut flora. Due to its origin (corn), the Maltodextrin used to make Cheetos has a high glycemic index (GI) and is therefore unhealthy.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSGs)

I have always wondered what exactly it is that makes Hot Cheetos so delicious.

Sodium methylglycinate (MSG) is the correct response. It’s commonly used to boost the flavor of snacks, salads, dishes, and more.

Nonetheless, this component is not appropriate for your dog’s brain because it can cause brain damage, which in turn can cause heart arrhythmias, migraines, seizures, and even cancer.

Artificial Preservatives and Colors

Feeding your dog a raw, fresh diet has always been recommended by veterinarians.

Besides artificial flavors and preservatives, Hot Cheetos also use artificial colors, including Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake, and Yellow. Such inorganic compounds are not only carcinogenic but also exacerbate dog allergies.

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Citric Acid

Citric acid is healthy for humans, but it can be fatal for dogs. It causes severe stomach upset, GI issues, diarrhea, and vomiting. Overdosing on citric acid can cause a lull in the central nervous system’s activity, too.


Disodium Inosinate, Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Guanylate, and Sodium Caseinate account for 11% of the total nutrients in Hot Cheetos and weigh in at a combined 0.31g. As a general rule, salts are bad for your dog, and these puffs contain several different types of sodium salts.

A dog can eat a few Cheetos without any ill effects, but giving it too many can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which manifests itself in nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and seizures.

Your dog’s life could be in danger if it keeps eating Cheetos due to the high salt content. So, watch out!

What Do Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Contain?

Cheetos’ history can be traced back to the 1940s. The basic ingredient is cornmeal, which is dried in the oven and then fried to form the characteristic ‘puff’ shape.

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Flamin’ Hot are covered in spicy chili powder, while the originals are seasoned with cheese.

And as you probably already know, dogs shouldn’t eat too much spicy food. Capsaicin, found in hot chili peppers, is not explicitly toxic, but it can cause stomach distress if consumed in large quantities.

Both the garlic and onion in these Cheetos make them unsafe for canines. Also, your dog shouldn’t eat too much of them because they’re loaded with unhealthy ingredients like salt, fat, and oil.

Understandably, this is not a healthy option for your dog, and you should refrain from giving it, but a small amount (one or two) is not likely to cause any serious problems.

What Are the Possible Outcomes of Dogs Eating Hot Cheetos?

If your dog eats an entire bag of Hot Cheetos, they will get sick and vomit, and you will notice a burning sensation, a change in poop color, a high temperature, and possibly anorexia and weight loss.

Cheetos can cause a dog to become dehydrated and upset their stomach.

The potential consequences of feeding a dog hot Cheetos are briefly discussed below:

Loss of Appetite

As was previously mentioned, Hot Cheetos are high in calories and contain MSGs, which will make your dog feel full and encourage him to eat more.

That junk would fill up your dog’s stomach, leaving no room for his regular food. Cheetos give dogs stomachaches and dyspepsia, so they won’t want any more of them.

Weight Loss

If you lose your appetite, you’ll lose weight. You can expect your dog’s weight to decrease if you force him to eat such junk food and refuse to give him any healthy treats. Nutrient and mineral deficiencies may result from relying solely on these snacks.

High Temperature

Salts, monosodium glutamate, and cheap oils are just a few of the ingredients in Cheetos that can make dogs ill and spike their temperatures.

Burning Sensation

The heat of Hot Cheetos comes from a combination of natural and artificial spices and flavor enhancers. Some of the hot, cheesy puffs may stick to your dog’s nose, lips, or cheeks as he eats them, causing a painful burning sensation. If a dog’s skin is particularly delicate, the situation becomes much more dire.

When your dog’s skin is burning, you may notice him licking or scratching his face excessively, rubbing his face on the floor, or all three.

Colored Poop

The feces of a dog who has been snacking on Hot Cheetos will be a striking shade of red.

However, it is not just a matter of color; it also causes a burning sensation in their digestive tracts, which can be quite unpleasant.

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What Should I Do If My Dog Has Eaten Hot Cheetos?

One of the first things you shouldn’t do if you discover your dog has eaten Cheetos is to freak out. One being stolen from the bag or accidentally dropped on the floor is not likely to have a major impact.

If your dog has eaten a large quantity, only then should you be concerned. If they’ve gotten into a bag of Cheetos and eaten a lot of them, it’s probably best to call the vet and ask what to do.

Keeping an eye on your dog to make sure it’s not in any severe pain and clearing up any messes caused by its stomach rumblings could be all that’s required.

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

If your dog eats Hot Cheetos, they will most likely become ill with diarrhea.

If this were to occur, you’d need to be prepared to rush them outside immediately. The Cheetos may come back up again in their vomit, but that could be a good thing if it helps them get rid of them.

The dog may also show signs of fatigue or discomfort. It’s important to stick to your veterinarian’s orders until the problem is fixed.

Can Hot Cheetos Make Dogs Sick?

Ingestion of Hot Cheetos can make a dog sick, that much is true.

A dog can safely eat a couple of Hot Cheetos, but giving it more than that could make it sick. If your dog eats a bag of Hot Cheetos, they’ll quickly develop stomach problems, a headache, a burning sensation, and dehydration.

Long-term canine Hot Cheetos consumption is associated with an increased threat of diabetes, pancreatitis, and cardiovascular disease.


What Diseases Can a Dog Get From Eating Hot Cheetos?


Hot Cheetos are seasoned with various salts of sodium to make them tasty. Although this much salt is bad for humans, it’s ten times worse for dogs because of their delicate digestive systems. This can lead to high blood pressure, which can trigger headaches or migraines.

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The high levels of fat and spices in hot Cheetos force the pancreas to produce extra digestive enzymes, which can begin digestion too soon. As a result, spicy treats can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Your dog’s pancreatitis may worsen from excessive consumption, necessitating a trip to the vet. Your veterinarian will then recommend a low-fat diet for your dog to follow until the issue is resolved.


Sugars are also added to Hot Cheetos alongside salts and spices to create a more well-rounded flavor that will appeal to more of your taste buds.

Hot Cheetos may be delicious, but that doesn’t make them healthy for your dog. Sugars will cause diabetes and obesity, both of which significantly reduce a dog’s lifespan, especially in older dogs.

Heart Diseases

Hot Cheetos’ excessively sweet, salty, and fatty composition is the primary cause of illness in canine consumers. These chemicals cause extensive harm to the heart and other internal organs.

Therefore, the salt, sugar, and fat levels in the blood will rise if your dog consumes Hot Cheetos puff after puff.

These harmful substances become trapped in the heart as it filters the blood, eventually leading to heart disease. There is a heightened risk of harm to elderly dogs.

Gastrointestinal Irritation (GI)

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines) can be caused by a number of different things, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, medications, and even foods that are too hot. Your dog will suffer from severe abdominal pain and vomiting due to the GI disorder.

Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance at the FDA, says that

Sodium ion poisoning can cause lethargy, diarrhea, high fever, excessive thirst, kidney damage, seizures, vomiting, and vomiting in dogs if given in large enough doses. And, “it’s almost like they get drunk,” she continues.


This problem arises because Hot Cheetos contain too much salt and sugar.

When the kidneys detect an excess of nutrients in the blood, they excrete them via the urinary tract. Increased salt intake is associated with increased urination and subsequent dehydration.

“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,” explains Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s CVO and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care.

If your dog is dehydrated, you may notice drowsiness, constipation, headaches, and a loss of appetite.

My Dog Ate Hot Cheetos – Should I be Worried?

How Much Cheetos Would be Okay?

Due to the presence of lactose intolerance, stomach sensitivity, a weakened immune system, or an allergy to the specific ingredients of Cheetos, it is not advised to feed Hot Cheetos to any dog.

What Human Food Can I Give to My Dog?

There are some human foods that are suitable for your four-legged friend, and they will be a lot better than Hot Cheetos if you don’t want to stick to pre-approved dog food all the time.

A large serving of peanut butter, which is packed with protein and other nutrients, is an excellent choice.

Alternatively, you can try giving your dog a few bites of chopped up unseeded apple, which will not only help to eliminate bad breath but will also remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.

Chicken that has been cooked but not seasoned is a good choice if you’re looking to increase the amount of protein in your dog’s diet.

Eggs, on the other hand, are an excellent source of protein and a wide variety of essential nutrients.

Now let’s talk about vegetables, where you can find a wide variety of healthy options, like pumpkins, green beans, and broccoli.

You don’t exactly lack options, so give this some thought before you dive into that bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Final Thoughts

Tossing your dog a handful of hot Cheetos is the healthiest option you have when it comes to snacking. If you are concerned about your dog getting into your belongings when you are not looking, you should store them somewhere safe.

There are many other treats that your dog would enjoy just as much but wouldn’t give him the same stomach ache. Dogs shouldn’t eat Hot Cheetos because of the spicy seasoning and other ingredients.

The consumption of even a couple of these treats is not likely to cause serious health problems for your dog. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any untoward reactions by monitoring their progress closely.

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