Imagine this for a moment.
You’re sitting on the couch with your dog, watching a movie or the game, enjoying a cheesy snack of Hot Cheetos.
Your phone rings, you jump up to grab it in the other room, and leave the bag of Hot Cheetos on the coffee table.
By the time you’re back – maybe two or three minutes – you find that your dog is shoulder deep in the bag, eating just as many of these snacks as possible (and likely has been for at least a couple of minutes).
What do you do?
Are you dealing with a nightmare scenario when dogs eat Cheetos?
Are these some of the human foods dogs can eat without causing a lot of trouble to their digestive system?
What kind of side effects should you be on the lookout for if Cheetos are bad for dogs?
Below we dig a little bit deeper into everything you need to know about what happens when your dog ate Hot Cheetos!
What Happens If a Dog Eats Hot Cheetos?
Right out of the gate, it’s a good idea to take a second to have a deep breath and relax – this specific kind of human food (Cheetos) isn’t super toxic or poisonous for our favorite furry little family members to snack on once in a while.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog should be eating Cheetos all the time – especially not a flamin’ Hot Cheeto.
But it does mean that they aren’t going to have their short or long-term health put in jeopardy the way that eating a bar of chocolate might have, for example.
A couple of things are (likely) going to happen after your dog ate Hot Cheetos:
First, they are going to get pretty nasty gas from the garlic powder, monosodium glutamate, cornmeal “popcorn or corn dogs”, and other ingredients inside of Cheetos that generally never makes it into a standard dog diet.
Secondly, the odds are pretty good that all that extra gas building up in your dog is going to create a lot of discomfort.
They are going to whine, they are going to complain, and they are (definitely) going to want to go out and use the bathroom and 20 or 30 minutes after eating this kind of human food like hot dog.
Thirdly, and this is especially true if your dog has eaten a lot of Cheetos puff or nacho cheese puff, they are probably going to deal with at least a little bit of nausea, potential vomiting, and maybe even some diarrhea.
These kinds of reactions are (thankfully) a bit rarer than we might think when dogs dive into a flaming Hot Cheetos bag – but they do happen.
It’s that these kinds of super negative reactions that you want to keep your eyes peeled for specifically.
We dig a little bit deeper into that in just a minute, though.
Can Hot Cheetos Kill a Dog?
A quick look at the ingredient list of Hot Cheetos will tell you that they are (primarily) the same as every other one of your favorite junk foods – basically filled to the brim with empty calories, onion and garlic powder, lots of salt, chili peppers, and stuff like monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The majority of these ingredients are not considered toxic to dogs, though they definitely aren’t the kind of thing you want to give your dog on a regular basis, either.
Nutritional value question marks aside, the reason you don’t want to flood your dog’s daily diet with in ingredient list like this has a lot more to do with the fact that it will wreck their digestive system from the inside out – causing diarrhea, vomiting, etc. – that can put their health and wellness in jeopardy.
It doesn’t take a lot for dogs to get dehydrated.
That’s critically important to understand.
Even just a little bit of dehydration can prove to be really dangerous for your favorite four-legged family member, especially if you aren’t in tune to of the signs and symptoms of this kind of condition.
Prolonged dehydration caused by excess sodium from these mostly cornmeal and other additive foods can even shut down key organs in your dog.
That’s the kind of thing that is going to present a serious medical emergency that requires veterinarian assistance ASAP.
But a couple of these snacks every now and again?
Especially if your dog only sneaks them on accident when you weren’t being quite as careful as you probably should have been?
That’s usually not going to create a life-threatening situation.
No, you don’t necessarily want to be giving Cheetos to your dog all that regularly – or mixing it up in their dog food – but if they steal one or if they grab one that you dropped on the floor it’s not the end of the world.
Can Dogs Eat Hot Chips?
To put it bluntly, any kind of hot chips “potato chips” – including Flamin Hot Cheetos – really don’t belong in the daily diet of your furry little family member.
Sure, like we mentioned earlier, dogs can get away with eating Cheetos every now and again (even Flamin Hot Cheetos) but it’s not something that you want to give them over and over again or give them on a regular basis.
The amount of onion powder, garlic powder, corn meal, and especially the amount of sodium that finds its way into these formulas – not to mention saturated fat, sugar, and all kinds of food additives and coloring agents – just have no place in the diet of a dog.
Truth be told, that these kinds of chemical concoction ingredients that make up some of our favorite junk foods probably don’t have that much of a place in a healthy and balanced diet for people, either!
On top of that, canines in general have never had a lot of exposure to chili powder or chili peppers – or anything else that we love to put in our favorite spicy foods or spicy flavor.
It’s not like ancient canines and their dog ancestors were popping into restaurants, having a look at the menu to find something spicy food, and then gobbled it up on a regular basis.
Dog internal systems just aren’t all that wired to handle a lot of extra spice and a lot of extra sodium the way that a human body has been able to adapt to these kinds of food ingredients.
Chili powder, canola oil, and Yellow 6 aren’t found all that often in the wild!
So no, it’s not a great idea to feed your dog hot chips, tortilla chips – especially if you’re trying to make sure that the food they do eat will have positive health benefits later down the line.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Hot Cheetos?
If your dog only snuck one or two Flamin Hot Cheetos before you noticed, then you probably don’t have too much to worry about.
You won’t need to call the vet. You won’t need to rush them to an animal hospital.
Now, you might want to keep an eye on them – making sure that they aren’t acting out of the ordinary (which for all dogs is a little different), but you should be good to go.
Obviously smaller dogs are most likely to deal with adverse side effects than larger dogs, but even the tiniest of dogs shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
If, on the other hand, you’re dealing with a pooch that has eaten a handful of Flamin Hot Cheetos – or even just a bunch of regular Cheetos, for that matter – then you might want to make that call to the vet and let them know what’s up.
They’ll probably tell you to keep a close eye on your dogs to make sure that they are acting all right, or they might recommend that you bring them in for a closer check (that day or in the morning).
If you are dealing with dogs that have eaten an entire bag of these kinds of snacks that you are dealing with something else entirely.
You’ll definitely want to make that call to your veterinarian ASAP, let them know that they’ve had way too many dog Cheetos, and make an appointment for them to be seen just as quickly as you can.
This is doubly true if you start to notice any breathing issues, any diarrhea, or any vomiting.
Those are signs and symptoms of something gone really wrong and you want to have those issues addressed straightaway.
There’s no real cut or answer for how many crunchy Cheetos can dogs eat safely (none is always better than some), but as a general rule of thumb them eating fewer of this kind of spicy snack is always better than them eating a whole bunch.
Signs and Symptoms to Look for When My Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t
The only thing that you really need to pay close attention to with your dog (or any dogs you come in contact with that might have eaten a snack like this) are obvious signs of anemia.
Most of us think about anemia as an issue that deals with the blood cells of the body, but garlic and onion poisoning in dogs can trigger anemia as well.
Symptoms of this threat to a dog’s health will manifest in some pretty obvious ways, though, including:
• General lethargy and decreased energy levels
• A total loss of appetite
• Labored breathing
• Difficulty moving around
If you spot any of these things plaguing your pooch after they have eaten Cheetos (or anything else bad for dogs, for that matter) it’s important that you get these dogs help ASAP.
It doesn’t take long for something like anemia (brought on by garlic or onion poisoning, two ingredients in a Cheetos snack) to cause some serious health issues.