Is your dog coocoo for coco puffs? Dogs often get into foods they aren’t supposed to eat. Coco Puffs might not be what comes to mind when you think about a treat your dog would like to sneak, but just like people, dogs have different tastes.
If your dog eats coco puffs, you may be worried about them. Will they be ok? Can Coco Puffs harm them?
Can dogs eat Coco Puffs?
Technically, dogs are capable of eating Coco Puffs. However, when people ask this question, they typically mean will Coco Puffs make my dog sick? Are they harmful, or unhealthy for dogs?
Not Dangerous, But Not Healthy
Before we get into the details, let me set your mind at ease. It’s highly unlikely for your dog to become seriously ill from eating Coco Puffs. It is possible for them to experience stomach upset due to the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in the cereal.
Generally, Coco Puffs are not a healthy snack for your pooch, but they shouldn’t be particularly harmful either.
Chocolate in Coco Puffs
Most owners are concerned about the chocolate, or cocoa, in coco puffs. The cereal is chocalate flavored, but it contains little actual chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, but it takes a significant amount to make a dog sick.
Dogs are not able to process theobromine, which is the chemical humans love the most in chocolate. It triggers positive neurochemicals in our brains, giving us a “chocolate high”.
This chemical is toxic to dogs. The good news is that most types of chocolate don’t contain high amounts of theobromine. Cocoa powder has the highest amount. Semi sweet, bitter, or dark chocolate can also have a dangerous amount.
When it comes to a Hershey milk chocolate bar, it would take 2-3 candy bars to be toxic to a dog who weighs just 10 pounds. Of course, this doesn’t mean feeding your dog chocolate of any kind is a good idea.
It does mean that you don’t have to panic if your pooch ate Coco Puffs, or even if they snuck a bite of your Hershey bar.
Dangers of Cereals
Coco Puffs contains 10 grams of sugar per serving, which means it’s risky to feed to your dog, along with other high sugar cereals. In fact, sugar is the biggest concern when feeding your pooch Coco Puffs, not chocolate.
Other cereals can pose an even greater danger, because they contain ingredients that are toxic to your pooch. Grapes, and their dried counterpart, raisins, can be highly toxic to dogs. Some nuts, including almonds, pistachios, macadema nuts, and pecans, are also toxic to your pooch.
If your dog eats cereal with these ingredients, you may have a serious health crisis on your hands.
Are Any Cereals Dog Safe?
What if you really want to share your breakfast with your pooch? Are any cereals ok to feed your dog? It turns out that you can feed them some cereals, with a few caveats.
Always opt for low sugar cereals. However, beware of sugar free cereals as well. The artificial sweetener xylitol is used in some baked goods, and it is highly toxic to dogs.
Obviously, in addition to selecting a low sugar cereal, you’ll want to find one that’s free of chocolate, nuts, and raisins.
A few cereals that are safe for your pooch are Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats, Chex, Corn Flakes, and Wheaties are all ok for your dog to eat. However, they should be given as an occasional snack or a treat.
These cereals won’t harm your pooch, but they don’t contribute much to their diet either. Think of them as a treat instead of a meal, and your pooch will be just fine.
What happens if my dog eats coco puffs?
Your dog had their way with a box of Coco Puffs while you were at the store. You come home to find a partially eaten (hopefully) box of cereal on the floor. Now they may be hyper, or not feeling well. You are wondering just what happens if your dog eats Coco Puffs.
What Happens When a Dog Eats Chocolate
Coco Puffs are highly unlikely to cause chocolate poisoning. There’s simply not enough theobromine for a dog to be able to consume enough to make themselves ill. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If your dog ate Coco Puffs, you’ll need to watch out for the symptoms of chocolate poisoning just in case.
How sick a dog gets from chocolate poisoning depends on how much they consume and their size. The same amount that would be fatal for a 10 pound dog may only give a 50 pound dog a tummy ache.
Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness or panting, and a racing heart. Increased thirst and urination are also common.
Severe cases of chocolate poisoning can lead to muscle tremors, seizures, and even heart failure.
Chocolate poisoning symptoms can take a few hours after ingestion to develop. By this time, the toxic chemical is already in your dog’s system. If you suspect your dog has chocolate poisoning, it’s best to call your vet immediately.
It’s pretty rare that a dog ingests enough chocolate to get seriously ill, but it does happen.
What Happens if My Dog Ate too Much Sugar?
You are probably aware of the human effects too much sugar can have. It increases your risk of obesity and diabetes. It can lead to tooth decay. If you have too much one sitting, it may even make you sick to your stomach.
Dogs experience these same issues when they consume too much sugar. However, their bodies aren’t equipped to deal with the high amounts of sugar that humans can.
Dogs are not strictly carnivorous, but they’ve evolved with meat making up the bulk of their diet. They will consume small amounts of carbohydrates and sugar, but it’s not a staple food for them in the wild.
Humans, on the other hand, need a significant amount of sugar and carbs to be healthy, at least according to most sources. Our bodies have evolved to consume high amounts of sugar, but your dog’s body doesn’t cope as well.
56% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Diabetes rates have climbed as well, up 30% in the last decade.
In the short term, too much sugar will upset your dog’s stomach. Just like us, they have a microbiome populated with good bacteria. Foods high in sugar upset the balance, which causes gastrointestinal problems.
The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain. If your pooch vomits a few times or has a bout of diarrhea after eating Coco Puffs, it’s likely nothing serious. However, if they have severe vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, contact your vet.
What to do if my dog eats coco puffs?
Perhaps your kiddo slipped your dog a bowl of Coco Puffs when you weren’t looking, or perhaps they got into the cereal themselves. They have consumed Coco Puffs, and left you wondering what do I do now?
Managing Stomach Upset
There are a few over the counter medications you can give your pooch for an upset stomach. Famotide and prilosec are antacids that can also calm your dog’s tummy after dietary indiscretion, aka eating whatever they see.
You can give them .5 mg for each pound of body weight twice a day. Pills typically come in a 10 mg dosage, but 20 mg pills are also available. A 20 pound dog would take one 10 mg pill twice daily.
Pepto can also help soothe your dog’s tummy. Give 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight. Give it to them every 6-8 hours as needed. Don’t exceed 4 teaspoons per dose for larger dogs.
If your pooch ate a large helping of Coco Puffs, you may want to induce vomiting. To do so, you’ll need something probably already in your medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide. It should be the 3% concentration, which is typically what is found in the first aid aisle.
The dosage is 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of the dog’s body weight by mouth. For dogs who weigh more than 45 pounds, give them no more than 3 tablespoons.
They should begin vomiting within 15 minutes. If they haven’t vomited within 30 minutes, you can repeat the dosage once.
Be prepared for your pooch to continue vomiting for up to 45 minutes. Be sure they are in a place where it’s easy to clean.
Do not induce vomiting if they are already vomiting, or if they’ve ingested something caustic or sharp. Of course, neither of these apply to cereal, but they are good general guidelines.
Call the Vet
It is highly unlikely that your pooch will need medical attention from eating Coco Puffs, but don’t hesitate to call the vet if you are concerned about your dog. Signs that something serious could be wrong are bloody diarrhea, persistent vomiting, lethargy, and fever.
Seizures, tremors, and loss of consciousness are signs that something is very wrong. These symptoms require immediate veterinary attention.
You’ll also need to look out for dehydration if your pooch is experiencing stomach upset. Signs of dehydration include sticky, tacky, or pale gums, heavy panting, and a dry nose.
Another method is to pull your dog’s skin at the scruff of their neck. When you let go, it should return to normal almost immediately. If it doesn’t, your pooch has lost skin elasticity, which is another sign of dehydration.