Are cheez its bad for dogs?
This is a question that we get asked a lot – Are Cheez-Its bad for dogs? Cheez-It crackers, cheese-flavored snacks produced by Kellogg’s, have been popular items to give as treats among dog owners.
In fact, the name “Cheez-It” is slang for “dog treat.” However, many pet parents have begun asking this question: Are they healthy or even safe to feed? We will try and answer this from a nutritional point of view so you can make an informed decision about whether your dog should be eating them or not.
These little crispy goldfish-shaped snacks are made up primarily of wheat flour and other forms of carbohydrates such as wheat gluten and corn starch. Are several chemical additives used in the manufacturing process, including whey, soy lecithin, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mono and diglycerides, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), artificial color added to make food color pigments.
For some dogs, this combination of chemicals is not so bad, but for others, it can cause digestive upset. For example, if your dog has a wheat allergy or intolerance, the natural sugars found in wheat will more than likely cause gastrointestinal problems such as gas and bloating.
Also, if your dog has diabetes, you may want to stay away from Cheez-It crackers since there’s no real nutritional value other than starches that can elevate blood sugar levels quickly. Since the fat content of Cheez, Its crackers is very low; it makes it difficult for dogs to feel full and satisfied after eating them.
Cheez-It crackers are very crunchy, and this can become a choking hazard as well as wear down your dog’s teeth which may lead to periodontal disease as well as obesity as the number of crackers that you give to your dog could be considered “extra treats.”
If your dog eats Cheez-Its at every meal, he will pack on the pounds! Obesity is not only unattractive, but it’s also unhealthy because extra weight puts added strain on bones and internal organs and can cause heart and lung problems later in life.
If you want to show your pet how much you love him, learn healthy ways of showing affection other than feeding him his favorite snacks – take him for walks, play fetch, or tug of war with him. Also, many dogs are lactose intolerant so feeding him dairy products on a regular basis is not really the best idea.
Further Reading: What canned food can dogs eat Best low-carbohydrate In 2021
So Are Cheez Its bad for dogs?
For some dog owners, they may be just fine, while for others, it might cause problems. As always, you know your dog’s eating habits better than anyone else, so use common sense when deciding if or how to feed your pet these snack crackers. Ultimately, the decision on whether Cheez-Its are bad for dogs depends on how healthy your pet is and what his nutritional needs are.
Calcium propionate is an anti-fungal preservative found in many commercially baked goods such as bread, buns, rolls, and cheese. It is approved by the FDA for use in both human foods and animal feeds, including dairy products, fish food, cereals, meat products, baked goods, and shellfish.
Calcium propionate is an anti-fungal preservative that prevents mold growth in bread & buns during storage. At one time, it was also used to treat yeast infections in humans, but now there are more specific medicines available.
Although the amount of calcium propionate found in bread-type snacks isn’t enough to hurt your dog if they ingest too much at one time, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset such as gas pains or even diarrhea.
This product has been on the market since before WWII, with no reports of toxicity associated with it. Although the FDA has approved the use of this product in food items, you may want to stay clear from feeding your pet these treats, which also contain ingredients such as wheat gluten and corn starch that can cause a stomach upset.
Recently a group called the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI) wants the FDA to ban preservatives like calcium propionate because they say it’s not safe.
According to CSPI, this additive isn’t essential, and even though there have been no reported cases of toxicity associated with this product, they claim people eating products containing calcium propionate are sometimes bothered by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, including bloating and gas pains.
Calcium Propionate is used as a mold inhibitor in dried cured meats such as hard salami, pepperoni, and beef jerky. Since these treats include a high-fat content, they can cause or contribute to pancreatitis in dogs because fat takes longer to digest, and the pancreas becomes overloaded with bile acids which can lead to this condition.
In addition, those items containing calcium propionate also contain two other ingredients that may also not be safe for your dog – sodium nitrite and glycerin, which help preserve cured meats such as hot dogs, bacon & ham.
Another additive found in Cheez Its crackers is monosodium glutamate (MSG) – this potent additive causes neurological disorders such as headaches and nausea in some people, so you’ll want to avoid it if you’re sensitive to MSG. MSG is also known to trigger “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” so you may want to avoid feeding your pet dishes containing this additive.
Whether Cheez-Its are good for dogs or bad for dogs is really up to you and your dog’s healthy eating habits. If you feel that these crackers will be part of his regular diet, then it would be wise to buy the low-fat version because they contain fewer calories than the regular high-fat variety.
Make sure if you feed any kind of snack food that contains calcium propionate or MSG, or sodium nitrite that it doesn’t exceed more than a couple a week as these additives can cause a stomach upset in some dogs, especially those with allergies.
Use common sense when deciding how many treats your dog should have and skip any that contain these additives or fillers like wheat gluten, corn starch, or glycerin. Some people feel that dogs with allergies should only eat healthy treats (i.e., no wheat gluten.)
If your dog is overweight, you may want to make some of his own homemade treats at home by buying the Cheez Its crackers and mixing one or two small ones in his dinner bowl each night as a special treat instead of giving him all seven crackers every day.
That way, he gets the taste he loves but doesn’t pack on too many pounds! Be careful, though, because if he is overweight, it would be wise not to give him starch-rich foods such as crackers that can contribute to obesity by adding additional calories to his diet.
Generally speaking, you should give your dog a treat no more often than once a day because these types of snacks are not nutritious, and you don’t want to overfeed your pet with unhealthy treats that can cause obesity.
Good health starts in the kitchen so learn how to cook healthy meals for your pets by using quality ingredients, including lots of meat and vegetables without salt or preservatives or fillers that may upset his stomach or contribute to pancreatitis. Your dog will love it!
Further Reading: Can dogs eat cheez its?
How does it work?
Calcium propionate is a mold inhibitor used in cured meats that have antibacterial properties. Sodium nitrite and glycerin are also additives that have preservative properties. MSG or monosodium glutamate is an additive that stimulates the taste buds.
Is it safe?
It is generally considered to be safe when used at approved levels, but some people may experience gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea or bloating, when consumed in large quantities.
Remember, dogs only have about 1/6th of human’s ability to detoxify chemicals, so their bodies cannot handle the same levels of toxins as humans can, so go easy on the treats! And don’t rely solely on companies’ self-serving safety studies because they are often biased or flawed.
An independent outside laboratory should be contracted to do the safety testing whenever possible. There are several cases where independent laboratories have found problems with products that were later recalled for this reason.
When is it not safe?
As a precaution, dogs shouldn’t eat Cheez-Its every day or in large quantities, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities to any of the ingredients mentioned above.
If you plan on feeding these snacks daily or in more than small quantities, we’d suggest buying the low-fat version instead, and remember some dogs may develop allergies and sensitivities so use common sense when deciding how many treats your pet can handle without getting upset stomach.
Grain-based products such as wheat gluten, corn starch, and glycerin used as fillers in most commercial dog treats can cause stomach problems just like they do in people, so avoid treats that contain these ingredients too often.
And don’t forget that if your dog is on any medications or has health problems, you should always check with your veterinarian before offering him these types of snacks because dogs are not able to digest some ingredients the same way humans do, and some may be contraindicated.
Further Reading: My dog ate cheez-its? Here’s What To Do
What are the benefits?
Cheez-Its are a good source of calcium, iron, and niacin. But since they contain hydrogenated oils (trans fats), sugar, and other potentially harmful additives, we don’t recommend them as treats for your dog unless it’s an occasional snack that you plan on feeding in small quantities or you know for sure that he isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients like wheat gluten or corn starch.
What are the side effects?
Your dog may get diarrhea if he eats too many of these types of threats. If you notice your dog having problems or vomiting after eating Cheez-Its, stop giving him these products since they could contain ingredients that are not appropriate for all dogs.
What brands can I trust?
We’d suggest looking for treats made with real meat and vegetables without salt, sugars, fillers, or preservatives, including things like MSG, which can upset dogs’ stomachs or cause gastrointestinal problems.
Take responsibility for what goes into your pets’ bodies by reading labels carefully because many commercial pet foods still contain artificial colors, flavors, and other additives, which can cause allergies and sensitivities in some dogs.
And don’t forget to check with your veterinarian before offering your dog any type of treatment, especially if he has health problems! If you’re unsure about a product, ask us here at the K-9 Kitchen for more information or do some research on the Internet to see what other people have said about it.
Further Reading: Can dogs have cheese?
The Bottom line: cheez its for dogs
We don’t recommend your dog eating Cheez-Its every day or in large quantities because many grain-based ingredients found in these types of snacks can cause stomach problems just like they do in people.
And even if your dog isn’t allergic to wheat gluten, corn starch, or glycerin, be careful about feeding him treats that contain them too often since he doesn’t have the same ability to detoxify chemicals as humans do, and it’s a good idea to avoid fillers anyway.