Can Dogs Eat Cheetos? Are They Safe?

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: January 2, 2023
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You are sitting down in front of a computer with orange fingers and crumbs everywhere. While licking your fingers, your dog is poking their head into the Cheeto bag. You may be unsure if you should be worried or just annoyed. The good news is that you can just be annoyed if they eat a few of your chips. Your dog can have some Cheetos. However, feeding your pup healthy dog food and treats can benefit their health more than junk food like Cheetos. 

They won’t get critically ill from eating one of the plain or original Cheetos, because they are created without any harmful ingredients. But even while giving your dog this snack food isn’t hazardous; you shouldn’t just offer your dog these delectable goodies at random. They don’t provide your dog with any of its dietary needs and they aren’t nourishing. So, how many can they eat and how often? Grab a handful of chips, and let’s crunch our way through this post.

How Much Is Safe?

a seemingly infinite number of cheetos

Cheetos are generally not harmful to dogs, but they offer no nutritional benefits and can increase the chances of potentially life-threatening conditions.


Don’t reward your dog with Cheetos. When deciding whether to share your Cheetos, it’s crucial to take your dog’s size into account as well. The more Cheetos your dog can consume before it becomes a problem increases with size. 

A little handful of Cheetos may cause a toy poodle or chihuahua’s stomach to become upset, even though they don’t contain any hazardous ingredients. On the other hand, a 100-pound dog could effortlessly consume the entire mouthful with no issues. 

However, if your dog took a bag of Cheetos off the table and started munching, you can always call your veterinarian. Most likely, everything will be alright for your dog. They might feel ill to the stomach, but they probably won’t have any significant issues.

What Are the Risks?

As was already mentioned, Cheetos contain a lot of sodium, which would cause your dog to vomit, lose control of their muscles, and have diarrhea in their system. If your dog has had a significant amount of Cheetos, it might be prudent to look out for the dangerous ingredients in the bag, like garlic and sodium content. 

Because water balances out the sodium ions in the system, keep your dog hydrated if they do eat some. The amount of cornmeal in Cheetos indicates a high level of carbohydrates. Dogs should consume primarily meat since their bodies are not designed to process the exact quantities of carbohydrates and fats as humans are. 

Large amounts of carbs in a dog’s diet can cause diabetes, obesity, and cardiac problems in canines. The canola and vegetable oils in Cheetos worsen the carbohydrate content. Additionally, these are large calorie amounts that are unnecessary for dogs. MSG and yellow #6 are potentially toxic to dogs and are present in the seasoning. The snack is loaded with low-quality saturated fats, chemical additives, and empty calories, none of which are necessary for your dog’s health.

Cheetos Can Increase the Risks of Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis. There is still a mystery about what triggers pancreatitis. Some things, like feeding your dog a diet high in fat, are known to increase the likelihood that your dog may develop pancreatitis. Dogs can have mild, moderate, or severe pancreatitis, and in the worst case, the condition can be life-threatening. 

The pancreas creates and secretes enzymes that aid digestion. It sends these enzymes into the small intestine to break down food. The pancreas also produces and releases hormones, such as insulin, which helps control the amount of sugar in a dog’s blood. If your dog gets pancreatitis, it means that its pancreas has become inflamed because of something. 

When this irritation happens, it can stop the flow of enzymes and cause the pancreas to release digestive enzymes into the abdomen. This is a problem because the enzymes will start breaking down the dog’s fat and proteins, which means that the dog will begin to digest itself. Due to where a dog’s pancreas is located, enzymes can also break down the tissues of organs like the kidneys.

What about Hot, Baked, or Organic Cheetos?

Clearly, dogs shouldn’t consume hot Cheetos. Any Cheetos from the “flamin’ hot” range, including jalapeño Cheetos, may cause gastrointestinal distress in your dog. Gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain can all be brought on by spicy foods

Additionally, it might make your dog too thirsty. Give your dog lots of water to drink if they accidentally get into a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Do baked Cheetos make dogs healthier? Not really . Despite the bag’s claim that they have 50% less fat, they still have a lot of salt and carbohydrates. 

Enriched corn meal and vegetable oil still aren’t a super great option. Even this seemingly “healthier” be should only be fed a small amount. It doesn’t make the Cheetos any healthier for your dog to use organic corn. It still contains a lot of salt and carbs, which your dog should only consume in moderation.


The potential risk that dogs may encounter can be seen by looking at the ingredients list for Cheetos. The plain truth is that Cheetos provide your dog friend with little nutritional value. They are unhealthy for dogs since they are heavy in sodium and fat. 

Dogs don’t require a lot of sodium because it usually results in long-term health issues. Additionally, they are sensitive to saturated fats in these cheesy chips. Long-term and short-term health issues could result from eating too many Cheetos. So they should be fine if they happen to snag a few here and there. 

It’s always best to try to keep junk food away from your pup because it could start as a few chips and then escalate to eating your Kit Kat bar real quick. Since you’re now a Cheeto expert, share this with other pet owners who love this cheesy snack. Be sure to read our other fun posts that help inform you on what dogs can eat!

Up Next…

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Cavan-Images/

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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