wheat, cereal, bread

Can Dogs Eat Shreddies?

We love Shreddies.

They’re a real breakfast staple in our house.  When we’re washing up, our dog will often investigate our empty bowls and sniff away at any wheat squares still lingering in puddles of milk. Sometimes we let him have one or two but can dogs eat Shreddies? Or should we be more careful?

We’ve written a few posts recently about dogs and human food.  We know that dogs can eat canary melon and strawberry leaves in moderation and that some fruits and treats are fine in small amounts. But we’ve also learned to check ingredients carefully.  We’ve been surprised at some of the toxic ingredients found in human foods, and now we’re far more vigilant with what we leave lying around.  Given our dogs obvious interest in breakfast cereal we’re going to find out whether dogs can eat shredded wheat or whether they should be kept safely out of the reach of our pets.  

Can Dogs Eat Shreddies?

Shreddies are a type of breakfast cereal made by Nestle.  They’re small square lattices of wholegrain wheat.  According the ingredients, one box of Shreddies contains: Whole Grain Wheat (96%), Sugar, Invert Sugar Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Molasses, Vitamins and Minerals (Niacin, Iron, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin).

Nothing is an immediate cause for concern but it’s clear there is very little nutritional benefit to the dog. And there are a few things we’d be careful about:

Wheat intolerance affects some dogs.  If your dog has problems digesting grain, then we’d avoid giving them this cereal. You may not be aware that your dog has a wheat intolerance until they become ill so we’d advise giving them only a small amount initially and seeing how it goes.  Some owners do use Shreddies to increase fibre in their dog’s diet but too much too soon could cause an upset stomach.  Your veterinarian will probably have a better solution for constipation or low fibre than cereal.

The sugar and syrup content is concerning.  Although it is significantly lower than in other cereals, remember that dogs do not need it in their diet.  A high sugar diet makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight, is bad for their teeth and can cause diabetes.

Shreddies are fine for dogs in small amounts or for occasional treats providing that there isn’t a wheat intolerance to worry about but too many can create health problems further down the line.  You’re the one paying the veterinary bills.

Can Dogs Eat Frosted Shreddies?

We wouldn’t advise that you give dogs frosted shreddies because they contain extra sugar which isn’t good for your pet’s health.  Plain shredded wheat is one thing but anything with additional added sugars should be avoided.

What about putting milk on shredded wheat?

Avoid milk. Dogs don’t need it in their diet and some will be lactose intolerant.  Small amounts of milk lapped up from the bottom of a bowl won’t be harmful to most dogs but it’s best not to encourage dogs to drink milk in case it causes an upset stomach.

What about other breakfast cereals?

There’s no universal answer to this.  Some cereals are fine in small doses.  Others contain toxic ingredients that are very harmful to dogs.  Always check the ingredients. Always avoid anything with xylitol in it. This sweetener comes in many products from cereals to yogurts and even in some peanut butters.  The same goes for raisins, grapes or chocolate. Macadamia nuts should be avoided, too. Cereals tend to contains a lot of sugar.  This is not good for your dog and can lead to serious health conditions if given regularly: obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and even stomach issues can be caused by human foods not designed for dogs. 

Giving a couple of Shreddies as a treat shouldn’t cause your dog any trouble unless they’re wheat intolerant.  But be aware that there’s sugar in each square and that too much fiber can make a dog unwell. If you want to give your pet a special treat, we’d recommend picking from something that’s suitable for dogs and keep human food at an absolute minimum.   

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