bowls, containers, dogs

Can Dogs Eat Weetabix?

We love breakfast cereal in our house and get through boxes and boxes of the stuff.  Our dog seemed to love it too.  He’s a sneaky thing, and we’ve caught him lapping up the milk-mush remains of our breakfast a few times. We didn’t always realise the potential dangers of feeding our dog food made for people but now we’re more careful.  In our last post can dogs eat shreddies? We got thinking about another cereal we eat regularly, so we wanted to find out can dogs eat Weetabix?

This isn’t professional advice.  We’ve based this post on research and our own experience. Always check the ingredients before giving your dog something meant for humans. Ask a veterinarian if you’re in doubt. 

What is Weetabix?

Weetabix is a whole grain cereal in the shape of a rectangular biscuit and is usually eaten with milk.  You can buy Weetabix in the UK, USA and Canada but the cereal originated in Australia as Weet-bix.

What ingredients are in Weetabix?

Weetabix original manufactured in the UK contains Wholegrain Wheat (95%), Malted Barley Extract, Sugar, Salt, Niacin, Iron, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid.

Can Dogs Eat Weetabix?

Feeding young puppies Weetabix was common advice years ago.  It seems to have stuck with some breeders. Some will still recommend it but the recommendation is now outdated.  We all have access to better nutritional information now and it’s clear how deficient Weetabix is compared to quality dog food or other more suitable feeding alternatives but why isn’t it suitable?

There’s nothing toxic in Weetabix.  That’s a good start.  If your dog has eaten a biscuit or two when you weren’t looking, there’s no need to panic.  But just because cereal is OK to eat, doesn’t mean that your dog should have it.  What worries us is the sugar and salt content.  Both are lower than other breakfast cereals but neither is good for a dog’s diet.

Then there’s the wholegrain. Dogs with a grain intolerance will become ill after eating Weetabix. 

Nutritionally, there’s very little that’s beneficial for a dog.  There’s not enough protein and the calories could make it harder to manage a dog’s weight. Overweight dogs are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes whilst the sugar in the cereal could contribute to tooth decay.  Wheat has also been known to cause skin problems in some dogs.

Some owners feed their dogs Weetabix to increase their fibre intake.  There is fibre in Weetabix but we’d suggest speaking to your veterinarian as there will be better ways to increase it without using breakfast cereal.

Watch Out for Other Varieties

Plain Weetabix doesn’t contain any bad ingredients but there is a range of other flavours that do, including chocolate chip Weetabix.  This should absolutely not be given to a dog.  Be careful of other brands that mimic Weetabix, too, as they made use different ingredients.

Can diabetic dogs eat Weetabix?

There’s less sugar in this cereal than in other types but diabetic dogs should not eat it.  There are plenty of other treats and snacks available that will reward your dog without putting their health at risk.

Can dogs eat Weetabix with water?

Some dogs are lactose intolerant and become ill when they drink milk.  Milk also contains sugars that can be bad for their general health so some owners add water instead.  Adding water to the cereal doesn’t negate the salt and sugar content so we wouldn’t encourage this either.   

As an occasional treat, Weetabix won’t hurt a healthy dog. Although, dogs with grain intolerance may become ill after eating the cereal.   We think there are better alternatives for them.  As owners, we all want to treat our pets.  Sometimes we project that need onto our dogs and make poor food decisions which could affect their long-term health.

As an alternative, the American Kennel Club recommends small amounts of plain cooked oatmeal instead.  Half a cup of oatmeal for big dogs once or twice a week is OK but be careful not to give too much or your dog could be at risk of bloat.