Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?

You’re a strong pet owner if you’ve resisted those sparkling begging eyes and cute smiles while crunching on some flamin’ hot Cheetos.

Typically, we want to share everything with our furry companions to make them feel more loved and spoiled occasionally. 

When you’re feeling all generous and are carrying spicy Cheetos, do you share some with your dog?

So, can dogs eat hot Cheetos?

No, dogs should not eat hot Cheetos.

Although non-toxic to dogs, hot Cheetos are loaded with artificial flavors, oils, preservatives, cheese, and spices.

The cottage cheese in hot Cheetos may adversely affect dogs with lactose intolerance.

Similarly, dogs with weak immune systems are highly susceptible to sickness from ingesting host Cheetos. 

The spiciness in hot Cheetos is what makes them tasty.

Canines would love to eat them often, but should they?

This article guides you on everything spicy and dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos

Dogs and spicy foods

Canines lack a developed digestive system like humans to handle spices effectively.

There are instances where dogs can eat spices like bell pepper but in minimal amounts.

Hot Cheetos contains an ingredient list of spiciness to enhance the addictive flavor.

Capsaicin labeled as “natural flavors” in Cheetos packages is nontoxic to dogs but can cause stomach upsets.

This will manifest as diarrhea or vomiting.

When it comes to canines, avoid feeding them spicy food or any human food with seasonings.

Plain and simple is the way with puppies.  

Why are hot Cheetos dangerous for my dog? The risky ingredients

The ingredients in hot Cheetos make them toxic to dogs–cheese, spices, artificial flavors, and corn in hot Cheetos can harm your furry friend.


Cheetos are made with real cheddar or cottage cheese, prepared by combining live cultures, milk, salt, and enzymes.

Cheese in small amounts is ok for healthy dogs.

However, it’s problematic in large quantities or for canines with lactose intolerance issues.

Garlic and onion

Some spices are dog-safe, but not garlic and onions—these are highly toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

Although Hot Cheetos contain these spices in powdered form, they remain lethal in their raw state.

Both have toxins that cause toxicosis and anemia in canines.

Artificial flavors

Hot Cheetos are loaded with artificial colors and preservatives to enhance the addictive flavors.

Coloring items like Red 40 Lake and yellow six presents in Cheetos are highly carcinogenic to canines.

Citric acid

Hot Cheetos also contains acids that can damage the stomach lining, potentially leading to ulcers.

Citric acid is highly lethal to dogs in large amounts and can lead to toxicity.

Mild symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, or drooling, while severe signs include tremors, loss of coordination, and light sensitivity.

Excessive and prolonged exposure can lead to liver failure or death at worse.


Hot Cheetos are flavored with salt to give them that decadent taste.

This added condiment is highly lethal to dogs leading to sodium poisoning.

Symptoms of sodium poisoning include

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Frequent thirst
  • Incoordination
  • Seizures and tremors

Enriched corn

Cheetos are filled with corn which is high in sugars and, therefore higher glycemic index (GI).

Corn is also a common allergen in the dog world and complex to digest.

Corn used in Cheetos is highly processed with no nutritional value and thus unhealthy for your furry friend.

How much hot Cheetos is enough for my dog

Considering the toxic ingredients in hot Cheetos, canines shouldn’t be allowed to partake in any.

Particularly those with specific allergies, stomach sensitivity, weak immune system, or lactose intolerance issues.

A piece or two won’t harm your dog; however, when they crunch on an entire pack, there’s a problem.

Your dog will get sick and exhibit signs like fever, anorexia, burning sensation, and dark urine.

The dog will also experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and poor appetite.

Continued exposure to hot Cheetos could lead to severe conditions like diabetes, pancreatitis, and heart diseases.

This is due to the increased sodium, fat, and sugar levels in Cheetos.

If your dog has an underlying condition, allergies, or lactose intolerance, too much Cheetos will worsen their condition.

What should I do when my dog overeats Hot Cheetos?

First, offer them lots of clean water.

The spices in hot Cheetos will cause a burning sensation in your dog’s mouth and throat; water will help soothe.

It will also aid in reducing inflammation in your canine.

Secondly, since hot Cheetos contain toxic ingredients (salt, garlic, and onions), closely monitor them for sodium toxicity or garlic and onion poisoning.

The symptoms may appear immediately after ingestion or within 24 to 36 hours.

Thirdly, watch for behavioral changes in your dog.

A change in pooping texture and frequency or increased thirst and urination are signs they might need a vet intervention.

Why do dogs find hot Cheetos so addictive?

Hot Cheetos have Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s quite addictive to humans and dogs.

The high fat and salt in MSG give dogs a “feel good” pleasure in the brains, making them crave for more—identical to humans.

The crunchy taste of hot Cheetos is also an addictive feeling for dogs.

Dogs love cheese, and their strong sense of smell will draw them to this cheesy snack.  

However, Hot Cheetos don’t offer any nutritional value for your furry friend.

The high fats and salts will only make your canines sick.

Side effects of Hot Cheetos include bloating, red poop, digestive distress, and chronic conditions like diabetes and pancreatitis in the long run.

The bottom line

Sharing a crunchy snack with your favorite fur friend is lovely, but try to pick something within the realm of dog-safe foods.

Although canines can eat almost anything, avoid feeding those snacks and foods with high levels of salt, sugars, fats, or seasoning—did we just describe Hot Cheetos?

Yes, don’t give your dog hot Cheetos.

Megan Turner

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