Most grains are safe for dogs to eat but is weetabix a safe human food for your pooch, too? Some dog owners may be concerned about the other ingredients in weetabix. Also, weetabix is a processed food, specifically intended for human consumption. Is it harmful for your dog to eat processed human food? Read on to find out if this is a breakfast cereal you can share with your dog.
What Are the Ingredients of Weetabix?
Weetabix is a breakfast cereal made up mainly of wheat. Other ingredients include salt, barley, sugar and added minerals and vitamins. These ingredients make weetabix a human food that is high in gluten and calorie dense.
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The composition of ingredients may differ slightly per manufacturing country but the general proportions are similar. Also, aside from the plain breakfast cereal, there are other weetabix products with more added ingredients. The kind of weetabix discussed in this article is the original plain breakfast cereal weetabix.
Are Processed Human Foods Safe for Dogs?
Weetabix is marketed as a natural and healthy breakfast food for humans. Before you decide that this sounds safe for your dog to eat, remember that weetabix is a processed human food. The list of human foods that are safe for dogs is quite long. However, most of the items on this list are unprocessed and fresh foods. Weetabix is neither.
You should always be careful with feeding processed human foods to your dog. Processed foods tend to have a long list of ingredients which means more chances of upsetting your dog’s stomach. Also, many processed foods contain high levels of sugar and salt. Neither are healthy for dogs. Too much salt can even cause serious health conditions such as dehydration and seizures.
Some processed foods will also contain additives or artificially added vitamins and minerals. Though dogs need vitamins and minerals too, the amount that is needed for dogs and human differs. You cannot directly translate a safe portion size for humans to a safe portion size for dogs. With other additives like E-numbers it might also be unclear what the effect is on dogs.
If you do want to find an alternative for processed dog food, it is always safer to use unprocessed fresh foods. That way you have more control of what goes into Rover’s meal.
Is Weetabix Healthy for Dogs?
Weetabix is not a healthy food for your dog. As mentioned, weetabix is a calorific food. It contains a lot of gluten from its main ingredients are wheat, barley and sugar. This makes weetabix unsuitable as dog food.
Gluten is not processed well by the digestive system of dogs. Dogs are biologically better at digesting proteins compared to carbohydrates and starches. Too much gluten can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Similar to humans, carbohydrates provide dogs with energy. A healthy balanced dog diet does not include a large proportion of carbohydrates, though. Dogs only need a small proportion of their meals to consist of carbohydrates to stay energetic. Weetabix is an example of a human food that contains too many carbohydrates for dogs. This is due to the wheat and sugar content. If your dog accidentally gulps down weetabix, you can expect a massive energy spike to come soon after.
Aside from being a high energy food, weetabix does not have the necessary nutritions to be a healthy replacement for dog food.
What Happens When Your Dog Accidentally Eats Weetabix?
Every dog is a good boy but they will get naughty sometimes. Every dog has eaten something that they are not supposed to. If you catch your dog with weetabix, do not panic. A small amount of weetabix is not a disaster.
Likely effects of eating a small amount of weetabix is eccentric behaviour. The sugar and gluten in weetabix will give your dog a bolt of energy. You might notice that Bello acts unusual and anxious. This is part of the sugar rush. Depending on how fast Bello spends this energy, this will pass.
Another possible side effect is an upset stomach. Dogs that are not used to eating whole grains or wheat in general might have trouble digesting weetabix. If your dog ate the weetabix when it was already mixed with milk then the milk might cause gastrointestinal upset, too. Most dogs cannot digest lactose properly, either. Your dog might become gassy or become more sullen because of an upset stomach.
More severe effects could happen if your dog is allergic to wheat. Monitor your dog for an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction are inflamed skin, itchiness, regurgitation and diarrhoea. Contact your vet if you suspect an allergic reaction.
Are All Grains Bad for Dogs?
As mentioned, wheat is the main ingredient of weetabix. Since most grains are safe for dogs to consume, you might assume that weetabix is safe for dogs, too. This is not the case. Wheat is a contested ingredient of dog food. Some argue that it’s risky to feed a dog wheat because dogs can develop wheat allergies. Others claim that wheat is not a nutritious food source for dogs.
Not all grains are bad for dogs, though. Grains are commonly used in processed dog food, even wheat. Other common grains are barley, rice, quinoa, buckwheat and oats. Corn and soya are also common dog food ingredients.
Deciding whether dog food containing these grains are good for your dog might require some trial and error. You can try different dog food to see which product is best for your dog. Some dogs will be able to digest brown rice better than spelt while other dogs can only eat quinoa without any gastrointestinal upset. Like humans, each dog has different needs.
Check the label on the dog food before purchasing. Make sure that grains are not the main component of the meal and that there is plenty of protein and healthy fats. Avoid dog food products that use cheaper substitutes like cornflour instead of nutritious proteins.