Can Dogs Eat Rice Krispies? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ
If your dog perks up every time they hear your cereal snap, crackle, and pop, you might wonder if you can toss a few Krispies into their bowl. A lot of human food isn’t safe for dogs, such as dishes that include onions or chocolate, so you have a valid concern. Thankfully, Rice Krispies are safe for dogs to eat in careful moderation as long as the Rice Krispies are plain. However, you don’t want to give them even a serving sized amount because of the relatively high concentrations of sugar and salt.
Can Dogs Eat Rice Krispies?
Technically, yes, dogs can eat plain Rice Krispies. There are no toxic ingredients, so it shouldn’t make them sick if they sneak a bite. Balance is the key to a healthy diet, and Rice Krispies do have some nutritional value. Even so, you still shouldn’t feed them more than a handful a day to your dog, and less than that if you have a small breed.
That being said, it’s only okay to feed your dog traditional Rice Krispies. The cocoa kind is obviously a no-no due to containing chocolate, which most of us are aware is toxic to dogs.
Are Rice Krispies a Healthy Snack?
Rice is a healthy grain that’s likely already a part of your dog’s diet. While brown rice is better, white rice is considered safe, it just doesn’t have as much fiber or nutritional value. Most of your dog’s calories should come from protein or fat sources in their food, so you definitely don’t want to over-do it. Since rice is a common dog food ingredient, chances are good that they’re already receiving most if not all of the carbs that they need in a day.
Rice Krispies are fortified with supplements of iron, vitamin B, and vitamin D, all of which are very beneficial for dogs. Any AAFCO-certified dog food already contains at least the minimum amount of these nutrients though, so you definitely shouldn’t let your dog scarf down a box of cereal in an attempt to get them to eat their vitamins. Other food sources such as meat and eggs are better for them overall.
Why the Sugar and Salt May Cause a Problem
Even though sugar is listed as the second main ingredient, there are only 4 grams in an entire 1½ cup serving. Your dog doesn’t need nearly that many Rice Krispies, so we’re going to say that the sugar levels should be safe for their serving size. It’s worth mentioning that sugar should be avoided in general, though, because of the link to obesity and diabetes.
If you decide to give your dog Rice Krispies, you’ll need to be careful about the relatively high amount of salt. A single serving contains 200 milligrams of sodium, which is the maximum amount recommended for dogs each day.1 Again, their food probably already contains at least the minimum amount of sodium that they need, so you’ll need to watch out for super-salty human foods that can cause them to dehydrate or even develop salt poisoning.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Too Much Sodium
Sodium is a confusing concept for canines. It’s an essential electrolyte that maintains their blood and water levels, but both too little and too much salt can be dangerous, or even deadly. Unfortunately, the western diet is already saturated in salt, so it’s not too hard for your dog to receive more than they should.
It’s important to take your dog to the vet immediately if they ever show these signs of salt poisoning:
Since too much sodium can rapidly dehydrate your pet, salty foods can be exceptionally hazardous on a hot day. You should always make sure your dog has access to water regardless of the weather, but especially during the summer or when they’ve been active.
Although Rice Krispies don’t contain any toxic ingredients, your dog should only eat a small portion to avoid any adverse effects. Rice cereal does contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, but these should already be included in your dog’s diet. Plus, white rice is a starchy carbohydrate that doesn’t hold much nutritional value. Eating too many Rice Krispies, especially coupled with more sugary and salty treats, can increase your dog’s risk for obesity, and salt poisoning, which can be fatal. We recommend only letting your dog sample Rice Krispies, and finding meat or veggie-based dog treats for their regular snack.
Featured Image Credit: David Pimborough, Shutterstock