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One of the most popular cereals in America is undoubtedly Frosted Flakes. Introduced in 1952, the sugar-coated cornflakes are still a breakfast stable in American homes. In fact, Statista estimated that 30.98 million Americans had at least a portion of Frosted Flakes in a span of one week in 2018 alone. And it is not just Americans who love Frosted Flakes—the cereal is also a staple in many countries across the globe including Latin America, Europe, and Japan.
If you are one of those people who can’t start their mornings without a bowl of Frosted Flakes, you might have even shared or thought of sharing this delicious cereal with your pup. But can dogs eat Frosted Flakes? Is this breakfast cereal safe for your four-legged friend?
Technically, Frosted Flakes are safe for dogs to eat. However, they are not healthy, so you should only give it to your dog as an occasional treat. While sharing a few Frosted Flakes with your pup won’t harm him immediately, these cereals may be detrimental to his health in the long term, especially if you feed him regularly or allow him to gulp large quantities in one sitting.
While not necessarily harmful in small doses, there are several reasons why allowing your dog to eat Frosted Flakes regularly can compromise his health. First things first, let’s try and understand the composition of this breakfast cereal.
The main ingredients of Frosted Flakes include:
- Milled Corn
- Sugar (Contains 2% or Less of Malt Flavor)
- Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate & Vitamin D.
- BHT for Freshness
From this list, it is apparent that Frosted Flakes has a lot of controversial ingredients that can be detrimental to your dog’s health, including:
Generally, corn is safe for dogs, especially when fed in moderation. It is a potent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and linoleic acids. However, milled or processed corn may contain high amounts of sodium and fats, which are often included for value-addition purposes. So, by feeding your dog Frosted Flakes on a regular basis, you may be exposing him to obesity and other serious health issues like kidney diseases.
Some dogs are also allergic to corn, so before giving your pup Frosted Flakes, you might want to check if he is allergic to it first. Consider feeding your dog a few pieces of Frosted Flakes and if you notice any abnormal symptoms, stop feeding him these cereals and any other food that contains corn.
High Sugar Content
Another big issue with Frosted Flakes for dogs is the high sugar content. A single serving of Frosted Flakes has 11grams of sugar, so you can imagine the amount of sugar you expose your dog to if you feed him a whole packet of this cereal. There are many reasons why foods with high sugar content are not recommended for dogs.
To begin with, like humans, sugar is bad for your pup’s oral health. While dogs can handle well occasional sugary treats, excess sugar can cause enamel wear and tooth decay in dogs. So, it is important to avoid giving your dog Frosted Flakes if you don’t regularly brush your pup’s teeth.
The risk to dental health is not the only reason why we don’t recommend Frosted Flakes for your dog. Sugar is also linked to a wide range of health issues in dogs, including weight gain, diabetes, and even behavioral issues. Like in humans, sugary snacks can also cause blood glucose spikes, which can make your dog feel irritable and lethargic.
Too Many Calories
Besides high sugar content, Frosted Flakes contain quite a lot of calories. According to Fat Secret, one-cup serving of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes contains 140 calories.
Most dogs need around 25-30 calories per pound to maintain a healthy weight. If you have a big and active dog, getting 140 calories from a single serving of Frosted Flakes isn’t that bad, but it is another story for a small dog breed.
Feeding a few Frosted Flakes to your small dog or a toy breed would make a good percentage of his recommended daily calorie intake, but won’t provide much nourishment.
Your dog needs a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Given that Frosted Flakes are made for humans—and not dogs—it fails to provide all that.
BHT is another controversial ingredient in Frosted Flakes that you don’t want to expose your canine friend to. BHT (and its cousin, BHA) are both considered to be carcinogenic. In a past study on rats, BHT was found to cause detrimental liver and kidney damage. Although this study and many others that have been done on BHT are controversial, many pet advocacy groups suggest avoiding foods containing these preservatives until science can determine how exactly they affect your dog’s body.
The salt level that’s considered to be appropriate for humans is not always safe for your dog because salt tolerance in dogs is lower than that of humans. Excess salt consumption in dogs can cause blood pressure, hypernatremia, electrolyte imbalance, and even sodium poisoning. You risk exposing your dog to all these issues if you allow him to eat Frosted Flakes regularly.
Are There Better Breakfast Cereals For Dogs?
Well, since there are many types of breakfast cereals, probably some are not as bad as Frosted Flakes. However, most of them still contain high sugar content, too many calories, and artificial preservatives. Some breakfast cereal brands may even be toxic to dogs.
For instance, two of the common ingredients in breakfast cereals that are deemed to be toxic to dogs are chocolate and resins. Any breakfast cereal with these two ingredients is definitely a no-no for pups.
Many dogs are also lactose intolerant and if your dog is one of them, it may not be a good idea to share with him any breakfast cereal with milk. What’s more, some dogs cannot digest milk, so feeding them breakfast cereals with milk might cause stomach upset and vomiting.
And given that breakfast cereals are formulated for humans, they won’t offer any nutritional value to your canine friend. When all’s said and done, it is not a good idea to share any breakfast cereal with your pup.
The Final Verdict
Frosted Flakes provide very little nutritional value to your dog. The high sugar content it contains can cause weight gain, diabetes, poor oral health, and behavioral issues in dogs. And with excess calories, high sodium levels, and BHT being a potential carcinogen, feeding your dog Frosted Flakes is not worth it. But if you have to share any breakfast cereal with your pup, do so sparingly and only serve him very small quantities.