Weetabix is a wholegrain breakfast cereal. A lot of people like it because it tastes good and is easy to prepare. If you are one of the people who likes to have Weetabix for breakfast, then you might even think about sharing this delicious cereal with your dog. But can dogs eat Weetabix? Is this breakfast cereal safe for our canine friends?
While Weetabix is made out of whole grains and it does contain quite a few important nutrients, it’s actually not something we would recommend to feed your dog. Weetabix with chocolate chips is toxic to dogs and while the other flavors are not exactly toxic to dogs, there’s still quite a few reasons why it’s best not to give your dog Weetabix and most other breakfast cereals as well.
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 Some will still recommend it but the recommendation is now outdated.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.
Why your dog may need extra fibre
These are the common reasons your dog may need extra fibre in their diet, and fibre will help with the below.
Fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate. It’s different from other starches in that it resists digestion in the small intestines. Typically, fibre is fermented in the large intestine, which means it takes a lot longer to digest than simple carbohydrates.
Proper fibre intake is essential for a healthy digestive system. It promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut, which will improve bowel regularity and produce firm stools that are easy to pass. Fibre also helps create an acidic environment inside the intestine to prevent undesirable bacterial overgrowth.
Fibre helps your pup maintain a healthy balance in the gut, which regulates bowel movements and keeps the colon clean to avoid specific diseases such as diabetes, obesity, stomach upset and colitis. The fibre aids both diarrhoea or constipation
Other than changing your dog’s diet to having better quality food with better ingredients, you can also try the following:
Fibre powders, tablets, and liquids found here from amazon will be better used than Weetabix.
Does my dog need more fibre?
As with humans, the dietary fibre function for dogs is to maintain the gastrointestinal system’s health. While most dogs will get the recommended amount from their daily food, some dogs need a little extra, and it could be to bulk out their faeces so the anal glands can be expressed correctly by themselves when going to the toilet. It’s also best if your dog empties them naturally rather than manually if possible.
Can dogs eat plain Weetabix?
What breakfast cereals can dogs eat?