Well the reason you’re here is most likely because you searched the question, can dogs eat cheese?
In one word, YES. Dogs can eat cheese.
But before you jump ahead and start giving your canine best friend the treat of a lifetime, hold on. Please. There is a lot more to feeding your dog cheese than meets the eye.
First off, it totally depends on an individual dog, much like a human being. Cheese is not necessarily toxic for dogs (blue cheese being the exception), but some cheeses do include garlic, onions, herbs, etc that may be harmful for the dog.
Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins. They tend to love it as much as we humans do, and that makes cheese a valuable treat.
As with all food, moderation is key. Cheese treats are amazing alongside a healthy diet. Plus, medicine hidden in this infamous treat is almost always readily gobbled up.
Be careful to not let the dog somehow get a hold of a large quantity of cheese. Look out for vomiting and other symptoms and always call your vet if you are unsure of something.
What Kind Of Cheese Can Dogs Eat?
Now that we have established dogs can eat cheese, we must figure out what cheese is the best to give dogs. Since we know cheese is high in fat and sodium content, moderation must always be maintained.
Cottage cheese is particularly good for your furry best friends because it contains a good amount of protein, calcium, and vitamins. It also contains probiotics which can help your pooch with an upset stomach. Plain, low fat non flavoured cream cheese is another alternative.
Be careful to not let your dog indulge in large quantities of any kind of cheese, and make sure to buy high quality, non-flavoured (nope, no garlic oniony tang for the pooches please – it is toxic).
What Kind Of Cheese Can Dogs Not Eat?
Blue cheese is the worst of the bunch. Even if we were to disregard the salt and the fat contents of cheeses, blue cheese is an absolute no-go for any and all dogs, in any quantity. Repeat that once more.
NO BLUE CHEESE FOR DOGS.
When blue cheese ripens, a substance called roquefortine is produced by the mold in the cheese. And, you guessed it, it is TOXIC to the dogs. Yes. VERY TOXIC.
If, IF, if by any chance your pooch does get a hold of some amount of blue cheese, they should ideally be okay. But do watch out for health and behavioural changes. Call the vet immediately if you notice any vomiting, diarrhoea, or seizures.
Why Can Dogs Not Eat More Cheese?
Cheese can be ridiculously high in sodium content. And just like humans, dogs are also not going to benefit a whole lot from a huge amount of salt in their diet.
If too much salty cheese is consumed, it could cause sodium poisoning. Most dogs will probably drink enough water to dilute the salt, but why let it go so far? Practice caution when feeding cheese to dogs.
If your dogs starts to exhibit a loss of appetite, seems to be drained of energy and life, has been having watery diarrhoea, is very thirsty and possibly vomiting – take them to the vet right away.
Also, high salt content is no fun for dogs with kidney problems.
Cheese is also even more ridiculously high in saturated fats. And so, like us humans, our canines should also opt for low fat cheeses. Most cheeses found in any home are safe for dogs to eat, in checked quantities, of course.
High fat content cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, soft cheeses) can also cause an increase in weight, which may indeed result in a variety of other issues.
Excessive fat in a dog’s diet may cause pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal condition where pancreas cannot handle the extra fat and stop complete digestion of the food.
Pets generally do not possess the same capacity as humans to digest lactose, owing to the less quantity of the enzyme lactase that helps to break down lactose in dairy products. This is why cheese can cause diarrhoea and upset stomach in dogs.
Before feeding your dog cheese, do consult your vet. If you are unaware of your dog’s intolerance to lactose, try feeding cheese in a very small quantity and keep an eye out for any changes.
Dogs that have severe intolerance may develop severe reactions to even the smallest amount of cheese in their diet.
What Kind Of Dogs Should Avoid Cheese?
Cheese is always to be used sparingly, but it is recommended to not give any amount of cheese to the following types of dogs:
Overweight dogs. Cheese is high in fat and can cause weight gain. Better alternatives would be tuna or chicken.
Dogs with kidney problems. Cheese also contains a high amount of salt, which could potentially aggravate any kidney issues a dog might be facing.
Lactose intolerant dogs. Much like humans, dogs may also be intolerant of lactose. Although cheese is not as high in lactose as milk, it is still a stinky risk to take if one were to provide their lactose intolerant dog with cheesy treats.
Dogs that have trouble with food that is outside their normal diet. Cheese could cause stomach upsets and sickness, etc.
How To Feed Your Dog Cheese
Cheese can be used sparingly as treats for dogs who are being trained for higher complexity commands, also called high value treats.
Cheese is also used to mask medication that your dog may otherwise not ingest. Its as simple as cutting up a small cube of cheese (cheddar is best), pushing the tablet into the centre and voila.
However, it is not recommended to mask antibiotics in cheese as they may bind to the calcium found in cheese, making the medication much less effective and inefficiently absorbed by the intestines.
But most other medications are ingested almost perfectly when concealed inside the yummy cheese.
How Much Cheese Should You Feed Your Dog?
It all really comes down to your individual furry best friend – their size, their diet, their ability to handle cheese. A few rules of thumb can however be followed:
A teaspoon of cheddar or mozzarella while training or rewarding good behaviour.
Some cottage cheese can be added to regular diet.
Only use enough cheese to camouflage the pill.
Cheese treats to be given possibly once in few days, not on a regular basis.
What Foods Can Kill Dogs?
Certain human foods can be life threatening to dogs.
Do not let your dogs anywhere near these food items:
Grapes and raisins
Alcohol and yeast dough
Call your vet in a heartbeat if you know (or even suspect) your dog has ingested any of the above food items.
It is more than okay to feed your best friend some cheese. “Some” being the key word here. Infrequent cheese treats are likely to keep up the good behaviour and help in training.
Be mindful of your dog’s intestinal services before giving them cheese in any amount. If at all you do decide to spoil your dog with cheese, go for low-fat, low salt cheeses.
Steer a million billion miles away from blue and mouldy, aged cheeses. Always always consult your vet before introducing your dog to something new.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.