Dogs can enjoy cheese, but it's important to know how much is too much.
Cheese can be a great source of calcium and fat for your pup, but it also has lactose, which may make them feel sick after eating it. The best way to tell if they're feeling well or not is by their behavior.
Do they want more cheese? Do they have the energy to play afterward?
If so, then the cheese was probably fine!
But if they seem lethargic with no desire to play afterward, then you might need to remove cheese from their diet.
There are other important considerations when feeding cheese to your dogs, especially when it comes to so many varieties of cheese.
So, read on if you want your dog to enjoy his favorite treat without any side effects!
Which Types of Cheese Can Dogs Eat?
When it comes to cheese, not all varieties are created equal. Some can be safely fed and are good for dogs, while others may cause some side effects in pets. The safely edible cheese varieties are given below.
Soft Cheese like Mozzarella, Cheddar, String Cheese
“Can dogs eat cheddar cheese?”
“Can dogs eat string cheese?”
Dogs have a good sense of taste and can enjoy the occasional cheese snack. Soft cheeses like cheddar are high in fat, but low-fat versions exist, so you don’t need to deprive your pup.
“Can dogs eat mozzarella cheese?”
Dogs love having their own little piece of cheese every once in a while too. Mozzarella is usually safe for dogs because it has less milk than other soft cheeses, and its saturated fats will keep them happy as well as full until they get more snacks later on.
Cottage Cheese (Low or Unsalted Version)
“Can dogs eat cottage cheese?”
Cottage cheese is a great addition to your dog's diet!
It has a high nutritional value. Cottage cheese provides a good level of protein and calcium, which can help calm down the stomach upset.
Beware of high-salt varieties that can give them diarrhea or upset their stomach on occasion. Cottage cheese also comes in low fat for those dogs who need it.
Plain, Low-Fat Cream Cheese
“Can dogs eat cream cheese?”
You can give your dog plain cream cheese, but only in small amounts. Cream cheese is high in fat and calories, so it should be given with care and preferably the low-fat kind.
Stick to plain cream cheese instead of flavored ones since they could have ingredients such as garlic or onions that are toxic to dogs.
Health Benefits of Cheese for your Pup
Cheese is a protein-packed snack that can help keep your pup's teeth clean. It also provides essential fatty acids and vitamins to support healthy skin and coats. Moreover, it provides calcium for strong bones.
If you're looking for something to get your fluffy friend excited about, try occasional treats with cheese.
Cheese - An Alternative to Pills
So, your pup doesn’t eat pills? No problem!
Give your furry friend a slice of cheese with the hidden pill inside, and they'll be happy to oblige. Cheese is seen as irresistibly delicious by dogs, making it an easy way for them to take medications.
Cheese can serve as a DIY solution to many of your pup’s minor health issues.
If your dog is suffering from a touchy stomach, try mixing equal parts cottage cheese and cooked white rice. Give it to them, and it will surely help.
If you have been struggling with getting your dog interested in his prescription food lately, try adding some grated cheddar on top. Different types of cheeses produce different flavor profiles, which could make all the difference!
Of course, check with the vet first before you do anything too drastic!
Which Types of Cheese are Bad for Dogs?
There are some precautions that you need to follow when it comes to feeding your pup cheese. The most basic of them is to avoid blue cheese and other ripe, moldy, aged cheeses.
“Can dogs eat blue cheese?”
Blue cheese contains a mycotoxin called Roquefortine C. This substance is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
Some commonly found types of blue cheeses are below;
- Danish Blue
- Goat Cheese
If your dog does ingest any blue cheese, make sure they get plenty of fluids. Also, call the vet right away if their symptoms worsen or do not resolve within 24 hours.
Ripe, Moldy Cheeses like Parmesan, Roquefort, Stilton
“Can dogs eat parmesan cheese?”
There are other varieties like Parmesan, Stilton, Roquefort, which can be found at your local grocery store in any season out there. However, these types of “moldy” cheeses have been deemed even more toxic to dogs.
So. it's best if they're avoided altogether because in this case, one bit of cheese could result in life-threatening complications for your pup.
How is Cheese Bad for Dogs?
Some types of cheese can make dogs sick if consumed by lactose intolerant dogs or consumed in excessive quantities.
The major concerns associated with cheese when it comes to your dog’s health are as follows:
High Fat Cheese can be Problematic
For a dog that needs to lose weight, cheese is not the best food. Cheese can be high in fat which may result in an overweight or obese canine companion.
If your pet has had pancreatitis before, you must keep track of their dietary intake and limit any foods with lots of saturated fats like cheese.
Cheese is High in Salts
Many types of cheese contain extremely high salt content, which can be dangerous for dogs and lead to sodium poisoning.
Most healthy dogs will be able to drink enough fresh water to dilute the salt they consume, but it’s always better safe than sorry!
Symptoms of sodium poisoning are extreme thirst, lack of energy, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. If your dog has these symptoms, you should get them seen by a vet right away before any serious damage occurs.
Added Ingredients can be Harmful
Cheese can be a heavenly treat for your pup but beware of some added ingredients.
“Can dogs eat mac and cheese?”
In some dishes prepared with cheese like mac and cheese, garlic is sometimes used as an ingredient for flavor. The same is with onions, salts, and other preservatives. Even though these foods might taste good to humans, they could kill your pup if consumed.
Always make sure you read the labels beforehand to know what's in the cheese treat that you buy for them.
Your Dog Could be Lactose Intolerant
Some dogs are often lactose intolerant. Lactose is a type of sugar excessively found in all dairy products. Our bodies have the enzyme lactase to break down this sugar. However, some do not have lactase enzymes, thus can not digest lactose products.
When it comes to cheese, not all dogs have the same digestive systems. Some are fine with a little bit of dairy, while others can’t seem to handle any lactose whatsoever.
Observe your dog closely for signs of intestinal upset after feeding them some cheese. Consult their veterinarian if you want more information about adding this type of food into their diet plan.
How to Safely Feed Cheese to Your Dog?
Cheese is a dangerous snack for some dogs, but others can handle their share.
There are many factors to consider when deciding how much cheese you should give your pup. This includes their body weight and health condition and whether they have any allergies or sensitivities.
Some safety tips for serving cheese to your dog are:
- If you want to know whether your dog will like cheese, give them just the smallest taste. However, if they do not enjoy it or show signs of stress after eating some, you might want to rethink your decision.
- When it comes to feeding your dog cheese, moderation is key. Feed them small amounts every once in a while, and not too often.
- Low salt, low-fat cheeses are the best for your dog. Avoid blue cheese or moldy cheeses that contain excessive amounts of sodium and can be a health hazard.
- As always, consult your vet before feeding your canine friend any human foods to avoid life-threatening reactions.
- Veterinarians warn that your dog should not be given any dairy products if they are taking antibiotics. Dairy calcium can interfere with antibiotic absorption and put your pup at risk for life-threatening infections.
How Much Cheese Can You Give to a dog?
One slice or a single small cheese cube at max would be okay!
One ounce of most cheeses is the equivalent of 90 calories for a small dog. Therefore, it is advised that these treats should only account for 10% of your pet's daily intake.
Tips to Choose Safe Cheese for your Dog
Your pup deserves the best, so make sure you're giving them a quality product. Here are some tips that will help you choose the tastiest and healthy cheese for your fluffy friend:
- 1. Check the Salt Content
Always check the salt content of the cheese that you buy for your pup because you don’t want to feed them high-salt cheese. A salty cheese is aged and molded to perfection. Some of the most common types are:
- Roquefort cheese
- American cheese
- Processed cheese slices
- Blue cheese
- Feta cheese
- Romano cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- 2. Choose Low-Fat Cheese
High-fat cheese can cause weight gain and high blood sugar levels in your pup, so you should avoid them. Instead, look for cheese that is naturally low in fat. Such cheeses include soft goat cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, etc.
- 3. Check the Additional Ingredients
Many kinds of cheese have ingredients in them to add flavor. Some of the safe options are cranberries, rosemary, or mango. But, other additives can be harmful to your dog.
One ingredient you want to avoid is glutamic acid (MSG). It is dangerous for dogs because it alters their brain response.
Other risks exist with smoked cheese that contains PAHs - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons –which can cause cancer in your pet.
- 4. Never Buy Processed Cheese
Watch out for processed cheese slices and spray cheese. These products are highly processed. This means that they have added ingredients like sodium phosphate, which can lead your dog to health problems or even death!
- 5. Check if it has Added Colors
Artificial coloring in cheese is a hidden danger for many dogs.
One study showed that it could cause hypoglycemia which may be life-threatening to your pup.
So be sure to carefully read the label when buying this fun treat and avoid any food with artificial colors added.
- 6. Be Careful of the Mycotoxins
Roquefort, stilton, and blue cheese can contain poisonous mycotoxins. If your dog eats any kind of moldy cheese, they will likely not die from it unless they eat a lot at once. But there are signs that you should look out for.
- 7. Prefer Grass-Fed Dairy
Grass-fed dairy products for dogs are the best choice because they have a healthier balance of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. They also contain less saturated fat, more protein and don’t contribute to an unhealthy environment.
In addition, the animals that produce this type of cheese are healthier in general, which means your pup is getting better quality dairy!
Be careful not to feed your dog too much cheese, and only serve safe varieties that you can find on our list of recommended cheeses for dogs.
And remember, always consult with an expert if you're unsure about what is best for your pet!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when a dog eats cheese?
If your dog eats unprocessed cheese in less amount then it won’t be a problem. However, processed cheese could cause digestive discomfort. Moreover, some dogs are allergic to dairy, so it could cause an allergic reaction as well.
What cheese can dogs not eat?
Dogs can not eat ripe, moldy cheeses like:
- Blue Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Roquefort Cheese
- Stilton Cheese
How much cheese is OK for dogs?
Small amounts of cheese or some cheese around the size of a fingernail is OK for dogs to eat in a day. But, excessive amounts of cheese could be seriously harmful to dogs.
Can dogs eat cheese sticks?
Yes but the sticks should be low fat and broken up into small pieces.
Can dogs eat cheese puffs?
No, cheese puffs are loaded with fat and salt, which are not good for your dog.