We all love the cheese pull moments! Be it that last bite of cheesy pizza or just eating the handy cheese cubes- one can never go wrong with cheese. But hey, what about our furry buddies? Can dogs eat cheese? Let’s figure it out!
In short- Yes, dogs can eat cheese, but in moderation (unless they are lactose intolerant). There are a lot of health risks attached to it that you should know. We have covered everything you need to know about feeding your dog cheese!
Are There Any Benefits of Cheese?
Yes, cheese benefits your dog in quite a few ways. It is essential to note that cheese might not be the healthiest treat for your dog. The nutritional benefits of cheese are only limited as a treat and not as an everyday part of the meal.
Keeping that in mind, here are the perks of feeding your dog cheese:
The best thing you can do to the growing puppies is add protein to their diet. Cheese is rich in protein, which helps with repairing the tissues. Even though the protein is not in enough quantity to benefit your dog ultimately, it can still be a protein-icious treat! If your dog is into bodybuilding- they will love it!
Cheese also consists of calcium. If your dog is not lactose intolerant, calcium content in cheese can help with the bones. They strengthen your dog’s bones and give their canines the exceptional power to bite! Cheese might not be the best source of calcium, but it can help little by little over time.
If we talk about cottage cheese, it is a probiotic. These probiotics are essential for your dog’s healthy gut. They keep the beneficial bacteria in and fight off the harmful bacteria. They do wonders for your dog’s health if fed every day. However, cheese must not be fed daily to dogs. If not cheese, you can try other human foods that are also probiotics.
Cheese is beneficial for dogs because… it’s cheese, duh! There is nothing bad about cheese. They are yummy, buttery and creamy. Your dog will love having small bites of cheese or melted cheese drizzled over their kibbles. They can enhance the flavor of anything. If your dog does not like eggplants- drizzle some cheese and see the magic!
Is Cheese Bad For Dogs?
Cheese is delicious, and there is no debate about that. But there are also risk factors that can hinder your pup’s health. As we always say- you should always choose health over taste. You and your dog can enjoy several foods, but their nutritional value is the deciding factor.
One of the bummer about cheese is its high-fat content. If your dog struggles with obesity, you should avoid adding cheese to their meals. If your dog eats a high-fat meal, they are at risk of pancreatitis (article). It can cause inflammation in the pancreas and lead to severe health conditions.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, keep it away from their sight and nose. After eating cheese, they might get allergic reactions like diarrhea, gas, and bloating. There are far better options in the market that can be an alternative to cheese.
Another risky part about cheese is the salt content. High levels of sodium can cause dehydration in your dog. An excessive amount of cheese brings in too much salt. In this case, you might observe your dog feeling lethargic and show behavioral changes. You must seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog ate too much cheese.
Moreover, there are too many additives in processed cheese. It can cause behavioral problems in the dog as cheese is very palatable. Also, preservatives and additives do not add nutritional value to your dog’s health.
Can Dogs Eat All Types of Cheese?
All cheese are delicious, but not all delicious cheese are safe.
There are so many cheese options to choose from that it can be confusing to find that you and your dog can share a pizza. So here is the list of cheese dogs can and cannot eat!
Cheese Dogs Can Eat-
1. Mozzarella cheese
If you ask us the safest cheese to serve your dog- we’ll say mozzarella cheese. It has low sodium content, which means it lowers the risk of lethargy and dehydration. Also, its low-fat content makes it better than other cheeses.
But if your dog is lactose intolerant, you should also avoid mozzarella cheese. Please note that mozzarella cheese is safer but should only be fed in moderation.
2. Goat cheese
Dogs find cow’s milk challenging to digest, so goat cheese is a better alternative. Although, except for the milk base, all other sodium and fat content remains the primary issue. It would help if you only feed goat cheese in small amounts occasionally.
It can pose the same risks that any cheese would. Hence, goat cheese should not be part of your dog’s diet.
3. Cheddar cheese
You can feed your dog small amounts of cheddar cheese once in a while. Do not toss them a big chunk of cheese to bite as it has a high fat content. Also, please ensure not to feed your dog seasoned cheddar cheese.
If you bake yourself cheddar mac and cheese, do not share it with your dog, as macaroni is unsuitable for a dog’s digestive system. It would be best to serve only small portions of unseasoned and plain cheddar cheese to dogs.
4. Cottage cheese
Dogs can eat cottage cheese! In fact, we recommend this cheese more than any other cheese. Unless your dog is lactose intolerant, cottage cheese is so far the best option. It is also low in lactose and is rich in probiotics.
Cheese Dogs Cannot Eat-
1. Gorgonzola cheese
This cheese is a total red flag for dogs! Gorgonzola cheese consists of high-fat content and mold. During its fermentation, mold occurs, enhancing the taste for humans (yeah, humans are weird). But dogs are allergic to mold and can get bacteria in their stomach (study).
This can lead to severe digestive problems and diarrhea. Please avoid serving gorgonzola cheese to dogs, even in small amounts.
2. Blue cheese
This is another variety of cheese that should not be fed to dogs…EVER. Blue cheese also has the same properties as gorgonzola cheese. Due to the mold and high-fat content, blue cheese is not appropriate for dogs.
The blue-green veins are formed by the molds, which are tasty to humans but dangerous for dogs.
Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat cheese?” are that your dog should only eat cheese in moderation. Unless your dog is lactose intolerant, feeding small amounts of cheese should not be an issue. However, there are still some things you must keep in mind! Serving your dog molded cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese is a BIG NO.
Cheese can be a great addition to their treat menu if you maintain a minimal amount of cheese and a healthy diet. So now, you and your dog can say cheeeeeeeeeseee!
Frequently Asked Questions
You should only give cheese to your dog in moderation. It should not constitute more than 10% of their diet. We do not recommend giving your dog cheese daily, but it should be an occasional treat. Especially if you have a small dog, they can vomit the excess cheese. Giving tiny bites of cheese would be best so your dog can digest them appropriately, without harm.
No, you should not give your dog cheese popcorn. We usually prepare popcorn by popping the corn kernels in salted seasonings. This can be harmful for dogs. If anything, you can serve your dog plain and non-cheesy popcorn. The two will degrade your dog’s health.
If you do not feed your dog cheese in moderation, it can take away the minerals from their teeth. It can also make your dog’s teeth weak and covered in plaque. If you decide to serve your pooch cheese, you should brush their teeth right after it. It can cause cavities and harm the PH level of their mouth.
If your dog already suffers from kidney problems, the sodium content of cheese can be problematic. We recommend you consult your veterinarian for better advice on feeding your dog cheese. Every dog has different digesting capabilities and cannot be stereotyped to a certain amount of cheese to be fed.
You should not feed your dog processed cheese slices. Processed food is often not nutritious and can degrade your dog’s health. You can feed them plain organic cheese in moderation.