Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Cheese might be a common staple for us humans, but is cheese good for dogs? Keep reading to find out!
Can dogs eat cheese?
In most cases dogs can eat cheese. However, it should only be given in very small quantities as an occasional high reward training treat. This is because dogs are actually lactose-intolerant and cannot cope with too much dairy in their diets. Even small portions of cheese can lead to gastrointestinal upset, so if your dog develops diarrhoea it is better not to feed them dairy products again in the future. Cheese is also high in fat which can trigger flare-ups of pancreatitis, as well as leading to other health problems including obesity and diabetes.
Can dogs eat cottage cheese?
Yes, dogs can eat cottage cheese. This is lower in fat and sodium than many other varieties of cheese, so it is actually one of the better options to give your dog as an occasional treat.
Can dogs eat blue cheese?
No, never give your dog blue cheese. The fungus involved in making blue cheeses such as Stilton can produce a substance called roquefortine C, which dogs can be very sensitive to. If your dog ingests this, they may develop the following symptoms:
The more blue cheese your dog eats, the greater risk of them developing the symptoms above. If you notice your dog displaying any of these signs, contact your vet straight away.
Can dogs eat cream cheese?
Whether or not dogs can eat cream cheese depends on the type. Many of these products contain added extras such as chives, onions and garlic which are toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. Feeding your dog a very small amount of plain cream cheese is generally fine, but bear in mind that it does have a high fat and calorie content.
Is cheese good for dogs?
Cheese is not particularly good for dogs. Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and B-complex vitamins. However, these are all things your dog will be getting from their regular, complete diet. This means that there’s no nutritional need to add cheese to their diet.
Dairy products such as cheese can cause stomach upset in dogs so if this is the case with your pup, avoid cheese entirely. Additionally, some cheeses will contain fruits, nuts, onions and garlic – which must be avoided.
Never give cheese to overweight dogs or dogs with kidney problems because cheese has very high fat, calorie and salt content. Instead, opt for healthy dog treats if you want to give your dog something special.
How to feed cheese to dogs
There are a few reasons you may wish to feed cheese to your dog. One of the most common is as a way to conceal medication. Simply cut up a small cube of cheese (such as cheddar) and push the tablet into the centre of it to offer it to your dog. Generally, they’ll gulp it down without a second thought! Always check with your vet whether your pet’s medication is suitable to be given in food, as certain tablets can react, which can alter how effective they are or even lead to side effects.
Cheese can also be offered as a high reward training treat. Again, small cubes of cheddar can work well. Many owners find that using strongly scented foods such as cheese helps with training tricky commands, such as recall.
If you want to add in enrichment to avoid boredom in your pet, you may wish to add a thin smearing of cream cheese to the inside of a Kong toy to keep them occupied.
Now you know the answer to ‘can dogs have cheese’! Want to find out more about the foods your pup can have and which to avoid? Read our guide on can dogs eat blueberries, next.