Can My Dog Eat Cheese?
Are you running out of ideas on what to give your pet dog as treats or rewards? Giving them your favorite food could be a good idea, right? After all, if it’s safe for human consumption, it may not be harmful to your pet.
There may be human foods that are safe to give your dog, but others could cause harm. So, how would you know if what you want to feed your dog is good or bad for them?
First, you need to consult a veterinarian to ensure what you are feeding your dog won’t harm them. It also helps to do your own research, and then consult the vet, just to be sure.
So, can my dog eat cheese?
Yes, you can feed your dog cheese.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Cheese is actually often used as a training tool, particularly for puppies. Yes, dogs CAN eat cheese, but SHOULD they? Some dogs can eat cheese, and most of them love it.
Still, many dog breeds may be intolerant of cheese. Even dogs that can tolerate cheese should only eat it in moderation.
Potential Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Cheese
While it is safe to give your dog some cheese, there are a few things that you need to take note of.
Cheese contains high amounts of fat, so feeding your dog too much on a regular basis could result in weight gain and obesity. This condition may worsen as your dog could also develop pancreatitis, a severe and potentially fatal disease in dogs.
Additionally, some kinds of cheese may contain herbs or other ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like onion, garlic, and chives.
So, it is important that you choose the low-fat kinds of cheese, like cottage cheese, soft goat cheese, or mozzarella. Cottage cheese has lower sodium and fat content than other cheeses, thus lowering the risk of obesity. Cottage cheese also has low lactose levels, which reduces the risk of intestinal upset.
How Can Cheese be Bad for Dogs?
Not all kinds of dogs can easily digest cheese. Compared to whole milk, cheese contains little lactose, but dogs with severe lactose intolerance could develop adverse reactions to cheese, even if they are only given small quantities.
You should closely observe your pet if you’ve given them cheese. Look for signs of intestinal upset, especially when you’ve just fed them cheese for the first time. It is also important to consult with the vet if you intend to feed your pet cheese.
The Nutritional Value of Cheese for Dogs
Cheese contains essential vitamins and minerals that are good for your dog. These include vitamin A, vitamin B12, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. It also contains sodium.
Healthy Benefits of Cheese for Dogs
Cheese contains calcium, which is good for the bones and teeth.
While most of the vitamins and minerals in cheese are more beneficial to humans, dogs can still benefit from eating cheese. Once you start giving your dog cheese, you will also notice that dogs love cheese. In fact, a lot of trainers use cheese as treats to motivate dogs they are training.
Cheese is also an excellent way to conceal medications, like pills.
How Much Cheese Can Dogs Eat?
First off, since cheese has high fat and sodium content, it is important that you give your dog cheese in moderation.
There are many kinds of cheese, and you have to make sure that you ask the vet what cheeses are dog-approved.
What About Cottage Cheese and Other Types?
Cheese is an excellent snack to give to your pet, but it is essential to note that some types of cheese should not be given to dogs.
String and cheddar cheese are relatively low in lactose, so they are less likely to upset your dog’s stomach. Other cheese types that are low in lactose are Monterey Jack, Swiss cheese, and Colby. Give these cheeses sparingly.
A healthy option is low-fat cheeses, which are soft goat cheese, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Aged cheeses like cheddar and Parmesan have lower lactose levels.
Fat-rich and herb-containing cheeses may cause intestinal upset. You should avoid these cheeses at all costs:
- Roquefort, Blue cheese, and other French cheeses
When blue cheese becomes overly-ripe, it can produce a potentially lethal toxin called roquefortine. These are also the kinds of cheese with high sodium content.
- Cheese that contains garlic, herbs, and other spices
Cream cheese and Havarti are examples of cheese that contain garlic and other herbs to enhance their flavor. Garlic and onion are probably the most toxic for dogs. You should NEVER feed them to your dogs.
- Feta cheese, goat cheese, and brie
These cheeses may be delicious to you, but they are harmful to dogs. These types of cheese contain the highest levels of saturated fats, and consuming excessive amounts might lead to pancreatitis or more serious conditions.
Is Cheese Safe for Dogs?
Generally, cheese is safe for dogs. Remember that cheese contains calories, and overfeeding your dog cheese could cause health issues.
You must consult with the vet before giving your dog cheese to ensure your dog is not lactose intolerant.
How to Give Your Dog Cheese
- When serving cheddar or mozzarella, you should slice them into smaller pieces. These types of cheese are good training rewards for your dog.
- Give your dog small amounts of cottage cheese as an occasional treat.
- You may add a little cottage cheese to your dog’s usual food.
- When you need to give your dog medicine, you can cover the pill with cheese.
Homemade Cheese Treat Ideas
You can give your dog tiny cubes of cheese as is. There’s no need to be fancy about cheese, though you can mix cheese with your dog’s regular food.