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Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

As dog parents, we want the best for our pups and would never want to harm them or intentionally give them food that isn't good for them. That's why it's important to research which foods are safe to give to dogs because while some foods are safe and healthy for humans to consume, it doesn't mean that they are safe and healthy for dogs to consume.

Most dogs, if not all, love cheese and would happily eat it, given the opportunity. When used in moderation, cheese can be a great treat for dogs, whether if it's used for training purposes or disguising medications (not antibiotics). However, because of the dairy content, cheese might not be a safe treat option for all dogs.

Believe it or not, it's possible for dogs to be lactose intolerant, meaning their bodies lack the ability to digest the lactose in dairy products, like cheese. Like humans, a dog's intolerance to lactose can be mild or severe. If you're unsure whether your dog is lactose intolerant, it's best to test it out with a small amount of cheese first. If your dog doesn't show any signs of stomach upset or discomfort from small amounts of cheese, then they're clear to eat some cheese as a treat. If they suddenly get gas or diarrhea after eating cheese, it's likely your dog is lactose intolerant and shouldn't eat any more cheese.

Benefits of cheese

If your dog can tolerate cheese, it can have many health benefits for them. Cheese is rich in:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Essential fatty acids
  • B-Complex vitamins

What to watch out for

Most cheeses are safe for dogs to eat. However, keep your dog away from blue cheese. When blue cheese starts to get super ripe, the fungi within it produce a substance, roquefortine C, which many dogs are sensitive to.

Since cheeses are made with human taste buds in mind, they likely contain high amounts of sodium. Before giving your pet cheese, take a peek at the sodium content in the cheese. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure in dogs. Cheese is also high in fat, which can be a problem for overweight dogs if given in excess. Additionally, try and stick to plain cheese. Cheeses that have added ingredients like onion, garlic, or herbs can be harmful to your dog.