Can Dogs Eat Cheese? Is It Good for Them?

can dogs eat cheese

Cheese is many people’s favorite food. On a pizza, in a toastie, melted in a sauce – it’s really diverse and there are so many different types! Whilst we might enjoy it in many of our meals, what about our pups? Can dogs eat cheese? All cheese? And what are the risks of feeding this yummy food to them?

Find out everything you need to know about feeding cheese to dogs here!

Short and Sweet – Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat cheese. In fact, it’s often used as a successful training treat for puppies. But the real question is should dogs eat cheese? In moderation and as the occasional treat, there are actually lots of benefits to feeding your dog cheese.

But it does have a high-fat content so can be a problem for overweight dogs and lactose-intolerant pups.

Benefits of Feeding Cheese to Your Dog

There are a couple of benefits to giving your pup small amounts of cheese. Cheese contains some proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, and calcium. Whilst your pup should be getting all the nutrients he needs from his regular dog food, the addition of cheese in moderation doesn’t do any harm.

Another benefit of cheese is just how yummy it is! It’s a good training tool (dogs go crazy for it!) and a great way to hide pills too.

cheese board

How To Safely Feed Dogs Cheese

Before feeding cheese to your pup, there are a couple of things to think about. Cheese is high in fat and calories which can be an issue for some pups. It also contains lactose and some dogs, just like humans, are lactose intolerant.

Overweight Dogs

Overweight dogs shouldn’t eat cheese. Because of the high-fat content in cheese, this can cause your pup to gain even more weight. Or, at least, not lose it. Overweight dogs can be fed healthy fruits and veggies, such as apple, cucumber, or zucchini.

Dogs With Lactose Intolerance

Of course, pups suffering from lactose intolerance shouldn’t eat cheese. Even if you’ve never given milk, cheese, or any other food containing lactose to your pup, they could still suffer from lactose intolerance.

Start off by giving them a tiny bit of cheese. If they start to vomit or have diarrhea they may be lactose intolerant. Speak to a vet if you’re worried.

Dogs With Kidney Problems

Cheese often has high sodium levels, which can be a problem for pups that suffer from kidney issues. If you’re unsure, consult with your vet before introducing cheese into your dog’s diet.

Cheese That’s Not Safe for Dogs to Eat

Just to be safe, it’s best not to feed your dog blue cheese. This includes stilton, gorgonzola, and Roquefort. The mold in these cheeses creates a substance called roquefortine C (now we know where Roquefort gets its name from)! This substance can cause a number of reactions in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and fever.

You should also avoid cheese with lots of added salt and preservatives. Dogs don’t need this in their diet.

If your pup eats blue cheese, contact your vet right away.

Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese is fermented cheese and is therefore lower in lactose. Whilst it’s still not a good choice for lactose-intolerant pups, it is a good first cheese to give your dog. Cottage cheese is another great snack to put in toys (ones that are machine washable!) and pups will love the difference in texture in their diet.

cottage cheese

Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese?

Yes, dogs can safely eat cream cheese. In fact, cream cheese is a great food to put inside a puzzle toy or on a lick mat for your pup. They can keep themselves entertained for a bit as they try to lick it out!

Just make sure you feed them plain cream cheese. Some brands contain added salt and flavors such as garlic and onion which can be toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella?

Dogs love mozzarella and it’s another great cheese to use as a training treat. It’s not, however, recommended that dogs eat pizza, sandwiches, or anything else with cheese on it as they contain a lot of calories. They might also be flavored with toxic ingredients such as garlic.

Can Dogs Eat Hard Cheese?

Hard, aged cheese such as parmesan, cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese are good cheeses to feed your pooch too. They contain less lactose than other cheeses so are another OK cheese to slowly add to your dog’s diet. Just make sure none of them are blue cheeses and feed your pup in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Goat Cheese?

Again, goat cheese isn’t toxic to dogs and as long as it isn’t blue cheese, you can feed it to your dog. Just remember not to feed them too much.

cheese assortment

Can Dogs Eat Cheese Puffs?

Dogs can eat cheese puffs. Whilst they might not be toxic to dogs, they’re also not good for them. They may be delicious, but cheese puffs contain lots of fat and added sodium. Two things that dogs don’t need in their diet.

Pills and Cheese

Cheese is one of the best things to hide pills and medication in. I’m not sure about you but our dogs don’t love taking pills. But they love cheese. In fact, they love cheese so much that they don’t even hesitate to gobble up a slice whether it’s concealing a secret pill or not!

Ways To Feed Cheese To Your Dog

There are lots of great ways you can add this calcium-rich food to your pup’s diet. Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Smear it in a toy or cut up pieces and hide in a snuffle mat. We wouldn’t recommend using cottage cheese or soft cheese in a mat, but a cheesy smell is a great way for dogs to hone their natural foraging instincts. It also helps to keep them engaged and entertained.

  • Added to their regular food. Some dogs love having different textures in their food and cheese is a great way of doing this. Whether you’re feeding your pup fresh dog food or shop-bought, adding any kind of healthy cheese can make meal times more exciting (just don’t add too much)!

  • As a treat. Dogs respond really well to human food treats, and cheese might just be their favorite. Whether you’re giving them plain popcorn, a couple of peas, or a slice of cheese – they’ll be much more likely to respond and see this as a reward for good behavior.
terrier dog eating

How Much Cheese Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is the key to feeding your dogs cheese. Pups should get 90% of their nutrition from specially formulated canine food. The other 10% can be healthy human foods. So, how much you can feed your dog really depends on their size and how much food they eat.

A Mastiff breed will be able to healthily eat more cheese than a tiny pup.

The Bottom Line – Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Yes. Dogs can eat cheese and there are actually a couple of benefits of feeding this favorite food to your furry friend. Avoid feeding them cheeses that might contain toxic ingredients such as onion and garlic and don’t feed them blue cheese.

Whilst yummy and healthy in moderation, cheese does have a high fat content. This means it isn’t a good snack for overweight dogs.

It’s one of the best training treats you can give a pup. So, if you have a new trick you want your pup to learn, head to the fridge and get a little cheese as a reward!

Does your dog like cheese? What type is their favorite?