Can Dogs Eat Cheese? What Are The Risks?

Written by Dayva Segal
Published: May 27, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/igorr1
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Cheese is a yummy snack that many humans enjoy. There are so many kinds that even if you don’t like one type, there’s sure to be another kind that you can stomach. Some dogs seem to enjoy cheesy snacks as well. But, is cheese good for dogs? Keep reading to find out.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Yes, most dogs can eat cheese, and most of them love it! Little bites of cheese are a great treat to use for training, especially for dogs who are motivated by food. Some people use cheese as a clever way to disguise a pill inside a yummy dog treat. However, dogs should avoid cheese if they are overweight, have ever had pancreatitis, or have lactose intolerance.

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How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant?

After feeding your dog cheese or other dairy products, watch them closely for signs of digestive troubles. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include:

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  • Bloating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lots of gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you suspect your dog has lactose intolerance, stop feeding them cheese and consult your vet for advice on the best food and treats to give them.

How Much Cheese Can Your Dog Eat?

Many kinds of cheese are high in fat, which is why dogs who are already overweight should avoid eating it. Feeding your dog too much cheese can lead to weight gain and even obesity. If your dog is overweight already, check out our review of the top dog foods for weight loss!

In extreme cases, a diet that is too fatty could cause pancreatitis. This condition causes an inflamed pancreas, which can lead to repeated vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal bloating and a painful abdomen, a fever, and weakness. If pancreatitis is treated promptly, your dog has a good chance of making a full recovery. Call your vet immediately if you suspect this condition.

One cause of pancreatitis is a fatty diet in general, but it could also be caused by one extremely fatty meal. If your dog has ever had pancreatitis in the past, don’t give them cheese. You will need to give your dog low-fat dog food after they have had pancreatitis.

Because of these factors, it’s best to give your dog low-fat cheeses, and even then, give cheese in moderation. Types of lower-fat cheese include cottage cheese, goat cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

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Are There Any Benefits to Feeding Your Dog Cheese?

Yes, cheese can be good for your dog, in moderation of course. Cheeses have important nutrients for your dog including:

  • Calcium
  • Fatty acids
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin A

Cheese is also high in protein, so it is good for a balanced doggie diet.

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How To Give Your Dog Cheese

Thinking of giving Fido some cheese? Follow these tips:

  • Give your dog a small piece of cheese for the first time and then observe how they react for the next few hours to make sure there won’t be a reaction. If you give your dog a new type of cheese that they haven’t had before, do the same thing.
  • Don’t give your dog cheeses that contain garlic, chives, or onions as those can be toxic for dogs.
  • Avoid giving your dog spicy cheeses like pepper jack.
  • Try making your dog work for their cheesy treat by hiding it under their normal food.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of a meal to make it more attractive.
  • Remember – treats, including cheese, should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
  • Not sure about giving your dog cheese? Ask your vet for advice.
  • Instead of giving your dog high-fat cheeses, try cheese-flavored dog treats.
  • Avoid giving your dog options like cheesecake and cream cheese. These products have too much fat.
  • Avoid giving your dog cheese-flavored human foods like Cheetos and cheese puffs.
  • Don’t give your dog the rind of the cheese. Some of them contain mold that would be toxic to a dog. Others have wax in them, which would not be good for your dog’s digestion.
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Tell Your Dog to Say Cheese

Cheese is a perfect treat for positive reinforcement training or just to let your dog know how much you appreciate them. Try giving it to your pup, in moderation, and see how they enjoy it as much as you do!

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer who has been working in the field of content creation and digital marketing for more than seven years. My favorite topics to write about include health, animals, fitness, and nutrition, though as a professional content provider and ghostwriter, I can easily write about pretty much anything! I love all animals and have been some form of vegetarian or vegan for over 10 years. My favorite animals are cats, dogs, and chickens, especially my own cat, Tula.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can Dogs Eat Cheese

Yes, most dogs can eat cheese, and most of them love it! Little bites of cheese are a great treat to use for training, especially for dogs who are motivated by food. Some people use cheese as a clever way to disguise a pill inside a yummy dog treat. However, dogs should avoid cheese if they are overweight, have ever had pancreatitis, or have lactose intolerance.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant?

After feeding your dog cheese or other dairy products, watch them closely for signs of digestive troubles. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include:

  • Bloating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lots of gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you suspect your dog has lactose intolerance, stop feeding them cheese and consult your vet for advice on the best food and treats to give them.

How Much Cheese Can Your Dog Eat?

Many kinds of cheese are high in fat, which is why dogs who are already overweight should avoid eating it. Feeding your dog too much cheese can lead to weight gain and even obesity. If your dog is overweight already, check out our review of the top dog foods for weight loss!

Are There Any Benefits to Feeding Your Dog Cheese?

Yes, cheese can be good for your dog, in moderation of course. Cheeses have important nutrients for your dog including:

  • Calcium
  • Fatty acids
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin A

Cheese is also high in protein, so it is good for a balanced doggie diet.