Can Dogs Eat Macaroni and Cheese Safely? No, and Here’s Why.

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Published: July 13, 2022
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Macaroni and cheese is a delicious comfort food that many people enjoy at mealtime. You might find yourself wondering if it is safe to share a bite or two with your canine friend. But can dogs eat macaroni and cheese?

The short answer to this is yes, your dog can technically eat macaroni and cheese, but no, it shouldn’t.

Read on to learn more about the reasons why macaroni and cheese is not the best snack for your dog and the risks that come along with feeding it to your dog.

Is Macaroni and Cheese Safe for Dogs?

Dogs should not be given macaroni and cheese because it can present a lot of different problems for them. Macaroni and cheese is comprised of quite a few ingredients that don’t do well in a dog’s diet and can really disrupt their digestive system.

It contains both dairy and gluten, both of which can be rough on a dog’s stomach and can lead to gastrointestinal issues. This is especially true for puppies who don’t have the digestive enzymes that they need in order to properly break down the lactose that it contains.

Some popular seasonings that you may also find in macaroni and cheese, like onion and garlic, are considered to be toxic to dogs.

Even if you make your macaroni and cheese without these ingredients, the pasta and cheese would be too much for your dog to digest well and could also lead to excess weight gain—which isn’t safe for any dog, especially those that are already dealing with obesity or diabetes.

The best thing you can do for your dog’s health is to feed it a good brand of healthy dog food that has great ingredients and will provide your dog with all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs in order to remain healthy and active, even into old age.

two akita inu pups eating
Feeding your dog maraconi and cheese is not good for your dog’s health.

©New Africa/

Health Risks of Feeding Your Dog Macaroni and Cheese

As we mentioned, there are a few risks associated with feeding your dog macaroni and cheese that every owner should be aware of. Let’s take a look at them below:

Lactose and gluten: It is common for dogs to be allergic to both lactose and gluten. This means they may have a very difficult time digesting it and they could develop stomach issues like abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

Toxic seasonings: Onion and garlic seasoning may taste great to us, but for dogs, they’re toxic. These seasonings are usually present in macaroni and cheese recipes and should not be given to dogs as they are poisonous. Onion and garlic aren’t the only ingredients that can be harmful to dogs—prepackaged macaroni and cheese may have preservatives that are also very unhealthy.

Risk of weight gain: Dogs that are already dealing with obesity or diabetes should not consume macaroni and cheese as it can be very detrimental to their health. The excess carbs and fat that macaroni and cheese contains can also increase a diabetic dog’s blood sugar. Even if your dog is not overweight or suffering from diabetes, macaroni and cheese can have a negative impact on its health, and if fed regularly, could lead to the development of these health issues in healthy dogs.

Loaded with sugar: You may not believe it, but macaroni and cheese is actually high in sugar. This is because the pasta it contains breaks down into glucose in the body which is then converted to sugar. This is why diabetics are oftentimes advised to reduce their carbohydrate intake. If your dog consumes food that is high in carbohydrates like macaroni and cheese, it can lead to the development of weight gain and ultimately diabetes if consumed regularly. Dogs that are already diabetic should definitely avoid macaroni and cheese so that their blood sugar isn’t negatively impacted.

What Do I Do if My Dog Ate Macaroni and Cheese?

If you’ve discovered that your dog ate macaroni and cheese or if you’ve fed your dog some before knowing that it was unsafe, don’t panic. Small amounts of macaroni and cheese are unlikely to cause any dangerous symptoms in your dog. The worse that could happen is that your dog experiences an upset stomach.

You’ll want to be aware of your dog and keep a close eye on it to see if you notice any adverse reactions to the macaroni and cheese. You’ll want to pay close attention to your dog’s energy levels to see if it becomes lethargic. You should also make sure that you take your dog outdoors as it may also develop diarrhea or need to have more bowel movements than normal. You can provide your dog with plenty of fresh water to make sure that your dog is able to stay properly hydrated—especially if your dog has vomited or developed diarrhea and has lost fluids.

If, however, you suspect that your dog has eaten a large amount of macaroni and cheese, it may experience debilitating side effects like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting. If you notice any of these more severe side effects in your dog, you should get in touch with your vet immediately.

You may be advised to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible if the symptoms are severe enough.

You should always consult your veterinarian before you introduce a new type of food into your dog’s diet—especially if your dog has any underlying health issues like diabetes. Some types of human food like macaroni and cheese can contain ingredients that are perfectly safe for us (like onion and garlic) but are very toxic to dogs. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on what’s best for your dog and its specific health needs.


Macaroni and cheese may be delicious for people but it can present a lot of issues for dogs.

It should not be given to dogs even on occasion, as it can contain ingredients that are toxic to them, as well as presents issues for dogs that are overweight or diabetic.

If your dog has eaten macaroni and cheese, keep a close eye on it and get in contact with your veterinarian if you notice any severe symptoms develop.

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two akita inu pups eating
Feeding your dog maraconi and cheese is not good for your dog's health.
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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can dogs eat macaroni salad?

Your dog should not eat macaroni salad as its usually made with seasonings like onion and garlic which are toxic to dogs.

Can dogs have boxed mac and cheese?

No, dogs should not eat boxed mac and cheese. They normally contain many ingredients and preservative that can be harmful to your dog’s health.

Are cooked onions bad for dogs?

Yes, onions in any form are toxic do dogs and should not be fed to them.

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