Yes, a dog can eat cheese. In fact, cheese is often a great training tool, especially for puppies. But should gods eat cheese? While some dogs can eat cheese, and most dogs love it, many dogs can be intolerant of cheese. Even for dogs that are able to tolerate cheese, it is probably best fed in moderation.
Benefits of Cheese
Cheese contains protein, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins. Most dogs love cheese, and training often uses it for treat-motivated dogs. This snack is also a good way to conceal pills for dogs that require medication.
Feeding cheese Safely to Your Dog
While cheese can be safe to feed your dogs, there are some things to remember. Cheese is high in fat, and feeding too much to your dog regularly can cause weight gain and lead to obesity.
Even more problematic, it could lead to pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs. In addition to the problems presented by the high-fat content, some cheese contains herbs or other products that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic, and chives.
Therefore, it’s better for your dog low-fat cheese, like mozzarella, or a slice of soft goat cheese. Cottage cheese is lower in fat and sodium than other cheese, helping reduce the risk of obesity. Cottage cheese is also lower in lactose, thus reducing the likelihood of intestinal upset.
Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
Not all dogs digest cheese well, and while cheese contains little lactose when compared to whole milk, dogs with severe cases of lactose intolerance may have an adverse reaction to cheeses, even in small quantities.
If your dog begins showing sing that they’re having an allergic reaction, stop feeding them anything dairy until you can determine if really the cheese that caused the reaction was. A consultation with your vet may also be in order to avoid any dangerous reactions.
Can my dog eat cheddar cheese? Mozzarella?
Aged cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and therefore shouldn’t cause as much stomach upset as, full-fat mozzarella. It really depends on your dog, and how much cheeses (believe us, you’ll know), you may want to find an alternative. If you find that it only happened after they ate that lovely right to test out a small chunk of cheddar or other low lactose cheese.
What about cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese is fermented and can be considered to be lower lactose food. (Though it’s often mixed with additional milk products, so pay attention to the label on the kind you purchase.)Its bland flavor makes it an ideal food dog rebounding from a sick stomach. Plus, it’s high in fat and calories, so share sparingly or avoid sharing cottage or any kind of cheese if a dog is carrying extra pounds.
Most dogs can eat cheese. Should they?
While cheese can be a healthy, protein-packed treat with Vitamin A-B complex vitamins, and essential fatty acids, it can pack a caloric punch.
Avoid overfeeding and try to vary treats. Things that are generally safe for canines include cottage cheese and plain yogurt. Despite your dog’s sad doe eyes, you definitely know what’s best. Again, be sure to confirm your dog can handle even a small amount of dairy before committing to feeding him or her cheesy treats.
Dog Food Advisor.com has a handy guide available here on the amount of lactose found in common dairy products. From Swiss cheese to sour cream, this useful graph will help you navigate the world of dogs and dairy.
Cheese, dogs, and medicine
Have a fussy dog that won’t take his pills? Cheese is widely recognized as a way to camouflage medications, excluding antibiotics. Very much like humans, dogs find cheese irresistible, making it a fail-safe method of ingestion.
In addition, blending equal parts cottage cheese and cooked white rice together can help your dog recover from a touchy stomach. Cheese can also be helpful to liven up prescription food if your dog isn’t showing interest. (Please check with your vet to make sure this is a good idea. Some prescription diets depend on strict compliance to work.)
How much cheese should you feed your dog? The answer, of course, depends on the size of your dogs, how well your dog handles cheese and their overall diet. That said, some ideas are:
- A small bite of cheddar or mozzarella can be helpful when training or as an occasional reward.
- Add a little cottage cheese to your dog’s usual food.
- When administering non-antibiotic pills, use just enough cheese to cover the pill.
Can dogs eat cheese? The takeaway:
- Yes, your dog can eat cheese, including cheddar, mozzarella, and cottage cheese.
- Because cheese is as fattening it is tasty, moderation is key.
- Cheese is great to hide medications in, but not antibiotics!
Essentially, as long as you’re responsible for your cheese purveying, you should be gold.