Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/20/20242-4 minutes
Golden dog with a piece of cheese on his nose

As humans, we love cheese and it’s no secret that our dogs often look at us with their best puppy dog eyes whilst we’re munching on it! But can dogs eat cheese and is it good for them? Find out more with this article.

Cheese is a common staple to the human diet. We often find ourselves reaching for the block to add a grating atop our meals and there are so many varieties available that it pairs well with everything!

We’re not the only ones who think that cheese is particularly moreish either – our dogs also think it’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

But, where it’s obvious that most dogs think the taste of it is nothing short of divine, are they actually allowed to eat it and is cheese good for dogs? Keep reading to find out whether dogs can eat cheese and which types of cheese are acceptable! 

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

In most cases, yes, dogs can eat cheese. When given in moderation, it can make a great high reward training treat (particularly when there’s lots of distractions). Most dogs adore the taste of it too! It’s important to remember that some cheeses have added ingredients, which need to be avoided.

Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat cottage cheese. This type is actually low in fat and sodium, so it is actually one of the better options to give your dog as an occasional treat.

Can Dogs Eat Blue Cheese?

No, never give your dog blue cheese. The fungus involved in making blue cheeses such as Stilton can produce a substance called roquefortine C, which dogs can be very sensitive to. If your dog ingests this, they may develop the following symptoms:

The higher the amount of blue cheese your dog eats, the greater risk of them developing the symptoms above. If you notice your dog displaying any of these signs, contact your vet straight away.

Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese?

In general, dogs can eat a small amount of cream cheese. It’s mostly fine but does have a high fat and calorie content. However, a lot of cream cheeses include chives, onions and garlic which are dangerous for our pooches. These types of cream cheese should be avoided.

Is Cheese Good for Dogs?

Cheese is good for dogs in small amounts. It’s true that cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and B-complex vitamins, but these are all things your dog would be getting from their regular, complete diet anyway, so there’s no need to add cheese to their diet. However, cheese can be given as a treat in very small amounts.

Is Cheese Bad for Dogs?

In some cases, cheese can be bad for dogs. Dairy can cause stomach upset and some of them are even lactose intolerant. So, if this is the case with your pup, avoid cheese entirely. Additionally, some cheeses will contain fruits, nuts, onions and garlic – so always avoid these. Read more on why cheese can be bad for some dogs below.

Never Give Cheese to Overweight Dogs or Dogs With Kidney Problems

  • Cheese has very high fat, calorie, and salt content. Instead, opt for healthy dog treats to give your dog something special.

Do Not Give Cheese to Lactose Intolerant Dogs

  • Not all dogs digest cheese well. Though cheese contains a smaller amount of lactose compared to whole milk, dogs with severe lactose intolerance could have bad reactions to cheese.

Never Give Cheese to a Dog Who Has Had Pancreatitis

  • Pancreatitis is a digestive disease and can be life threatening. As dogs cannot fully digest dairy products, this could cause some issues. Make sure to always check this with your vet first.

How to Feed Cheese to Dogs

There are a few ways you may wish to feed cheese to your dog. 

One of the Most Popular Ways is as a Way to Conceal Medication

Simply cut up a small cube of cheese (cheddar is best) and push the tablet into the center of it and offer it to your dog. Generally, they’ll gulp it down without a second thought! However, it’s important to never try to conceal antibiotics in cheese as antibiotics may bind to the calcium found in dairy products. Once this happens, it may no longer be absorbed by the intestines, making the medication less effective.

Cheese Can Also be Offered as a High Reward Training Treat

Again, cheddar is the best option for this and will need to be cut up into small cubes. Cheese for dogs works particularly well when training more tricky commands, such as recall.

Cheese for Dogs When They’re Bored

If your dog is prone to boredom behaviors, you may wish to add a thin smearing of cream cheese to the inside of a toy to keep them occupied. This could be a good option if you’re teaching your dog to be left alone.

Now you know the answer can dogs have cheese! For more expert tips on dog feeding, explore our other what can dogs eat articles.

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