Can dogs eat cheese?

We explore feeding cheese to dogs. Is it safe? Is it a healthy choice? If so, which types are best?

Most people and dogs agree that cheese is delicious! The flavoursome taste and smell is very appealing to our canine friends. But, it is always worth checking before you feed your dog any little extras. Is it safe to share a cheesy treat with your dog?

The answer is not entirely straightforward. However, it is a yes! There are many varieties of cheese available, but some should not be fed to dogs as it can upset their digestive systems. Other types are suitable to use in treat-sized amounts. 

Some dogs, like humans, struggle with the digestion of cheese. All cheese should be avoided if your dog is lactose intolerant, even though there is far more lactose in milk than cheese. 

Which types of cheese can I give to my dog? 

Cheese is high in salt and fat, so it is best fed only in small amounts. Choose lower-fat types of cheese to limit the calorie intake of your dog. Unflavoured cheeses such as Gouda or Edam, Cheddar or Red Leicester are excellent choices for dogs.

Cream cheese is fine to feed to dogs but choose the plain varieties. Any cream cheese with garlic, onion, or chives must be avoided as the allium family of plants is toxic to dogs. Cottage cheese is one of the best options as it has a lower fat content and less salt. 

Blue cheese must never be fed to dogs. Roquefortine C, which is a fungus, is used to make blue cheeses. Dogs can be very sensitive to this fungus, making them quite ill. Should your dog eat blue cheese and exhibit any of the following symptoms, take them to your vet immediately.

  • Seizures
  • High temperature
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting

Health benefits for dogs eating cheese

Cheese is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex and calcium. It contains plenty of protein and essential fatty acids, all essential for your dog’s wellbeing. By feeding a good quality, complete dog food, you will be giving your dog everything they need. Think of cheese as a little extra. 

High in salt, it also contains a lot of calories. Any dog on a calorie-controlled diet should not be fed cheese. There are plenty of healthier options available. Keep cheese as a treat to avoid any likelihood of upsetting your dog’s digestive system. 

Can I feed my puppy cheese?

Puppies love cheese! It can be great to use for training purposes as it is so palatable but you shouldn’t feed them too much. Limit the amount you give to them by cutting the cheese into tiny cubes. 

It’s worth remembering, treats should only make up a maximum of 10% of a dog’s diet. Puppies should get all the nutrients they need from their regular food, ensuring they grow big and strong. 

 

With a Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.