Imagine you are on the balcony eating mac & cheese and your dog is staring at you, wagging her tail hoping to have a spoonful of your food. Now you’re confused as to whether or not you can let your dog have your favorite snack.
So can dogs eat cheese? The answer to this age-old question is yes! Cheese is a highly digestible protein source. Dogs that like the taste and smell of cheese can be given low-fat cheese as treats. But you should know that cheese is an accessory but not a necessity in a healthy diet. This dairy product is highly processed and does not have the necessary nutrients for dogs. The most important thing to consider is the amount and types of cheese available in the market. There are some types of cheeses that are okay for a dog to eat such as mozzarella or cheddar but other types of cheeses such as brie or blue cheese should never be given to them.
Make sure to keep reading to know what’s in store for your pup if they eat cheese.
Is Cheese Nutritious?
Cheese is a dairy product derived from milk and is a vital source of nutrition for the human body. It is packed with calcium, protein, fat, and vitamin A and B12. It also helps with weight loss and can prevent heart diseases and osteoporosis.
Cheese is extensively produced and consumed all around the world. There are about a thousand different varieties of cheese. Its nutritional value depends upon the type of milk used and the process of production, which varies from place to place. This is why some cheeses are healthier and tastier than others.
We can find different varieties of cheese in the USA. Britain holds the record of most types of cheeses produced, with 750 types, surpassing France which produces 400 types of cheese. The most popular types of cheese are Mozzarella, Cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan. These cheeses can be found in every restaurant, topped on pizza, pasta, salad, and other snacks.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Yes. Dogs can eat cheese, but there are certain things you should be aware of before letting your dog put that brie or mozzarella into their mouth.
Some owners want their pets to eat what they eat. While this may seem like a good idea to you, it is not always the same for your canine companion. Dogs have different metabolism pathways from people because they are ‘obligate’ carnivores meaning that all their nutrients come from animal material such as meat, bone, and organs. These types of foods provide them with the necessary amino acid balance to keep them in good health. So, if your dog has already been eating more plant-based food sources, it may be best to avoid giving them cheese.
Cheese is not necessarily bad for dogs, but too much of it can lead to digestive problems and weight gain. You should also avoid giving your pet moldy or spoiled cheese because of the fatal side effects. If your dog has eaten moldy cheese, they can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, elevated body temperature, eventually leading to seizures.
That said, cheese does contain essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and D2 that help support your dog’s bones and immune systems. It provides necessary vitamins such as vitamin A for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and vitamin B-12 (cobalamin), for a healthy nervous system and proper brain functioning. If your dog is not very active, you can consider adding cheese to their diet. Cheese is a great source of fat, which can provide them with the vital energy they need.
You can also disguise pills by hiding them in cheese. This works especially well if your pup doesn’t like taking medicine. (This doesn’t however work for antibiotics.)
How Much Cheese Should Your Dog Have?
The amount of cheese that your dog eats is going to be relative to the rest of the ingredients in the dish. If there are other highly digestible ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and rice, those will favor the protein content of cheese and your dog’s body will break it down easily. But when a dog consumes a more convenient diet, such as canned, frozen, or packaged food, then they cannot process cheese as easily.
Here are some other tips for how much cheese your dog can have:
- For every 10 pounds of your dog’s weight, they should have one ounce of cheese.
- If you have an older pup who is less active, they can have less than an ounce, say half an ounce per day. If your pup is younger and more active then they might need more than an ounce to maintain their weight.
- According to the American Kennel Club, eating cheese can also cause pancreatitis, especially for breeds like schnauzers and cocker spaniels. This severe and potentially fatal illness can develop when dogs eat high-fat foods, which can be hard for the pancreas to handle.
Cheese is very high in fat and carbohydrates and is not recommended as a whole meal for your dog. These types of food can lead to obesity which can cause complications with their health. The best way to ensure your dog is getting a well-balanced diet without giving them too much cheese is by feeding them a more organic raw diet.
Dogs with lactose intolerance may have serious reactions to cheese, even if you feed them in small quantities. Contact your veterinarian beforehand to make sure your pet is not lactose intolerant. You can also test with a small slice of cheese first, and if you observe any signs of intestinal upset, make a trip to your vet immediately.
What Is the Best Type of Cheese for Your dog?
The best kind of cheese for dogs is the one that has low-fat content. Dog foods are formulated to provide them with all the necessary nutrients, so their bodies are not demanding more than they need.
Cottage cheese, for instance, is perfect – it is low in fat, sodium, and lactose as compared to other cheeses.
Non-dairy cheese, like natural cheddar, Swiss, and feta are generally safe for most dogs as long as they don’t have some type of sensitivity to dairy products. However, if your dog has a history of stomach issues or allergies to dairy products it may be best to avoid cheese altogether. Beware of cheese allergies. If your dog’s digestion seems to have a bit of a knot in it, they might be experiencing some unpleasant side effects from cheese.
It would be best if you looked closely at the list of ingredients before buying cheese for your dog. Always opt for low-fat cheese.
Can Puppies Eat Cheese?
Yes. Puppies can eat cheese, but not all cheeses are good for them. If you have a puppy that’s being fed solely on kibble or dry food, it may be okay to give them some cheese now and then. Fresh cheeses such as brie or blue cheese should be avoided because they contain mold which could be harmful to puppies.
The best type of cheese for a puppy would need to come from a hard variety that has been sterilized and made safe for consumption by canines before being sold in stores.
Remember, you have to be even more careful with the serving amount and the possible reactions cheese might cause in your pup’s digestive health.
And, of course, similar to adult dogs, you’ll want to be sure that your puppy too is not lactose intolerant before you introduce cheese or any dairy product to their diet.
How Much Cheese Can You Give Your Dog in One Serving?
There’s no exact amount of serving for every dog. Every animal reacts differently to food, so it’s up to your better judgment. You can introduce cheese a little at a time and if your dog is okay with it, 2 slices will be enough. But remember, about 10 percent of your dog’s diet is the sweet spot!
A single ounce of cheese yields about 10 calories and the average adult dog needs around 50 calories per day. While your dog can get that by eating cheese, you should still make sure that they’re getting a balanced diet of essential vitamins and minerals.
Can Dogs Eat Cheesecake?
The main problem with cheesecake is the sugar content in the dessert. It is too much for dogs to handle. The high sugar content can become toxic for them and can cause very serious health problems such as cavities, obesity, and diabetes.
This also means that dogs should not be given cheesecake often because they can get used to having it and could end up eating a lot more than they normally do.
Can Dogs Eat Cheetos?
No. Dogs cannot eat Cheetos. This junk food contains vegetable oils, chemicals, preservatives, and dyes that can be dangerous for your pet. It also contains artificial colors and flavors that are not meant to be consumed by animals.
There’s no doubt that dogs love cheese. As a protein-rich meat substitute with zero-calorie, cheese seems to be the perfect food for your dog. That doesn’t mean it’s just fine for your pooch to eat it without any restriction though! Your dog can definitely enjoy their meal with the added taste of delicious cheese. Just make sure you are not overindulging them in cheese and always watch out for digestive issues.
Keep in mind, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving cheese, or any human food to your dog.
Thank you for reading the article.
Here are some other cheese-related dog articles that you might be interested in.
Has your dog ever eaten cheese? What was their reaction like? If you have any experience with dogs eating cheese, please share it in the comments section below.