Unlike cheese and mice, cheese and dogs might not be an obvious pairing. However, as any pet parent knows, get out a block of the good stuff and your pooch will be at your ankles faster than you can say Cheddar. The pongy smell makes it rather irresistible to dogs, meaning the answer to can dogs eat cheese is a resounding yes, they can. The real question though is whether they should eat cheese. Doggos being lactose intolerant is a reason you shouldn't feed your dog cheese, and worse some types of cheese are poisonous. Read on for more reasons cheese is a no-no and what to treat your pooch to instead.
Can dogs eat cheese?
Cheese is far from the strangest thing dogs love to eat, take their own poop for example. So yes, dogs can and very much will, eat cheese if given the opportunity. We've already established cheese shouldn't be what you feed your pooch. Cheese does contain some nutrients, like calcium and protein, however, these minor nutrient gains don't outweigh the harmful effects which go beyond just giving your dog bad dreams...
Should dogs eat cheese?
We all want our dogs to live long and adventurous lives, and their dog food/what they eat plays the largest role in them achieving that. Therefore whether cheese is good for dogs is what's most important. We recommend never feeding your dog cheese, due to these reasons:
1. Most dogs are lactose intolerance
The majority of dogs cannot produce the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest cows' milk and cheese. This inability is known as lactose intolerance. Therefore feeding cheese to most dogs will cause upset tums, excessive flatulence, cramps, bloating, and diarrhoea. Essentially all the things we strive to prevent with our own gut-friendly range of dog food!
2. Cheese is very high in fat
Feeding your dog one small 28g cube of cheese contains roughly one-fifth of their total daily calorie intake. Plus depending on the type of cheese, the calorie content could even be higher, as some have especially high levels of saturated fat, like Feta, Brie, and Goat's cheese. Therefore by feeding cheese, you're incredibly likely to be overfeeding your dog, which can lead to weight gain, bone issues, and obesity. This in turn can lead to more problems, and even trigger potentially fatal illnesses like pancreatitis.
3. Some are poisonous to dogs
Whilst it's best to avoid all cheese, there are some that you should absolutely avoid at all costs. Blue cheese and flavoured cheeses are toxic for our canine friends.
Blue cheese is made using the fungus Roquefortine C, which is poisonous to dogs. That means no Gorgonzola, no Stilton, no Roquefort, not even Dolcelatte! Sorry pooches. A nibble on the blue can have awful consequences for your furry friend. Blue cheese can cause seizures, a temperature, diarrhea, and vomiting. Therefore if you know they've eaten some and exhibit any of these symptoms, visit your vet.
Be especially wary of are flavoured cheeses, which are often flavoured with toxic ingredients. Garlic, onion, chives, grapes, and wine are all common cheese flavourings that are also toxic to dogs, so avoid these cheeses.
4. Cheese is one salty boi
The final reason not to feed cheese is that it's incredibly high in salt. Salt is an essential mineral that dogs need to be healthy. However, too much of it, and it can have quite the opposite effect. Especially for dogs already suffering from certain conditions like kidney, liver, and heart disease. FEDIAF recommends dogs need around 0.10g of salt per kg of their weight, so roughly 0.49g for a medium-sized dog. A 28g block of cheese contains around 0.22g of salt, that's 45% of their daily needs.
What Cheese Can Dogs Eat?
If you have to ask, re-read the above 😉
If not cheese, what?
Just because dogs shouldn't eat cheese, doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom. There are thousands of other tasty options to treat your dog too. We're obviously biased but we think our Scrumbles range of natural dog treats deserve a nibble.
We've got a whole range of tasty and gut-friendly dog treats to choose from. Including our dental sticks for dogs, puppy dental treats, veggie dog treats, puppy training treats, and not forgetting our best-selling calming dog treats. They're all made in the UK and served in eco-packaging. As well as containing the prebiotic Slippery Elm for pretty poops, healthy digestion, and immune function. With grain-free, veggie, and low-fat options to choose from, there's one to suit every pooch. So take your pick, and don't forget to share any snaps with us on Insta.
So there we go, save your cheese for your own pleasure and give your dog a treato designed for them instead!
Can dogs eat cottage cheese?
Whilst cottage cheese is lower in salt, fat, and lactose than other cheeses, it can still cause upset tums for the majority of dogs that are lactose intolerant. If your dog's already eating complete and balanced dog food, there's no need to top it with cottage cheese as they'll already be getting all the nutrients they need.
Can dogs eat feta cheese?
Dogs should not eat feta as it's high in salt, fat, and lactose, with most dogs being lactose intolerant.
Can dogs eat blue cheese?
Dogs should never eat blue cheese, as it's made using Roquefortine C, a fungus that is poisonous to dogs.
Can dos eat cream cheese?
You should avoid feeding your dog cream cheese as it's high in salt, fat, and lactose, with most dogs being lactose intolerant.
Can dogs eat cheddar cheese?
Cheddar cheese is high in fat, salt, and lactose so avoid feeding it. Opt instead for tasty and dairy-free dog treats to supplement a complete and balanced dog food.