Yes, in most circumstances, dogs can eat cheese without any issues, assuming they are not lactose intolerant.
Dogs generally love cheese. It can be used as a great motivational training aid, as well as being a nutritious, relatively healthy snack.
Is cheese bad for dogs?
It depends. As long as your dog is not considered lactose intolerant and can comfortably digest cheese, then a small amount of high quality (minimally processed) cheese can actually be beneficial to them, when eaten as part of a well-balanced diet.
However, avoid any cheeses that contain herbs and the like, such as garlic, chives and onions. None of these are good for your dog and can cause complications.
See why onions are bad for dogs here.
What kind of cheese can dogs eat?
As above, not all cheese is equal, with some being highly processed. This would include cheeses such as dairylea, Velveeta, Primula etc.
Just as with human food, the less processed your cheese is the better.
Generally speaking, safe cheeses for your dog to try are:
- Cheddar cheese
- Swiss cheese
- Cottage cheese
If you are looking to keep your dog’s weight in check, try either cottage cheese, or mozzarella, as these are lower in fat.
Cheese contains many beneficial nutrients for your dog, including calcium, protein, vitamins A, B and essential fatty acids.
Therefore, cheese can help provide your dog with a healthy and balanced diet, when eaten in conjunction with other nutritious foods.
Lactose intolerance in dogs
Many dogs are lactose intolerant. For more info go here.
Signs of lactose intolerance include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loose stools
Cheese has a lower level of lactose than milk, but it can still cause a reaction in your dog. Usually a messy one!
If your dog is lactose intolerant, it’s best to avoid feeding them cheese altogether and consult your vet for further advice.
How much cheese can a dog eat?
It all depends on the size and breed of your dog. Consult your vet for exact figures.
However, as a general rule of thumb, follow the 10% rule. This means that no more than 10% of your dogs daily calorie intake should come from snacks.
Cheese should only be given as a treat in all cases. Keep the portions small.
Studies suggest that high-fat foods such as cheese etc can increase the risk of your dog developing pancreatitis. This shouldn’t put you off giving your dog cheese if your dog is healthy and they enjoy it, just exercise portion control.
Why do dogs love cheese?
The same reason humans do – it tastes amazing!
Can dogs eat cheddar cheese?
Yes. As above, cheddar is fine in small quantities as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant.
Can dogs eat cheez its?
Although the odd one is unlikely to hurt your dog, it’s best not to feed your dog cheez its.
They have no real nutritional benefit, and contain a high proportion of salt and bad fats. Give them a miss.
Can dogs eat cheesecake?
No. Dogs should not eat cheesecake. The high amount of sugar and dairy products are highly likely to upset their stomach. Keep it for yourself.
Can dogs eat cottage cheese?
Yes. As above, cottage cheese is fine in small quantities as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant.
Can dogs eat mozzarella cheese?
Yes. Mozzarella is a good choice of cheese for dogs in small quantities.
If your dog can process cheese without it causing any stomach issues, it can be a great snack (in small quantities).
Start small and see how your dog goes. If it suits them, you have an easy to prepare and nutritious snack on hand that your dog will love.
Further reading: Can my dog eat?
The information in this article is well researched and written with care. However, always double check any information with your vet before making any decisions that could affect your dog’s health.