Cheddar, Muenster, Havarti, Brie, Mozzarella - whatever your taste, there's probably a cheese out there for you. But what about your pup? Can dogs eat cheese? If so, what kinds are they allowed to eat - can dogs eat cottage cheese? Can dogs eat cheesecake? Can dogs eat Cheez Its? Let's discuss.
CAN DOGS EAT CHEESE?
For the most part, yes - dogs can eat cheese. Whether or not it's a good idea depends on a lot, though - your dog's particular digestive system, what kind of cheese, what form you serve the cheese in and more.
IS CHEESE GOOD FOR DOGS?
The upside of cheese is that it's packed with protein, which is fantastic for your dog. It also has a host of other nutritional benefits, as it contains significant amounts of calcium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin A, fatty acids and B vitamins.
That's one of the reasons we use cheddar cheese in our Beef and Cheddar Pupsicle Mix (the other reason is because it's delicious and your dog will love it) - we want to make sure we're always using ingredients that give your dog real health benefits.
RISKS OF GIVING CHEESE TO DOGS
The biggest potential issue with giving cheese to your dog is that dogs do not have significant amounts of lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Because cheese contains lactose, dogs' inability to break it down can lead to uncomfortable digestive issues. Just like humans, dogs vary in their level of sensitivity to lactose, so some will be able to handle it better than others.
The other major issue with cheese is its high fat content. Feeding your dog a lot of fat, as you can probably imagine, can lead to health issues like obesity. In certain dog breeds that are prone to pancreatitis, high fat foods can lead that to develop that illness, which is very serious. As always, if you have questions or concerns about what to feed your dog, you should consult your veterinarian.
HOW TO GIVE CHEESE TO DOGS
Because dogs are naturally somewhat intolerant to lactose, it's best to start with small amounts of cheese to make sure that your dog doesn't display any symptoms of digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Most dogs will be able to handle a bit of cheese fine, so if your pup seems okay with it, feel free to offer up some cheese in moderation, especially if he/she is a very good boy/girl.
But which cheese are okay to feed to your dog? The best thing to do when choosing a cheese for your dog is to stick with those that are lower in fat. Mozzarella is great, so picking up some string cheese is perfect for your pup. Goat cheese are low in fat as well, as is cottage cheese. Many cheese are also sold in low-fat varieties, so those are a good bet.
And while cheese can be found in just about everything these days, it's best to stick to serving it in its original form. Cheez-its are, unfortunately, not a great snack for Fido. They're packed with salt and have little nutritional value, so it's far better to give your dog a little slice of cheddar than a Cheez-it. The same goes for cheesecake, which has far too much sugar to be good for dogs. Just stick to plain cheese - your dog will almost certainly love it without salt or sugar added.
SO CAN DOGS EAT CHEESE?
Most dogs can definitely eat cheese in moderation, and in fact they tend to love it so much that it's often used as a reward for training as well as a way to hide less-palatable pills to make them go down easy. Cutting up a piece of string cheese into small bites can be just the thing to motivate your pup for a training session, and a few sprinkles of shredded cheese on top of your dog's food will definitely make it that much more appetizing.
Of course, we would be remiss not to remind you that cheese provides some delicious flavor and beautiful color to our Beef and Cheddar Pupsicle Mix. We definitely take our own advice and include just a bit to give it some extra flavor without making our treats unhealthy for your pup.