Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

In this blog, we’ll discover if dogs can eat cheese. Is cheese good for them or does it bring some health risks?…

Oct 04, 2023·4 min read
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Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Cheddar, Gouda, Camembert, Brie, Mature, the list goes on! Cheese is one of the most popular dairy foods in our diets, with a huge variety to please everyone’s taste buds… even our pups’! 

Whether you have your cheese on a decadent board with grapes and a glass of wine, or you have it melted in a grilled cheese sandwich, our four-legged friends can often be found nearby, sniffing the air and drooling at the sight of it.

Is it okay to share cheese with your dog? Or are there any dangers associated with feeding cheese to dogs?

Is Cheese Good for Dogs?

The good news is that, in moderation, most dogs can eat cheese without any issues. Cheese is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins, and can be a tasty treat for your furry friend. In fact, many commercial dog treats even contain cheese as an ingredient, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind when feeding cheese to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is another dairy product that dog owners often consider sharing with their furry friends. But is it safe for dogs?

The Facts About Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is typically richer and higher in fat than other cheese types, like cottage cheese. While it’s not toxic to dogs, its high-fat content can be a concern, especially for dogs prone to obesity or pancreatitis.

Considerations when Feeding Cream Cheese to Dogs

  1. Moderation is Key: Due to its high-fat content, cream cheese should only be offered in small amounts.
  2. Plain Varieties Are Safer: Opt for plain cream cheese. Flavored varieties, especially those with garlic or onion, can be toxic to dogs.
  3. Watch for Lactose Sensitivity: Like other dairy products, cream cheese contains lactose, which can cause digestive upset in lactose-intolerant dogs.
  4. Not a Nutritional Necessity: Cream cheese doesn’t provide any essential nutrients that dogs can’t get from a balanced dog food.

If you choose to feed your dog cream cheese, do so sparingly and watch for any signs of digestive discomfort, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?

With so many varieties of cheese, from hard to soft, many dog owners may wonder about cottage cheese. Is it safe for dogs? The answer is yes, with some considerations.

Cottage cheese is often a better choice for dogs compared to other cheese types. It’s lower in fat and salt, making it a healthier option, especially for dogs prone to weight gain or with dietary restrictions. This soft, creamy cheese also tends to be lower in lactose, which is beneficial for dogs with mild lactose intolerance.

Benefits of Cottage Cheese for Dogs

  1. Rich in Protein: It can be a great source of protein, which is essential for a dog’s muscle growth and repair.
  2. Calcium and Essential Nutrients: This soft cheese provides calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth, and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  3. Digestive Aid: For dogs with upset stomachs, this cheese can be a soothing food due to its probiotic properties, aiding in digestion and gut health.

Precautions When Feeding Cottage Cheese to Dogs

Moderation is key. Cottage cheese should only be given in small quantities as a treat, not as a meal replacement. Some dogs might still be allergic or sensitive to dairy, so it’s important to introduce it slowly and watch for any signs of digestive upset.

Try to opt for low-fat or fat-free versions to avoid excessive calorie intake. And, if your dog has specific health issues, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before adding new foods to their diet.

Can Dogs Eat Blue Cheese?

Blue cheeses are known for their distinct flavor and mold, which raises another question for pet owners.

Potential Risks of Blue Cheeses

  1. The Mold Factor: The molds used to create blue cheese can produce substances called mycotoxins that are harmful to dogs. In some cases, these can lead to symptoms of poisoning, like vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and elevated body temperatures.
  2. High Fat Content: Like other cheeses, blue cheese is high in fat, which can be problematic for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those prone to pancreatitis.
  3. Salt Content: Blue cheese is also high in salt, which can lead to dehydration and other health issues in dogs if consumed in large amounts.

Given these risks, it’s generally recommended to avoid feeding blue cheese to dogs. If your dog accidentally consumes a small amount of blue cheese, monitor them closely for any adverse reactions and consult your veterinarian if you observe any concerning symptoms.

The Dangers Of Cheese For Dogs

While cheese can be a delicious treat for dogs, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with feeding cheese to your furry friend. Here are a few things to consider:

1. Lactose Intolerance

Dogs, like some humans, can be lactose intolerant. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products, including cheese. Some dogs may have trouble digesting lactose, which can result in stomach upset, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

2. High Fat Content

Cheese is often high in fat, which, if you’re not careful, can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs if consumed in excess. Overindulging in cheese can also lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

3. High Salt Content

Some types of cheese, such as processed cheese, can be high in sodium, which can be harmful to dogs if eaten in large amounts. Too much salt can cause dehydration, increased thirst, and even sodium toxicity in dogs. Dogs with kidney, liver, or heart conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of foods that are high in sodium.

4. Choking Hazard

Cheese, especially hard and chunky varieties, can pose a choking hazard to dogs if not properly chewed. Some dogs may try to swallow large pieces of cheese without chewing, which can lead to choking or blockages in the digestive tract.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Cheese?

If your dog sneaks a bite of cheese or you intentionally feed them a small amount as a treat, keep an eye out for any signs of digestive upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive gas. If your dog shows any of these signs, it could mean that they are lactose intolerant or have consumed too much cheese.

Always contact your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure. They may recommend withholding food for a few hours to allow your dog’s digestive system to settle, or they may suggest other treatments depending on the severity of the symptoms.

To prevent choking hazards, always make sure to cut cheese into small pieces or shred it before feeding it to your dog. This will make it easier for your dog to chew and digest.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cheese can be a tasty and nutritious treat for dogs when fed in moderation. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with feeding cheese to your furry friend. Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of digestive upset, watch the fat and salt content of the cheese you’re feeding, and always be cautious of choking hazards. 

If you’re unsure about whether cheese is safe for your dog, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

So, next time your pup is giving you those adorable puppy eyes while you’re enjoying a cheese platter, you can share a small piece of cheese as a special treat. Just remember to keep it moderate and always prioritize your dog’s health and well-being. Happy snacking!

FAQs for Dogs Eating Cheese

Can dogs safely eat cheese?

Yes, most dogs can eat cheese in moderation without any issues. Cheese is a source of protein, calcium, and vitamins which can be beneficial for dogs. However, it’s important to consider individual dietary needs and any potential lactose intolerance.

Is cream cheese safe for dogs to eat?

Cream cheese is not toxic to dogs, but due to its high-fat content, it should only be given in small amounts.

What are the risks associated with feeding cheese to dogs?

Risks include lactose intolerance, leading to digestive upset; high fat content, which can cause weight gain and pancreatitis; high salt content, potentially resulting in dehydration and sodium toxicity; and the possibility of choking hazards, particularly with hard cheeses.

What should I do if my dog eats cheese?

Monitor for any signs of digestive upset. Contact your veterinarian for advice if you observe vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive gas. They may recommend withholding food or suggest treatments depending on the symptoms’ severity.

What types of cheese are safest for dogs?

Low-fat options like cottage cheese are generally safer due to their lower fat and salt content. Always choose plain varieties without harmful additives like garlic or onion.

Are there any cheeses I should never feed my dog?

It’s generally recommended to avoid feeding dogs blue cheese because of the potential for mycotoxin poisoning and its high fat and salt content.

Can cheese be part of my dog’s regular diet?

Cheese should only be given as a treat in small quantities, not as a meal replacement. It’s important to ensure your dog has a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs.


Author Kriss, Randa, “Can Dogs Eat Cheese?”, American Kennel Club, August 29, 2021, 

Becca TriggB

Becca Trigg

An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022
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