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Picture of a dog staring at a board of cheese.

Can dogs eat cheese? What you should know and avoid.

If you’re preparing a cheese sandwich or packing school lunch for your kid, you might be tempted to cut a slice of cheese and give it to your dog. But have you ever wondered if dogs can eat cheese? The short answer is yes, dogs can safely eat cheese, just not all kinds. Knowing which kinds of cheese your dog can eat might help you prevent emergencies or messy problems. 

What are safe cheeses for dogs?

There are some types of cheeses which are more healthy for dogs than others. According to the American Kernel Club Association, cheese that is high in fat is not a good option and should be avoided as it could cause weight gain and lead to obesity.

Some safe cheeses to give to your dog include:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Swiss cheese

Mozzarella and cottage cheese are good options for a good dog snack because they are lower in fat than other types of cheeses. For dog owners looking for a cheese that is low in lactose Swiss cheese is a good option, low in lactose cheese is easier for your dog to digest. Cheddar cheese is also low in sodium so it is safe for your dog as well. 

Cheeses to avoid giving your dog

Try to avoid these cheeses if you are thinking of feeding your dog a cheese snack:
  • Blue cheeses ( Gorgonzola, Roquefort, etc ) - Here is a full list
  • Any cheese with herbs, garlic or seasonings. 
  • Goat cheese
  • Brie
  • Feta

There are several reason for not feeding your dog these types of cheeses. Blue cheeses including Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton can produce roquefortine, which is a toxin potentially lethal to dogs. Roquefortine C is found in the cheeses at levels ranging from 0.05 to 1.47 mg/kg. It can cause tachycardia, lethargy, panting, if eaten in large amounts. 

Brie, goat, and feta cheese all have high levels of saturated fat which is bad for dogs, specially senior dogs. Garlic is one of the most toxic foods for a dog so cheeses that are high in garlic or even contain a small amount can be harmful to your dog's health. One of the risks of a high in fat diet is pancreatitis, which can be lethal. 

Here are the benefits of safe cheeses for your dog

So, now that we know dogs can eat certain types of cheese, it's important to ask: is cheese good for dogs? Yes. Cheese can carry some benefits for your dog, especially if they are extra motivated for treats. Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins.

Cheese can be a great reward treat or used as a way to sneak in medicine, even for dogs who are picky eaters. Most dogs will not say no to a yummy slice of healthy cheese. 

Which dogs should avoid eating cheese?

Cheese is not the best treat for every pet. Dogs that are overweight or obese should not eat it because it can make weight loss difficult and lead to other health problems. Similarly, dogs with kidney problems might have problems with the high salt content in cheese.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, cheese may cause vomiting or diarrhea. If you're not sure if your dog can tolerate cheese, give them a small amount and see how they react. If they seem uncomfortable, avoid giving them cheese in the future. Some dogs may be lactose intolerant and will feel very ill if they eat it.

Want to learn more pet health tips? Check out our blog. And for great deals on all-natural dog chews, visit our website.

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