Cheese is loved by humans and dogs alike. We know for sure that humans can eat cheese. But can dogs eat cheese? Is cheese good for them? Read on to know more.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat cheese but in extreme moderation. It should not be given regularly. Apart from this, there are other considerations to make like which cheese is better, what is the quantity to be served, what about lactose intolerant dogs, etc. 

Cheese Has Several Health Benefits for Your Dog

Cheese is abundant in protein, vitamin A, B12, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, calcium, as well as glutathione, a potent antioxidant.

Additionally, it is high in cholesterol, fat, and salt. Let’s learn about the health benefits of cheese in some detail. 

Calcium: It is a vital element that helps create strong bones and teeth, aids in blood clotting and wound healing, and helps maintain your dog’s regular blood pressure.

Vitamin A: It is a necessary vitamin for your dog’s skin and hair to remain healthy, as well as a stable neurological system and correctly functioning muscles.

Vitamin B12: It is also known as cobalamin. It is necessary for your dog’s brain and neurological system health, blood cell creation and maintenance, and a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Zinc: This mineral is necessary for healthy coat, skin, and proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and the immunological system of your dog.

Phosphorus: This mineral works in conjunction with calcium to form and strengthen the bones and teeth and  promote ligament and tendon formation.

Riboflavin: This coenzyme is responsible for the breakdown of lipids, carbs, and proteins into energy.

Glutathione: It is considered the King of all antioxidants.  Glutathione works in conjunction with other antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, etc. . It is necessary for proper liver function, immune system support, and cell health optimization.

Omega-3 fatty acids: These are critical for the brain and heart health of your dog. They are present in cheeses manufactured entirely from grass-fed cows. As a result, not all cheeses have them.

Vitamin K: This vitamin is also present only in grass-fed cow’s milk and aids in blood clotting.

Oral Health: Casein peptides (whey) in cheese have been shown in studies to de-mineralize tartar and plaque in a dog’s mouth. The peptides stimulate salivation while increasing the pH or acidity of the saliva, neutralizing the microorganisms that cause tooth decay.

Although the study does not specify the amount of cheese that is helpful, a few dental supplements for dogs do contain cheese. According to the study, the cheese was served at the conclusion of the meal or separately.

Thus, simply adding cheese to your dog’s meal may not be sufficient to activate the peptides. Additionally, they discovered that this does not occur with milk or yogurt.

Healthy Cheeses for Your Dog

When selecting cheese for your dog, keep the salt or sodium concentration in mind. The following cheeses have a high salt content.

  • Cheddars
  • Feta
  • Havarti 
  • Parmesan
  • String Cheese
  • Swiss Romano

The following cheeses have a lower salt content:

  • Cottage Cheese 
  • Cottage Cheese 
  • Cream Cheese 
  • Goat Cheese

Also, they are low-fat cheeses, making them an ideal alternative for dogs that are overweight.

Unhealthy Cheeses for Dogs

Foods made using processed cheese: Any processed cheese product, like as American Cheese, has an excessive amount of chemicals, coloring, and salt to be considered safe for your dog to consume. They can result in salt poisoning and allergic responses to synthetic substances. If the cheese is not natural, it is not healthy for your dog.

Blue cheeses: They include mold cultures. They may include penicillium and it can make your dog sick. 

Roquefort Cheese: When mature, Roquefort cheese may contain roquefortine, a poisonous component that can make your dog quite unwell.

Flavorings and Additives: Herbs, garlic, and flavorings are not advised for your dog’s natural cheese. Flavorings like herbs, chives, onion, garlic, etc. and additional sweeteners can be harmful. Offer your puppy only natural cheeses.

Canine Lactose Intolerance

As is the case with people, some dogs are unable to digest lactose, a sugar present in dairy products. As with humans, lactose intolerance can be extremely low or quite severe in dogs.

Believe us when we say that you will know if your dog cannot tolerate dairy (telling you with personal experience – both my dogs are lactose intolerant and they had diarrhea for two days and pretty sensitive stomach for another 2-3 days!).

If this is the first time you’ve ever served your dog milk or cheese, proceed with care. To begin, test with a little bit of cheese to avoid the stinking wrath of an angry dog’s stomach—which, trust us, no one wants to deal with.

If your dog begins to exhibit indications of an allergic response, discontinue all dairy products until you can confirm whether the reaction was indeed caused by the cheese. A visit with your veterinarian may also be necessary to rule out any potentially harmful responses.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include the following:

  • Appetite
  • Bloating or stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Vomiting

Milk Allergy symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Excessive itching around the ears and paw licking
  • Face swelling
  • Hives
  • Redness of the skin
  • Vomiting or a loss of appetite

Dogs and Medicines with Cheese

Have a picky dog who refuses to take his pills? Cheese is generally acknowledged for its ability to conceal drugs, with the exception of antibiotics. Dogs, like humans, find cheese enticing, making it an almost foolproof route of ingestion.

Additionally, combining equal parts cottage cheese and cooked white rice might aid in the recovery of your dog’s sensitive stomach.

Suggestions for Serving

What quantity of cheese should you give your dog? Naturally, the answer is dependent on your dog’s size, his or her tolerance for cheese, and their overall diet. Having stated that, here are some suggestions:

Small pieces of cheddar or mozzarella cheese might be beneficial while training or as a treat on occasion.

Combine a little amount of cottage cheese with your dog’s regular diet.

As a special treat, serve a tiny bit of cottage cheese on its own.

When delivering medicines that are not antibiotics, use only enough cheese to completely cover the tablet.

Treats are intended to be consumed on an as-needed basis. Consume dairy products in moderation while feeding your dog.

Sources: 1, 2