Can Dogs Eat Cheese? (2023) facts and guide

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

  • NOTE: Always consult your veterinarian before feeding new meals to your dog, especially “people foods.” What works for one dog may not work for another, depending on a variety of factors such as their age, health history, health issues, and food. Dogs on prescription diets should not be given any food or treats that are not part of their diet.

Dogs are wonderful companions, and as pet owners, we always want to ensure their well-being. One common question that often arises is, “Can dogs eat cheese?” The answer isn’t a simple yes or no; it depends on several factors. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of dogs and cheese, covering the benefits, risks, types of cheese suitable for dogs, and more. So, let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries of cheese and dogs!

Have you ever seen cheese used as a dog treat or training aid? Don’t be concerned—cheese is not harmful and is quite safe for most puppies. Some dogs, however, are lactose intolerant, which means their bodies do not respond well to dairy products. Even if your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, you should limit their cheese consumption. If you feed your dog cheese, here’s what you should know:

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat cheese, but moderation is key. Cheese can be a delightful treat for your furry friend, packed with protein, calcium, and other nutrients. However, not all cheeses are safe for dogs, and overindulgence can lead to health issues. Let’s delve into the details of when cheese is a good option and when it should be avoided.

In addition to lactose sensitivity issues, cheese has significant levels of saturated fat and sodium. Eating a treat like this consistently over time might lead to health problems for your dog, such as obesity. If your dog is sensitive to fat, he or she may get pancreatitis the first time you feed them cheese.

Puppies’ stomachs are often more sensitive than adult dogs’. In younger dogs, even modest quantities of cheese can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

The type of cheese also influences whether cheese is safe for dogs. In general, pet owners should select a cheese that is low in fat, salt, and calories, and they should always be aware of any extra additives that may be harmful to Fido.

Dog-Friendly Cheeses

  • Cottage cheese
  • Swiss 
  • Parmesan
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella

Okay, Cheeses

  • Ricotta
  • Gouda
  • American

Types of Cheese to Avoid

  • Feta
  • Brie
  • Provolone
  • Blue cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Any cheese with herbs or spices

Benefits of Cheese for Dogs

Cheese offers several potential benefits to dogs when given in appropriate amounts. Some of the advantages include:

  1. Protein Source: Cheese is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance and repair in dogs.
  2. Calcium Boost: Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth, and certain cheeses can provide this essential mineral.
  3. Vitamin B12: Cheese contains vitamin B12, which supports a healthy nervous system.
  4. Probiotics: Some types of cheese contain probiotics, which can aid in maintaining a healthy gut.

Risks of Feeding Cheese to Dogs

While cheese has its benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved:

  1. Lactose Intolerance: Dogs, like some humans, can be lactose intolerant. Feeding cheese to lactose-intolerant dogs can cause digestive upset.
  2. High Fat Content: Cheese can be high in fat, which might lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs if consumed excessively.
  3. Sodium Content: Certain cheeses are high in sodium, and excessive sodium intake can be harmful to dogs, particularly those with heart issues.

Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat cottage cheese in moderation. It is a wonderful source of protein and calcium, and it may be a beneficial addition to your dog’s diet if they are lactose intolerant. However, it is critical to select basic, low-fat cottage cheese with no extra flavorings or spices. Too much cottage cheese can cause intestinal discomfort in dogs, so restrict their intake to no more than 10% of their normal meal intake.

Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?

Here are some of the benefits of feeding your dog cottage cheese:

  • Protein: Cottage cheese is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Calcium: Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth.
  • Probiotics: Cottage cheese contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health.
  • Digestibility: Cottage cheese is a bland food that is easy for dogs to digest.

Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese? 

Cream cheese has a low lactose level, which is advantageous for dogs that have lactose intolerances or sensitivities. It also has less salt than other cheeses. However, it is still heavy in fat and frequently contains additions that are poisonous to dogs, such as chocolate, nutmeg, xylitol, garlic, and onion. Overall, it is advisable to avoid feeding fatty cream cheese to your dog.

Here are some of the benefits of cream cheese for dogs:

  • It is a good source of protein, calcium, and essential fatty acids.
  • It can help improve your dog’s coat and skin health.
  • It can be a helpful tool for training your dog.

However, there are also some risks associated with giving your dog cream cheese:

  • It can cause an upset stomach, especially in dogs that are lactose intolerant.
  • It can contribute to weight gain or obesity.
  • In some cases, it can even lead to pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Mac and Cheese?

No, dogs should not eat mac and cheese. The high fat, dairy, and gluten content in mac and cheese can cause digestive upset in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. In some cases, it can even lead to more serious health problems.

Plain pasta is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, but the cheese and other ingredients in mac and cheese are not. If your dog does eat mac and cheese, be sure to monitor them closely for any signs of illness.

Here are some of the reasons why mac and cheese is not safe for dogs:

  • Dairy: Many dogs are lactose intolerant, which means they cannot digest dairy products. Eating mac and cheese can cause them to experience vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
  • Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some dogs are allergic to gluten, which can cause them to experience itching, hives, and other allergic reactions.
  • Fat: Mac and cheese is high in fat, which can cause weight gain and other health problems in dogs.
  • Seasonings: Many commercial mac and cheese recipes contain seasonings that are not safe for dogs, such as garlic and onion. These seasonings can cause gastrointestinal upset and even toxicity in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat String Cheese?

String cheeses are often lower in lactose and salt than other types of cheese; however, this varies depending on the kind and brand of string cheese purchased. In fact, skim mozzarella string cheese has one of the lowest lactose levels of any cheese. The stringiness of the string cheese, on the other hand, may be difficult for your pup to swallow and may pose a choking hazard or create an intestinal obstruction.

Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella Cheese?

Yes, in moderation, dogs can consume mozzarella cheese. It is not poisonous to dogs and may even give some health advantages like calcium and protein. However, because mozzarella cheese is heavy in fat and salt, it should only be given to your dog on rare occasions.

Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella Cheese?

Here are some things to keep in mind when feeding your dog mozzarella cheese:

  • Choose low-fat or fat-free mozzarella cheese.
  • Do not give your dog mozzarella cheese that has been cooked in oil or butter.
  • Watch your dog for signs of lactose intolerance, such as diarrhea or vomiting.
  • If your dog has any health problems, such as kidney disease or pancreatitis, talk to your veterinarian before giving them mozzarella cheese.

Overall, mozzarella cheese can be a safe and healthy treat for dogs in moderation. Just be sure to choose a low-fat variety and watch your dog for any signs of intolerance.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese Puffs and Cheese Balls?

Although a few cheese puffs or cheese balls are not poisonous to your dog, they are also not nutritious. These foods contain lactose, preservatives, fat, and a lot of salt.

Here are some of the risks of feeding cheese puffs and cheese balls to dogs:

  • High fat content: Cheese puffs and cheese balls are high in fat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs. Obesity can increase the risk of developing other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems.
  • High salt content: Cheese puffs and cheese balls are also high in salt, which can be harmful to dogs. Too much salt can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and even kidney damage.
  • Artificial flavors and colors: Cheese puffs and cheese balls often contain artificial flavors and colors, which are not healthy for dogs. These additives can cause allergic reactions or other health problems.

Can Dogs Eat Swiss Cheese?

While some dogs may enjoy the taste of Swiss cheese, it’s not recommended to feed it to them in large quantities or regularly. While Swiss cheese is not toxic to dogs, it is still a dairy product, and many dogs have difficulty digesting dairy.

Can Dogs Eat Swiss Cheese?

Dogs, in general, are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed to properly digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. Feeding too much cheese or any dairy product to a dog can lead to digestive upset, including symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and stomach discomfort.

Can Dogs Eat Macaroni and Cheese?

In general, it is not recommended to feed dogs macaroni and cheese as a regular part of their diet. While dogs can consume small amounts of plain, cooked pasta in moderation, macaroni and cheese is not a suitable choice for them.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Dairy: Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and eating dairy can cause them to have stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Gluten: Some dogs have gluten allergies or sensitivities, and eating gluten can cause them to have similar digestive issues.
  • Seasonings: Many commercial mac and cheese recipes contain seasonings that are toxic to dogs, such as onion and garlic.
  • Fat: Mac and cheese is high in fat, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in dogs.

If your dog does eat macaroni and cheese, it is important to monitor them closely for any signs of illness. These signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or abdominal pain. If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Blue Cheese?

No, dogs should not eat blue cheese. The fungus used to make blue cheese, Penicillium roqueforti, produces a substance called roquefortine C, which can be toxic to dogs. Roquefortine C can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high temperatures, and even seizures in dogs.

In addition to the risk of roquefortine C poisoning, blue cheese is also high in fat and salt, which can be unhealthy for dogs. If your dog accidentally eats some blue cheese, it’s important to monitor them for any signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Here are some other cheeses that you should avoid giving your dog:

  • Aged cheeses, such as cheddar, gouda, and parmesan
  • Goat cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese


  1. Can dogs eat parmesan cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat parmesan cheese in small amounts. It is a low-lactose cheese, so it is less likely to cause digestive upset than other cheeses.

2. Can dogs eat feta cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat feta cheese in small amounts occasionally, but it’s not recommended to make it a regular part of their diet. Feta cheese is a type of dairy product made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk.

3. Can dogs eat goat cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat goat cheese in moderation. It is not toxic or poisonous for dogs, and it can actually be a good source of protein, fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. However, goat cheese is also high in fat and sodium, so it is important to only give your dog a small amount as an occasional treat.

4. Can dogs eat brie cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat brie cheese, but it is not recommended to give them too much. Brie is a soft cheese that is high in fat, so it can be unhealthy for dogs to eat regularly. It is also important to note that some dogs may be lactose intolerant, so giving them brie cheese could cause them stomach upset.


In conclusion, the answer to “Can Dogs Eat Cheese?” is a nuanced one. While some dogs can enjoy cheese in moderation without adverse effects, others may experience digestive issues or allergies. Always prioritize your dog’s health and well-being when considering sharing human foods with them. If you’re uncertain about your dog’s ability to tolerate cheese or have any concerns, consult your veterinarian for personalized advice.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. When in doubt, stick to dog-friendly treats and avoid offering cheese until you have a clear understanding of your dog’s individual dietary needs.

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