There are many human foods that are suitable for dogs but is it okay for dogs to eat cheese?
Most dogs can eat cheese and they love it. Fed in small amounts cheese can be a nice treat for your dog. Cheese is high in fat and should only be fed occasionally. Cheese does contain lactose and some dogs may be intolerant which you should be aware of before feeding cheese to your dog.
What are the benefits of feeding cheese to a dog?
Cheese is a natural product that contains good levels of protein, calcium, fatty acids and complex B vitamins.
The smell, texture and taste of cheese is something that dogs love and as a dog owner you can take advantage of this when training, using cheese as a tasty edible reward for your dog.
You can also use cheese as a way of getting your dog to take pills as it’s strong odour masks the smell of medicines making it easier to administer these.
How to feed cheese safely to a dog
Most dogs love cheese and, if given the opportunity, will eat far too much cheese than is healthy.
Overall cheese is a safe treat for your dog but you do need to remember a few things when feeding:
Cheese is high in fat and could cause weight gain to a dog if fed too often and in too high amounts.
There is a risk of some dogs developing pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas, the organ that produces digestive enzymes.
Some cheeses contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs, things such as onions and garlic which are toxic to canines and can be harmful.
Lactose – many dogs struggle to deal with lactose which is found in products made from cow’s cheese.
What types of cheese are best for dogs?
When feeding cheese to your dog it is a good idea to consider low fat options such as cottage cheese or mozzeralla.
Good options are cheeses such as Feta, goat’s or sheep based cheeses – all of which are low in fat and contain less lactose than cow milk based cheeses.
Hard cheeses such as Parmesan and Cheddar are also good examples of cheeses that contain lower levels of lactose, making them more suitable for dogs.
How much cheese can a dog eat?
How to help a Cocker spaniel lose weightMost cheese is high in fat and, as such, an amount that is siuitable for a large dog would be too much for a smaller one.
Like all dog treats, you should only feed cheese in quantities that are appropriate for your dog.
Typically a slice of cheese will contain about 90 calories which would be excessive for a small dog when his other daily food intake is taken into account.
Like children with sweets you should monitor your dog’s weight carefully when feeding cheese and, if he begins to gain weight, then reduce or stop feeding it.
What is the best cheese to give to a dog?
For healthy adult dogs with no medical issues cottage cheese is one of the best cheeses to give to a dog due to it’s low calorie content and high calcium levels.
Cheeses such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss cheeses have low lactose levels and are among the best for dogs along with Feta and Mozzeralla.
Finally goat’s cheese is a great option for dogs and is a good choice for those that are lactose intolerant.
Providing that you follow some basic guidelines it is perfectly safe for dogs to eat cheese.
Choose a low fat, low lactose option to reduce the chances of your dog gaining excess weight or experiencing lactose intolerance issues.
Goat’s cheese and cottage cheese are among those recommended as the best cheeses for dogs.