Delicious cheese! Dogs and humans tend to agree on this, and the flavoursome taste and smell really appeals to our canine friends. But, before you share a cheesy treat with your dog, it’s worth checking, can dogs eat cheese?
The answer is yes, but it’s not a straightforward yes! There are many types of cheese, and some are suitable to use as a treat. However, other varieties should not be fed to dogs as it can upset their digestive systems.
As with humans, some dogs struggle to digest cheese. If your dog is lactose intolerant, all cheese should be avoided even though there is a lot less lactose in cheese compared to milk.
Which types of cheese can I give to my dog?
Cheese is high in fat and salt, so it really must only be fed as a treat and in small amounts. Stick to the lower-fat types of cheese if you can to avoid giving your dog too many calories. Cheddar, Red Leicester and Edam or Gouda types are good choices and stick to the unflavoured cheeses.
Cream cheese is okay to feed to dogs but only the plain type. Dogs should never have garlic, onion or chives as they are toxic, so stay away from any flavoured cream cheese. Cottage cheese is an excellent option to feed dogs as it has a lower fat and salt content.
Blue cheese is a big no-no. It contains a substance known as roquefortine C, which is a fungus used in its making. Dogs can be very sensitive to this fungus, and it can make them quite ill. If your dog eats any blue cheese and you notice the following symptoms, take them to the vet straight away:
- High temperature
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
Health benefits for dogs eating cheese
Cheese is a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B-complex and calcium, as well as essential fatty acids. These are all things your dog needs in their diet, but they should be getting them from their regular dog food.
It is high in fat and salt, so any dog on a calorie-controlled diet should not be fed cheese. There are plenty of healthier choices available.
Keep cheese as a treat to limit calorie intake and any likelihood of it upsetting their digestive systems.
Can I feed my puppy cheese?
Cheese is very palatable to puppies and they do tend to love it! It can be a great choice of treat to use when training but limit the amount you feed them by cutting it into tiny chunks.
Remember, treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s diet, with the remaining 90% coming from a good quality, complete dog food. This is particularly important for puppies to ensure they get all the nutrients they need to grow big and strong.
So, yes to feeding your puppy or dog cheese, but limit it to a treat or for training purposes only.
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