Very few dogs turn up their noses at an offering of cheese, but should we indulge their taste for dairy? Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins, all of which play an important role in canine nutrition, but too much cheese can cause problems.
What Types of Cheese Should I Avoid Feeding My Dog?
Not all dogs digest cheese well. Fatty, rich cheeses, and cheeses that contain herbs or food items harmful to dogs like garlic can cause intestinal upset. And while cheese contains little lactose when compared to whole milk, dogs with severe cases of lactose intolerance may have adverse reactions to cheese, even in small quantities. Observe your dog closely for signs of intestinal upset after feeding her cheese for the first time, and consult your vet with any questions you may have about adding cheese to your dog’s diet.
What Types of Cheese Are Okay to Feed My Dog?
Some cheeses are better for dogs than others. Low-fat cheeses, such as mozzarella and cottage cheese, are healthier for your pet than cheeses with higher fat contents. When looking for cheese for your dog, seek out cottage cheeses and mozzarella cheeses that are low in sodium. Choosing lower fat and lower sodium cheeses can help reduce the risk of obesity and intestinal upset.
How Much Cheese Is Safe to Feed My Dog?
Cheese is safe for dogs in small-to-moderate quantities and can be a valuable training tool for treat-motivated dogs. It is also a good way to conceal pills for dogs that require medication. As you should when you consider feeding your dog any human food, talk to your vet about any risks associated with feeding cheese to your dog and about how cheese can affect your dog’s pre-existing health conditions.
To find out what other human foods dogs can and can’t eat, check out this list.