From the dogs we know, cheese is definitely in the ‘delicious’ category – but can dogs eat cheese? You probably suspect the answer already: dog’s can have cheese, but it’s high in lactose, fat and salt, so it isn’t great for their digestion. But then cheese isn’t great for humans either: it’s all about knowing the facts, and weighing up your options.
Is cheese bad for dogs?
The short answer is ‘it can be’ – while we don’t recommend you give dogs cheese, some owners do use small amounts of cheese as a treat. Cheeses with added ingredients can be actively harmful, like garlic and certain blue cheese moulds, so definitely keep your dog away from the Boursin or the Christmas cheese board. Most other cheese can be OK for dogs in small amounts – but there are lots of healthier options for delicious doggie treats.
Perhaps a better question is ‘how bad is cheese for dogs’? You might decide to use cheese for training, or to help your dog take medication. But there are other delicious ways to help the medicine go down – check our handy guide, based on habits, disguise and reward. And when it comes to training, there’s a whole range of dog-specific treats you can use, which will be just as effective and much better for your dog’s digestion.
Alternatives to cheese for dogs
There’s certainly no way we’d say cheese is good for dogs: it’s a high calorie food, and because most dogs are lactose intolerant, it can be hard for them to digest. Healthier treats they’ll enjoy just as much include:
Meat – cook it plain, and go for lean meat
Vegetables – green beans, carrots, and sweet potato are all great alternatives to cheese
Peanut butter – a small amount of peanut butter makes an excellent indulgent treat. Just keep the quantity low, and make sure it’s xylitol-free.
Cheese and your dog’s diet
We don’t recommend including cheese as a regular part of your dog’s diet – especially if your dog needs to lose weight. There are many other alternatives that are both delicious and nutritious. At tails.com, we create a bespoke feeding plan for your dog, based on their nutritional needs. We include treats in their feeding plan too – so if you do decide to use cheese as a treat now and then, make sure you record it in your dog’s tails.com profile so we can keep everything up to date.
Got more cheesy questions? Our veterinary and nutritionist team is here to help – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.