Dogs love cheese, but can dogs eat cheese without any negative health effects? This is something that has been controversial among dog owners for a long time. After all, cheese is healthy and loaded with calcium and protein. So, is cheese good or bad for dogs as a treat?
The biggest problem is that many dogs are lactose intolerant, and cheese is a milk by-product. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that cheese is toxic or unsafe for dogs to have. You just need to know the risks, and understand which cheeses are the healthiest to eat. Read on to learn more about how to safely give your dog cheese as an occasional treat.
Health Benefits of Cheese For Dogs
Cheese is loaded with nutrients that dogs need in order to have healthy body functions. For starters, it is high in calcium, which helps to keep their bones strong and healthy. Calcium is also helpful for your dog’s nerves and muscles. Other health benefits of cheese for dogs include:
- Vitamin D — Many cheeses contain vitamin D which is helpful in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D also helps to balance calcium and phosphorus which is important for the skeletal system
- Protein — Most cheeses are very high in protein which is an important part of a healthy diet for humans and dogs
While there are numerous benefits of giving dogs cheese in moderation, it can also pose some health risks. For instance, many cheeses are very high in fat, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues that can cause pancreatitis. Other reasons a dog eating cheese may be bad include:
- Saturated fat — This can cause your dog to become overweight. It is important to make sure that you only give your dog cheese in small amounts to avoid problems caused by fats
- Dairy — Because most dogs are lactose intolerant, eating dairy products can cause stomach upset, and too much cheese can eventually cause pancreatitis
Safe Types of Cheese For Dogs
There are plenty of cheeses that are perfectly safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Cheddar is one of those cheeses, so if you are eating some, you can safely give a bit to your dog. They can also enjoy some string cheese.
Here are some other cheeses that your dog can eat:
- Colby, Monterey Jack, and Swiss Cheeses — These are all lower in lactose than other cheeses and are less likely to cause stomach upset
- Cottage Cheese — This is the healthiest cheese option for dogs, as long as you don’t give them too much. A spoonful now and again makes a great treat. It is low in fat, and high in protein
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cheese in Moderation
As long as you aren’t giving a lot of it to your dog, cheese can be a healthy treat. It is a great option to use as a treat when you are training your puppy because it’s so tasty. Make sure that you limit the amount of cheese you give your dog to one or two small bites daily, or a teaspoon or two of cottage cheese.