Can dogs eat cheese?
Yes, dog’s can eat cheese. A lot of dogs LOVE cheese! Every time we open the cheese packet (we love cheese too!!) Tiffin scuttles into the kitchen expecting her share. We sometimes oblige but just a slither…
Although dogs can eat cheese, it’s high in fat and contains lactose which can lead to weight gain and digestive problems so it’s best not to feed too much. I sometimes use cheddar cheese as a training treat as I know Tiffin adores it but I keep it as a high value reward and keep sessions short so I don’t feed too much.
6 benefits of cheese:
1. Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins, all of which play an important role in canine nutrition.
2. If your dog loves cheese and responds well to it as a reward, you’ll be able to use it to help train a new skill.
3. If your dog needs to put weight on, adding a little cheese to her food can boost her calorie intake. Cheese is best added as a booster or a garnish rather than making up a larger portion of your dog’s meal.
4. Cheese is high in calcium, which can help to keep your dog’s bones strong
5. Cheese can help reluctant or fussy eaters to eat as it smells and tastes strong
6. Cheese can be used to hide medication
When not to feed cheese
I recommend that you don’t feed cheese if you have:
- an overweight dog
- a dog who has digestive sensitivities as cheese contains dairy and there’s a good chance the lactose will upset your dog’s stomach.
- a dog who shouldn’t have high salt foods such as dogs with a history of pancreatitis, heart disease or high blood pressure
The best cheeses…
The best cheese to feed your dog are the plain, low fat and low sodium ones.
Although I don’t really count cottage cheese as a cheese (probably because I don’t like it), it is the best cheese for your dog because it contains more calcium and less calories than ‘normal’ cheese. It’s also easily digestible and is known to soothe an upset stomach.
Plain low fat cottage cheese or cream cheese are great for filling Kong type toys. Also, cheddar is a good, safe bet for giving to your dog as a treat or using as a training treat
The worst cheeses…
Avoid cheeses containing onion, grapes or raisin as they’re toxic for dogs. It’s best to avoid all cheeses with added ingredients, just to be on the safe side.
Soft, high fat cheeses like brie and camembert should also be avoided, as they tend to be very rich, and may upset your dog’s stomach.
Blue cheeses should also be avoided because they’re higher in fat and sodium than other cheeses.
Cream-Cheesy Fat Balls – Dog Treat/Dog Food Topper Recipe
Tiffin is a lean athletic dog who can lose weight quite easily. A week with her Beardie friends at my parent’s house and she loses weight because she runs all day with her pals. When she’s at home with me, she’ll go on daily walks and a weekly agility lesson but she won’t get the same level of exercise. A quick and easy way to help Tiffin put weight on is to add 2 or 3 Cream-Cheesy Fat Balls to her food every day for a week or so. The Cream-Cheesy Fat Balls are full of full-fat tasty foods that I’m sure most dogs will eat.
What you’ll need:
- 250g High Fat Mince Beef
- 115g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 1 Egg Beaten & Egg Shell Crushed
- 50g Oats
- 2 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp Molasses or Maple Syrup
- 2 tbsp Flaxseed
What to do:
1. Mix all ingredients together
2. Form into tablespoon sized meatballs
3. Refrigerate or freeze
4. Add 1-3 Cream-Cheesy Fat Balls to your dogs food a day or feed as a treat
If you’re not sure if your dog needs to put weight on, click here to read this article about the perfect weight. You can feed Cream-Cheesy Fat Balls even if your dog doesn’t need to put on weight – just feed 1 a day or feed when your dog has had an active day.