An owner slicing some cheese in front of their two dogs, which the dogs clearly want to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Cheese is a common staple in human diets, and we often find ourselves reaching for a block to add some cheese gratings to our meals. It’s not just humans who love cheese though – dogs also think it’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread! Many dogs love cheese, but is it okay for them to eat it? 

Dogs can eat cheese as long as it is given in moderation. Cheese is a great training tool for puppies because they love it so much. However, not all dogs tolerate cheese well and may experience digestive problems after eating it. If your dog can handle cheese, then only give it to them in moderation.

Is Cheese Safe For Dogs To Eat?

A dog looking up at the camera with some cheese on a table nearby.
This dog wants to know too!

Cheese is a safe, nutritious treat for dogs as it is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins. However, be sure to feed it to them in moderation and choose a low-fat, low-salt variety because cheese is a high-fat food, and too much can lead to health problems.

So, to keep your dog extra happy and healthy, make sure cheese only composes 10% or less of their dietary intake for the day, which equates to about a few spoonfuls every day.

By, the way, if you’re looking for more ideas on what’s safe for dogs to eat, take a look at our thoughts on chorizo and fruit!

What Types Of Cheese Are Safe For Dogs?

Cheese comes in many different compositions, textures, and colors, and some types are better for dogs than others. Generally, cheese that is low in fat, low in salt, and without mold or other potentially harmful ingredients is a good choice for your dog.

Speaking of those cheeses, let’s start with cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that has a lower fat and sodium content, making it difficult to overeat, as well as being easier on the stomach due to less lactose. Delicious and healthy, cottage cheese provides dogs with essential nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamins, and probiotics. 


Mozzarella is also a safe choice for your pup because it’s lower in fat and sodium. Like cottage cheese, mozzarella is also easy to digest due to its low fat and sodium levels. Packed with protein, calcium, and vitamins, this cheese will not only taste good to your dog but also be beneficial for their health.

Swiss Cheese

If you have a furry friend that is lactose intolerant, then Swiss cheese is the best option for them. Swiss cheese is low in lactose and contains many essential nutrients that are beneficial to dogs.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is also known for lower lactose than other cheeses, making it easier for your dog to digest. Significant amounts of calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins are present in cheddar cheese, all of which support healthy liver and kidney function.

What Types Of Cheese Are Bad For Dogs?

Cheese can be a yummy treat for your pup, but there are some types of cheese that can be bad for dogs as these can cause digestive problems or even be poisonous. So, which cheeses should you avoid feeding your dog?

Blue Cheese, Roquefort, And Other French Cheeses

Some of the most dangerous cheeses for dogs include Blue cheese, Roquefort cheese, Brie cheese, Camembert cheese, and Chevre cheese. These cheeses contain high levels of toxins that can make dogs very sick. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures.

In addition to being toxic, these cheeses are also high in fat and calories. They can quickly cause weight gain in dogs, leading to health problems like arthritis and diabetes.

Cheese With Herbs, Garlic, Or Other Flavorings 

Cheeses that are flavored with herbs, garlic, or other spices can also be dangerous for dogs. These flavors can irritate a dog’s digestive system and cause vomiting or diarrhea. In addition, some of the ingredients in these cheeses, such as onions and garlic, can be poisonous and can damage your dog’s RBCs (red blood cells), resulting in severe health issues.

Processed cheese, such as American cheese, is also bad for dogs. This cheese is high in salt and fat, which can be dangerous for dogs. It can also cause digestive problems.

Brie, Goat, And Feta Cheese

These cheeses are not as dangerous as blue cheese or Roquefort, but they can still cause digestive problems in dogs. They are also high in fat, calories, and lactose, which can lead to weight gain and health problems.

How To Feed Cheese To Your Dog

The first step is, appropriately, choosing the right cheese.

1. Choose A Low-Fat Cheese

Dogs require fat as part of a healthy diet. However, an excess of fat can result in weight gain and other health complications. When it comes to cheese, opt for lower-fat varieties like cottage cheese or mozzarella instead of goat cheese, feta, or brie.

2. Avoid Spicy Cheeses

Cheeses that are high in spice can cause stomach upset or other digestive issues in dogs. That means no pepper jack cheese or spicy siracha cheddar. If you’re unsure whether cheese is too spicy for your pup, it’s always better to be safe and not give them any at all.

3. Start Small

When introducing cheese to your dog’s diet, start with small amounts. Too much cheese at once can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. If they don’t experience any negative consequences, you can continue giving them cheese, though only sparingly.

4. Mix Cheese In With Your Dog’s Regular Food

One way to help your dog adjust to cheese is to mix it in with their regular food. Start by adding a small amount of cheese to their kibble or wet food and gradually increase the amount you give them over time.

5. Conceal It In Medication

If your dog is resistant to eating cheese on its own, you can try hiding it in its medication. Most dogs will eat just about anything if it means getting their medicine, so this is a good way to get them to eat cheese without putting up a fuss.

6. Give Dogs Cheese When They’re Bored

Dogs can get bored just like humans, and sometimes a little cheese can be a nice treat to break up the monotony. If your dog is acting restless or seems uninterested in its food, try giving them a small piece of cheese as a snack. They may just need a little something to help them get excited about eating again.

Benefits Of Cheese For Dogs

There are many benefits when it comes to dogs eating cheese. Let’s start with the nutrients cheese provides.

1. Nutrients

Cheese is an excellent source of nutrition for dogs. It contains high levels of protein, calcium, vitamins A, B-12, and K-2, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. This combination of nutrients can help dogs maintain their health and live active lifestyles.

2. Motivator

Cheese can also serve as a motivator for dogs. When given as a reward, cheese can encourage dogs to perform desired behaviors. For example, cheese can be used to motivate dogs to come when called or to sit patiently during a grooming session.

3. Concealer

Cheese can also serve as a concealer for unpleasant odors. When mixed with dog food, cheese can help mask strong smells and make them more palatable for dogs. Cheese can also be used to hide pills or medicine that dogs need to take.

Risks Of Feeding Cheese To Your Dog

Cheese is not always safe for our canine companions. There are some risks associated with feeding cheese to your dog that you should be aware of. Some of these are given below.

Lactose Intolerance

Dogs can be lactose intolerant, which means their bodies cannot properly digest the milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products like cheese. This can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog is prone to these types of issues, it’s best to steer clear of cheese altogether.

Weight Gain

Cheese is also high in fat and calories, which can lead to weight gain in dogs. If your dog is overweight or obese, feeding them cheese (or any other high-fat treat) is not going to help them slim down. In fact, it could make their weight problem worse.


Like people, some dogs can be allergic to cheese. The most common symptoms of a cheese allergy in dogs are itchiness and digestive upset, but some dogs may also experience more severe reactions, including difficulty breathing.


One of the major causes that can trigger an episode of pancreatitis is eating high-fat foods like cheese. So, if your dog has ever had pancreatitis, it’s best to avoid feeding them cheese.

Upset Tummies

If your dog has an upset stomach, cheese is probably not the best food to give them. Dairy products can actually make gastrointestinal upset worse. 

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Dogs can eat cheese as long as it is a small amount and not every day. Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium for dogs and has other health benefits. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions about what foods are safe for your dog to eat.

Have you ever given your dog cheese? What was their reaction? Let us know in the comments below!

Dr. Mohsin Iqbal (DVM, RVMP)
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal (DVM, RVMP)
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal is a licensed veterinarian with more than 5 years of experience in veterinary medicine. After receiving his DVM degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, he worked as a veterinarian in both government and private sectors. Dr. Mohsin specializes in small animal medicine and surgery and has experience treating all types of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and reptiles. He has a passion for pets and has written several eBooks on pet care and surgery. In addition to his clinical work, he also volunteers his time for various animal rescue organizations and helps care for injured and abandoned animals.