The quick answer: Yes, dogs can eat cheese in moderation.
Benefits of cheese
To most dogs, cheese is a delicacy and can be used as a high-value training treat because it keeps their attention. For picky eaters, a small sprinkle of shredded cheese mixed into your dog’s food can be just the trick to get them to eat. (Keep in mind, they might come to expect this special treatment for every meal, though!)
Tip: To help moderate your dog’s cheese consumption during training, cut cheese into tiny, pea-sized pieces and mix them in with your regular training treats. Refrigerate overnight so the regular treats can absorb the cheesy smell, making them extra enticing to your dog!
Since it is so highly coveted, cheese is also good for disguising pills and medication. Just don’t give cheese, or any other dairy products for that matter, with antibiotics because the calcium can bind to the drug and prevent it from being fully absorbed.
Though small bites of most types of cheese are generally safe, you should avoid blue cheeses and those with added garlic or herbs. Instead, opt for cheese varieties that are low in fat and sodium, such as mozzarella and cottage cheese.
Cheese is a calorie dense food that should only be consumed in moderation. Without adjusting your dog’s food to account for the extra calories, eating cheese on a regular basis can lead to weight gain. Consuming a large amount of cheese in one sitting can cause vomiting or diarrhea.
A small percentage of dogs are lactose intolerant and they should not eat cheese. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased thirst.
Dogs should not eat cheese seasoned with garlic (toxic to pets) and other herbs which may be detrimental to your pet’s health. It’s also important never to feed blue cheese. According to Dog Pack, “When blue cheese starts to get super-ripe, it can produce roquefortine, a potentially lethal toxin for dogs to consume.”
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