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Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

By Colleen Williams
published: June 1, 2017 - updated: May 9, 2023 • 1 min. read
dog with plate of cheese

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, dogs can have small quantities of cheese.
  • Cheese contains calcium, protein, and vitamins A and B, which are all good for dogs.
  • However, cheese can contribute to weight gain and stomach upset in some dogs.
  • Give low-fat and low sodium cheeses, like mozzarella and cottage cheese, to dogs.

Quick answer: Yes, dogs can have cheese in small quantities.

Cheese, glorious cheese! Topping pizza, hamburgers, burritos, chips, crackers, pasta… you name it and people have found a way to add cheese to it. While it’s not exactly the healthiest treat, rest assured: dogs can indulge in a little bit of cheese too. And they usually gladly do.

What kind of cheese can my dog eat?

  • Because cheese is high in fat, vets and experts recommend treating dogs with low-fat cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese.
  • Avoid super-rich, fatty cheeses that can be harder for dogs to digest and can contribute to weight gain (cream cheese may fall under this category; a lighter alternative is cottage cheese).
  • Look for low sodium cheeses; pups can’t process salt as easily as humans, which can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and vomiting.
  • If your dog is lactose intolerant (and a percentage are), cheese can cause an adverse reaction: everything from gas to bloating to diarrhea. Cheese may taste great but it’s not worth a pup in pain!
  • Don’t even think about feeding your dog cheeses mixed with garlic, tomatoes, or other possibly toxic ingredients; you don’t want your dog to get sick.

The good parts of cheese: it contains protein and calcium, as well as vitamin A and B-complex. It’s safe in small doses (everything in moderation) and is used most often as a training treat, but you can also hide your pet’s pills safely in a piece of cheese to get the dose down the hatch.

Want to find out more about what dogs can and cannot eat? Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on “What Human Foods Dogs Can and Can Not Eat.”

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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