Can dogs eat cheese?


Find out if it’s safe to feed your dog cheese and which kind to avoid

Can dogs eat cheese?

Quick takeaways about dogs and cheese

  • Aged cheese, like Cheddar, is safe for most dogs to eat.
  • Avoid giving blue cheeses to your pooch to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Cheese should be used as a treat and given in moderation.


You’ve probably found out, maybe by accident, that most dogs can’t resist cheese. Luckily, plain aged cheese isn’t toxic to them, so it’s okay to use it as a high-value reward.

Safe cheese types for dogs include Cheddar, Red Leicester and Edam. These have a low lactose content, which makes them easy to digest.

Avoid giving blue cheese and cheese with added flavours to your pooch. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Because of its high fat and sodium content, cheese should be a special treat, rather than a regular snack.

If you plan to feed your dog some cheese, test their tolerance with a nugget first. Keep an eye out for an upset tummy and gas for about 10 hours.


Is cheese good for dogs?

Cheese contains protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins A and B, and calcium. In moderation, it can be a good high-value treat. Too much cheese can cause weight gain, though.

If you feed complete and balanced meals to your dog – like our Natures Menu nuggets – their nutritional needs are already taken care of. But, you can absolutely feed your dog extra treats like cheese every now and again.


What kinds of cheese are unsafe for dogs?

Avoid feeding blue cheese to your dog. It contains a substance called roquefortine C, which many dogs are sensitive to. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever and seizures.

Cheese with added ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like herbs, onions, raisins or garlic, is also a no-go.

Here’s a list of unsafe cheeses for dogs:

  • Stilton
  • Roquefort
  • Danish Blue
  • Gorgonzola
  • Cabrales
  • Flavoured cheese that contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

If your dog accidentally eats a piece of these kinds of cheese, call your vet immediately.

High-fat cheeses, like feta and brie, are also a bad idea and can cause an upset stomach.


Can dogs eat Cheddar cheese?

Dogs can eat Cheddar in moderation. Cheddar is easy to digest for dogs because it contains very little lactose. Make sure to only feed your pooch a plain variety.


What kind of cheese can dogs eat?

Cheeses that are safe for dogs include:

  • Mozzarella
  • Red Leicester
  • Parmesan
  • Gouda
  • Edam
  • Plain cream cheese
  • Cheddar

What about cottage cheese?

Quality plain cottage cheese with no added milk products is safe to eat for dogs.


How much cheese can dogs eat?

Only feed cheese to your dog in moderation. The quantity depends on your dog’s size and age. Stick to a few small bites a day and keep an eye out for an upset belly or gas.

If your dog eats a large chunk of cheese, they will likely vomit. Stay with them to monitor their condition and visit the vet if they don’t bounce back after a couple of hours.


Which dogs shouldn’t eat cheese?

Not all dogs should eat cheese.

Avoid feeding cheese to:

  • Lactose-intolerant dogs who struggle to digest milk
  • Dogs with kidney disease – salty food isn’t good for the kidneys
  • Overweight dogs who need to lose a few kilos
  • Dogs with upset tummies

How should I feed my dog cheese?

Always feed your dog cheese in moderation and go for small chunks.

Use cheese as:

  • A treat to reward important commands, like recall
  • A tasty snack to hide medicines in – but not antibiotics
  • A treat for shaping a new command
  • A reward for training in high-distraction settings.

The bottom line

Most plain cheese is safe for dogs to eat. Dogs can’t eat blue cheese and cheese with added ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like garlic and raisins.

Cheese is high in fat and sodium, so you should give it to your pooch in moderation. Use it as a special treat to help with training.

Dogs who are lactose intolerant, have kidney problems, are overweight or feel unwell should not be fed cheese.


Dogs and cheese FAQs

Is cheese bad for dogs?

Most types of plain cheese, other than blue cheese, are safe for dogs who aren’t lactose intolerant or suffer from kidney disease. But too much cheese can cause vomiting, diarrhea and weight gain.


Can dogs eat mac and cheese?

Mac and cheese contains lots of salt and unhealthy fats, so you shouldn’t feed it to your dog.


Can dogs eat cheese slices, cheese strings and Babybels?

Dogs can eat processed cheese, like Babybels and cheese strings, in moderation. But these types of cheese don’t have high-quality ingredients, so they don’t provide any health benefits. Steer clear if you can.


Can dogs eat Primula cheese?

Primula cheese is safe to eat for dogs; it won’t cause any immediate health issues. But, Primula is a highly processed food which contains lots of additives, so it’s not a healthy treat.


Can dogs be lactose intolerant?

Some dogs are lactose intolerant, which means they struggle to digest milk. Avoid feeding cheese to your pooch if they have this.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating and gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Behaviour changes like hyperactivity or lethargy.

If your dog has these symptoms after eating cheese, remove it from their diet.


Can dogs eat vegan cheese?

Vegan cheese is usually made of coconut oil and cashew nuts; both are safe for dogs.

Scan the ingredients list to check for toxic foods and allergens before giving vegan cheese to your pooch.


Can dogs eat goat’s cheese?

Goat’s cheese is easily digestible because it contains less lactose than cow’s milk cheese, so it’s safe for most dogs. Beware of the fat content, though.

Want to make sure your dog is getting all the protein and nutrients they need? Try our personalised meal plans with high-quality raw ingredients.