Can pets eat cheese?

We’re all tempted by delicious foods, but few are as satisfying to eat as cheese. Whether it’s goat, cow, sheep, yak, donkey, or camel, world milk production yields tons of sweet, salty, fatty cheeses. Aside from people, animals also show great interest in this savory, creamy, delicately-flavored dairy product. But just because most pets eat cheese, does that mean they should?

Starting With the Pro’s

Cheese can be very good for some pets because it contains essential fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, protein, and calcium. Additionally, since cheese tastes so good, many owners use it to conceal important medications. And don’t forget, using cheese as a training tool can be incredibly motivating and rewarding.

The Downside of Cheese

Pets have very delicate digestive systems. Lactose intolerance, or the inability to digest the sugar found in dairy products, can present various problems to animals who chomp on cheese, so it’s important to remember the following:

  • Start small, stay small. In other words, never give your pet large amounts of cheese!
  • Scale back after any signs of intestinal upset or discomfort.
  • Limit extra calories from other snacks whenever you give your pet cheese; eating too much rich, fatty food can result in obesity, heart conditions, or pancreatitis (a potentially fatal condition).
  • Watch out for any additives, like herbs, garlic, or onions.

Which Ones?

Cottage cheese is a favorite among many dog owners because it’s low in lactose, fat, and sodium. Most dogs like American or cheddar cheeses, and a few will snub mozzarella. The fact is, pets eat cheese regardless of the type or brand, but they may repay your generosity with some funky smelling gas. If so, limit what your pet eats in the future.

A Fact of Life: Pets Eat Cheese

Cheese is one of the few foods that are central to the human experience that can easily and safely crossover to your pet’s palette and digestive system. However, the critical key to sharing cheese is, of course, only doing so when needed or in very small amounts.

If you ever have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs, health risks, or lifestyle, we encourage you to contact us. Our staff is always here for you and your pet!