Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Cheese? A Guide to Feeding Cheese as a Treat

top view delicious cheese with copy space

The short answer is yes – most dogs can enjoy cheese as an occasional treat when fed in moderation. Our furry friends tend to go mutts over the irresistible flavor of this dairy delicacy, just like their human companions.

However, dog owners need to be mindful that while appetizing, cheese isn’t the most nutritionally balanced snack for pups.

The Risks of Feeding Too Much Cheese

Cheese contains higher levels of fat and salt compared to many typical dog treats and foods. This means it should only be given as an occasional treat in moderation, not as a regular part of their diet.

Too much cheese can cause undesired weight gain, digestive upset, or other issues in some dogs.


What Kinds of Cheese Can Dogs Eat?

As with any dog treat, plainer is better when it comes to cheese for your pup. Look for low-fat varieties with minimal salt. Some top dog-friendly cheese picks include:

– Mozzarella – Soft, mild, and lower in sodium than many other cheeses

– Cottage cheese – Low in fat and calories

– Swiss cheese – Features modest fat and salt levels

– Cheddar – A classic flavor dogs adore in moderation

Stay away from strong or heavily spiced cheeses like blue cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola), feta, or chili-flavored varieties. The molds, seasonings, and high sodium can potentially upset your pup’s stomach.

mozzarella table

What Kinds of Cheese to Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

While some cheese varieties can make tasty occasional treats for our pups, there are certain types that should be avoided altogether. Strong, heavily seasoned, or excessively salty cheeses have the potential to cause digestive upset, sensitivities, or other issues in dogs. Steering clear of these riskier picks is important:

– Blue cheese – The distinctive blue mold can cause sensitivity issues in some dogs

– Flavored cheese varieties – Spices, herbs, etc can be irritating

– High-sodium cheeses – Such as feta, halloumi, or other saltier picks

For dogs with certain conditions, all cheese may be off-limits. Lactose-intolerant dogs lack the enzyme to properly digest dairy products and can experience gas, vomiting, or appetite loss. Overweight or obese dogs should avoid calorie-dense cheese to stay on their diet plan. And dogs with kidney issues need to stick to low-sodium foods, ruling out most cheeses.

high angle delicious cheese board

Cheesy Training Rewards & Solutions

One area where cheese really shines is as a high-value training treat for food-motivated dogs and puppies. If your pup has hit a training plateau lately, try swapping boring treats for tiny cubes of cheddar, Swiss, or another dog-friendly cheese. You’ll likely see an overnight improvement in their eagerness to learn new tricks and commands!

Just be sure to account for those cheese calories as part of their daily diet to avoid overfeeding. A smart alternative is to portion out finely grated cheese into a small bag or container. That way you can use just a pinch at a time as a big, smelly reward without overshooting on calories.


For dogs with separation anxiety, stuff an interactive food toy or treat dispenser ball with smeared cheese or place pieces inside. The tasty distraction helps ease their stress when you have to leave. (Stick to lower sodium varieties to avoid tummy issues.)

dog puzzle toys game 1

Creative Cheese Snacks for Canines

In addition to plain cubes or shredded cheese, some other dog-safe cheese ideas include:

– Smoked cheese – The smokey flavor is usually fine; just monitor for digestive reaction

– Cottage cheese – Low in fat and calories, great for stuffing food toys

– Mozzarella string cheese – Just avoid the fried/battered mozzarella stick varieties

dog enrichment matters


1. Is cheese poisonous to dogs?

No, cheese itself is not poisonous or toxic to dogs when fed in moderation. Do avoid cheeses with ingredients like raisins or garlic that can be poisonous. Stick to plain, dog-safe varieties.

2. Why can’t puppies eat cheese?

Puppies can eat cheese in small amounts as training treats or rewards, but it should not make up a large part of their diet. Their small size means just a little cheese goes a long way toward their daily calorie needs.  

3. Can dogs eat moldy cheese?

It’s best to avoid feeding dogs any moldy or blue cheese varieties like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton. The mold used to make these cheeses can potentially cause digestive sensitivities or other issues in some dogs.

4. Is cheddar cheese good for dogs?

Cheddar is generally a good cheese option for dogs when given in moderation. It has a flavor most dogs love and reasonable levels of fat and sodium compared to other cheese types.

5. How much cheese can I give my dog?

There’s no single perfect serving, as it depends on your dog’s size, weight, and individual calorie needs. In general, treats like cheese should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily calories at most. Start with just a cubic inch or two and see how your pup handles it.

6. What happens if a dog eats too much cheese?

If a dog overeats cheese, they may experience digestive upset like diarrhea, vomiting, gas, lack of appetite, and dehydration. Consult your vet if symptoms persist or are severe. Pancreatitis is also a risk with high-fat foods like cheese.

Final Words

While cheese isn’t an everyday food for dogs, it can be an awesome occasional treat in moderation. Focus on low-fat, low-sodium varieties and avoid flavored or moldy cheeses. Use it wisely for training or stuffing puzzle toys, and your pup will be one happy camper!


About Zelda D.Nelson

As a lifelong dog lover and proud mom to two energetic rescue pups, I know firsthand how important puzzle toys are for providing dogs with much-needed mental and physical stimulation. After over a decade of experience raising well-adjusted, happy dogs, I joined the Loobani Pet team to help other pet parents discover the joy and benefits of dog puzzles. Through my work at Loobani Pet, I've become an expert on the ins and outs of various interactive dog toys. My goal is to simplify the selection process so you can easily pinpoint the perfect puzzles to match your pup's needs and lifestyle. Whether you need a toy to challenge your brainy breed, keep your power chewer occupied, or simply provide some rainy day fun, I've got you covered.