National Cheese Lovers Day: Are dogs allowed to eat cheese?

What’s a dog’s favourite cheese? Mutt-zzarella! Cheesy jokes aside, is it actually safe for dogs to eat cheese? As it’s National Cheese Lovers Day on the 20th of January, we wanted to do a deep (pan pizza) dive into this common question so that you and your pooch can both have a gouda day. 

While there’s no firm evidence of how or when the cheese we know and love today first came into existence, there’s no denying how popular it is across the world – it’s no wonder that there’s a day dedicated to lovers of this delicacy! From cheddar to feta, there’s a huge variety of cheeses that cater to an abundance of tastes – and if you’re a dog owner, you’re probably used to your pup wanting to get involved and chomp some of your cheese too.

Keep reading as we look at the following cheesy questions:

  • Are dogs allowed to eat cheese?

  • What cheeses can dogs eat?

  • What cheese should I avoid giving my dog?

  • Can you give puppies cheese?

  • Is cheese good for dogs? 

Are dogs allowed to eat cheese?

The short answer is yes! Cheese isn’t toxic for dogs – making it safe for many dogs to consume. Most pooches love the taste of it too! However, as dogs lack the digestive enzyme lactase, it means they’re born with lactose intolerance so it’s important that you only feed your pooch cheese as an occasional treat and avoid fatty cheeses.

While many dogs can enjoy cheese as an occasional treat, please be aware of the following health risks:  

  • Dogs are lactose intolerant - because a dog’s body can’t properly digest dairy products, they may get an upset stomach from eating cheese (especially if they have too much).

  • Cheese has a naturally high-fat content – if you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, then it’s best that this calorific treat is avoided as too much can cause your pup to put on the pounds.

  • Avoid feeding your dog cheese if they’ve had pancreatitis – this serious digestive disorder can be life-threatening and as dogs can’t fully digest dairy, the safest option is to avoid giving your dog cheese altogether if they’ve suffered this illness.

  • Some cheeses contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onion – it’s important to remember what foods are unsafe for dogs to eat to ensure your pup isn’t eating anything they shouldn’t be.

What cheeses can dogs eat?

Some cheeses are healthier for dogs than others due to their low or reduced fat content, as well as their low lactose, which is easier on your pup’s digestive system. 

These cheeses are safe for your dog to eat:  

  • Mozzarella – what did we tell you, a dog’s favourite cheese really is mutt-zzarella! Luckily for your pup, this stringy cheese is low in fat and sodium.

  • Cottage cheese – a great source of protein and calcium, low-fat cottage cheese is a great choice as it has little lactose compared to other cheeses.

  • Cheddar cheese – a popular choice in most households, low-fat cheddar is also fine for your canine to chomp since it contains little lactose and relatively low levels of salt.

  • Swiss cheese holy moly, another cheese that’s low in lactose and safe for your pup to eat!

Remember, while these cheeses are lower in fat and lactose than other types of cheeses, it’s important that your dog is fed this treat in small doses.

What cheeses should I avoid giving my dog?

On the flip side, while some cheeses are safe for your dog to eat, there are others which should be avoided completely. Generally, if the cheese is old, mouldy, or herby, then save it for your own cheese board and avoid sharing it with your dog.

  • Blue cheeses – like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton should be completely avoided. The fungus involved in making these cheeses can produce a substance called roquefortine C, which can be highly toxic to dogs.

  • Goat cheese – as goat’s milk contains more lactose than cow’s milk, you shouldn’t feed your dog this high-lactose and high-fat cheese.

  • Feta – there are three good reasons not to feed your dog feta: it’s high in lactose, fat, and sodium too.

  • Brie – as with goat cheese, brie also has high levels of lactose and fat, so this rich cheese is likely to cause your dog to have an upset stomach.

  • Cheese with herbs, garlic, and other seasonings garlic and raisins can cause serious health issues as they’re some of the most toxic foods for dogs.

Can you give puppies cheese?

Yes, cheese is safe for puppies to eat! In fact, cheese is a popular training tool for lots of puppy owners since their pups love it. Just remember to only feed your pup cheese sparingly by cutting it into small pieces, and to opt for low-fat options such as mozzarella, cottage cheese and low-fat cheddar.

It’s also worth noting that treats should only make up 10% or less of your dog’s diet, and they should get all the nutrients they need from their regular food.

Yappy’s Mature Cheddar Cheese Biscuit Minis are also a scrumptious choice when it comes to training or rewarding your puppy as they’re suitable for pups 14 weeks and above. Packed with natural ingredients, including yummy mature cheddar cheese, your pooch will be eager to chomp these cheesy treats!

Is cheese good for dogs?

Now that you know that it’s safe for dogs to eat certain types of cheese, you may be wondering if cheese is good for dogs and if this yummy treat has any health benefits. You and your dog will be pleased to know that yes, cheese has some brie-lliant benefits.

  • Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, it also contains essential fatty acids, as well as vitamin A and vitamin B-complex – all of which are beneficial to your dog’s well-being (so long as they don’t have too much of it).

  • Cheese can be used when training your dog – does your dog work hard for treats? When cut up into small cubes, cheese and cheesy dog treats are pawfect to use when training your pooch. 

  • Cheese is one of the most popular ways to conceal your dog’s medication – if your dog is on medication but hates taking tablets, then hiding it in cheese is a good option, simply cut up a small piece of cheddar, push the tablet into the centre and offer it to your dog, they’re likely to gulp it down! Just be sure not to use this technique with antibiotics as it can make the medication less effective.

Dog Bowls and more at Yappy

Every dog and dog owner will be bowled over by these delectable gifts! Why not go all out and get your dog a new water bowl and food bowl from Yappy? We have a wide range of personalised, colourful options that are pawfect for your pup.

Set aside a proper place for your dog’s food bowls with their very own feeding mat, and keep them on their toes all day long with a selection of delicious dog treats. You can even keep their treats hidden away in their very own treat tin!

dog feeding mat, dog bowl, personalised dog bowl


If you’d like to know more about what Yappy offers, don’t hesitate to contact us at

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