dog looking at cheese

Pets seem to have a special antenna just for the sound of cheese exiting the refrigerator. Like us, they savor sweet, salty, fatty cheeses that we bring home. And why wouldn’t they? Cheese is creamy, delicious, satisfying and unlike anything else in the world. 

Many pets sneak cheese or receive it as a treat, but just because they like it, it doesn’t mean they should eat it on a regular basis.

Delicate Balance

Pets can be incredibly intolerant of lactose and cannot properly digest the sugars found in dairy products. As a result, pets should not eat large quantities of cheese or consume it as part of their routine. Watch out for stomach upset, diarrhea or reluctance to engage in normal daily activities.

Similarly, dairy products can add many extra calories to a pet’s diet. Extra weight gain and heart conditions are possible side effects of eating cheese, as well as irritation to the pancreas, causing a potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis. 

On the Other Hand

Pet owners around the globe know that small bites of cheese can effectively mask medications. Luckily, small amounts of certain types of cheese can have certain benefits. Essential fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and of course, protein and calcium, add to the tasty and rewarding treat. 

When Pets Eat Cheese

It is important not to overfeed cheese, and dial back some of the calories in daily meal portions. Cottage cheese is low in lactose, fat and sodium, making it one of the most palatable cheeses out there for pets and their people. Cheddar, American and Mozzarella are usually fan favorites among the pet set, but be advised that the potent gas smell may deter your offerings. 

Sharing Is Caring

There aren’t too many foods that pets and humans equally enjoy, but cheese is certainly one of them. And as long as you exercise caution and restraint when sharing dairy goodness with your pet, they can safely digest it. 

As always, if you have additional questions about your pets dietary needs we encourage you to contact us. At Arlington Animal Hospital, we’re always here to support your pet’s wellness