We know how tempting it is to rip off a bite of your string cheese and offer it to your puppy eyed pooch, but is it safe for them?
This article details everything owners need to know about giving their dog string cheese. Our resident veterinarian explains all.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Our hungry pups will be happy to learn that yes, most dogs can eat cheese in small amounts.
The key though: “In small amounts”
Cheese can provide beneficial ingredients like calcium and vitamins, and can fall into a dog’s 10% treat rule when given occasionally.
Some types of cheese are higher in fat than others, so there are certain styles of cheese that are better suited for our pups.
Cheese types that are lower in fat include mozzarella, cottage cheese, and even goat cheese. You can also find low fat and low sodium versions of virtually any cheese on the market.
One safety tip to keep in mind is that while cheese can be safe for dogs in small amounts, you should always avoid cheese that has any added seasoning. For example, you will want to steer clear of any cheese that has chives, onions, spices, garlic, or anything similar.
Can Cheese Make A Dog Sick?
As we mentioned above, cheese should only be offered in small amounts.
More than a few bites of cheese can quickly lead to an upset stomach in dogs, as many cheeses do have a high fat content.
Fat is the hardest macronutrient for dogs to digest. Which is why high fat treats or diet can negatively impact their digestive system.
Dogs that eat too much cheese can experience:
- Abdominal pain.
Some dogs have even developed a condition known as pancreatitis, which often occurs after a dog has eaten fatty food.
Not only can too much cheese make a dog sick, but some dogs can have more sensitive stomachs than others. Just as some people can tolerate cheese better than others, not all pups will respond well to it either.
Do Dogs Like String Cheese?
Every dog is different, but most pups will jump at the opportunity to have a bite of your string cheese.
It’s often just as tasty to them as it is to us, so many dogs will consider this one of their favorite treats.
If it fits into the 10% treat allowance for your pup that day, your dog will most likely be happy to take a bite.
Just be sure to keep the string cheese in a safe space away from your pup, as they often love it so much that they will consume large amounts without permission!
Is String Cheese Safe For Dogs?
Just as we mentioned above, string cheese is safe for dogs when offered in small amounts. String cheese is often mozzarella or a form of low sodium cheese, which is often lower in fat content than many other forms.
You can even find string cheese brands that are specifically low in fat, making it even safer for the furry friends in your home. As long as you offer your pup string cheese in moderation, they should be just fine.
How Much String Cheese Can A Dog Eat?
So how much string cheese can a dog eat without getting sick? This will of course vary for every dog based on their size, but let’s break it down so there is no confusion.
The larger the dog is, the more string cheese they can eat per serving. There is a 10% rule when it comes to treats in dogs, which means that their daily treat intake should only make up 10% of their daily caloric intake.
You don’t have to break the exact calories down, but it’s safe to assume that a small dog can eat 1-2 small cubes of string cheese, while a large dog can eat 2-3 small cubes of string cheese. These cubes can be about 1 inch in length, so about no larger than the tip of your index finger.
Just be sure to keep a close eye on your pup after you offer them string cheese for the first time, as some dogs may have a sensitivity to cheese. If they experience any vomiting or diarrhea, then you should switch to a different treat option moving forward.
Can I Give My Dog String Cheese Every Day?
Just because a dog can safely consume a small amount of string cheese does not mean it should be offered to them each day. Cheese is only safe for dogs in moderation, so we don’t suggest giving it to them more than once or twice a week.
Any more than this could lead to weight gain in your pup, and that can open the door to many long term complications. We suggest switching up their treat routine with approved fruits, veggies, or healthy dog treats.
What If My Dog Accidentally Ate A Large Amount Of String Cheese?
Dogs are not aware of the fact that a large amount of cheese can make them sick. Even if they were aware of it, we don’t know if they would care! Many dogs accidentally get their paws on a large serving of string cheese, often causing them to experience the effects of a grumbling stomach.
A dog that eats too much cheese can experience diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, abdominal pain, and gas. Some of these dogs may even develop secondary complications as a result of ingesting fatty foods, so it is never something to take lightly.
If your dog has just eaten a large amount of string cheese, we suggest keeping a close eye on them for the next 24-72 hours.
You will typically see evidence of GI upset during this time period if it is going to happen, and if it does, we suggest having them seen by a vet. With the risk of complications like pancreatitis from fatty food ingestion, you always want to be safe.
My Dog Ate The String Cheese Wrapper, Will They Be Okay?
Sometimes the tasty remnants of the cheese in the string cheese wrapper leads to the consumption of the wrapper itself. Some dogs eat the wrapper so fast that we can’t grab it from their mouths before it is gone, causing us to panic in the aftermath.
If you do happen to catch your dog in the act of eating a staring cheese wrapper, we suggest having them seen by a vet. A dog is unable to digest the plastic wrapper, so it risks getting stuck somewhere along the digestive tract.
An intestinal blockage is a life-threatening situation that requires surgery, so bringing your pup to the vet to induce vomiting will save them from serious complications down the line. Some dogs will be okay and will pass the plastic wrapper on their own, but there is just no way to know.
If you do happen to wait and your dog is brewing an intestinal obstruction, this can be fatal. You never want to take that chance, so it’s best to just have them seen immediately by your vet.
When offered in small servings for your dog’s size, string cheese can be a tasty and safe treat for our canine friends. As long as you avoid cheeses with any of the dangerous added ingredients we mentioned above, your pup should tolerate an occasional bite of your go to string cheese snack.