Will Cheese Cause Diarrhea in Dogs? Find out the Truth!


Does Cheese Give Dogs Diarrhea

As pet owners, we often find ourselves wondering what foods are safe for our furry friends to eat. One common question that arises is whether cheese will cause diarrhea in dogs. Let’s dive into the truth behind this popular belief.

Firstly, it’s important to note that dogs have different digestive systems compared to humans. While some human foods can be harmful to dogs, cheese is generally not one of them. In fact, cheese can be a safe and healthy treat for your canine companion when given in moderation.

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However, some dogs may have lactose intolerance, which means that their bodies have difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products like cheese. Just like in humans, this can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea. If you suspect that your dog may be lactose intolerant, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian before introducing cheese into their diet.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the type of cheese you’re giving to your dog. Some cheeses, such as those high in fat or sodium, can be harmful to their overall health. It’s best to opt for low-fat, low-sodium options and to avoid cheeses with added ingredients like garlic or onion, as these can be toxic to dogs.

In conclusion, cheese itself is unlikely to cause diarrhea in dogs, but individual sensitivities and the type of cheese should be taken into account.

Can Cheese Give Dogs Diarrhea?

Cheese is a popular treat for dogs, but can it cause diarrhea?

The answer is, it depends. While cheese is generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation, it can cause digestive issues in some dogs, including diarrhea.

Why can cheese cause diarrhea in dogs?

Cheese contains lactose, which is a type of sugar found in milk products. In order to digest lactose, dogs need to produce an enzyme called lactase. However, some dogs lack enough lactase to break down lactose, leading to digestive upset.

What are the symptoms of cheese-induced diarrhea in dogs?

If a dog is lactose intolerant or has a sensitivity to cheese, they may experience the following symptoms after consuming it:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Gas
  3. Abdominal pain or cramps
  4. Vomiting

If a dog experiences these symptoms after eating cheese, it’s best to avoid feeding it to them in the future.

How can you prevent cheese-induced diarrhea in dogs?

If you want to give your dog cheese as a treat, it’s important to introduce it gradually and in small amounts. This allows their digestive system to adapt and can help prevent diarrhea.

If your dog is lactose intolerant or has a known sensitivity to cheese, it’s best to avoid feeding it to them altogether to prevent digestive upset.


Cheese can cause diarrhea in some dogs, especially those who are lactose intolerant or have a sensitivity to lactose. It’s important to monitor your dog’s reaction to cheese and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about their digestive health.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered veterinary advice. If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or health, consult with a qualified veterinarian.

Debunking the Cheese and Diarrhea Myth

There is a common belief among dog owners that cheese can cause diarrhea in their pets. However, this is a myth that needs to be debunked. While it is true that some dogs may have a sensitivity to dairy products, including cheese, the majority of dogs can safely consume cheese without experiencing any digestive issues.

Understanding the Digestive System of Dogs

Before diving into the myth, it is important to have a basic understanding of how a dog’s digestive system works. Dogs have a shorter and more acidic digestive tract compared to humans, which allows them to efficiently break down and digest a variety of foods, including cheese.

The Nutritional Value of Cheese

  • Cheese contains essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamins.
  • Protein is important for muscle development and repair.
  • Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth.
  • Vitamins contribute to overall health and wellbeing.

Introducing Cheese to Dogs

If you want to introduce cheese to your dog’s diet, start with small amounts and observe how your dog reacts. While most dogs can tolerate cheese without any issues, it is possible for some dogs to have a sensitivity or intolerance to dairy products. Signs of intolerance may include diarrhea, vomiting, gas, or bloating.

Moderation is Key

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Like any other food, cheese should be given to dogs in moderation. It should not be the main component of their diet, but rather a treat or occasional addition to their regular meals. Too much cheese can lead to weight gain, digestive upset, or other health issues.


The belief that cheese causes diarrhea in dogs is a myth that needs to be debunked. While some dogs may have a sensitivity or intolerance to dairy products, the majority can safely enjoy cheese as part of a balanced diet. As always, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet or introducing new foods.

Understanding the Digestive System of Dogs

In order to understand how cheese or any other food can affect a dog’s digestive system, it is important to have a basic understanding of how their digestive system works. The digestive system of dogs is similar to that of humans but also has some important differences.

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The digestive system of a dog starts with the mouth, where they chew their food. Unlike humans, dogs have sharp teeth that are designed to tear and shred food, making it easier to swallow.

Once the food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus and enters the stomach. The stomach of a dog is designed to secrete strong acids and enzymes that help break down the food further. The stomach also acts as a storage pouch, keeping food inside until it is ready to move on to the next stage of digestion.

From the stomach, the partially digested food moves into the small intestine. This is where most of the absorption of nutrients takes place. The small intestine is lined with tiny finger-like projections called villi, which increase the surface area and allow for efficient nutrient absorption.

After the small intestine, the remaining undigested food enters the large intestine, also known as the colon. The colon absorbs water and electrolytes from the food, transforming it into solid waste material.

Finally, the waste material is eliminated from the body through the rectum and anus.

It is important to note that different foods can have different effects on a dog’s digestive system. Some foods, like cheese, may be difficult for dogs to digest properly, leading to digestive issues such as diarrhea.

In conclusion, understanding the digestive system of dogs is crucial in order to make informed decisions about their diet. While cheese may be a tasty treat for dogs, it is important to feed it in moderation and observe any possible reactions or digestive issues that may occur.

Factors that Contribute to Diarrhea in Dogs

There are several factors that can contribute to diarrhea in dogs. It is important to be aware of these factors in order to better understand and prevent this condition in your furry friend.

  • Dietary changes: Abrupt changes in a dog’s diet, such as introducing new food or treats, can disrupt the digestive system and lead to diarrhea.
  • Food intolerance or allergies: Dogs, like humans, can develop allergies or intolerances to certain foods, resulting in digestive issues including diarrhea.
  • Ingestion of harmful substances: Dogs are curious animals and may ingest toxic substances such as household chemicals, certain plants, or human medications, which can cause diarrhea.
  • Bacterial or viral infections: Dogs can contract bacterial or viral infections from contaminated food, water, or contact with other infected animals, leading to diarrhea as a symptom.
  • Parasites: Parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, or giardia, can infect dogs and cause diarrhea.
  • Stress or anxiety: Dogs can experience stress or anxiety due to various factors, such as changes in their environment, loud noises, or separation from their owners, which can manifest as diarrhea.
  • Underlying health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis, can cause chronic or recurring diarrhea in dogs.

It is important to note that diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, so if your dog experiences prolonged or severe diarrhea, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Role of Cheese in a Dog’s Diet

When it comes to a dog’s diet, cheese can play a role in providing some nutritional benefits. However, it is important to be mindful of the quantity and frequency of cheese consumption, as well as the specific needs and tolerances of individual dogs.

1. Source of Protein: Cheese is a good source of protein for dogs. Protein is essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. However, not all dogs require the same amount of protein, so it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of cheese or other sources of protein for your dog.

2. Calcium Content: Cheese is also a source of calcium, which is important for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. However, excessive consumption of cheese can lead to an imbalance of calcium in a dog’s diet. It is important to provide a balanced diet that includes other sources of calcium, such as bones or specialized dog food formulated with the correct nutrient ratios.

3. Treats and Training: Cheese can be a tasty and convenient treat for dogs. Many dog owners use small pieces of cheese as rewards during training sessions. However, it is important to limit the amount of cheese given as treats, as it can contribute to weight gain and digestive issues if overdone.

4. Individual Considerations: Every dog is unique, with different dietary needs and tolerances. Some dogs may have lactose intolerance or food allergies, which can cause digestive issues when consuming cheese. It is important to observe your dog’s reaction to cheese and consult with a veterinarian if you suspect any adverse effects.

Overall, cheese can be a part of a dog’s diet in moderation. It can provide some nutritional benefits, but it is important to be mindful of portion sizes, the individual dog’s needs, and any reactions or allergies. Consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure that cheese is included appropriately in your dog’s diet.

Feeding Cheese to Dogs: Dos and Don’ts

Many dog owners love to share their favorite foods with their furry companions, and cheese is no exception. While cheese can be a tasty treat for dogs, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of feeding cheese to your canine friend.


  • Choose natural, low-sodium cheeses: Opt for cheeses that are free from additives and have low sodium content. Some suitable options include mozzarella, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt.
  • Feed cheese in moderation: Cheese should be given as an occasional treat and not as a main part of your dog’s diet. Too much cheese can lead to digestive issues and weight gain.
  • Introduce cheese slowly: If your dog hasn’t had cheese before, start with small amounts and monitor their reaction. Some dogs may have lactose intolerance and experience digestive upset.
  • Use cheese as a training reward: Cheese can be a high-value treat for training purposes. Cut it into small, manageable pieces and use it as a reward for good behavior.
  • Consider the dog’s overall diet: Cheese should be considered as an addition to a balanced and nutritionally complete diet. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the cheese won’t interfere with your dog’s specific dietary needs.


  • Feed cheese to lactose-intolerant dogs: Some dogs are lactose intolerant and may have difficulty digesting lactose found in cheese. If your dog shows signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea or gas, it’s best to avoid feeding them cheese.
  • Give dogs cheese with added seasonings or spices: Avoid giving dogs cheese that contains garlic, onions, or other seasonings, as these can be harmful to dogs.
  • Feed dogs cheese high in fat or salt: Cheeses that are high in fat and salt can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, or other health issues. Stick to lower-fat, low-sodium options.
  • Make cheese the sole source of nutrition: Cheese should never replace a balanced diet formulated for dogs. It should only be given as an occasional treat or supplement.
  • Ignore your dog’s individual needs and tolerances: Every dog is different, so it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s specific dietary needs and any reactions they may have to cheese.

In conclusion, while cheese can be a tasty and nutritious treat for dogs when given in moderation and with consideration to their individual needs, it’s important to follow the dos and don’ts outlined above to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.


Can I give cheese to my dog?

Yes, you can give cheese to your dog in moderation. However, some dogs may be lactose intolerant and may experience diarrhea after consuming cheese.

What should I do if my dog has diarrhea after eating cheese?

If your dog experiences diarrhea after eating cheese, you should stop giving them cheese and monitor their condition. If the diarrhea persists or if your dog shows other symptoms of illness, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

Why does cheese cause diarrhea in dogs?

Cheese can cause diarrhea in dogs due to lactose intolerance. Many dogs lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. When dogs consume cheese, the undigested lactose can cause digestive upset, including diarrhea.

Is there any type of cheese that is safe for dogs?

Some types of cheeses, such as hard cheeses like cheddar or Swiss, contain less lactose than softer cheeses. These types of cheese may be better tolerated by dogs who are not severely lactose intolerant. However, it is still important to feed cheese to dogs in moderation and to monitor for any adverse reactions.

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