When I was little I was made to believe there was a thief called the ‘Bagel robber’. To my surprise none of my friends had suffered from such a crime and there was a positive correlation (fancy word) between the frequency of visits from my older sister and the pikes of this ‘criminal activity’. My sister tried (and quite successfully) to frame our pup Martin who got all the blame until the truth came out (it often does).
Our dogs are certainly parts of our family- and they love to eat everything they can get their paws on, especially whatever we are planning on eating! If you love eating cream cheese on bagels or dipping celery into it, you may be wondering if your dog can have cream cheese too or whether this yummy snack should be avoided for our furry friends.
Should I give in and give my dog cream cheese? Can dogs eat cream cheese?
Cream cheese, like other cheeses, is safe for your dog to eat. However, cream cheese is higher in fat than many other cheeses, which makes it a less desirable option for a treat. The high fat content can cause pancreatitis and gastrointestinal discomfort to your dog, so you should only give cream cheese in moderation. It can also lead to obesity over time.
Another potential problem is that dogs can have varying degrees of intolerance to lactose or allergies to milk ingredients. If your dog is intolerant to lactose, consuming cream cheese can lead to an upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea.
If giving your dog cream cheese, pay close attention to the ingredients. Cream cheese can come in different flavors, including ones that use onion or garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs.
Health Benefits of Cream Cheese
In small amounts cream cheese (and any type of cheese, really) has some great health benefits for your dog! This is because cream cheese contains protein, vitamins A, B, and B2, calcium, and important fatty acids. But, keep in mind that your dog should be getting all of these nutrients from their regular dog food and these additional nutrients will just be a nice bonus for them and therefore should not be a regular part of the diet.
Why Cream Cheese Can Be Bad For Dogs
Cream cheese does have some concerns that you should keep in mind when giving it to your dog. Cream cheese is often high in fat, which means that if your dog is overweight or has a history of pancreatitis, cream cheese should not be given to them. Cream cheese can also contain high amounts of salt, which could lead to dehydration. Also, make sure you read the ingredients of any cream cheese containers that you are planning on giving to your dog because some common additives (like garlic, onion, or chives) are toxic for our four legged family members.
How To Feed Cream Cheese To Your Dog
Cream cheese can be spread on feeding toys, such as the inside of a Kong or on a Lickimat, to keep your dog busy and entertained. It can also be spread on top of a piece of their food for a nice, bonus treat for them.
Plus, if your dog loves cream cheese, you can spread cream cheese all over any medication that they need to take and they will likely gulp down their pills with no problem! Just keep in mind that it is not recommended that you hide antibiotics in cream cheese (or any dairy problems) because the antibiotics may bind to the calcium in the dairy, which may make the antibiotic less effective for your pooch.
How Much Cream Cheese Can Dogs Eat
Cream cheese should only be given to your dog in small portions and only on special occasions (this is not something that your dog should be getting daily). This is due to the fact that too much cream cheese can lead to obesity, digestive problems, or pancreatitis.
What foods can I give my dog instead of cream cheese?
Whipped cream cheese tends to contain less fat and fewer calories than traditional cream cheese, and this may be a healthier option. If your dog really loves cream cheese and just cannot get enough of it, cottage cheese is a great substitution for cream cheese because it has lower amounts of fat, has higher amounts of protein, and also aids in digestion. Cottage cheese is lighter and healthier in general than cream cheese.
Can dogs be allergic to cream cheese?
Some dogs are lactose intolerant and they will not be able to digest cream cheese easily. If your dog has never had dairy products, give them a very small amount of cream cheese and observe them for the next 24 hours and make sure they are not showing any signs of an upset stomach or problems going to the bathroom.
Can dogs with diabetes eat cream cheese?
Cream cheese does not have high amounts of sugar, so it can be given in small amounts to dogs with diabetes. Dogs who are obese, on the other hand, should not eat cream cheese.