Who doesn’t love some cream cheese? This spreadable cheese is creamy, rich in taste, and slightly tangy. But the wide variety available raises the question, is cream cheese safe for dogs?
Yes, you can give your dog cream cheese, but you must be careful with any human food fed to dogs. You need to know what brand of cream cheese they can eat, how much is safe for them, and how to feed your dog cream cheese properly.
Is Cream Cheese Good for Dogs?
Cream cheese doesn’t only taste good; it has important nutrients that can benefit your dog. For example, the protein in the cheese is good for your dog’s muscles, assisting in their growth. It also has essential fatty acids that help give your dog a shiny coat and boost brain and eye development.
The calcium in cream cheese is essential for their teeth and promotes strong bones. Cream cheese also contains B-complex vitamins that give your dog energy and promote other biochemical reactions.
Vitamin A is also part of the nutrients, boosting your pup’s immune response and supporting their bones, vision, and growth.
You can use cream cheese as a training tool, rewarding your dog for their good behavior. As dogs find the cheese hard to resist, you can also use it to hide pills when your pup is sick.
Dangers of Cream Cheese
Although it has some healthy aspects, you must practice caution when feeding your dog cream cheese. Some of the reasons this is important are:
Cream cheese contains a lot of fat, which can harm your dog. Some brands have about 6 grams of saturated fat per serving, which is too much for dogs and can cause weight gain.
It is also dangerous for pets with weight problems. Feeding them this much fat can lead to obesity and even diabetes. You can combat this by looking for low-fat cream cheese brands. Another option is to find better and much healthier treats that your dog will enjoy.
This is a problem with many canines, and giving them cream cheese does not help. The lactose content in it can cause digestive issues for your dog, even if they are not lactose intolerant.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, you want to ensure they are not exposed to dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, or cheese.
Test whether your dog has this intolerance by starting them out on small amounts of cream cheese. Avoid it if they start showing any signs of discomfort or diarrhea. You can also ask your vet if your dog can eat cream cheese before you start.
Different brands use different ingredients in their cream cheese, and some of those ingredients can be harmful.
Some brands have fruits in their cream cheese, while others use herbs. You might enjoy the garlic and herb flavor, but it is dangerous to your dog.
When shopping, go for a low-fat, plain cream cheese brand. Study the label and the ingredients list to ascertain it is dog-friendly cream cheese.
How Much Cream Cheese is Safe for Dogs
It is best to feed your pup small amounts of cream cheese occasionally. Your dog’s diet already provides them with everything they need. Therefore, feeding them cream cheese is unnecessary and exposes them to its dangerous side when they overeat.
It is okay if your dog licks the spoon you used to serve yourself cream cheese; just ensure the amount left is not too much. You can also prepare a healthy cream cheese treat for them to enjoy from time to time.
Cream Cheese Treat
Follow this recipe to make a tasty, sweet treat for your dog. You can use it to show your dog some appreciation or during training.
The recipe makes a large batch, but you can freeze it and dole it out whenever you need.
- 3 1/3 cups wheat flour
- One egg
- 9 tbsp honey
- ½ cup water or chicken stock
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 7 oz softened cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a bowl, combine wheat flour, egg, cream cheese, vegetable oil, water or chicken stock, honey, and vanilla extract
- Mix with hand or hand mixer until a firm dough forms
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to achieve a ¼ or 1/8 inch thickness. Make the thickness according to the size of your dog, but don’t make it too thick as it can be hard to chew
- Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut the dough
- Grease your baking sheet using butter
- Place the cookies on the tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown
- Let the cookies cool
- Feed them as a treat; once or twice a week is enough.