Can Dogs Eat Cheese Sticks? Healthy Benefits + Safe Snacking Guide

Ever peeked over the counter to find your dog eyeing your cheese stick with longing? You might wonder, “Can dogs eat cheese sticks?” Believe it or not, a whopping 60% of dogs are lactose intolerant! But fear not, cheese lovers with canine companions. While cheese sticks might not be a daily treat, there are safe ways your furry friend can still enjoy a cheesy delight.

Cheese: A Special Treat, Not an Everyday Food

Your dog may love the taste of cheese, but it’s best reserved for special occasions. Here’s why:

Tummy Troubles: Lactose, a sugar in dairy, can be hard for many dogs to digest. This can lead to embarrassing gas, tummy rumbles, and diarrhea.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Cheese is loaded with fat. Overdoing it can cause weight issues and, in some cases, a serious condition called pancreatitis in dogs.

Unsafe Ingredients: Always double-check cheese labels! Garlic, onions, and certain herbs can be dangerous for your furry friend.

Choosing the Right Cheese

If you want to give your dog a cheesy treat, stick to these safe options:

  • Mozzarella: Low in lactose and salt, making it a decent occasional snack.
  • Cheddar: Another low-lactose option, but choose low-fat varieties.
  • Cottage Cheese: Low in fat and a good source of protein.
  • Swiss Cheese: Low in lactose and fat.

Portion Control is Key

Even with dog-friendly cheeses, moderation is everything. A tiny dog might only manage a teaspoon of shredded cheese a few times per week, while a larger dog might handle a bit more. If your dog has health concerns, always consult your vet before offering any cheese.

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Beyond Snacking: Uses for Cheese

  • Training Tool: Cheese is a high-value treat that can make training sessions more effective.
  • Hiding Medicine: The strong flavor of cheese can help mask the taste of pills.

Warning Signs to Watch For

Did your dog go overboard with the cheese, or munch something they shouldn’t have? Watch out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness

If these signs appear, contact your vet right away.

My Dog Ate a Whole Pack of Cheese Sticks!

Can Dogs Eat Cheese Sticks
Image Credit: Sergii Kolesnikov/istockphoto

Uh oh! If your dog managed to snag a whole pack of cheese sticks, here’s what to do:

Stay Calm: Don’t panic! Most likely, your dog will experience some digestive upset, but serious issues are rare.

Monitor Your Dog: Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If these symptoms appear or seem severe, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Withhold Food (Temporarily): Give your dog’s stomach a break for a few hours. Offer small amounts of water to prevent dehydration.

Bland Diet: If your dog seems okay after a few hours, offer a bland diet like boiled white rice and plain chicken for the next day or two. This helps settle their stomach.

Preventative Measures: Consider storing cheese sticks and other treats out of reach in the future. Secure cabinets with childproof latches or place them on high shelves.

Alternatives to Cheese Sticks

Looking for non-cheesy treats your dog will love? Here are some safe and satisfying options:

Small pieces of cooked chicken or lean meat: A great source of protein.

Frozen blueberries or carrots: These offer a fun, chewy texture and provide vitamins.

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Low-fat, plain yogurt: A good source of protein and probiotics, which aid digestion. But be sure it’s plain and free of artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.

Specially formulated dog treats: Choose treats made with healthy ingredients and avoid those with excessive sugar or artificial flavors.

Cheese Recipes for Dogs (Because Sharing is Caring!)

Want to spoil your furry friend with something special? Try these safe and tasty cheese-based recipes:

Fro-Yo Pupsicles: Combine equal parts plain low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese in an ice cube tray or small molds, then freeze. A cool and creamy summer delight!

Cheesy Oat Bites: Mix 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup grated low-fat cheddar, 1 mashed banana, and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until golden brown. Cool fully before offering to your dog.


Cheese sticks and other cheeses can be a fun treat for your dog when offered safely and in moderation. By choosing appropriate cheeses, controlling portions, and being aware of potential downsides, you can let your pup enjoy a cheesy snack without worry.

The photo featured below the post headline is Credit: Bebenjy/istockphoto

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Frequently Asked Question

Can dogs eat cheese sticks every day?
No, cheese sticks shouldn’t be an everyday snack for dogs. Even safe cheeses are high in fat and some dogs don’t tolerate dairy well. Limit cheese treats to a few times a week.

Why do dogs like string cheese?
Dogs love cheese for its strong smell, creamy texture, and high protein content. The playful stringy nature of string cheese can also be extra fun for them!

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Can dogs eat American cheese?
While dogs can tolerate occasional, small amounts of American cheese, it’s not the healthiest option. It’s higher in sodium and processed fats compared to other choices like mozzarella or cheddar.

Can dogs eat provolone cheese?
Yes, provolone is generally safe in small amounts for dogs. It’s similar in nutritional profile to mozzarella.

Are cheese sticks bad for dogs?
Cheese sticks aren’t inherently bad, but they shouldn’t be a staple in your dog’s diet. They have potential downsides like lactose, fat content, and potential for unsafe additives in flavored varieties.

Can cheese make my dog sick?
Yes, if your dog is lactose intolerant, eats too much cheese, gets into a cheese with toxic ingredients like garlic, or has a sensitive stomach, it could cause vomiting, diarrhea, or discomfort.

What are the best cheeses for dogs?
Mozzarella, cheddar, cottage cheese, and Swiss cheese tend to be easier for dogs to handle due to their lower lactose and fat content.

Can cheese constipate my dog?
Cheese alone isn’t a major constipation culprit, but too much cheese coupled with other low-fiber foods could cause tummy troubles.

Can I give my puppy cheese sticks?
Puppies have extra-delicate digestive systems. Introduce cheese slowly, in very small amounts, and always consult your vet if you have concerns.

How can I tell if my dog is lactose intolerant?
Does your dog experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting after eating cheese or other dairy? These could be signs of lactose intolerance.