As humans, we love cheese, and it isn’t uncommon for our canine buddies to look towards us with imploring eyes when taking a bite of cheese. Consequently, one of the most commonly asked questions among dog parents is whether or not American cheese is safe for dogs to consume.
So, can dogs eat American cheese? Dogs can eat American cheese safely. However, the presence of excess fat and sodium, as well as additives, such as emulsifiers and preservatives, used in formulating this dairy product, means that American cheese should only be fed to dogs in limited quantities.
While it isn’t exactly the best meal to eat for dogs, feeding a dog with American cheese does have its own perks, and these will be detailed in this article. Consumption of an excessive amount of American cheese, however, can be dangerous for dogs, and we’ll also outline the health risks that a pooch may experience as a result of consuming this food product in large quantities.
Before we go into all these, however, let’s provide a succinct answer to the question of whether or not American cheese is safe for dogs to eat.
Can Dogs Eat American Cheese?
Yes, dogs can eat American cheese, but this food product should only be fed to pooches in moderate amounts.
American cheese is a popular form of processed cheese in the United States that is prepared by pasteurizing traditional cheese that has been ground and combined with emulsifying agents and other ingredients such as cream, milk, skimmed milk, or cheese whey, to form a melted, uniform mixture.
The American cheese typically turns out with a salty and creamy flavor – due to the nature of ingredients used in preparing it – and more fluid consistency.
That said, common uses of American cheese include the preparation of various meals such as roasted vegetables, baked macaroni, and chicken cheesesteaks, just to mention a few.
It also isn’t uncommon to see processed American cheese being fed to dogs. However, the presence of ingredients such as salt, milk fat, whey, and the high sugar content present in this food product does not make it an ideal meal choice for a dog.
How Much American Cheese Can I Feed To My Dog?
As stated earlier, American cheese typically contains a significant amount of sugar and salt; hence it isn’t safe to feed to dogs in large amounts. If, however, it is your desire to feed your canine buddy with American cheese, it is recommended that you feed this product to the pooch as an occasional treat.
Now, how much American cheese your pooch can consume is largely dependent on factors such as the dog’s weight and age. But as a rule of thumb, it is recommended that any treat, American cheese included, being fed to a dog shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of the pooch’s total daily caloric intake.
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Dogs With American Cheese?
American cheese has certain nutrients that can be of immense benefit to a dog’s health, and it also makes for a high-value treat or training reward for dogs.
American Cheese Contains Nutrients That Can Be Beneficial To A Dog
As much as American cheese contains nutrients that can be harmful to a dog’s well-being, this food product also boasts nutrients that can improve the quality of a dog’s life.
The nutritional composition of a slice of American cheese typically includes protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins. And these nutrients carry out functions such as strengthening of body muscles, production of stronger bones, and vibrant skin and coat appearance, just to mention a few.
American Cheese Makes A Wonderful Treat For Dogs
As mentioned earlier, American cheese is best served to dogs like treats, and the presence of nutrients such as calcium and proteins makes it a high-value treat for pooches. Small pieces of American cheese also make a great choice of training rewards for dogs.
Additionally, hiding pills in little amounts of American cheese can be a fantastic way of getting dogs, who are often wary about taking medicinal drugs.
To conceal medication in American cheese for your pooch, simply cut a portion of the cheese, push the drug into the center of the cut portion, and offer it to your canine buddy.
What Happens When I Feed My Dog With Too Much American Cheese?
Consumption of excessive amounts of American cheese can result in gastrointestinal upsets for lactose intolerant dogs, the development of weight-related issues such as obesity in a dog, as well as salt poisoning due to the high salt content of American cheese.
We’ve outlined how American cheese can benefit dogs, but these benefits only come into play when this food product is fed to dogs in minimal amounts. Feeding a dog with large amounts of American cheese can be detrimental to the pooch’s health and result in medical conditions such as:
Some dogs that are lactose-intolerant are incapable of processing dairy materials, and as American cheese typically contains a considerable amount of dairy products, the consumption of this product can result in a severe stomach upset for the dog.
Lactose intolerance in dogs occurs due to the absence of the enzyme lactase needed for the digestion of milk or other dairy products in dogs. And when a lactose intolerant dog feasts on excessive amounts of American cheese, an allergic reaction will most likely be triggered in the dog.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal upset which develop as a result of lactose intolerant dogs eating American cheese are typically mild, and they usually manifest as the pooch in question producing loose stool or constantly releasing foul-smelling gas.
American cheese typically contains a lot of fat, and feeding excessive amounts of this cheese to a dog can result in the creation of fat deposits within the pooch’s body and subsequent obesity. Canine obesity also comes with its own problems, and if not properly attended to, it can degenerate into diabetes for a dog.
Commercially processed American cheese also usually contains an unhealthy amount of salt, and salt as an ingredient can be extremely toxic to dogs when consumed in excess quantities. The consumption of too much American cheese containing salt can result in vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and nausea for a dog.
Additionally, the salt contained in American cheese can be quite dangerous for dogs with existing kidney conditions when consumed in either little or large amounts. It can considerably make such a dog’s health condition worse.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats American Cheese?
If your dog has eaten American cheese, you should monitor such a dog for signs of illness before deciding to take the pooch to a vet clinic.
Always Monitor The Dog
American cheese is generally non-toxic to dogs when consumed in either small or large quantities; Hence, if your pooch has taken a bite of the American cheese left in the kitchen, such a dog should be just fine.
If, however, your lactose-intolerant canine buddy – or any other dog – has consumed significant amounts of American cheese, you should immediately get on the phone with your vet to explain the situation.
You’ll typically be required to monitor the dog in question for the occurrence of strange symptoms, and upon observing anything out of the ordinary, such as diarrheaor vomiting, you’ll usually be required to bring the dog in for a proper physical and medical examination.