Why Do Dogs Love Cheese So Much? Here’s What You Should Know
There’s a pretty good chance that no matter what you eat, your furry friend will be waiting at your feet bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It’s just the nature of the beast. But when it comes to certain foods (cheese and peanut butter) most dogs can’t contain themselves. No one really asks “do dogs like cheese?” Because they already know.
But why is that? Why do dogs love cheese and the taste of cheese flavored dog treats? Let’s talk about it..
The Scoop: Why Do Dogs Love Cheese So Much?
Like their nearest relative, the gray wolf, dogs tend to have a “feast or famine” mindset. This means that even though they get fed regularly, they often act as though they may never get a meal again. This behavior is even more noticeable when it comes to dogs and cheese. But turns out, there’s likely a reason for that. Believe it or not, cheese is naturally addictive.
When cheese breaks down in your dog’s stomach (or your own) it produces a peptide called casomorphin. Research has shown that casomorphin can attach to brain receptors and produce dopamine (aka “the happy chemical”). This means that cheese actually has some addictive properties by nature. This isn’t an inherently good or bad thing but it does help us understand why dogs love cheese flavored dog treats so much! In addition to that, cheese usually contains a good bit of salt, calcium and protein, which are all nutritional requirements for dogs. Dogs are hard-wired to enjoy the taste of nutrient packed foods high in salt, calcium and protein. So that’s another likely reason for their love for cheese!
Dogs And Cheese – Is It Good For Them?
We’ve already answered the question: “Why do dogs love cheese,” but is cheese good for them? Can dogs have string cheese? Is cottage cheese good for dogs? And is dairy good for dogs in general?
Cheese (and dairy in general) is likely very palatable for your four-legged best friend. It tastes good, smells delicious, and offers a variety of nutritional benefits like protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
But just like people, sometimes dogs and cheese don’t mix. For some the lactose in cheese can be hard to digest, thanks to lactose intolerance. Some dogs deal with this intolerance their whole lives, while others may find it harder to digest cheese as they get older. This can be challenging for dogs and dog owners especially when you understand why dogs love cheese so much.
It’s important to keep in mind that every dog is different, of course. But so long as you and your vet have no concerns, start introducing cheese in small amounts and see how your dog reacts. A good way to do this is by offering your pup one of our cheese flavored dog treats, made with actual cheese. Chances are, your furry pal won’t be able to resist them!
What Cheeses To Avoid
Having knowledge of why dogs love cheese so much can help you prepare for the event that your dog gets addicted to these tasty treats. Many types of cheese are safe to give to your furry friend in small amounts. But there are some that can cause your dog harm, so it’s important to be aware of them.
Blue cheese has the potential to harm your dog, especially when it’s overripe. It contains mold, which can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. It’s known to cause vomiting and even seizures. Even if the begging is irresistible, you’ll need to avoid sharing this kind of cheese with your dog.
Nowadays there are plenty of cheeses that contain a multitude of spices, seasonings, and herbs. But many of these additions are actually toxic to dogs! For example, garlic and chives can be very harmful to dogs and can even cause some severe health problems. Always check the ingredients in your cheese! When in doubt, just don’t share- no matter how hard it is.
Instead, when you’re eating one of these forbidden cheeses, try giving your four-legged friend one of Carolina Prime’s cheesy dog treats. Yum.
Guidelines For Feeding Cheese To Your Furry Friend
So we understand why dogs love cheese, and which types to avoid. Now, let’s find out how much is too much cheese for dogs? Well, often this depends on your dog’s individual tolerance for lactose. Some dogs have stomachs of steel and seem to be unphased by almost any amount. The addictive properties of cheese that is the reason why dogs love cheese so much can be problematic for other dogs as they can’t handle any portion of cheese without upsetting their stomachs!
It’s also a good idea to stick to low-fat varieties of cheese. High-fat cheeses will often lead to you feeding your dog more calories than they need. And this can put them at risk for developing obesity and other health problems later on.
As a general rule, if you’re going to give your pup a bite of cheese, start with small amounts. Many vets recommend that any food separate from your dog’s regular meal shouldn’t account for more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. So if your dog’s a fiend for cheese, keep in mind that moderation is key!
Cheesy Treats As Training Tools
Now that you know why dogs love cheese so much, you know that dogs will do just about anything for a tasty cheesy snack. So why not use that to your advantage while training your pup? Carolina Prime makes a wide variety of treats including some cheesy varieties. Check out our tasty Cheeze and Sweet Potato Tiny Bites and Cheezy Crinkle Sweet Potato Chips!
With Carolina Prime Pet you can always count on premium quality ingredients that have been carefully sourced within the USA. No icky fillers or fake ingredients here. So next time you’re enjoying an ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich or arranging a variety of cheeses for a charcuterie board, pass your pupper a cheesy treat made specifically for them!