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Can Dogs Eat Goat Cheese? Vet-Reviewed Health Concerns

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

goat cheese on wooden board

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Because our dogs are omnivores, they may be able to digest quite a few snacks that humans can. But if you know that some foods are inappropriate or potentially harmful for your dog, you’re doing the right thing by checking the product’s safety.

If you’re wondering about goat cheese, this dairy substance is usually safe in very small amounts, but it’s not an ideal snack for our canine companions.

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Always Consult Your Veterinarian

Before introducing anything new to your canine, getting the green light from a professional is always best. Most will agree that your dog should really stay away from table scraps and human foods.

However, they might have other advice and portion recommendations in some rare cases, such as for hiding medications.

woman talking to vet
Photo Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Goat Cheese Health Facts

Amount Per: 1 oz

  • Calories: 103
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg
  • Sodium: 194 mg
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Calcium: 200 mg

Goat Cheese Is Often Not Problematic in Small Portions

Even though goat cheese is a human food that shouldn’t act as a routine snack for your dog, it is often not a problem in small portions. There are exceptions, but for the most part, eating a small amount will be fine, possibly causing a mildly upset digestive system at worst.

So, if you’re looking to hide a pill or give the occasional reward, a small chunk of goat cheese may be fine. However, there are other snacks that are healthier for your dog, and you definitely want to avoid goat cheese with additives such as onion or garlic.

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Photo Credit: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock

Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

Like all other animal cheeses, goat cheese contains a sugar called lactose. You might be familiar with it. Just like many humans can be lactose intolerant, so can dogs! If you are unfamiliar with it, we’ll explain the issue.

Lactose intolerance happens when your dog’s body cannot break down the lactose appropriately since they do not have the correct lactase enzyme. So, any uptake in animal-based milk products containing lactose can upset their digestive system.

Goat cheese happens to be lower in lactose than cheese made from cow’s milk, so it is often tolerated better, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great all-the-time food.

Signs of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance for dogs may have the following signs:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite

The 3 Other Risks of Goat Cheese for Dogs

Lactose aside, there are other potential issues with goat cheese that make it a less than ideal snack for your dog.

1. Goat Cheese Has Lots of Fat

Goat cheese contains a high fat content. Since your dog gets plenty of fat in their daily diet, it’s best to keep these sorts of products to a minimum. If your dog is getting an influx of fat in their daily diet, the extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity. Eating a large amount of fat at one time can contribute to a potentially serious condition called pancreatitis.


2. Goat Cheese Can Upset Your Dog’s Belly

Rich foods like goat cheese can cause general gastrointestinal upset, possibly causing your dog to feel pretty crummy after consumption. An upset belly can lead to unwanted outcomes like diarrhea or vomiting.


3. Goat Cheese Contains Potentially Toxic Additives

Goat cheese can be flavored with various yummy ingredients, like garlic, chives, and other seasonings which can be toxic to dogs. It is imperative to read the label so you can understand if there are any problematic ingredients.

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Photo Credit: LADO, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

The bottom line is most dogs can eat a small bit of goat cheese and be fine. However, eating a large amount at once, or even smaller amounts over time can be detrimental. If your pup happens to eat a lot of goat cheese, especially some flavored with garlic or onions, talk to your veterinarian. If they experience digestive upset lasting longer than a day or two or with severe signs, contact your vet. While most goat cheeses aren’t necessarily toxic, they also aren’t a good snack option. Look to other healthy foods, such as commercial dog treats or lean cuts of meat instead.


Featured Image Credit: Moving Moment, Shutterstock

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