Many dog trainers or books recommend using cheese as a training treat, but can German Shepherds eat cheese safely?
Normally yes, but it really depends on each individual dog as well as the kind of cheese you are trying to give your dog.
Dogs That Should Not Have Cheese
For most dogs, cheese is a high-value treat, and most can tolerate it in moderate amounts. But, don’t give your German Shepherd any cheese if:
1) They’re allergic.
Dairy products like cheese are some of the most common foods that trigger an allergic response in dogs. Although only about 0.2% of dogs have food allergies, it’s better to play it safe and check your German Shepherd for allergic reactions before giving this as a treat on a regular basis.
2) They’re lactose intolerant.
Although cheese has a lower lactose content than fresh milk, moderate amounts could still trigger severe reactions in lactose-intolerant dogs. If your German Shepherd is sensitive to lactose, it’s better to skip the cheese altogether.
3) They’re overweight.
Cheese is generally high in fat as well as calories. If your GSD is overweight or obese, opt for leaner alternatives like chicken and tuna.
4) They have a sensitive stomach.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs can have poor digestive reactions to unfamiliar foods. So, if cheese isn’t part of their usual diet (which it shouldn’t be), they might quickly become sick with gas or diarrhea because of it.
I tried using cheese as a treat with my dog when she was a pup and because she had a really sensitive stomach it didn’t agree with her and I had to switch to another type of treat.
5) They have kidney problems.
Many types of cheese have high sodium content, which could be very harmful to dogs who suffer from kidney disease. If you can’t resist giving cheese to your GSD, stick with low sodium cheeses like fresh mozzarella and goat cheese.
What Kind of Cheese to Give Your Dog
If your German Shepherd isn’t among the type of dogs that shouldn’t have any cheese, they’re in luck! They can enjoy cheese as a very exciting treat.
While they can have almost any kind of cheese, it’s best to stick with those that are low in fat and salt. That might include cottage cheese, mozzarella, and soft goat cheese.
When choosing cheeses for your dog, it’s critical that you avoid blue-veined cheeses like Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Danish Blue because they contain a substance that is generally unsafe for dogs. Dogs that consume these types of cheeses may experience diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and seizures.
Additionally, try to avoid heavily processed cheeses because they often contain a variety of artificial and chemical ingredients. You should also favor plain cheese over seasoned ones to avoid optional ingredients like chives and onions.
Can German Shepherds eat cheese… yes! Most dogs love cheese, and they’re perfect to use as a high-value treat. However, make sure that your German Shepherd isn’t one of those dogs who need to avoid it as it could be detrimental to their health.
Also, not all cheeses are safe for dogs, so be sure to know what you can and shouldn’t give.
Does your German Shepherd like cheese? Let me know in the comments.