Picture this scenario: You're making your grandmother's cheesecake recipe, and your heart and home are filled with memories. Here comes your beloved pup, dashing into the kitchen, wanting to share this special moment with you. He walks on your toes, looks up, and sees the spoon you're holding covered in cream cheese. His eyes meet yours. He starts to pant, begging you for a taste! You stop and wonder, "Is cream cheese ok for dogs? And can dogs eat cheesecake?" Before this story becomes your reality, let's do the research, shall we?
Can dogs have cream cheese?
The verdict: Yes! It is safe for dogs to eat cream cheese, but only in small portions. Cheese in general can be beneficial for dogs as it contains protein, calcium, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A and B along with other complex vitamins. However, healthy dogs on a complete and balanced diet generally don't need nutrient supplementation, so think of cheese just as a limited treat. Cream cheese also has no poisonous or toxic effects on dogs.
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How much cream cheese can my dog have?
As cream cheese is not a natural food or essential to your dog's health, it should only be given occasionally as a treat and in small portions. Too much cream cheese can lead to digestive problems, obesity and, in some cases, pancreatitis in your pet.
Concerns about dogs eating too much cream cheese
Like other dairy products, the greatest concern about dogs eating cream cheese is that many dogs are lactose intolerant. If your pup cannot properly digest lactose, stay away from cream cheese!
If your dog has never had cream cheese or any cheese before, start out with very small amounts and see how they react before feeding any more. If diarrhea or any other perceived problems occur, stop feeding the cream cheese and consult your veterinarian. If your dog has a history of pancreatitis or a sensitive digestive tract, do not ever offer even a small amount of cream cheese or other high fat food or treat.
READ MORE: How To Safely Feed Yogurt To Dogs
Low-fat cheeses are preferable to feed pets, and cream cheese is very high in fat as well as sugar. For this reason, it should only be given as a treat, never a meal replacement. The fat only harms your pup's waistline and overall health, while the sugar is not great for their teeth. Again, small amounts are best. Given its high sugar content, do not give any cream cheese to diabetic dogs, even as a treat.
How to safely feed your dog cream cheese
You can give your dog straight cream cheese in very small amounts or use it as an ingredient in other foods that are safe for your dog. Some pet owners use this creamy snack as part of the frosting on doggie birthday cakes or to top dog treats with a bit of cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese is also helpful for hiding medicine. For stubborn dogs, pills and capsules can be lightly coated with cream cheese to help get needed medication into their systems. Just be careful to use the "cream cheese trick" sparingly. If done too often, it can create bad habits and backfire. Your dog may eventually refuse to take his medicine without the cream cheese, or want cream cheese even when medication is no longer needed. Also, make sure that your pet actually consumes the medication and doesn't just lick off the cream cheese and spit out the pill.
Like other dairy products, cream cheese contains some vitamins but overall has no nutritional value for your pet and should be given sparingly. If your dog is diabetic, lactose intolerant or has a history of pancreatitis, avoid cream cheese all together. If they can digest lactose without issue, again, cream cheese should be given in small amounts and only as a treat or an occasional aid with medication.
Can your pup lick the cream cheese off your baking spoon? Sure. Just make sure not to go overboard (and of course, finish your baking with a clean spoon for the human folk).
Would you like to learn more about the foods your pup can and cannot eat? Learn about how to properly prepare turkey for you dog and then scroll through this article about adding cauliflower into your dog's diet.