Yes, dogs can consume cream cheese as it isn’t toxic or poisonous for them. Yet ensure to feed this creamy treat to your dog in moderation as it isn’t the healthiest treat out there.
This article will guide you to take a closer look at the different ways you can safely treat your dog with cream cheese and whether it is safe or healthy for your dog to eat.
What is Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is a softly whipped fresh cheese with a mild flavor, unlike most cheese varieties. Cream cheese is produced mainly using milk and cream.
Is Cream Cheese Safe for Dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat cream cheese as an occasional treat, in moderation. It is one of the best options to wean your puppy from their mother’s milk. However, remember not to overfeed them, which can harm their health. In addition, kindly keep the treat away from your dog’s reach if she is lactose-intolerant, diabetic, or obese. Also, check for the ingredients before you feed her. For example, some cream cheese varieties may contain garlic and other herbs, toxic for your dog.
Why is Cream Cheese Good for Dogs?
Cream cheese contains a good amount of protein, calcium, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, this treat lies in the category of treats in which moderation is crucial. Some benefits of cream cheese are as follows:
Calcium: Cream cheese is an excellent source of calcium. They help in building the strong bones and teeth of your four-legged friends.
Low-Fat: Compared to other tasty treats that are high in cholesterol, cream cheese can be served as an occasional treat to your puppies who are in their weaning period.
Aids in Digestion: Cream cheese helps build good gut health. Since it is a probiotic, it will help your dog, aiding in proper digestion and constipation.
Prevents Cancer: Cream cheese contains omega – 6 fatty acid called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which helps in reducing tumor formation and thus prevents cancer.
Good for Sore throats: The oils and fats in the cream cheese can help lubricate the sore throat.
A feel-good snack: Cream cheese is a ready-to-go snack for your puppies and canines when guests are around at home. It also gives a good feel to your furry friend when they are left alone or suffering from separation anxiety.
Good for Arthritis: Since it is rich in calcium, cream cheese helps rebuild the degenerated bones in some dogs that suffer from arthritis.
Shiny Coat: Just as the cream cheese is smooth in texture, eating cream cheese can rejuvenate the skin, therefore, giving your fidos a shiny coat.
Weight Loss: Unlike other full-fat, unhealthy dog treats, cream cheese is a good option for pet parents who want to keep their dog happy and healthy at the cost of offering a tasty bite of cream cheese.
Caution: If consumed in high quantities, this could lead to dental and digestive issues in your pet. Even though cream cheese contains some nutrients, it isn’t good to give it a meal replacement or a large snack.
Why is Cream Cheese Bad for Dogs?
Cream cheese isn’t a very beneficial food item for dogs. If consumed by your pet in large quantities, it would lead to health issues like digestive problems, obesity, and pancreatitis.
Cream cheese is highly processed and can be loaded up with sugar and fat content. Therefore, too much cream cheese can do more harm than good for your dog.
We’ve mentioned that you can give your dog some cream cheese, yet a few things to note before you consider doing so are:
Toxic Ingredients: Flavored cream cheese is a new crowd favorite but not the safest option for your dog for sure. Some examples of harmful ingredients added in these flavored cream cheeses are garlic, onions, and herbs, which are poisonous for dogs. This is why it has been recommended to feed your pet dog unflavored, low-fat cream cheese.
Lactose Intolerance: Most dogs are known to be lactose intolerant. However, even lactose intolerant dogs that cannot consume milk can handle other dairy products like yogurt and cheese. It is advisable to start slow with small amounts and discontinue use if you notice diarrhea or any other signs of discomfort. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Issues with urination
- Pain in joints, muscles, and body
High in Fat Content: Cream cheese inherently contains a high amount of fat you shouldn’t feed your dog in high quantities. Most brands of cream cheese have up to 6g of saturated fat per serving. Food items with this amount of fat can undoubtedly cause your pet dog to gain weight. If your dog is already obese, reach out for low-fat treats they can eat rather than cream cheese.
Allergies: Your dogs might show some allergies if the cream cheese is not suitable for them. Some symptoms may include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, facial swelling, and skin itching. If any of these symptoms are found in your dogs, it is better to talk to your vet immediately.
Salmonella Poisoning: Salmonella is a bacterium that is generally found in poultry and undercooked eggs. When you feed your dog with eggs topped with cheese, make sure the eggs are cooked well. Suppose your dog is lactose intolerant, and he happens to eat an undercooked egg. In that case, there can be food poisoning in your pet.
Diarrhea: If your dog is lactose intolerant and passes loose stools, then check with your vet immediately and look out for their bowel movements further.
Stomach upset: Though cream cheese is low in fat, the lactose content in the cream cheese might cause dogs an upset stomach. The symptoms of an upset stomach include nausea, vomiting, and gastritis. Consult the vet if situations worsen.
Intestinal Obstruction: If dogs are fed with too much cream cheese, it can cause an intestinal blockage. Symptoms of intestinal obstruction are dehydration, loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. Hence as a precaution, it is better to feed them cream cheese within limits.
How much Cream Cheese to Feed Your Dog?
As cream cheese is not a naturally occurring food or essential to your dog’s health, it should only be given rarely as a treat and in small portions.
What if my Dog Ate Cream Cheese Accidentally?
If your dog accidentally consumed cream cheese and you are not sure if they are lactose intolerant, then watch them closely. There goes a list of symptoms that your dog could experience when large amounts of cream cheese are consumed:
If your dog is lactose-intolerant or obese and still consumes cream cheese, it results in pancreatic inflammation, causing pancreatitis. Also, feeding cream cheese in large quantities causes pancreatitis. Symptoms include:
- Stomach ache
- Prolonged vomiting
- Prolonged diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
Please, contact your vet if you notice any of these signs for an extended period.
Alternatives to Cream Cheese
Cottage cheese is a great alternative when compared to cream cheese as it goes through minimal processing. Want to know how else you can include cream cheese as a treat in your dog’s diet? Here is a recipe that will ensure the same!
Dog- Safe Cream Cheese and Honey Treats
- 3 and ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- 7 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup water or chicken stock
- 9 tablespoons of honey
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oil, cream cheese, egg, honey, chicken stock or water, and some vanilla extract.
Step 3: Mix well until a firm dough form that can be rolled out without any trouble.
Step 4: Now, roll out the dough using a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch. Note here that if the cookie is too thick, it can be difficult for your dog to chew.
Step 5: You can cut out the treats with a cookie cutter or carve out cute shapes using your knife.
Step 6: Lightly grease the baking sheet with some butter.
Step 7: Bake the cookies on the tray for about 10 – 15 minutes and take them out only when they turn golden brown.
Step 8: Let the cookies cool before you can feed one or two as a treat to your dog!
- All-purpose flour
- Cream cheese
Beat together the butter and sugar till it turns fluffy in texture. Add cream cheese, beat again, add the sifted flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix everything, add the egg mixture in batches—Preheat the oven. Mix a few times and put it in a laminating bag, squeeze it into the paper cups, and bake this at 180 degrees for 40 minutes. Please wait until it cools and serve it to your dogs.
Other alternatives that contain the same nutrients and are safe for dogs are as follows:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Puppies Eat Cream Cheese?
A puppy’s digestive system can be pretty sensitive. So, it would be best not to give them cream cheese to consume. Instead, you can choose to test out their lactose tolerance once they grow up a little so their digestive system can handle at least small amounts of dairy.
Can Dogs Eat Low-Fat Cream Cheese?
If the fat content is the only issue with cream cheese consumption, then can dog this low-fat version of cream cheese? Of course, the fat isn’t the only concern regarding cream cheese – the lactose content is the primary concern. However, low-fat cream cheese might be a better option as a great for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Vegan Cream Cheese?
This depends on the ingredients that went into making that particular vegan cream cheese. Most of them contain pureed nuts as a base, and if your pet dog is allergic to nuts, they must be kept away from the vegan cream cheese.
Ensure that you read the ingredients list closely – if the vegan cream cheese contains a high amount of salt, or has garlic or onions in it, do not give it to your dog at all.
Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese with Chives?
Chives is a vegetable that belongs to the onion family. As we know that onions are toxic to dogs, cream cheese with chives should never be fed to your dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese Frosting?
No, dogs should never consume cream cheese frosting – or any frosting, ideally. Frosting on cakes has high amounts of sugar, unsuitable for your pet. These frostings also carry vanilla extract in them, and pure vanilla extract is extremely dangerous for dogs.
We suggest a homemade and dog-safe version of cream cheese frosting – mix up 120 g of cream cheese along with 1/4 cup of peanut butter. So, you have a safe and healthier treat on your hands, go ahead and feed this to your dog in small amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese Bagel?
Bagel with some cream cheese spread will add a lot of carbs and dairy for your pet to consume. Ensure that you don’t give your dog a bagel that has seeds, garlic, or onions on them.
Can Dogs Eat Cream Cheese Fruit Dip?
Yes, dogs can consume cream cheese fruit dip if it doesn’t contain added sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Cream Cheese?
Yes, Dogs can eat Blueberry and Strawberry cream cheese, provided both are made naturally and do not contain artificial flavors or added sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Blue Cheese?
No, the cheese which should be avoided is Blue Cheese. They are mature, Mold cheese. When the blue cheese is ripened, this produces mycotoxin, roquefortine C. They are highly toxic, but if your dog happens to eat a bit of it accidentally, then you may look out for unusual signs and report them to your vet immediately.
To sum up, cream cheese can be safe for consumption for your dogs, but it may not be the healthiest treat out there for them. However, the cream cheese and honey treat recipe provided above is a safe way to feed small amounts of cream cheese to your pet without any worry!