Can Dogs Eat Mac and Cheese? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat mac and cheese in minimal quantities. Mac and cheese is not toxic for your dog, but it is not healthy either.

What is Mac and Cheese? 

An Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina, records Pasta and Cheese casseroles from the 14th Century. The ingredients were pasta, cheese (usually parmesan), and butter. In French cuisine, Mac and Cheese is linked with cheddar cheese and thick creamy sauces.  Thomas Jefferson brought Macaroni and Cheese to the US. He sent his head chef, James Hemings, to be trained in French cooking. Thomas Jefferson served this dish at various state dinners and parties. In the 1824 book, The Virginia Housewife, the first American recipe of this dish appeared. 

Is Mac and Cheese Safe for Dogs? 

Yes, Mac and Cheese is safe for dogs that can tolerate dairy products and gluten. In addition, homemade mac and cheese is preferred to store-bought packets. This is because the store-bought mac and cheese may contain spices, onions, garlic, preservatives, artificial flavors, and coloring dyes toxic to your pet’s health.

Why is Mac and Cheese Good for Dogs? 

Each 100g of Mac and Cheese consists of,

Nutrients Amount 
Energy 168kcal 
Protein 6.19g 
Total lipid (fat) 10.62g 
Carbohydrate, by difference 12.39g 
Fiber, total dietary 0.9g 
Sugars, total including NLEA 1.77g 
Calcium, Ca 133 mg 
Iron, Fe 0.64mg 
Sodium, Na 407mg 
Vitamin A, IU 664IU 
Fatty acids, total saturated 6.19g 
Cholesterol 31mg 

Why is Mac and Cheese Bad for Dogs? 

Lactose Intolerance: Dogs that cannot tolerate lactose lack the enzymes breaking down lactose. As a result, the undigested lactose settling in the intestine will cause health issues. Lactose intolerance will result in,

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Bloating 

Gluten Intolerance: Gluten intolerance is comparatively rare, but it can also cause considerable damage to your dog’s health. Dogs can get gluten sensitivity due to wheat in pasta. The symptoms of gluten intolerance include,

  • Diarrhea 
  • Hair loss
  • Skin Irritation 
  • Rashes 
  • Weight Loss 

Processed Food: The quality of pasta influences the wheat product present in it. Bleached or highly processed wheat can lead to digestive troubles in dogs. Processed food can lead to,

  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Allergies 
  • Skin Irritation 

Sugar: As sugar breaks down slowly in the digestive tract, overconsumption of pasta will store excess glucose as fat. Sugar in Pasta can further lead to obesity. 

Bacon: Bacon is one of the ingredients in certain mac and cheese recipes. As bacon is high in fat, it is not safe for dogs and can cause pancreatitis. 

Phthalates: Phthalates are chemical compounds found in things such as soaps, plastics, and rubbers. These compounds are added to cheese during the manufacturing process, which can cause cancer. 

Additives: Seasonings, artificial ingredients, preservatives, dyes, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and oil can upset the stomach. Even though these additives are non-toxic, they are not healthy for dogs. 

How Much Mac and Cheese to Feed My Dog? 

Large dogs can digest more mac and cheese than small dogs. Irrespective of their size, feed very little quantity of mac and cheese on rare occasions. 

What If My Dogs Ate Mac and Cheese? 

Mac and cheese in small quantities are not harmful to dogs. However, the consumption of large amounts will make your dog sick. The dog can experience,

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloat 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Cramps 
  • Gastric Distress 
  • Rashes 
  • Lethargy 
  • Hypernatremia

Things to do in case of overconsumption:

  • Do not panic.
  • Observe your dog’s bowel movements.
  • Note the energy level of your dog.
  • Provide plenty of water.
  • Do not crate your dog.
  • Allow your dog to move around freely.
  • Provide space for them to go outside for potty breaks.
  • Take your dog to the vet if symptoms worsen.

Alternatives to Mac and Cheese

Some of the healthy alternatives to Mac and Cheese are,

  • Carrots 
  • Banana 
  • Broccoli
  • Fish 
  • Green Beans 
  • Pineapple 
  • Red Bell Peppers 
  • Shrimps
  • Squash 
  • Sweet Potato 
  • Watermelon 
  • Zucchini

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Annie’s Mac and Cheese? 

Dogs can eat, but it is unhealthy and difficult for them to digest. As Annie’s Mac and Cheese is organic, it reduces the harm from chemicals. However, the presence of fat, calories, salt, and dairy products can make your dog sick. 

Can Dogs Eat Cheese? 

Dogs that can tolerate lactose can eat cheese, but lactose intolerant dogs should not eat cheese. 

Can Dogs Eat Plain Macaroni? 

Yes, dogs can eat plain macaroni in moderation. However, excessive eating of macaroni may disturb your dog’s metabolism and weight management. Avoid macaroni if your dog is gluten intolerant. 

Can Dogs Eat Noodles? 

Yes, dogs can eat plain, cooked noodles. If you are feeding noodles to your dog for the first time, check for gluten allergy by starting with small quantities. 


Though dogs can eat Mac and cheese occasionally, it is not healthy. Ingredients such as salt, oil, gluten, dairy, and seasonings can be harmful to dogs. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid feeding mac and cheese to your dog.

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