You know the scene: you have lit the fireplace, and your favorite film is streaming on Netflix. As you hit the play button and reach out your hand for your hot grilled cheese, it’s vanished!
So, your lovely doggo has eaten grilled cheese, and you’re concerned about how harmful it is for him? Sharing food with your pup is one of the cutest acts of love. But what if it hurts him?
Read this article to find out if it is alright for your dog to eat grilled cheese.
Can You Feed Grilled Cheese To Your Dog?
Although consuming grilled cheese is not toxic for your four-legged pal, it is not healthy for them. Its ingredients like bread (wheat or white), butter, and cheddar cheese are not good for dogs in excess amounts.
Bread is safe for your pupper, albeit in small amounts, given that he does not have grain allergies.
Thanks to its high-fat content, butter is not suitable for dogs in large amounts. It can lead to a painful condition like pancreatitis in your dog.
As long as your dog is not lactose intolerant, cheddar cheese is alright for him in small amounts.
Thus, a small amount of grilled cheese is OK for most dogs. However, veterinarians recommend avoiding cheese due to potential gastrointestinal upset.
Warning: Due to their high-fat content, excessive consumption of grilled cheese also leads to obesity in dogs.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Grilled Cheese?
The following chart demonstrates the nutritional facts related to one single serving of grilled cheese (approximately 106 grams):
|Serving Size||1 sandwich (106g)|
|Calories Per Serving||366|
|% Daily Values|
|Total Fat 23g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||65%|
|Trans Fat 0.8g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5.9g|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.4g||6%|
What Are The Risks Of Feeding Grilled Cheese To Dogs?
Are you still not convinced by the aforementioned nutritional facts chart? Let us note down some risks of excessive consumption of grilled cheese for your dog:
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dogs do not have enough lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that helps dogs break down lactose present in milk.
Due to this reason, dairy-based snacks like grilled cheese cause diarrhea and digestive upset in dogs.
High-fat content in cheese
Along with the issue of lactose, the high-fat content of cheese poses another major problem for your dog.
Regularly feeding large amounts of grilled cheese to your pooch leads to weight imbalance. Moreover, it can further cause obesity and other metabolic issues in dogs.
High-fat content in butter
Butter contains nearly 80% fat, mostly saturated fat. It does not offer any nutritional value to your dog, nor is it healthy for him.
The high amount of fat present in butter is a significant contributor to obesity and digestive issues in dogs.
As per the report of the American Kennel Club, dogs who frequently eat grilled cheese are most likely to experience pancreatitis.
This is particularly true for certain dogs such as Cocker Spaniels and Schnauzers. Marked by severe abdominal pain and stomach upset, pancreatitis is like hell for dogs and can even lead to death.
High amounts of fats in cheddar cheese and salted butter of grilled cheese contribute to heart disease in dogs.
Cardiovascular problems like valvular degeneration and cardiac arrhythmia are a bane for dogs.
You should always refrain from feeding grilled cheese to your overweight dogs. Its excessive consumption can lead to kidney problems in dogs given the high content of fats, calories, and salt.
So, we advise you to not incorporate grilled cheese in your dog’s regular meal plan. While it might be alright on rare occasions and tiny amounts, it can always lead to major tummy troubles.
Author’s Note: Initially, feed just a little piece of cheese to your dog to check if he is lactose intolerant or not. Consult your vet before adding cheese to your dog’s daily meal.
What Happens When a Dog Eats Grilled Cheese Excessively?
Excessive consumption of grilled cheese can lead to the following symptoms in your doggo:
Delayed initial Vomiting (1-4 days after eating it)
Diarrhea (often with blood present in the stool)
You need not panic, as most healthy dogs might not even face acute pancreatitis after consuming just a bit of grilled cheese.
However, if you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above in your dog after eating large quantities of grilled cheese, contact your vet in no time.
How Much Should Grilled Cheese Be Given To Dogs?
While larger dog breeds can handle more grilled cheese, smaller dogs are at a higher risk of problems. Thus, your dog’s reaction to grilled cheese consumption depends on his size and whether he is lactose intolerant or not.
Author’s Note: We do not recommend more than a few small bites of grilled cheese once a week. Moreover, any food apart from your dog’s regular diet must not account for over 10% of their daily calories.
Q. What types of grilled cheese could be given to dogs?
Certain varieties of cheese can be put in grilled cheese. These include cottage cheese, mozzarella, swiss cheese, and cheddar cheese.
Q. What types of grilled cheese should you avoid from feeding to dogs?
It will help if you avoid feeding dog grilled cheese that contains harmful variants like blue cheese, goat cheese, brie, and feta cheese.
As a dog owner, you should outrightly discard any food item not providing health benefits to your dog. You must feed healthier alternatives to your doggo even if he is begging for some grilled cheese.
Still, if you feel helpless, tiny amounts of grilled cheese might not do any harm to your dog. Just make sure about his lactose intolerance and weight management.
You can always surprise him with healthier and more delicious beef bone bought from your local butcher. Not only this, but it will last longer, clean his teeth, and is inexpensive.
We believe that our article is beneficial for you in deciding whether you should feed grilled cheese to your doggo or not.
Do you wish to share the experience when your dog ate grilled cheese for the first time? Feel free to put down your thoughts and queries in the comment section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.