Can Dogs Eat Cheesecake? Is Cheesecake Safe for Dogs?

Cheesecake is a sweet mixture of cheese and sugar that, combined with a crumbly crust, makes for a rich, decadent treat. It is eaten as a dessert or a snack and is popular throughout the world. But is cheesecake safe for dogs?

In short, feeding cheesecake to your dog is not recommended. A lot of dogs are lactose intolerant, which means that the cheese used to prepare cheesecake is likely to be bad for your pooch. The sweet treat is also loaded with sugar, so regular feeding can lead to obesity.

Read on for more on the dangers of sharing this dense dessert with your four-legged friend.

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Sugar and Excess Calories Should Be Avoided

Sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbs serve a useful purpose. They are burned as energy for our bodies. As such, sugar isn’t strictly bad for dogs in this way, but problems can arise if your dog is consuming more carbs than they use in a day. When this happens, the body creates insulin and stores the extra glucose created by the body as fat.

As most of us know, excess weight makes it more difficult to perform exercises and even daily tasks, but it can also lead to obesity and may cause diabetes while increasing the risk of heart conditions.

Sugar can also lead to other problems, including dental disease. Your dog isn’t capable of cleaning his own teeth, and a lot of owners find the process of tooth cleaning to be difficult, or even impossible in some cases. If your dog gets a toothache, they will start to ignore their meals.  If this keeps up for too long, they can become malnourished and ill.

strawberry cheesecake
Image credit: Pikist

Cream Cheese is Bad for Lactose Intolerance

As well as being high in sugar, cheesecake also utilizes cream cheese as one of its main ingredients. Many dog breeds, and a lot of individual dogs, suffer from lactose intolerance. This means that the body is unable to break down the lactose in dairy products like milk and cheese. Lactose intolerance is uncomfortable. It causes diarrhea and vomiting and it leads to an uncomfortable bloating feeling. It can also lead to your dog going off their food while they recover.

A lot of dogs can suffer from lactose intolerance, and most dogs are only able to stomach small amounts of milk and cheese. It is best to avoid feeding these ingredients to your dog at all.

Some dogs may suffer from a lactose allergy. This is more serious than intolerance. Some of the symptoms are very similar to intolerance. They will suffer from gastric distress and may endure vomiting and diarrhea. They may also start to itch or bite around their ears and anus. Swelling is also common, as it is in humans that suffer from allergic reactions.

Catching any allergic reaction early is important because a negative reaction can lead to difficulty breathing. If your dog exhibits any of these extreme signs after eating cheesecake, you should consult an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.

Sad dog on pillow
Image credit: PickPik

Additional Ingredients May Also Be Bad

Most cheesecakes include additional ingredients to make them more appealing. Chocolate cheesecake is common, while raisins are another fairly common additive. Chocolate and raisins are considered toxic to dogs. A small amount of either ingredient can lead to gastric distress, while a moderate amount can prove fatal. With chocolate, this is especially true of dark chocolate but is still a problem with white and milk chocolate.

Cheesecake Presents Too Many Risks for Dogs

There are a lot of potential risks associated with your dog eating cheesecake. They could be lactose intolerant or they could be allergic to dairy products. They could react badly to the fat or the sugar in the food it could lead to problems including obesity and poor dental hygiene. There is also the risk of toxic ingredients. Although your dog will probably be safe if they take a small amount from your plate when you’re not looking, you should monitor them to look for signs of allergic reaction or toxicity to other ingredients and seek veterinary help as soon as possible.

cheesecake dessert
Image: Needpix

Healthy Cheesecake Alternatives

It can be very tempting to pass your dog a piece of cheesecake off your fork, especially if they have mastered the (not so) subtle art of begging with those famous puppy eyes. Instead, you can give them one of these alternative treats while you munch away on your favorite cheesecake treat:

  • Apple – Packed with fiber and nutrients, give your dog a couple of slices of apple, but be sure to avoid the core and the seeds.
  • Carrot – Carrot is commonplace in most kitchens. It is also full of beta carotene and naturally sweet, so it’s a tempting, crunchy treat for your dog.
  • Watermelon – As long as you remove the seeds and don’t feed the rind, watermelon is a hydrating and tasty treat that is as refreshing as it is healthy.
  • Banana – Banana is high in natural sugar, so it should be fed in moderation, but a couple of chunks will not only taste great but provide potassium and other nutrients for your pooch.
  • Strawberry – A common flavor for your cheesecake, and also a great snack for your dog. Loaded with vitamin C, these natural treats are also high in sugar, so don’t overfeed.

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Is Cheesecake Safe for Dogs?

Unless your dog suffers from a lactose allergy or intolerance, it should not be too dangerous if your pooch has stolen a small amount of cheesecake from your plate or fork — assuming it contains no toxic ingredients like raisins or chocolate. However, it should not be considered a regular treat because of dairy products and high sugar content. Consider natural and safer alternatives like banana and strawberry, both of which can be fed in moderation.


Featured Image: Pixabay