Is Parmesan Cheese Harmful to Dogs?

When it comes to feeding our furry friends, it’s essential to be aware of what foods are safe for them and what foods can be potentially harmful. One popular question that often arises is whether parmesan cheese is safe for dogs to consume. In this article, we will delve into this topic and provide you with all the information you need to know about feeding parmesan cheese to your canine companion.

The Risks of Feeding Parmesan Cheese to Dogs

1. Lactose Intolerance:

Most dogs are lactose intolerant, which means they lack the enzyme necessary to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

While parmesan cheese has lower levels of lactose compared to other cheeses, it can still cause digestive upset in sensitive dogs. Symptoms may include diarrhea, gas, and stomach discomfort.

2. High Fat Content:

Parmesan cheese is known for its rich flavor and texture, but it also has a high fat content.

Consuming excessive amounts of fat can lead to pancreatitis in dogs, a condition characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Safe Alternatives

If you’re looking for some cheesy treats for your four-legged friend, there are safe alternatives that you can consider:

  • Cottage Cheese: This type of cheese is lower in lactose and fat compared to parmesan cheese. It can be a good source of protein for your dog while being easier on their digestive system.
  • String Cheese: Made from cow’s milk, string cheese is a milder cheese that can be given as an occasional treat.

    Just make sure to check the ingredients for any additives or seasonings that may be harmful to dogs.

  • Hard Cheeses: Cheeses like cheddar or Swiss have lower lactose levels and can be given in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, always monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.


In conclusion, while parmesan cheese is not toxic to dogs, it can cause digestive issues and should be given sparingly, if at all. It’s important to consider your dog’s individual tolerance and consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new food into their diet. As with any treat, moderation is key when it comes to sharing human food with our furry friends.


– Always introduce new foods gradually and in small amounts.

– Monitor your dog for any signs of digestive upset or allergic reactions.

– Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s diet.