A dog with a wary expression looking at gouda cheese, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Gouda Cheese?

Dogs should not eat Gouda cheese. While a tiny nibble might not cause immediate harm, Gouda cheese is loaded with high fat and salt content, both of which can spell trouble for our furry friends. Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis—a painful inflammation of the pancreas, while excessive salt can cause sodium ion poisoning.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

Lactose intolerance is common in dogs and can lead to digestive discomfort if they consume Gouda cheese.

Gouda Cheese



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Gouda Cheese Bad for Dogs?

Gouda cheese is high in fat and salt, and dairy products can be tough for dogs to digest. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and consuming dairy can lead to digestive issues like upset stomach, diarrhea, and gas. The high salt content in Gouda can also contribute to elevated blood pressure and more severe health issues like hypernatremia.

How Much Gouda Cheese Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, you should try to avoid giving Gouda cheese to your dog altogether. If they sneak a small piece, monitor them for any adverse reactions but rest assured it's unlikely to cause severe issues in such a small amount. However, frequent or large consumption can lead to significant health risks, so keep it out of reach.

Common Misconceptions

Some pet owners think that all cheeses are safe because they’ve seen dogs eating cheese treats. Not all cheeses are created equal. Soft, low-fat cheeses might be given occasionally in tiny amounts, but Gouda's high-fat, high-salt content puts it in a different league of concern.

Similar Harmful Products

Gouda isn't the only cheese or dairy product you should be wary of. Other cheeses and dairy-based products can be just as harmful:

  • Cheddar Cheese: High in fat and salt.
  • Blue Cheese: Contains roquefortine C, which is especially toxic to dogs.
  • Cream Cheese: Often contains additives that can be harmful.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Gouda Cheese?

If your dog consumes a significant amount of Gouda cheese, keep an eye on them for signs of distress. Look out for vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, or lethargy. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of these symptoms. Refrain from trying home remedies, like inducing vomiting, without professional guidance.

Long-term consequences of ingesting harmful foods like Gouda cheese include pancreatitis and sodium ion poisoning, which can require extensive treatment and care. Treatment can be costly, and pet insurance can alleviate the financial burden, ensuring your dog gets the best possible care.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Fortunately, there are dog-friendly treats that can offer your pup a tasty reward without the health risks:

  • Carrots: Low-calorie, rich in vitamins.
  • Apple slices: Be sure to remove the seeds and core.
  • Plain, cooked chicken: High in protein and easily digestible.


In summary, Gouda cheese is not a safe choice for dogs due to its high fat and salt content. If your dog accidentally ingests some, monitor them closely and contact your vet if necessary. Opt for healthier alternatives to keep your pup happy and healthy, and always consult with your vet on any dietary concerns.