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

Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella Cheese?

Dogs should not eat mozzarella cheese. While it's not the most toxic food for dogs, mozzarella can cause health problems due to its high fat and lactose content. Dogs often have difficulty digesting cheese, leading to upset stomach and more severe issues like pancreatitis.

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

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

Updated on Jun 28, 2024

Did You Know?

Dogs can often be lactose intolerant, meaning dairy products like mozzarella cheese can cause digestive problems.

Mozzarella Cheese



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Allergic Risk


Why is Mozzarella Cheese Bad for Dogs?

Mozzarella cheese is high in fat and lactose, which many dogs cannot properly digest. The high-fat content can contribute to obesity, while the lactose can cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea and bloating. Moreover, excessive cheese consumption can lead to more severe issues like pancreatitis.

How Much Mozzarella Cheese Can Dogs Eat?

It's best to avoid giving mozzarella cheese to your dog altogether. However, if your dog accidentally consumes a small piece, it’s likely not harmful. Limit mozzarella cheese to rare, tiny amounts—think the size of a pea or smaller—and only as an occasional treat, definitely not a dietary staple.

Similar Harmful Products

Several other cheeses and dairy products share the risks associated with mozzarella:

  • Cheddar Cheese: Like mozzarella, it is high in fat and can cause similar digestive issues.
  • Blue Cheese: Contains mold that can be toxic for dogs.
  • Ice Cream: High in sugar and lactose, leading to potential digestive problems.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Mozzarella Cheese?

If your dog consumes mozzarella cheese, monitor them closely for any signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Contact your veterinarian if you observe any adverse reactions. Avoid inducing vomiting or giving any medications without professional guidance.

Long-term consumption of harmful foods like mozzarella can lead to chronic health issues, including obesity and pancreatitis. Veterinary treatments can be expensive, so it’s wise to invest in pet insurance to help manage these potential costs. This investment can provide peace of mind and financial support in emergencies.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

If you want to treat your dog, consider these healthier alternatives:

  • Carrot sticks: Low in calories and great for dental health.
  • Apple slices: Rich in vitamins, just avoid the seeds.
  • Plain cooked chicken: High in protein and generally safe.


Mozzarella cheese is not a good snack for dogs due to its fat and lactose content, which can lead to health problems. Always consult with your vet before introducing new foods into your dog's diet, especially if your dog has specific health needs. Keep your furry friend safe and healthy by sticking to appropriate dog-friendly treats!