It’s a rare person that doesn’t like some kind of cheesecake. Here’s a newsflash: dogs like cheesecake, too. But is it good for your dog? Can dogs eat cheesecake safely? Many people say no. We’ll look at the reasons why and suggest ways that you might be able to share a little cheesecake with your dog.
The nutrition of cheesecake will vary depending on the kind of cheesecake being considered. In general, cheesecake is made with lots of sugar and cream cheese. It’s high in fat and calories.
We looked up information on Cheesecake.com to learn about cheesecake nutrition. We used a New York cheesecake as our sample recipe.
Just one slice – a serving size – contains 340 calories with 24 grams of fat. It is high in cholesterol.
A serving has 240 mg of sodium and 22 grams of sugar. It only contains 6 grams of protein. That’s nearly three times as much sugar as protein. It is high in vitamin A and moderately high in riboflavin. It has 24 grams of carbohydrates (8 percent).
Ingredients include cream cheese (pasteurized milk and cream, cheese culture, salt, carob bean gum, guar gum), sugar, eggs, enriched unbleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), lemon juice, and pure vanilla extract.
Some, but not all dogs are lactose-intolerant. The presence of lactose in the cream cheese of the cheesecake is not the biggest concern with cheesecake for dogs. Cream cheese is relatively low in lactose compared to whole milk, for example, with less than half the lactose content. The high fat and sugar content are much bigger concerns. Eating foods that are high in fat can be a trigger for pancreatitis.
Adding a healthy topping such as strawberries or blueberries to your slice of cheesecake can make your dessert a little healthier but it won’t reduce the fat and sugar in the food.
Can I Give My Dog Cheesecake?
A New York cheesecake (used as our example) is one of the most basic cheesecakes. Even so, the high amount of fat would be problematic for many dogs, especially if they ate a lot of it. The sugar in the cheesecake would also be a problem for dogs.
Another problem with most cheesecakes is that they can contain other ingredients. There are countless different versions of the cheesecake recipe. Some cheesecakes are made with chocolate. Some use liqueurs such as amaretto or kahlua. Even coffee is added to some recipes. People are very inventive when it comes to making cheesecakes and it can be easy to include ingredients that might be harmful to your dog.
For that reason, it’s usually best to avoid giving your dog cheesecake, especially if you aren’t certain about all of the ingredients used. If you make the cheesecake yourself and you feel confident about the ingredients, it could be safe to share a small bite with your dog. But don’t let your dog have more than a small amount.
Too much cheesecake could lead to some stomach problems, especially if your dog is very sensitive to dairy. Even if he’s not lactose-intolerant, eating food that contains lots of sugar can lead to diarrhea for some dogs.
How Much Cheesecake Can You Give Your Dog?
If you want to give your dog some cheesecake, make sure that you know all of the ingredients used. There should not be any ingredients that would be harmful to dogs (other than the obvious large amounts of sugar and fat). You should not give your dog more than a bite of cheesecake at any one time.
If you really want to be safe, we suggest that you don’t give your dog any commercial cheesecake at all.
How Often Can You Give Your Dog Cheesecake?
Cheesecake is very habit forming so you shouldn’t let your dog have it very often, even if you are only giving your dog a bite. The calories in cheesecake also add up quickly so if you give your dog some on a regular basis, even a small amount, the result may start to be noticeable when you weigh your dog.
Cheesecake For Dogs
If you would really like to give your dog some cheesecake but you want to avoid the high fat and sugar, we recommend using one of the cheesecake recipes for dogs you can find online. We like the recipe at Instructables.com . This recipe uses ground dog biscuits for a crust; banana, rolled oats, and peanut butter; and sour cream and low-fat yogurt. There is no added sugar. Sour cream is low in lactose and the low-fat yogurt takes the place of the cream cheese. You can top it with a healthy fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, as your dog prefers. The recipe looks healthy and dog-friendly.
Or, if you are making a cheesecake for yourself that you want to share with your dog, try using a recipe that is lower in fat and sugar. It might be healthier for you, too. You can even find cheesecake recipes that are lactose-free and dairy-free!
Remember, if you are making a cheesecake yourself, there are a few common baking ingredients that you should never let your dog eat such as chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, and nutmeg, along with no pitted or stone fruit. (Don’t give your dog onions or garlic either but it’s doubtful you would try to include them in a cheesecake recipe.)
Most dogs love cheesecake but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Cheesecake can be loaded with fat and sugar unless you look for versions that have reduced amounts. If you would like to give your dog a bite of regular cheesecake, don’t let your dog have more than a bite. Too much of this rich dessert can lead to some serious tummy problems for some dogs.