Blue cheese is a favorite of many pet parents. It’s the creamy, yet crumbly texture that grabs your taste buds. Some also describe the taste of blue cheese as having a hint of mushrooms, too. You can eat it blue cheese with crackers, use it in dips, salads, salad dressings, and much more! It’s a very versatile food.
But is blue cheese dangerous for dogs? If your dog eats blue cheese, will he get sick?
What is Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is a dairy product that comes in a wide variety of flavors and textures. You’ll know this type of cheese by its blue veins. The blue is a type of mold, which is most often Penicillium roqueforti, which is a fungus used in cheese making. Another type of mold often used to make varieties of blue cheese includes Penicillium glaucum.
The mold veins are created in the production stage of the cheese. During this process, small stainless-steel rods are poked into the cheese. This allows air to enter the cheese, which allows mold to grow. After this, the cheese is aged in a temperature-controlled environment. As the mold grows, it affects changes in the cheese’s flavor, smell, and more.
There are several types of blue cheese including Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, and even more. Blue cheese is considered to be very healthy, though it is salty. It’s a great source of calcium, protein, and phosphorous.
Is Blue Cheese Safe for Dogs?
The answer is it depends. For one thing, dogs shouldn’t eat too much salt, so blue cheese should never be given to your dog in large amounts. As a treat once in a while, your dog will be OK.
Another issue is if your dog is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy. In this case, your dog should not have blue cheese even in moderation. Giving your dog this cheese or other dairy products could make him very sick.
There’s another issue, too, that can be quite serious. Some blue cheeses can go bad and create a substance called Roquefortine C. This is very toxic to dogs and can usually be found in Stilton and Roquefort blue cheeses. Roquefortine C usually develops in cheese that has gone bad. The dog may find it in the trash and eat it, which can lead to him becoming very sick.
What Happens When Dogs Eat Blue Cheese
Like cottage cheese, cream cheese or goat cheese, this cheese contains high fat. Pancreatitis can appear when a dog’s diet has been composed of a high amount of human foods specifically mozzarella or feta cheese. Diarrhea and kidney problems are common after a dog ate too much cheese as the enzyme and cow’s milk may impact the digestive system.
Dog owners should stick whenever possible to dog treats in small quantities to limit the chance of obesity. Brie and cheddar cheese are also know to impact dog’s stomach and dog’s health so limit these high fat content treats to preserve your furry friend. High salt treats like macadamia nuts or parmesan can only be used as occasional treat and are not to be considered pet food for your pooch.
Symptoms of Roquefortine C Poisoning in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms of Roquefortine C poisoning in your dog if he’s eaten spoiled blue cheese:
- High fever
- Abdominal pain
If you know or suspect your dog has eaten spoiled blue cheese, then call the vet immediately. This is a life-threatening medical emergency. Your dog needs medical treatment as soon as possible.
Your dog has an excellent chance at a full recovery if he receives prompt medical treatment.