Can dogs or cats eat cream cheese?

9 October 2023
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

Can dogs eat cream cheese?

So you're spreading some cream cheese on a bagel, and your dog is eyeing you like you're the best chef in the world. Good news—you can share a little with your pup, but let's keep it super minimal.

Cream cheese packs protein and fat, which can give your dog a quick energy boost. But go overboard, and you're looking at potential weight gain and tummy troubles like diarrhoea or vomiting.

Before you let your dog dig in, double-check the ingredients. Some cream cheese brands sneak in garlic or onions for bagel spreads, which are big no-nos for dogs.

If your dog eats cream cheese and starts showing signs of illness, like lethargy or digestive issues, reach out to your vet ASAP. If they need medical attention due to eating something they shouldn't have, dog insurance might help cover the treatment costs.

Can cats eat cream cheese?

So you're indulging in some cream cheese, and your cat is giving you that "What about me?" stare. Good news, cat parents—you can share a tiny bit with your feline friend, but let's make it a rare treat.

Cream cheese is loaded with fat and calories, so it's not the healthiest choice for your cat. But in small doses, it does offer some calcium and protein, which are good for strong bones and muscles.

Now, here's the catch: not all cats can handle dairy. Some are lactose intolerant, meaning they can't digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. This can lead to some not-so-pleasant digestive issues, like vomiting or diarrhoea.

If you're thinking of giving your cat a taste, make sure it's plain cream cheese—no onion or garlic flavours, please. And don't make it a regular thing; cats need a balanced diet that's mostly meat-based, with some veggies for fibre and healthy digestion.

If your cat nibbles on cream cheese and starts showing signs of illness, consult your vet immediately. If they require medical care due to eating something they shouldn't, cat insurance may help cover the treatment costs.

Information purposes only

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Pet poison emergency protocol

If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the Animal Poison Line (01202 50 9000).

Food safety statuses


Could be given almost daily without harm

Safe in moderation

Not toxic, but should not be given regularly


Toxic or simply too risky to give to your pet