Can Dogs Eat Mac and Cheese?

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Can Dogs Eat Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese are two of the most popular comfort foods in the world. Despite the fact that it doesn’t provide any health benefits or nutritional value, people still enjoy eating it every once in a while. Although people love macaroni and cheese, it is not a given that dogs can have it as well. The question we need to ask ourselves first is, can dogs consume mac and cheese? Here is what we found.

Can Dogs Eat Mac And Cheese?

Dogs can eat mac and cheese, though it’s not a healthy choice. Though it does not qualify as life-threatening, it can still make your pet sick. There are several reasons why you must not feed macaroni and cheese to your dog. 

Even though dogs can consume pasta if it is cooked properly, that doesn’t mean that it is suitable for them; mac and cheese is one such recipe. 

Some dogs may have allergies to wheat, and in this case, you should avoid giving them pasta under any circumstance. If served, it must be offered in moderation because of its high carb content, which is unsuitable for your dogs’ nutrition. 

Homemade Mac and Cheese and dogs

Mac & cheese also has ingredients like sugar and dairy, which can induce health problems if offered in large quantities. Dogs cannot metabolize milk products well, and could consequently develop lactose intolerance. This may upset the dog’s abdomen, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Are Mac and Cheese Good for Dogs?

The following nutrition data is given for 1 serving (100g) of cooked Mac and Cheese, according to USDA:

Calories: 164

Fat: 5.0g

Sodium: 288mg

Carbohydrates: 21.1g

Fiber: 1.3g

Sugars: 3.7g

Protein: 5.01g

Mac and Cheese don’t possess a lot of nutritional value for your pet. It does include carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients (e.g., thiamin, beta-carotene, calcium, and iron), so it’s not completely bad for them. 

In addition, many boxes of Mac and Cheese have phthalates, which are chemicals used in products like pharmaceuticals, food packaging, vinyl, and personal care products. Exposure to this chemical can cause various health problems.

Is Mac and Cheese good for Dogs

Can Mac and Cheese be Dangerous to Dogs?

Yes, mac and cheese can be bad for dogs, especially if it has seasonings or herbs that are poisonous for dogs. Although ingredients like garlic powder aren’t toxic to humans in any way, they could be very lethal for your dog.

Lactose Intolerance

Some dogs can suffer from considerable, possibly fatal, responses to dairy, which includes cheese and milk. Therefore, the unabsorbed lactose in the intestine can cause various health problems. Lactose intolerance will lead to:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating

Gluten Intolerance

When your dog is gluten intolerant, you have to refrain from offering food, including mac and cheese. It is somewhat rare compared to lactose intolerance, though a few dogs still experience it. If a dog is gluten intolerant, his small intestine becomes swollen, affecting his digestive system. This could also harm the wall of your dog’s intestine. Affected dogs are likely to suffer the following:

  • Skin rashes or irritation
  • Gassy
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair Loss
  • Strange or unexpected weight loss
  • Poor coat condition


Researchers found that most cheese products have chemicals called phthalates. This ingredient circulates easily and can be absorbed into your dog’s gums. In doing so, it can have an adverse reaction on your dog’s liver, kidneys, and reproductive systems. In some cases, it may even lead to cancer.

High-fat Content

Mac & cheese has a very high amount of fat. For this reason, if your dog consumes mac and cheese frequently, he can become overweight, which could also lead to joint problems.

Sugar Content

Sugar is present in packaged macaroni and cheese. When a dog ingests sugar, it can lead to dental problems. Excess sugar causes obesity, leading to diabetes and inflammation throughout the body. Other problems to be on the lookout for include arthritis, pancreatitis, and dermatitis.

Artificial Ingredients, Processed Foods

Probably the worst type of mac and cheese your dog could gorge on is the highly processed and packaged kind. If you serve it out of a box, the odds are it will have artificial flavorings, dyes, and other additives are greater.

Chemical preservatives and dyes are not suitable for your dogs’ digestive system. It can also trigger behavioral issues and cancer in humans. Additionally, processed foods often cause problems like constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea. This kind of food will force the pancreas to put in extra work and bring other enzymes from the bloodstream.

However, none of these components are toxic, and digestive discomfort is unlikely to demand an emergency trip to the vet’s clinic. 

My Dog Ate Mac and Cheese, What Must I Do?

If your dog eats a bit of mac and cheese, you don’t have to be bothered about it. Though, you still need to monitor him to ensure your dog is okay. 

However, when your dog eats a whole bowl of mac and cheese, there is a likelihood he’ll get sick. Observe your dog for any signs of:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastric Distress
  • Bloat
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Rashes
  • Hypernatremia 

Call the pet clinic at once if you notice the above symptoms. The vet may be able to ease your dog’s pain and prevent it from worsening.

Can Mac and Cheese be Dangerous to Dogs

How Often Can I Share Mac and Cheese With My Dog?

Mac and cheese are not toxic to dogs, though the truth is that it is unhealthy to them. Therefore, it’s best not to share this comfort food with your dog often.

How Much Mac And Cheese Can I Serve to my Dog?

You can let your dog eat mac and cheese in small quantities, and on rare events. The amount will depend on your dog’s age, size, and biology.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, dogs can consume mac and cheese. However, be sure that you offer it in moderate amounts. Take into account that this comfort food has many calories that can cause obesity when your dog eats too much.

Always ask your dog’s vet before adding new food into your dog’s diet. If your dog has eaten some mac and cheese by mistake, remember to observe him and contact your vet for a health examination.

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