Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by The Puppy Mag
It’s no secret that Boxers love cheese… In fact, cheese is something that nearly all dogs love and it’s frequently used as a high-value treat. However, there’s one big issue with this and in this article, I’ll explain why your boxer dog is probably better off skipping the cheese altogether.
Should Boxer Dogs Eat Cheese?
Technically speaking, boxer dogs can eat cheese, and make no mistake, most of them LOVE it. But “should” boxers eat cheese?… That’s a little different!
Should boxer dogs eat cheese?
Ideally, no. Boxers, just like all dogs, are lactose intolerant in varying degrees. Cheese is a dairy product and therefore causes a lot of digestive issues and stomach sensitivity. Some Boxers will tolerate cheese better than others, but it’s still best to avoid it.
This comes as a shock to many, mainly because Boxer puppies consume only milk (dairy) for the first several weeks of their life. So let’s explain this further in the next section…
Are Boxer Dogs Lactose Intolerant?
It all starts when Boxer puppies are weaned off their mother’s milk at around 6-8 weeks of age.
Before the weaning stage:
Your Boxer puppy will consume his mother’s milk solely. While this is happening, his body will actively produce an enzyme called LACTASE.
This enzyme is responsible for digesting and breaking down the natural sugar in dairy which is called LACTOSE.
After the weaning stage:
Your Boxer puppy’s body will slowly stop producing the lactase enzyme, simply because there’s no more dairy to be digesting.
After a while, his body will become increasingly intolerant to the lactose sugar in dairy and will not be able to digest it (at least without issues). Some puppies will end up being more lactose intolerant, than others. That’s just the luck of the draw.
So, yes, your adult Boxer will be lactose intolerant to some extent:
Unfortunately, you won’t know how intolerant your boxer is to dairy and there’s no real way to measure how much dairy your boxer can or can’t consume.
Even if no visible discomfort shows after consuming a small amount of dairy, it still could be aggravating his stomach. So to be safe than sorry, it’s still recommended to avoid it whenever possible.
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Boxers Are Known For Having Sensitive Stomachs
To further promote the need to be cautious with what we feed our boxers, it’s important to know that most boxers already have sensitive stomachs.
Boxers, particularly those under the age of 4 years old, are prone to something called “Boxer Colitis” (Histiocytic ulcerative colitis). This is described as a “severe large bowel disorder” and is primarily found in this breed. PetMD
Boxers are also prone to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which is another common problem affecting their digestion and causing a lot of sensitivity.
From this, it’s easy to understand that giving something to your Boxer (like cheese) will likely irritate his already-sensitive stomach and so should be avoided.
Cheese being dairy and high in fat will put extra strain and stress on the digestive system, potentially causing issues like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and general sickness.
Dealing with constant irritation could even have a knock-on effect and cause your Boxer to start refusing his normal food. Which as you can imagine, will then cause problems with his weight and overall health.
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Can Boxer Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?
Ironically enough, cottage cheese is frequently given to dogs as part of the well-known “bland food diet” for times when they are feeling sick or are recovering from stomach issues.
Although cottage cheese is still a dairy product, part of making it, includes a fermentation process that actually removes a lot of the lactose.
Due to the fermentation process, cottage cheese contains a significantly lower amount of lactose than normal cheese and is therefore much more manageable for boxers to consume. Even those with sensitive stomachs.
To remain on the safe side, however, cottage cheese is still best kept for only those moments when your boxer needs to go on a bland food diet.
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Avoid Using Cheese As a Treat
Cheese is most commonly used as a high-value reward, and due to how much boxers love it, it certainly motivates them and works for training purposes.
But, due to all of the points outlined above, it’s best to use something else as a high-value reward.
⭐ A few alternatives to cheese that boxers love:
● Zukes Mini Naturals (our all-time favorite low-calorie treat on The Puppy Mag)
● Plain boiled chicken breast
● Peanut butter (no xylitol, low salt)
● Plain boiled turkey breast
● Frozen banana (excellent for summer)
⭐ Thank you for reading!
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