Can Dogs Eat Mac And Cheese?

A portion of popular comfort food that many people eat at mealtime is macaroni and cheese.

But can dogs eat mac and cheese safely?

No, dogs can not eat mac and cheese.

Macaroni and cheese contain dairy and gluten, which can be bad for your dog’s digestive system, especially in pups who don’t have the enzymes to break down lactose.

Even while a little serving of mac and cheese wouldn’t hurt your dog’s health, it would still be best for him to avoid any.

The majority of dogs are initially lactose intolerant.

Therefore, they wouldn’t even be able to process the cheese in your favorite macaroni.

Your dog’s stomach would become disturbed due to the dairy, causing discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The same is true of all dairy products; thus, your dog should avoid them.

Mac and cheese also contain a lot of fat, which might be problematic.

The most popular cheese used in mac and cheese is cheddar, which has a high-fat content.

Dogs who eat a lot of fat may eventually get pancreatitis.

That is a dangerous illness that might potentially prove fatal.

Dog owners should generally avoid feeding their pets mac and cheese.

Continue reading to get to know everything you need to know about dogs eating mac and cheese.

Ingredients Of Mac And Cheese

mac and cheese in a frying pan

There are additional elements in this dish outside the two primary ones, macaroni and cheese, that, while not necessarily poisonous to dogs, aren’t the healthiest choice.

Even while this dish is excellent, neither our dogs nor we get many nutrients from it.

It has ingredients that could be beneficial, including protein and carbohydrates, but it also has a lot of calories.

Here are a few of the components of mac and cheese.


There is a lot of sugar in macaroni.

Dogs’ digestive systems take a while to break down the sugar they consume when eating sweet foods.

The spaghetti will convert to glucose if your dog overeats.

Dogs typically cannot metabolize it all, which causes their body to begin accumulating additional glucose as fat.

It may result in canine obesity, a known issue with dogs in America.


Although many of us don’t find gluten particularly frightening, certain dogs may be allergic to it.

Wheat is an ingredient in macaroni; therefore, it naturally contains a lot of gluten.

If it cannot process, your dog may have gastrointestinal distress and symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial flavors and colorings are found in items like packaged macaroni and cheese.

It would help if you didn’t eat it too frequently because of this.

If something is unhealthy for you, it’s also bad for your dog.

Because dogs can’t effectively absorb artificial components, eating foods containing them can cause various health problems.

dog on left side mac and cheese on right side


The phthalates are arguably the worst elements in mac and cheese.

Industrial compounds called phthalates are used to soften and treat plastic.

These chemicals are present in a wide range of the goods we purchase and consume, but they have no business being present in our food.

Cheese and cheese-related items contain roughly four times the advised intake of these carcinogens.

Reasons Why Mac And Cheese Is Bad For Dogs

Even though many dogs have been convinced to do wrong by the smell, mac & cheese is unfortunately not a nutritious diet choice for dogs.

Many dogs have stomach pain from the seasonings, salt, and oils alone; dairy and gluten are even more so.

Lactose Intolerance

Unfortunately, many dogs are lactose intolerant, like many people.

This widespread illness denotes a lack of lactose, the enzyme responsible for breaking down milk sugars.

Lactose that hasn’t been digested builds up in the intestines without this enzyme, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

A few nibbles of mac and cheese might not hurt too badly if your dog can consume other dairy items without experiencing stomach problems.

However, if your poor dog is lactose intolerant, the effects of all that cheese and milk will probably be unpleasant and unpleasant.

Gluten Intolerance

Another common ingredient in mac and cheese is different kinds of wheat pasta.

Dogs can also have a gluten allergy, albeit it is less frequent than dairy and has similar unfavorable effects.

It is also important to point out that whether the pasta is prepared from scratch or is purchased from a store, the quality varies greatly.

Whether or whether there is a true gluten allergy, some canines have more difficulty digesting bleached and highly processed wheat products.

Canine gluten intolerance or gluten allergy can cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea

  • Abnormal weight loss

  • Hair loss

  • Skin irritation, rashes

mac and cheese on left side black dog on right side

Artificial Ingredients, Processed Foods

The excessively processed, boxed variety of mac & cheese may be the worst thing your dog could surf down.

It is more likely to contain artificial colors, flavors, and other substances if purchased rather than created from scratch.

Both humans and dogs’ digestive tracts should avoid artificial colors and preservatives, although most dogs are more adversely affected simply because their bodies are not accustomed to the new components.

Most frequently, problems like diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting are brought on by processed foods.

However, some can result in allergic reactions like skin rashes.

However, none of these ingredients are poisonous; thus, ingestion is unlikely to necessitate a trip to the veterinarian’s office immediately.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Mac And Cheese?

Consider the following risks of feeding mac and cheese to your dog:


Numerous dog breeds frequently exhibit lactose intolerances and gluten intolerances.

Feeding your dog mac and cheese can cause rashes, gas, upset stomach, and constipation since it contains lactose (milk in the cheese) and glucose (carbs in the macaroni).


For dogs, many typical toppings and artificial additives are not good.

Garlic and onion-based seasonings can be toxic to dogs.

Preservatives in boxed mac and cheese may be harmful to dogs.

Weight Gain

Your dog’s large or frequent consumption of dairy products may cause weight gain and long-term health issues, including diabetes.

mac and cheese in a pan
mac and cheese in a pan

My Dog Ate A Lot Of Mac And Cheese – What Should I Do?

Don’t freak out if you find out your dog ate macaroni and cheese or if you gave it to them despite knowing it was dangerous.

It’s doubtful that servings of macaroni and cheese will give your dog any hazardous symptoms.

The worst that could occur is that your dog gets a stomach ache.

To observe if your dog has any adverse reactions to the macaroni and cheese, you should be aware of it and keep a close eye on it.

You should keep a close eye on your dog’s energy levels to determine if it starts to show signs of fatigue.

Additionally, it would help if you were sure to take your dog outside because it can get diarrhea or need more bowel movements than usual.

If your dog has lost fluids due to vomiting or diarrhea, you may ensure that it can stay hydrated by giving them access to plenty of fresh water.

However, if you think your dog consumes a lot of macaroni and cheese, it could suffer from unpleasant side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or gastrointestinal pain.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog exhibits any more severe side effects.

If the symptoms are serious, you could be instructed to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Before introducing a portion of new food to your dog’s diet, you should always get their approval, especially if they have any underlying medical conditions like diabetes.

While elements like onion and garlic in macaroni and cheese are harmless for humans, they are incredibly harmful to dogs.

Your veterinarian can advise you on the best course of action for your dog’s particular health requirements.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Mac And Cheese?

mac and cheese on left side dog on right side

Are mac and cheese safe for dogs?

The short answer is that dogs can not eat mac and cheese.

As we mentioned, a few risks are associated with feeding your dog macaroni and cheese that every owner should be aware of.

And there is a considerable probability that eating those cheesy noodles may cause your dog to experience uncomfortable (and embarrassing!) gastrointestinal upset, whether it is caused by dairy, gluten, artificial substances, or a combination.

With such puppy dog eyes, it’s difficult to refuse.

Don’t share your golden, oozy, cheesetastic comfort food with your canine best buddy.

The best thing you can do for your dog’s health is to feed it a good brand of healthy dog food with great ingredients that will provide your dog with all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to remain healthy and active, even into age.

Regular dog food is the safest thing to serve your four-legged friends at mealtime, and there are healthy alternatives for snacks.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat mac and cheese?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.