There’s no denying it, dogs love cheese. Whenever you’re eating something cheesy, they always want a bite-not that they don’t want a bite of everything else you eat, but that’s a story for another time. How many times have you tried to feed your dog some of your pizza, and stopped in concern? Is cheese okay for dogs you thought? Should I give it to him? Well, you’re never going to need to think again about how much cheese can a dog eat again. We’re bringing you the answer right now.
Is Cheese Harmful to Dogs?
The cheese itself is not toxic to dogs, as stated by the Blue Cross Organization UK. However, the biggest problem with feeding dogs cheese is that it contributes to weight gain in dogs. We all know why weight gain can be a big problem for dogs, especially those that live in cities and are not used to exercise. These dogs find these pounds difficult to shed, which means they can birth to a plethora of obesity-related health issues.
Lactose in cheese is something else that dogs have problems with. Dogs don’t digest lactose -which is the primary milk sugar-well. This means giving dogs milk can cause digestive problems. In contrast, cheese has a very low amount of lactose in it, because most of it has been converted into lactic acid. This is why dogs have no digestive troubles after eating cheese.
This is another theory about dogs not being able to eat cheese, debunked.
When to Avoid Cheese?
While cheese is not toxic to dogs, and no cheese should be given to dogs in excessive amounts, there are some cheeses you need to avoid altogether. For example, cheeses with raisins or other such additions. Raisins are toxic for a dog. You can read more about raisins and dogs here- How many raisins can a dog eat?
While weight gain after feeding cheese is a concern in all dogs, there is some other complication for some dogs too. Cheese has a high amount of salt and fat, which could cause concerns for some dogs. For example, a dog with heart problems or blood pressure issues should not be given cheese because of the sodium content. Dogs with a history of pancreatic and hepatic problems should not be given cheese because it has a lot of fat in it.
Dogs that are severe lactose intolerance should also be kept away from cheese. Blue cheese is another cheese you should avoid feeding your dog.
How Much Cheese Can a Dog Eat?
This answer depends on the weight and exercise your dog gets. Depending on how much your dog works out, his weight, and age, you need to talk to your vet about how many daily calories your dog should have. Cheese can be given to your dog as a treat, however, it should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Let’s take an example. A slice of cheddar cheese contains about 113 calories. For a small dog, these calories can be above even the total daily amount the dog needs. However, for a large, more active dog, these calories could be easily manageable.
Can Cheese Be Healthy for Dogs?
Although cheese can cause obesity in dogs, there are nutrients in cheese that are useful for dogs too. Cheese has a lot of calcium, Vitamin A, and B-complex vitamins, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Omega-3 fatty acids, Riboflavin, and Glutathione. Calcium is beneficial for dogs because it maintains normal blood pressure, and strengthens bones and teeth. Your dog needs Vitamin A to keep his coat healthy, and to keep his nervous system functioning perfectly. Vitamin B-complexes help keep the digestive system, and to support the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting.
What Types of Cheeses Can I Give My Dog?
The trick is to go for the types of cheese that have low-fat content. Cottage cheese is a very good example of a cheese that you can give your dog. Not only does cottage cheese have few calories, but it also has very little lactose. Since dogs have very little lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, they can develop stomach problems from other cheeses. Cottage cheese also has a lot of protein and calcium which is another plus point.
Mozzarella is another good cheese for your dog since it has low sodium and fat when compared to other cheese. Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese have very little lactose, making them a safe option for your dog.
The cheese you need to avoid seriously is blue cheese. Penicillium mold creates the blue veins in the cheese. Penicillium produces toxins that can cause vomiting, tremors, and other problems in your dog. Dogs are sensitive to the toxin Roquefortin C produced by the penicillium. Your dog might also high experience high temperatures, and seizures, so you should keep a close eye on them.
When Should You Give Your Dog Cheese?
Once you’ve figured out how much cheese can a dog eat after talking to your vet, you can use cheese to train them. Here are some conditions in which you should give your dog cheese.
Dogs love cheese, which means you can give it to them as a reward when they do something good during training. Giving cheese to dogs this way can encourage them to do what you command them to do for the desire of the cheese.
Dogs are notorious for creating problems when taking medicine, especially if it is a pill. Well, worry not, because sticking the pill in between a wedge of cheese can make it go straight down the dog’s throat.
We’ve established that dogs can be given cheeses that are low in fat and sodium, and have no other additions to them. You should strictly avoid cheese, and you should give dogs normal cheese in moderation too. After all, as a dog parent, your first concern should always be their health.