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Can Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese?

Can Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese?

Do you love to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on everything that you are making in the kitchen. Well, then you definitely aren’t the only one who enjoys it. Parmesan truly makes every dish extra delicious and it’s unique flavor goes well with all kinds of food. But would it be safe to give a bite of your dinner that has some Parmesan on top of it to your dog? Can dogs eat Parmesan cheese? Or should we keep it away from them?

Can dogs eat Parmesan cheese?

The short answer to this question is — yes, your dog can eat Parmesan cheese. However, that doesn’t mean that you should give it to your dog in large quantities.

Parmesan is a hard and aged cheese that originates from the Reggio Emilia, Parma region of Italy. As it is a hard cheese, it is pretty low in lactose. Additionally, as it is an aged cheese, it’s also pretty high in sodium as well.

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Since most dogs are lactose intolerant, and Parmesan cheese is low in lactose, does that mean that it’s safe for dogs too? Well, it does mean that your dog will digest it much easier than some other cheese that contains lactose in it.

However, the high levels of sodium may become a problem. When Parmesan cheese was first introduced salt was the natural preservative that was most commonly used for it. High levels of sodium can be a health hazard especially for dogs with certain health conditions. These health conditions include diseases such as kidney problems, high blood pressure or heart issues.

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While one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese is won’t be deadly for your dog, a diet that is rich in sodium could over time do damages to his health. Keep this in mind with any food that you may be feeding to your dog and not just Parmesan cheese.

High levels of sodium will lead to retention of water in your dog’s body. That then causes high blood pressure which will eventually damage not only his heart, but his kidneys as well. Save your dog’s health by trying your best to give him natural, unseasoned and low-sodium foods.

Are there any side effects of feeding your dog Parmesan Cheese

While your dog can theoretically eat a small amount of Parmesan cheese without any side effects at all, larger quantities may cause some.

The most common side effects will be caused by the fact that there is SO much salt in this particular type of cheese. While every being needs some levels of sodium for it’s cells to function properly, large quantities can actually be deadly.

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Dogs that consumed too much Parmesan cheese will show symptoms such as:

  1. Nausea or vomiting
  2. Weakness or even ataxia
  3. Lethargy
  4. Disorientation
  5. A lack of appetite
  6. Muscle spasms, convulsions, and seizures
  7. Excessive drinking and urinating
  8. Watery diarrhea
  9. Fast heart rate
  10. High fever

Most of these are actually symptoms of salt toxicity. This is a serious medical condition that will require immediate help from a professional. If you notice any of the symptoms above make sure to take your dog to the emergency.

Conclusion: Can dogs eat Parmesan cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat Parmesan cheese. However, they can only eat small amounts of it. In most cases, the amount of Parmesan that is found on your pasta or lasagna won’t hurt your dog, and he will be fine if you sneak him a small bite under the table. However, that’s where it should stay at — a small and occasional treat. Don’t feed your dog too much Parmesan cheese as it could lead to some serious health conditions due to the high levels of sodium in it.

Food, diet and nutrition are such important topics for every dog owner. That’s why we have so many articles on it. Here are just some of them:

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.