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If you’re a cheese lover you might feel tempted from time to time to share a piece or two with your dog. But is that even safe? Or is cheese bad for dogs? We know that some dogs can be lactose intolerant. But is the sensitivity higher or lower when it comes to lactose from cheese? Since cheese is such a popular snack amongst humans, many owners are asking these questions.
So here’s the breakdown of the pros and cons of giving cheese to your dog.
What nutrients does cheese have?
Cheese in rich in nutrients such as protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12. However, there’s plenty of other food out there that contain these nutrients as well — while being less packed up with fat and calories.
However, it seems as if dogs are equally as obsessed with cheese as we are. That’s why we often use cheese as a training tool snack. It’s also often used to mask the medications you’re giving your dog.
Is cheese bad for dogs?
The truth is that while it is safe to give your dog a piece of cheese every once in a while, you shouldn’t do it too often.
Unfortunately, cheese is full with fats and calories. A calorie rich diet will lead to weight gain which could possibly end up in obesity. On the other hand, a fat rich diet in dogs could lead to different problems, one of the biggest ones being pancreatitis. This is especially true for breeds that are prone to pancreatitis like schnauzers and cocker spaniels. Pancreatitis is a serious and potentially fatal illness that can develop when dogs eat high-fat foods, which are hard for the pancreas to handle.
Another big concern with giving cheese to your dog is that many pups are sensitive to dairy. Milk and other dairy-based products can often lead to diarrhea as dogs don’t have the enzymes needed for breaking lactase down. That’s why you shouldn’t give and dairy products to your dog on a daily basis. Especially not in larger amounts. If you want to know if dogs are lactose intolerant, read this.
While small amounts given as occasional treats won’t do any harm, more frequent ingestion of dairy products could lead to some major tummy trouble.
What about low-fat cheese?
We already know that not all cheeses are created equal. When it comes to low-fat cheeses such as mozzarella snd cottage cheese, these are the healthiest options for your dog. Not only are they low in fat, but they are also lower in sodium than other types of cheese. Always avoid all cheese that contain any type of spices, herbs, garlic or chives.
Conclusion: Is cheese bad for dogs, or is it a great protein-rich snack?
While it’s safe to give your dog a small piece of cheese from time to time, the key here is moderation. If you’re just starting to incorporate dairy products into your dog’s diet, start slow. Some dogs are absolutely lactose intolerant and will have a strong reaction. Start with small amounts and monitor any symptoms they might develop. Cheese is rich in fat and calories and therefore shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities. Eating to much cheese could end up with obesity and/or pancreatitis.