Cheese can be a treat for dogs, and it’s often given as a reward during training or calming separation anxiety. It’s also a good way to hide dog medication that your pet may be reluctant to take.
Cheese contains some key nutrients for your dog, including protein, calcium, vitamin A and essential fatty acids. However, it should be given in moderation and as a small part of your dog’s overall diet.
Cheese is often seen as a dog-friendly treat, but not all cheeses are created equal. Some have more lactose than others, and they can cause digestive upset for dogs who are lactose intolerant.
This happens because the body needs a digestive enzyme called lactase to digest the sugar in dairy products, but not all dogs produce enough of this enzyme to break down lactose.
When your dog is lactose intolerant, they will experience symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and gas after eating dairy.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance vary, but they usually include vomiting or diarrhoea, a loss of appetite and gastrointestinal distress such as bloating and gas.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, avoid giving them any dairy products. It can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis, which are serious health problems for your dog.
High Sodium Content
Cheese is high in fat and sodium and should be used sparingly. This is especially important for dogs that are overweight, as it can lead to weight gain and obesity.
If you want to give your dog a cheese snack, look for low-sodium options like mozzarella or cottage cheese. These are also lower in lactose, making them safer for pups who have allergies or intolerances to dairy.
The high sodium content in cheese can be problematic for dogs with kidney issues, as excess sodium can aggravate their condition. They may experience excessive thirst, frequent urination, diarrhea or vomiting and even weakness and seizures.
If you think your pet has a salt intolerance, you can try to limit their cheese intake and provide them with plenty of water. This will help prevent them from becoming ill and causing more problems in the future.
Moldy cheese, like stale bread and other foods that have been contaminated by fungi, contain mycotoxins that can be poisonous to your dog. In some cases, these toxins can cause mycotoxin toxicosis, which is a severe syndrome of seizures and tremors that could be fatal without immediate vet treatment.
Mycotoxins can also destroy the liver and other vital organs. Some can even cause a weakened immune system and increase the risk of autoimmune disease or other health conditions.
When dogs ingest food containing these mycotoxins, they will likely suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms of mycotoxicosis may also include lethargy and decreased appetite.
Mycotoxins are produced by many different types of fungi that spoil foods. They also affect the health of plants. These toxins are assessed for safe levels of ingestion through risk assessments done by JECFA and other ad hoc scientific expert groups, and by Codex standards, which are used to set guidelines for national food supplies and trade.
Also Read: Keep Your Dog Safe
Although cheese is a common dog treat, it’s best not to feed your dog cheese in large amounts. The fat and sodium in cheese can lead to weight gain, obesity, and other health problems.
If you do decide to give your dog cheese, it’s important to select the right kind for them. Some cheeses, such as brie and goat cheese, have high fat content that’s unsuitable for dogs.
It’s also a good idea to avoid moldy cheeses, as they contain mycotoxins that can be toxic to your dog.
In addition, hard aged cheeses are especially salty and can cause digestive upset or worse — salt poisoning.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other types of cheese that your dog can enjoy. Among them, cottage cheese is one of the safer choices for your dog. It’s lower in lactose and fat and is suitable for dogs with certain health issues.