White, soft brined, crumbly, salty and tangy, meaty, and spongy. It’s one of the essentials of breakfasts, sandwiches, and salads! Yes, ladies and gentlemen. It’s feta cheese. We love to eat it in many different ways, and we are not alone in this. Our pups go nuts when they see cheese because they love it so bad! However, as a responsible parent of your pooch, you might be wondering: Is it safe to feed my dog feta cheese?
Dogs should not eat feta cheese. Even though the cheese itself is not toxic for your dog, the high-fat, salt, and lactose contents in feta cheese can cause excessive weight gain, pancreatitis, and heart diseases if consumed regularly.
Why is Feta Cheese Bad for My Dog?
As a matter of fact, dogs love cheese in general. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that cheese is good for their health and is something that should be on their menu regularly. For your pup to have a long, healthy, fit life, it’s essential to pay attention to what he eats and what he doesn’t.
It is not unsafe for dogs to eat feta cheese if consumed in very little amounts; however, it cannot be a regular part of their diet.
High Fat & Sodium
High-fat and high-sodium food will cause your pup to gain excessive weight, and it can lead to health problems such as pancreatitis and issues with the heart. When it comes to fat, you may need to pay attention individually to the saturated fat, which is the bad one.
Dogs’ daily fat intake should not be higher than 15%. Since most cheeses are high in fat, you need to watch out how much they consume. Also, they should not use that daily 15% fat portion of their menu all for cheese.
It will be dangerous to consume a great amount of fat all at once. High sodium consumption will make your pooch very thirsty, and he will have a dry mouth. Sodium-ion poisoning is also one of the common side effects.
High in Lactose
Apart from the high fat and sodium contents of cheese, they are usually high in lactose. Most of the dog breeds are lactose intolerant, which makes them unable to digest lactose in their intestines.
Therefore, most dogs are not able to break down cheese in their body, and this can cause some problems for your pooch. If a lactose intolerant dog eats dairy that has lactose in it, they are likely to vomit, experience abdominal pain, bloat, and diarrhea. Feta cheese does not contain high lactose for humans, but the lactose amount in feta cheese is still high for dogs.
What Types of Cheese is Safe for Dogs?
Cheese is not extremely dangerous for dogs as long as you know what kind of cheese you are supposed to serve your dog and are aware of the ingredients that can cause harm. If you are conscious about the ingredients, cheese can provide essential nutrients for pups such as calcium, protein, vitamin A, B vitamins, and fatty acids.
As we now know that most dog breeds are lactose intolerant, and high fat and sodium-containing cheese is not good for their health, different types of cheese can be safe for your pup. Obviously, the cheese that is safe for dogs should be low in fat, low in sodium, and should have low lactose.
If you know that your dog is lactose intolerant, you need to be careful about how much cheese he eats. In that case, try not to exceed the limit of a tablespoon.
Please make sure that no matter what type of cheese you serve your pup, it has to be without flavor and in very small amounts. Flavored cheese can be toxic for your dog as they usually have garlic, onion, and other toxic ingredients in them.
Cottage cheese is going to be the least harmful option if you want to feed your dog cheese, or if he is craving it too much. The reason for that is that cottage cheese is low in fat and sodium and is rich in protein. It can even help with obesity issues. Cottage cheese is also low in lactose, which will prevent the aforementioned further complications of consuming high-lactose cheese for your dog.
You drop a dollop of cream cheese, and your doggo will come to lick it up. It is going to be fine unless it is flavored as companies usually add flavor to the cheese, such as garlic or onions. Just be careful with the amount.
As well as cottage cheese, mozzarella can be low in fat compared to other types of cheeses, making it a convenient snack for your pup. Just make sure that you buy a low-fat mozzarella as some of them can still be rich in fat.
Besides those listed above, cheddar cheese and goat cheese can be safe for your pup if consumed responsibly and consciously. Also, string cheese can help your dog gain weight if he is too skinny.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Feta Cheese?
While cheese is not definitely a no-no for dogs, it can be dangerous for their health. When treating your dog cheese, you will want to be aware of its ingredients. The most important thing to check before you serve him cheese is to control the fat, sodium, and lactose amounts in the cheese.
Feta cheese is high in sodium and can be high in fat as well as lactose, so it will not be the safest option for your dog. However, if consumed in small amounts, it does not pose a danger as long as it won’t become a habit.
There are types of cheese that can be healthy and provide essential nutrients for dogs, such as cottage cheese and cream cheese. String cheese can be the option if your dog needs to gain weight. Don’t forget that it has to be without any flavors as they can contain toxic ingredients like garlic and onions.