Cheese is one of dogs’ favorite foods, most likely due to its intense smell and taste. Many of us use the classic quesito (portion of fresh cheese) to give our dog his medication or just a treat.
But is cheese a recommended food for dogs? It is not a simple question to answer, although at general levels it could be said that yes, it is a nutritious and healthy food, although in small portions.
Index of contents
- 1 Can any dog eat cheese?
- 1.1 Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs
- 2 What are the best cheeses for a dog?
- 3 Can a dog eat cheese?
- 4 Nutritional benefits of cheese for a dog
Can any dog eat cheese?
No, the cheese has, to a greater or lesser extent, lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide formed by the union of a molecule of glucose and another of galactose. We humans can digest it without problems, but the dogs don’t.
So not all dogs can eat cheese, many dogs are lactose intolerant and when eating cheese, they are slightly intoxicated. However, there are also many dogs that tolerate small amounts of lactose better and can eat cheese without problems.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs
If we give a small portion of cheese to our dog and appreciate any of these symptoms, it is very likely to be intolerant And you should never eat lactose-free products. Obviously including, Cow milk, ice cream and cheese.
These are the main symptoms that a dog with lactose intolerance presents:
- Inflammation of the stomach
- General discomfort
- Gases / fluctuations
What are the best cheeses for a dog?
If our dog does not have lactose intolerance, we can give him cheese as a nutritional supplement or prize, but never as the only food / protein source.
The best cheese we can give our dog is the one with the least amount of lactose, whether lactose intolerant or not, dogs do not digest it well.
These are the cheeses that due to their composition and production have minimal amounts of lactose:
- Gruyere cheese: Made from cow’s milk, during the curing process lactose is completely metabolized into lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. So its lactose content is minimal, especially if it is cured (there is also semi-cured and fresh).
- Cheddar cheese: Also made from cow’s milk but with very little lactose content thanks to the curing process.
- Mozzarella cheese: Made with buffalo milk and although it is a fresh cheese, the amount of lactose it contains is very low.
- Idiazábal cheese: Made with sheep cheese. With very little lactose thanks to the curing process.
- Manchego cheese: We will look for the cured format, which is the one that contains the least amount of lactose. Also made with sheep’s milk.
We can also give our dog any other type of cheese, always checking that the lactose content is low or zero to avoid digestive problems.
Can a dog eat cheese?
The famous cheeses are small portions of semi-fresh cheese that contain a higher amount of lactose than cured cheese. Ideally, we give you a very small portion and assess whether it suits you.
Of the two dogs that live with us, one eats cheese without problems, something that is great for us to camouflage their pills when they need them. However, the other dog does not tolerate them well, suffering from diarrhea or too loose stools when consumed.
Nutritional benefits of cheese for a dog
We all know that the greatest benefit that cheese offers to caregivers is that we can camouflage the pills that our dog must take (by veterinary prescription, obviously). Cheese is a great ally, without a doubt.
But apart from this, it also offers nutritional benefits, such as:
- Calcium: Cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, minerals necessary to keep your bones strong.
- Conjugated linoleic acid: Cheese contains at least twenty-eight isomers of linoleic acid, which helps prevent various types of Cancer.
- Vitamins: Cheese is rich in vitamins of group A, B, D and E.
- Proteins and essential fats: Cheese contains a large amount of beneficial proteins and fats such as Omega 3.
So remember, as long as your dog tolerates it, a little is beneficial, but too much can be harmful.