Many human foods get your dog drooling, and it's tough to resist sharing it with those puppy eyes staring at you. However, not all human foods are safe for all dogs, one of which is milk.
Most dogs love milk! And knowing the list of health benefits milk has, we as pet parents, love feeding it to them. And in all this, it's easy to forget that there's a good chunk of dogs out there who can't have milk- they are lactose intolerant. So, if licks of milk or eating dairy products leave your dog's stomach rumbling, bloated or causing diarrhoea, this blog is for you. Keep reading!
Lactose intolerance in dogs
The most common cause of food intolerance in dogs is dairy products. Lactose-intolerant dogs lack the enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products. Simply put, they have difficulty digesting milk and may show symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating, or loss of appetite. Knowing this, you might want to make your dog skip the milk and not have dairy products. But we don't want your pet to give up something that is nutritious and they enjoy. So, say cheese!
Can a dog eat cheese?
Luckily, there are ways for your lactose-intolerant dog to enjoy dairy still. Some milk-based foods may be easier to digest for your dog than others. This is because how a dog reacts to dairy products depends on the amount of lactose in the food. The higher the lactose content, the higher the risk of digestive upset.
Refer to the table below for the lactose content in common dairy foods.
So, for the question popping up in your mind - Can I give my dog cheese as a treat? The answer is that yes, you sure can. Cheese is generally safe for dogs as long as it is fed as an occasional treat and in moderation. And it can have benefits, too!
Benefits of cheese for dogs
1. Full of nutrients: Cheese contains a lot of essential nutrients. In addition to protein and fat, many cheeses have vitamin A, vitamin B-12, vitamin K-2, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus. Cheese also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential in a healthy dog's diet.
2. A handy training tool: Dogs are drawn to the strong smell and flavour of the cheese. You can use low-fat cheese as a reward to motivate your dog while training. Just make sure to reward your dog with cheese in moderation.
It'll definitely be a good training session with Dogsee mini pops, which are cheesy, puff treats packed with protein and low in fat.
3. Helps your dog take medicine: Dogs like the taste of cheese, and because its texture is usually quite malleable, cheese can help mask medicine you are struggling to get your pup to take.
4. A tasty topper: A sprinkle of cheese makes an excellent food topper. It can enhance the taste of food, add nutrition and also help your picky eater have a meal.
5. Dental Hygiene: Hardened Cheese Bars can help fight plaque and tartar. The rich flavour also helps keep their breath fresh.
Check out our Instagram post to sprinkle some nutrition in your dog's food with Dogsee Activet Plus+.
Feeding cheese safely to your dogs
While giving cheese to your lactose-intolerant dog is a safe bet, there are things every pet parent should remember.
Quantity of cheese
Start small: Start with a small amount of cheese if your dog has never had it before to see how they react. If there are no side effects, such as an upset stomach, you can continue to feed cheese to your dog in moderation.
Feed in moderation: Cheese is high in fat, and feeding it to your dog regularly can lead to weight gain and major digestive issues. Always keep in mind that any food other than your dog's regular food shouldn't account for more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.
However, the churpi cheese used in Hard Bars has a lower fat content and a higher protein value due to the different methods employed in its making.
Type of Cheese
All cheeses are not created equal. Some cheeses are better for dogs than others. Cesar's Way recommends choosing cheeses with low or reduced fat content. Cheeses that are safe to feed to your dog include:
Himalayan Cheese (Churpi)
While the narrated list of cheeses is low in lactose and safe for your dogs, some cheeses are an absolute no-no. Blue cheese and cheeses with herb, garlic and other seasonings can be toxic to your dogs; goat cheese and feta cheese are high lactose cheeses and also have high-fat content, which should be avoided.
A part of dog care is observing your furry friend closely and taking the best steps accordingly. Like humans, dogs can also be lactose intolerant and have difficulty digesting milk. But they can have cheese! Little bites of cheese make up a tasty topper, a medicine concealer, and a great training tool. While moderation is the key to safely feeding your dog cheese, you should always consult your vet for the best advice and the right quantity.