If you are a cheese lover, you might want to share some of your favorite cheese with your furry friend. After all, who can resist those adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite? But before you do, you might want to know if cheese is safe for dogs to eat, and if so, what kind of cheese is best.
In this article, we will focus on one of the most popular cheeses in the world: feta cheese.
Feta cheese is a soft, briny cheese that originated in Greece and is made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It is often used in salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and other dishes.
Can dogs eat feta cheese?
The short answer is: yes, dogs can eat feta cheese, but only in small amounts and occasionally. Feta cheese is not toxic to dogs, however, it is high in fat and lactose, which can be difficult for some dogs to digest. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it is best to avoid giving them feta cheese.
Benefits of Feeding Feta Cheese to Dogs
There are no benefits to feeding feta cheese to dogs. Feta cheese is not a good source of nutrients for dogs, and it can actually be harmful to their health.
However, feta cheese can offer a few potential benefits in moderation.
- Protein Source: Feta cheese contains protein, which is essential for your dog’s overall health and development. However, it should only be provided as an occasional treat, rather than a staple in their diet.
- Calcium Content: Feta cheese also contains calcium, an important mineral that helps strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth.
Note that these nutrients are not abundant in feta cheese, and there are many other safer and healthier sources of protein and calcium for dogs.
Later in this article, you will see a list of safer alternatives to feta cheese that dogs can consume.
Potential Risks of Feeding Feta Cheese to Dogs
While feta cheese may offer some benefits to dogs, it also poses potential risks that you should be aware of:
1. Lactose Intolerance: About 65% of dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the necessary enzymes to properly digest lactose, the sugar in milk products. Feeding feta cheese to a lactose-intolerant dog can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, and upset stomach.
2. High Fat Content: Feta cheese is relatively high in fat, which can be difficult for dogs to digest. Excessive fat consumption can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially serious condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas.
3. Sodium Intake: Feta cheese is also high in sodium, which can be harmful to dogs. Excessive sodium intake can lead to dehydration and other health problems, such as high blood pressure and kidney disease.
How Much Feta Cheese Can I Give My Dog?
If you decide to give your dog feta cheese as an occasional treat, it is important to do so in moderation. The appropriate amount of feta cheese for your dog depends on various factors such as the dog’s size, weight, and overall health.
As a general guideline, it is recommended to limit the intake to small, bite-sized pieces. Also, your dogs should never get more than 10% of their daily calorie requirements from feta cheese.
For example, a small dog that weighs 10 pounds should only eat 1-2 teaspoons of feta cheese per day. A medium-sized dog that weighs 20 pounds should only eat 2-4 teaspoons of feta cheese per day. And a large dog that weighs 50 pounds should only eat 1 tablespoon of feta cheese per day.
It is also important to note that some dogs may be more sensitive to feta cheese than others. If your dog has any digestive problems after eating feta cheese, it is best to avoid giving it to them in the future.
To help you determine how much feta cheese to give your dog, here’s a table that shows recommended serving sizes based on your dog’s weight:
|Dog Weight||Recommended Serving Size|
|10 lbs||1 tsp|
|20 lbs||2 tsp|
|30 lbs||1 tbsp|
|40 lbs||1.5 tbsp|
|50 lbs||2 tbsp|
|60 lbs||2.5 tbsp|
|70 lbs||3 tbsp|
|80 lbs||3.5 tbsp|
|90 lbs||4 tbsp|
|100 lbs||4.5 tbsp|
How to Feed Feta Cheese to Your Dog
If you want to feed feta cheese to your dog safely and responsibly, here are some tips to follow:
- Choose low-fat and low-sodium varieties of feta cheese.
- Cut the feta cheese into small pieces or crumble it over your dog’s food.
- Start with a small amount and see how your dog reacts.
- Keep an eye on your dog after feeding them feta cheese.
- If your dog has a sensitive stomach, avoid giving them feta cheese.
- Do not give your dog feta cheese that has been cooked with onions or garlic, as these can be toxic to dogs.
- It is best to use feta cheese as an occasional treat, not as a regular part of your dog’s diet.
Alternatives to Feta Cheese for Dogs
While feta cheese may not be the best choice for your dog, several alternatives can still satisfy their taste buds. Consider offering your furry friend these safer options:
1. Cottage cheese: Low in lactose and packed with protein, cottage cheese can be a healthy alternative to feta cheese for dogs.
2. Pumpkin puree: A spoonful of pumpkin puree can be a tasty and nutritious treat for dogs. Make sure it is pure pumpkin without any added sugars or spices.
3. Carrots: Crunchy and low in calories, carrots are a great choice for dogs. They provide vitamins and minerals without the potential risks associated with feta cheese.
4. Plain yogurt: Plain yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium for dogs. It is also low in lactose, so it is a good choice for dogs that are lactose intolerant.
5. Hard cheese: Hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan are safe for dogs in small amounts. They are high in protein and calcium, but also high in fat, so it’s important to limit your dog’s intake.
6. Cooked chicken or fish: Cooked chicken or fish is a lean protein that is easy for dogs to digest. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as niacin, phosphorus, and selenium.
Surprisingly, some dogs may have chicken allergy, hence, it’s important to learn more about chicken allergy in dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Feta Cheese Safe for Dogs to Eat?
No, feta cheese is not safe for dogs to eat. It has high fat and lactose content, which can cause digestive issues for your furry friend. Additionally, feta cheese contains high levels of sodium, which can be harmful to dogs.
What Are the Risks of Giving Feta Cheese to Dogs?
The risks of giving feta cheese to dogs include digestive issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting. The high fat content in feta cheese can also lead to obesity and other health problems in dogs.
What Are the Symptoms of Feta Cheese Toxicity in Dogs?
The symptoms of feta cheese toxicity in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can also cause pancreatitis, which is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary care.
What Cheeses Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Some cheeses that are safe for dogs to eat include cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese. However, it is important to give cheese to your dog in moderation and to choose low-fat options.
What Are Some Alternative Treats for Dogs Instead of Feta Cheese?
If you want to give your dog a treat, there are many healthy alternatives to feta cheese. Some options include carrots, apples, and plain cooked chicken. You can also find many commercial dog treats that are specifically made for dogs and are safe for them to eat.
Can Dogs Have Spinach and Feta Together?
No, dogs should not have spinach and feta together. Spinach contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful to dogs in large quantities. Additionally, feta cheese is not safe for dogs to eat due to its high fat and lactose content. It is best to avoid giving your dog any foods that contain spinach or feta cheese.