Cheese has been somewhat of a controversial topic among dog parents and veterinarians. Some say it’s toxic, while others believe it is healthy for dogs.
The real concern is, can dogs eat feta cheese? The short answer is no, they cannot. Although it isn’t unsafe, feta cheese should be avoided due to its high lactose content. It is way too fatty to be good for dogs. Also, the high sodium content is another contributing factor to the harms of feta cheese.
This was a short and straightforward answer. But, there’s more to the science of cheeses than this. Here’s a longer, more detailed answer for all dog parents out there!
Is Feta Cheese Okay for Dogs?
If you look at it technically, feta cheese is okay for dogs. It isn’t toxic. Moreover, dogs that have somewhat of a higher lactose tolerance can bear the dairy content too. It is also a delicious treat. Dogs tend to love the taste of feta cheese too. Despite all this, it is still recommended to avoid feeding feta cheese to dogs.
Why you may wonder:
Well, the first and most obvious reason is the presence of lactose in feta cheese or any other cheese for that matter. Dogs are generally lactose intolerant, and there are only a few breeds that have a higher lactose tolerance. Feta cheese is said to have lesser lactose content than most other dairy products, but it is still high enough for most dogs.
What happens when your lactose intolerant dog eats feta cheese is that the digestive system will be unable to break it down. It stays undigested, which will understandably cause abdominal pain. Gas, bloat, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common symptoms.
Other than that:
Feta cheese is also pretty high in terms of fat. Dogs shouldn’t be given too much fat ever. Their diet shouldn’t contain more than 10-15% fat. Now, you may think that the feta cheese you offer will make up for that 10-15%. But the problem is that eating too much fat at once is risky too. Fatty acids won’t just make your dog obese, which is a problem in itself but will also increase the risks of pancreatitis and heart issues.
We have the problem of the high sodium content in feta cheese. Too much salt will make your dog too thirsty. Other than a dry mouth, too much sodium can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high temperature, tremors, depression, seizures, and death. Sodium-ion poisoning is also a common side-effect.
What to do if the Dog Ate Feta Cheese?
It’s definitely not healthy if your dog ate feta cheese. But now that the deed has been done, what should be the next step?
A small amount of feta cheese is harmless. The few crumbles that your dog licked from the floor won’t have any noticeable effects. But, if it more like a bite of feta cheese than just an accidental taste, the situation may be more serious.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, expect all the aforementioned side effects. Now, most of the serious harms of feta cheese are long-term. Unless your dog is habitual of eating feta cheese, you shouldn’t be so concerned.
As for the short-term effects, start by booking an appointment with your vet. If the dog is showing the symptoms, instantly head to an emergency vet. But if the dog seems calm, you can try a few home remedies before going to the professional. Make sure to offer lots of water since a dry mouth is expected after eating cheese.
Keep your dog as calm as possible. Vomiting and diarrhea could lead to lethargy too. Use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. If the dog seems to be in a very sensitive condition, try to talk to a vet on the phone. You’ll be able to get some professional advice on how to help your buddy while you get to the pet hospital. You can find more preventative steps here.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese? (Video)
Cheeses that Dogs Can Eat
Although feta cheese is a definite no for dogs, there are certain cheeses that are less harmful to dogs. You can safely offer a chunk of these safe cheeses to your dog once in a blue moon.
The first one is cottage cheese. It has comparatively lower fat and higher protein than other cheeses. Cottage cheese is safe for dogs that aren’t lactose intolerant. This cheese is great for fulfilling protein deficiency in dogs. Moreover, it also cures diarrhea.
The next dog-friendly cheese is cream cheese. As long as it is free of garlic, onions, and other toxic ingredients, your dog can devour a small amount of cream cheese. Along with that, moderate amounts of swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese are also fine since all these cheeses have lower lactose content.
There’s string cheese. It isn’t recommended for smaller dogs. However, for a bigger dog that needs to gain some weight, there’s nothing better than string cheese. Since it has a high caloric value, make sure to feed it in small amounts.
Mozzarella cheese has low sodium and fat. Therefore, it can be used as an occasional treat for lactose tolerant dogs. But it is a danger for dogs that cannot digest lactose. Mozzarella cheese has one of the highest lactose content, so be careful with this one.
Do you know what’s more amusing?
Other than these cheeses, your dog can also eat some unique fruits such as durian fruit. You should research other dog-friendly foods too so that your dog isn’t deprived of any delicious treat on this planet!
Cheeses to Avoid
Despite the fair few safe kinds of cheese, there is still a long list of cheeses to avoid. Do not accidentally offer just any cheese to your dog because some of them are less harmful. The following must be avoided in all cases, no matter how lactose tolerant your fur buddy is.
You should never opt for blue cheese or any other French cheese for that matter. The first reason is the extremely high-fat content. Next, these cheeses have too much sodium. But that’s not all. Blue cheese produces a toxin called roquefortine. It is a poisonous chemical that can be fatal to dogs.
Avoid flavored cheeses. These flavored options usually have one or another ingredient that is toxic to dogs. Havarti cheese and some cream cheeses have garlic, onions, avocadoes, and other potentially toxic ingredients. Moreover, artificial additives and preservatives in some of the cheeses are also bad for dogs. You’ll find more about some ingredients that are harmful to dogs here.
Brie and goat cheese fall in pretty much the same category as feta cheese. So, avoid brie and goat cheese for the same reasons.
Now, even though cheeses are mostly bad for dogs, you can still opt for cheese-flavored dog-friendly treats. Just double-check the ingredients to make sure that the ingredients do not consist of any of real cheese, dairy, or other toxic ingredients.
Can 1 raisin kill a dog?
No, such a small amount of any toxic food is usually harmless to dogs. Even a small or mini dog can bear 1 raisin. For a dog that weighs 10 pounds, it takes 11 raisins to cause a poisonous reaction. You can calculate how many raisins your dog can digest by using the ratio of 0.04 ounces of raisin: 1 pound bodyweight.
Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?
Technically, your dogs can eat scrambled eggs. There isn’t much harm in this. but it also isn’t the recommended way. You can definitely feed your dog eggs in a better way. Since eggs are full of proteins, amino acids, and healthy fatty acids, they are a great food for dogs. Eggs can also soothe an upset stomach. Scrambled eggs aren’t the best form, but if your dog ate them, there’s nothing to worry about.
How do I know if my feta cheese has gone bad?
The most noticeable sign of feta cheese gone bad is the mold. With hard cheeses, you can scrape off the mold and continue to use the cheese. However, this shouldn’t be done with soft cheeses since the mold can spread deeper. Also, the funky smell should be an indicator that the feta cheese is no more consumable.
What human food can a dog eat?
It is risky to feed dogs what’s made for humans. In most cases, there is at least one ingredient in human foods that is toxic or harmful to dogs. However, there are a few options that are safe for dogs. These include chicken, peanut butter that is free of xylitol, white rice, fish, carrots, and apples. Find more about dog-friendly human foods here.
What is the healthiest dog food?
There is no such thing as perfect dog food. This varies from dog to dog. What makes it healthy for your dog is that there is a balance of all necessary nutrients. It should be free of allergens. Also, the caloric value should be in coherence with your dog’s weight and age.