Low in fat and high in protein – string cheese is a favorite for many humans. We also love sharing whatever we enjoy with our furry companions. Whether you’re snacking on string cheese or feasting on pizza rolls, it’s likely your furry friend has his eyes fixed on your cheesy snack, begging for a bite.
You may wonder, can dogs eat string cheese? Well, they sure can! But like any other snack, it’s safe in moderation and only if it doesn’t ruin your dog’s health. We look at the benefits of string cheese to your dog and when to avoid it.
String Cheese. What is it?
String cheese is 100% mozzarella cheese processed into a rope-like consistency. It is milk, rennet enzyme, and culture churned into a thick curd at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The milk proteins are realigned at this temperature, making the cheese stretchy.
Instead of molding the cheese into balls, it is cut into strips, pulled, and stretched into thin strings. Alternatively, it can be twisted or braided into bundles of cheese ropes.
Is String Cheese Good for Dogs?
String cheese is a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients to dogs, and with good reason. Among its benefits include:
70% of your canine’s immune cells are in the gut, so your dog’s digestive health is crucial. String cheese is a good source of probiotic bacteria, including strains of Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus casei. Probiotics regulate the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the GI to boost immunity, promote gut health, and fight inflammation.
Studies show that the bacteria in probiotics positively impact liver disease, obesity, and behavioral disorders in canines. They may also improve coat and skin appearance and eliminate bad breath, allergy symptoms, and fungal infections.
Like most cheeses, string cheese is a rich source of calcium which is great for your canine’s bones and teeth. Additionally, calcium helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and supports heart health and weight loss.
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Studies also show that calcium, alongside vitamin D, can protect your canine companion against high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
String cheese is a worthy option if you are looking for a healthy cheese for Fido. Mozzarella cheese is low in fat and calories, so your dog saves on the extra pounds while enjoying a flavorful treat. But there’s a caveat. Mozzarella is high in saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease. So, you don’t want to go overboard with Fido’s serving of string cheese.
Source of Vitamin A
String cheese is also high in vitamin A, an essential nutrient in maintaining your dog’s optimal health. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that supports your pup’s skin and coat health, vision, skeletal and brain development, and immune function.
Provides Vitamin B12
Most dog foods contain vitamin B12, and so does string cheese. Vitamin B12 is vital for your furry friend in many aspects. It is crucial for brain function, nerve and digestive health, and the formation of red blood cells. It can also help boost your Fido’s appetite, support the breakdown of fats, carbs, and proteins and prevent infections.
Good Source of Potassium
String cheese is high in potassium, a crucial electrolyte for your canine’s health. Your dog needs potassium for his heart, muscles, and nerves to function well. The mineral also helps to regulate fluid and electrolyte content in the body.
Riboflavin and Glutathione
String cheese is rich in riboflavin, a coenzyme that helps produce energy and breakdown proteins, carbs, and fats. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant essential for cell health, liver function, and immune health.
When is String Cheese Bad for My Dog?
Some pups are lactose intolerant, so even the tiniest bite of string cheese will make your dog sick and cause GI distress, bloating, and gas. This is because canines don’t have enough enzymes to break down lactose.
Even “healthy” dogs will have trouble digesting the milk proteins in string cheese if fed high amounts. So it would be best if you only offered string cheese in moderation and on occasion.
Ensure you feed your dog 100% natural string cheese with no additives, as these can upset your dog’s digestive system.
You should also avoid feeding your canine companion string cheese seasoned with onions, garlic, chives, and shallot because they contain toxic substances.
If your canine companion suffers from pancreatitis or has a history of an acute flare-up, they should not eat string cheese. Even the tiniest amount could make your pooch sick. Some breeds like Cocker Spaniels and Miniature Schnauzers are prone to this condition.
The same goes for dogs with kidney disease because cheese is high in salts and fat. When fed too often, it can lead to high blood pressure, which is harmful to the kidneys.
String cheese is also a no-no for canines who have sensitive stomachs or are overweight. If your pup is on a prescription diet or has a sensitive tummy, they are unlikely to tolerate string cheese.
In case you’ve never provided your pup string cheese before and are unsure whether they can handle it, offer just a small serving and look out for any signs of tummy upset.
How Many String Cheese Sticks Can My Dogs Eat?
The amount of string cheese your pup can safely consume will depend on his size, age, weight, health, and activity level. Dogs can tolerate moderate amounts of string cheese when fed as an occasional treat. But if Fido is lactose-intolerant, string cheese is entirely off the table.
A healthy dog requires up to 30 calories per pound of its body weight to stay healthy. For instance, if Fido weighs 50 pounds, his daily recommended calories will fall between 1250 to 1500. Dog treats and snacks should account for 10% of your canine’s daily calories.
Therefore, treats like string cheese should constitute 125 to 150 calories of your pup’s daily caloric intake. So, tossing Fido 1-2 pieces of string cheese is harmless.
My dog Ate too Much String Cheese. Should I be Worried?
If Fido has consumed too much string cheese, you shouldn’t panic. Cheese is not poisonous to dogs. While your pup may get sick and suffer nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea, there’ll unlikely be any severe complications.
Since cheese is not toxic, you don’t need to induce your pup to vomit. Instead, give him plenty of fresh, clean water to help flush out the cheese from his system. Keep watch on your furry friend for any severe symptoms and rush him to the vet asap.
Our pups trust us to make smart food choices on their behalf. And as responsible dog parents, keeping our canines safe is our main priority. String cheese is a safe and tasty treat for Fido but in moderation and on occasion. Too much consumption of string cheese can make your dog sick. So, ensure you practice moderation no matter how lovingly your dog begs.