When preparing snacks, salads, or meals, you may add some feta cheese to enhance the flavor. It is highly nutritious to humans and one of the best types of cheese to use when making meals.
As a dog lover, you might want to share anything you make for yourself with your pooch, but is feta cheese safe for them to consume?
The short answer is no, dogs should not have feta cheese. Though feta cheese is not toxic to dogs when consumed, it contains high levels of fat and sodium, which are harmful to canines. Besides, if your furry friend is lactose intolerant, it will be best for them not to have even a taste of the cheese.
What is Feta Cheese?
It is a type of cheese made by either mixing sheep and goat milk or plainly using goat’s milk. Feta cheese is softer than other cheese types and has a tangy taste, which can vary from sharp to mild depending on how the cheese is aged.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Goat Cheese?
Reasons Not to Give Feta Cheese to Dogs
For multiple reasons, it would be best to stay clear from adding feta cheese to your dog’s meals. They include;
While feta cheese has low lactose content when compared to other cheese, it is still not safe for intolerant dogs. Your dog can eat parmesan cheese as an alternative as its lower lactose content makes it a safer option.
Canines that are lactose intolerant lack enzymes to digest the sugar found in milk, and it will be better for their general health if you do not offer the cheese. Other than parmesan, dogs can eat mozzarella cheese as it contains a low lactose content of about 0.02 grams per serving.
Feta cheese has a significant amount of fat in it. In an ounce of cheese, more than 20% of it is fat. More than half of the fat in the cheese is saturated fat which is not safe for your furry friend.
If you feed your canine meals that contain feta cheese regularly, they will be at a high risk of weight gain and developing health complications such as arthritis and obesity.
High in Salt
Dogs require minimal sodium content in their meals, and feta cheese contains 330mg of it in an ounce. This is too much and can affect their health negatively. Dogs should only consume 0.25 to 1.5 grams of salts in 100 grams of their meal.
Signs of excessive intake of sodium by dogs include:
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate Feta Cheese?
You might try your best to keep your furry friend from eating feta cheese, but accidents happen. What next?
While it is not a good idea for your pooch to eat feta cheese, consuming a small amount will not harm them. However, in cases where a dog has underlying medical conditions, the small amount may affect them. This is especially applicable for dogs with severe lactose intolerance.
When you start noticing the ill effects of your dog eating cheese, you must immediately contact a vet who will advise you on what to do and administer treatment. Also, ensure that the dog drinks plenty of water to hydrate as a dry mouth is expected after eating cheese.
Cheese that Dogs Can Eat
There are other types of cheese that you can use to prepare your dog’s meals that are safer compared to feta cheese. Dogs can eat string cheese as it is a healthier alternative. String cheese contains more nutritional calories and is recommended for underweight adult dogs. As mentioned above, dogs can also have parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Note that cheese and other dairy products are not essential in a dog’s diet. Your puppy can get all the vital nutrients it needs from its dog food and treats.
Though feta cheese is not toxic to canines, there are too many reasons why dogs should stay clear from it. If your dog has some for the first time, watch out for signs of gas and bloating.
You should take quick action when you see signs of discomfort, especially if your dog is lactose intolerant.