Dogs tend to eat almost anything they get, but their digestive is quite selective. Thus, before giving them any food, you first need to check if they can eat it and the possible risks.
When it comes to cheese, the choice of whether they should eat it or not depends on the dog. For the most part, dogs can eat mozzarella cheese.
Benefits of Mozzarella Good to Dogs
Stretched curd cheese, known as mozzarella, is one of the safest cheeses dogs can eat. This is because, unlike other soft cheeses, such as feta cheese and goat cheese, it does not contain a lot of lactose.
Although not all dogs are lactose intolerant, most adult dogs cannot digest lactose. This is because their bodies do not produce lactase, an enzyme that breaks lactose down into simple sugars.
Their inability to produce lactase has the same repercussions as a person with lactose intolerance; it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and discomfort.
Mozzarella cheese contains some lactose, and whether your dog can eat it or not depends on their tolerance to lactose. Therefore, it is crucial to determine if your dog has lactose intolerance before giving it mozzarella, regardless of how safe it might be.
Mozarella contains low levels of fat, making it safe for most dogs. It doesn’t put them at risk of obesity as long as they don’t overeat it. In that same vein, you can give your dog string cheese, as it is stretched mozzarella, which will not endanger your dog.
Mozzarella is the best snack choice if you have a lactose-intolerant dog who cannot handle most other cheese or a dog with a casein sensitivity. The cheese is not likely to cause diarrhea or stomach upset and can be an excellent snack for your pup.
Moreover, mozzarella does not contain preservatives or additives, making it easy to prepare the cheese by yourself. The ingredients used in making it are safe for most dogs, and you can control the amount you use if you prepare homemade mozzarella.
Is It Bad for Them?
As with most human foods, there are potential dangers to giving your pup mozzarella. They include:
Although the cheese is low in fat compared to others, it is still a relatively high-fat food. It is hazardous for dogs with weight problems as it can speed up weight gain.
Dogs who overeat mozzarella can also develop breathing problems caused by unhealthy weight gain. You might notice your dog is snoring more or breathing heavily after eating high amounts of cheese.
No Nutritional Benefits
The cheese has no nutritional benefits for dogs and can make your dog sick if they overeat it, causing stomach upset and constipation.
Mozzarella is simply stretched milk, with most milk properties taken out. It is only good as an occasional treat or when added to food but is not necessary for your pup’s diet.
Some mozzarella manufacturers use a lot of salt when processing it, which is dangerous for dogs. Too much salt causes chronic dehydration, making your dog drink too much water. This condition can escalate to bloating and other painful digestive issues which can harm your dog.
Mozarella is stringy in texture and can be a choking hazard. It tends to stretch a lot when eaten; the cheese string can choke your dog when unsupervised. To avoid this, breaking and cutting the cheese into smaller pieces is best before giving it to your dog.
Can Mozzarella Kill Dogs?
Different dog breeds react differently to mozzarella.
To avoid putting your dog in a situation where mozzarella could kill them, you should give them small amounts at first and see how they react.
Too much mozzarella can cause persistent diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. In these cases, you should rush your pup to the vet and get them checked out. Vomiting and diarrhea can dehydrate your dog, causing spasms and seizures that could kill them.
The cheese also puts them at risk of developing breathing problems associated with weight gain and difficulty in digesting mozzarella. This makes it easy for them to choke or suffocate in their sleep.
Lactose intolerant dogs should also avoid mozzarella at all costs as it puts them at risk of gastrointestinal upset.
How Much Cheese Should a Dog Eat?
Anything your dog eats should be in moderation, especially mozzarella and other kinds of cheese. Eating cheese regularly can cause constipation, putting your pet in a lot of discomfort.
If you can do without giving your puppy cheese, then do it. Overeating on cheese puts its health at little risk and exposes it to weight gain.
The best way to ensure Fido doesn’t overeat cheese is to give it some from your plate. For example, with parmesan cheese, you can let them eat some of what you put on your mac and cheese. You can also do the same with mozzarella cheese.
Another way to control a dog’s eating is by giving it mozzarella at least twice a week.
Feed your pup once a day. Giving smaller bites throughout the day that don’t amount to more than a stick is also a good option. You can use them as a treat or to motivate your pup.
Can All Dogs Eat Mozzarella Cheese?
No, not all dogs can eat mozzarella. As a pet owner, you are responsible for determining what foods your dog can eat, what they shouldn’t, and the ideal alternatives.
Some of the dogs you might need to consider include:
Some people think giving pregnant dogs as much food as possible ensures they give birth to healthier puppies. The food is meant to nourish and fatten the fetus while still in the womb.
They are partly right, as unborn dogs get nutrition from the various foods their mother eats. However, it would be best if you still were careful not to put the mother at risk of obesity or other diseases.
Consult your vet and voice your concerns. They can help you decide whether mozzarella cheese or other types of cheese are safe for pregnant mothers.
Puppies can still produce lactase, making it safe for them to eat mozzarella, which is also soft enough to digest. However, control is necessary as the cheese doesn’t add any nutritional benefits to their diet.
You should instead feed your pups low-fat, high-protein foods that can help with their development—feeding them mozzarella only fast tracks their way to weight gain, obesity, and other related issues.
The cheese is also a choking hazard for puppies as they might be unable to chew it properly. Besides, they have little control over their food pipe, making them unable to swallow the cheese completely.
It is best not to give nursing dogs mozzarella cheese. These mothers need extra nutrition, which they will pass to their puppies through breast milk. However, they won’t get that nutrition from the cheese. It is advisable to give mama dogs safe and healthy foods that will not upset their digestive balance or make them sick.
These dogs already have compromised immune systems, and giving them high-fat foods puts them at more risk.
The cheese can cause their blood glucose levels to spike, encouraging the development of other health problems. Avoid giving diabetic dogs cheese at all costs and, if necessary, only stick to one bite a week.
As dogs grow older, they continue losing their ability to digest lactose. Most will lose it in their younger years, making elderly dogs the most lactose-intolerant out of all age groups. Their digestive systems are also not what they used to be; thus, giving them mozzarella puts them at risk.
It would be best if you avoided all types of dairy to be on the safe side. Anything containing lactose can make them sick and endanger their lives more than it would younger dogs.
These dogs also have fragile immune systems that need care. Giving an overweight dog mozzarella can lead to obesity because of its fat content and high-calorie count.
Overweight dogs need a specially curated food that facilitates weight loss.
Dogs can eat mozzarella cheese when it is given to them in moderation. However, not all types of dogs can stand cheese. Before giving mozzarella to your dog, you should check to see if it is safe for them to eat.
Control the amount your dog eat, and give it mozzarella only twice or thrice a week. If possible, do not feed your best friend cheese; instead, find healthier alternatives.