Food

Can Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese? Cheesy Delight

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Author: Jacob Kay

For any paw parent, the biggest dilemma is eating food in front of their fur baby. No no, the dilemma is not regarding the guilt of eating alone but is whether to melt for those puppy eyes or not. Especially if you are eating food loaded with cheese, but can a dog eat cheese? Most people prefer parmesan cheese to enhance the taste of their pasta, but while eating you may wonder, “Can dogs eat parmesan cheese?”

Here through our blog, we will provide you with all the required information regarding parmesan cheese. So next time when you are eating you will know whether to melt for those puppy eyes or not.

Can Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese?

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Originally originating from Parmigiano-Reggiano parmesan cheese is a hard cheese made from cow’s milk. Parmesan cheese has a nutty flavour and is salty in taste. Enriched with health benefits and taste this cheese enhances the taste of pasta, soups and salads.

Parmesan cheese is also popularly known as aged cheese it is aged for around 12 months. The max period parmesan cheese is aged is about 36 months. Due to this ageing process, this cheese is hard and flavour-induced.

One of the interesting facts about this parmesan cheese is that it has a “Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)” set by the European Union. This means that cheese made only in Italian provinces can be considered and called Parmesan cheese.

Can Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese?

Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese

Yes, dogs can eat parmesan cheese. Due to its low lactose content, it is safe for dog consumption. Parmesan cheese being rich in calcium, protein and phosphorus helps in the dog’s growth and development. Though parmesan is good for dogs it should not be fed excessively.

Along with being low in lactose parmesan cheese also contains high fat and sodium. If your dog consumes this cheese more than often then it leads to salt toxicity in the dog and other health complications too.

Before feeding your dog parmesan cheese, check if it is suitable for your dog or not. If your dog is allergic to it or has major lactose intolerance then avoid feeding it to your dog.

As mentioned by Victoria Lynn Arnold in petmd, "Cheese has high amounts of saturated fats and salt. Eating a treat like this repeatedly over an extended time can cause health issues for your dog, such as obesity. Some dogs can even develop pancreatitis the first time they eat cheese if they’re sensitive to fat."

Benefits and Risks of Feeding Parmesan Cheese to Dogs

Risks of Feeding Parmesan Cheese to Dogs

Parmesan cheese has both benefits and risks associated with it. Before considering feeding it to your dog you must analyse both factors.

Benefits of feeding parmesan cheese to dog:
  • It is rich in calcium, which helps to maintain the dog’s bones, teeth, muscles and heart health. It also helps dogs with digestion and prevents blood clotting in them.
  • Parmesan cheese contains protein which helps to build and repair dog’s muscles and stimulates energy in them. It also helps in maintaining the health of their skin and coat.
  • This cheese serves the dog benefit of vitamin A, which is necessary in dogs. Vitamin A helps maintain a dog’s vision and helps boost their immunity.
  • It also consists of fatty acids and B-complex vitamins which are useful in a dog’s overall development and growth.
  • Due to low lactose content, parmesan cheese is easy to digest.
Risks of feeding parmesan cheese to dogs:
  • Feeding your dog more than required parmesan cheese can lead to obesity and other related health issues like diabetes. An obese dog further can suffer from arthritis too.
  • Parmesan cheese consists of sodium which can lead to salt toxicity in dogs and make their situation fatal.
  • Excessive consumption of this cheese can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and even pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Some parmesan cheese comes with added herbs which might not be suitable for your dog’s overall health.

Signs of Lactose Intolerance and Salt Toxicity in Dogs

Parmesan cheese consists of lactose even though it is in fewer amounts still some dogs might get affected by it. Apart from lactose it also consists of sodium which can cause salt toxicity in dogs.

signs of lactose intolerance in dogs
signs of lactose intolerance in dogs

Milk and many dairy products consist of sugar lactose which is not suitable for dogs as they are unable to digest it. This condition of not digesting sugar lactose is known as lactose intolerance[1]. Here are the signs of lactose intolerance to look for in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Lose weight
Signs of salt toxicity in dogs:

Here are the signs to observe to know if your dog is suffering from salt toxicity[2]:

  • A dog suffering from salt toxicity drinks excessive water, which results in frequent urination. So if your dog is urinating more than earlier then it can be a sign of salt toxicity.
  • Due to salt toxicity a dog’s body will flush out fluid through vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Dogs lose interest in eating which leads to lethargy and weakness in them.
  • Loss of excessive body fluid leads to dehydration. A dehydrated dog further can collapse and even suffer from nerve damage.
  • Nerve damage in dogs due to salt toxicity can lead to seizures and coma, reducing their quality of life.

FAQs

Can dogs eat parmesan cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat parmesan cheese as it is low in lactose and thus suits dogs well. Parmesan cheese is rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus thus providing nutritional benefits to your dog. Though parmesan cheese is good for dogs it should be fed only in moderate quantity. If your dog is allergic to the cheese then avoid feeding it to your dog.

Is Parmesan cheese easy to digest for dogs?

Yes, parmesan cheese is easy to digest for dogs due to its low lactose level. It also provides your dog with many nutritional benefits, yet it should be fed in moderation and as a treat. Providing your dog more the required amount of parmesan cheese can make your dog’s health complicated.

Can dogs eat mozzarella cheese?

Yes, dogs can eat mozzarella cheese, it is not toxic to them. Yet it should not be fed to them more than required. Mozzarella cheese is high in fat and consists of many calories. Thus feeding your dog mozzarella cheese frequently results in obesity and other health-related issues in dogs.

Are any cheeses bad for dogs?

Yes, there are certain cheeses that are bad for dogs. Cheese like blue, feta, cream and goat cheese are bad for dogs. Feeding this cheese to your dog can lead to obesity, pancreatitis and salt toxicity in your dog. Apart from this, you should avoid feeding your dog expired cheese and cheese consisting of herbs. This can lead to allergies and poisoning in dogs which may affect your dog’s health badly.

Can dogs eat parmesan cheese every day?

No, dogs cannot eat parmesan cheese every day, it is not good for their health. Though parmesan cheese serves several health benefits to dogs feeding it on a regular basis will harm them instead of benefiting. The salt content in parmesan cheese is high which your dog might lead to salt toxicity and other gastrointestinal issues.

Conclusion

We hope that through our blog, “Can dogs eat parmesan cheese?” we have provided you with all the required information. Parmesan cheese is good for dogs and may not harm them but only if it is consumed in moderate quantity and less frequently.

Do not overfeed your dog any human food, even if it is safe for them still, it is a big, ‘No’. Even if you consider feeding your dog any human food feed once in a while do not make it a habit. If you witness any abnormality in your dog after feeding Parmesan cheese or any human food consult a vet immediately.

Reference:

  1. Purdue Veterinary Medicine. (n.d.-c). Pet health tips: General tips. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Salt poisoning (Water deprivation; Sodium ion toxicosis) | Iowa State University. (n.d.).
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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