Most dogs, including poodles, love cheese. However, feeding your poodle cheese should not be your priority. You have to stop and ask yourself whether the cheese is safe for your poodle to prevent any unforeseen health conditions.
Poodles can eat cheese. However, some dogs have a lactose intolerance that may cause adverse reactions to even small amounts of cheese. Even for poodles that do not have lactose intolerance, you need to feed them cheese in moderation to prevent obesity.
While cheese is excellent for training and treating your poodle, you need to know how to feed them cheese without compromising their health. In this article, you will find the best cheeses for poodles, the benefits of cheese for dogs, and how to feed your poodle cheese the right way.
Does Your Poodle Benefit from Eating Cheese?
If you look up the health benefits of cheese, you will probably come across an extensive list. Cheese is rich in Vitamin A, Zinc, Protein, Calcium, Phosphorous, Vitamin B12, and many other nutrients. However, while these nutrients are beneficial to human health, it does not mean they will have the same effect on dogs.
This is not to say that cheese is not beneficial for dogs.
For starters, cheese is an excellent training tool if you use it as a high-value reward. A high-value reward refers to something that your dog is willing to work hard to get.
For instance, if you’re potty training your poodle, you can use cheese as a reward. If they only get the cheese when they obey your training instructions, it will act as a motivating factor for them to learn, which makes it a win-win situation for you and your furry friend.
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Another benefit of cheese for dogs is that it is an excellent way to hide medication for dogs that need it. However, whether you’re using the cheese as motivation or to conceal medication, you need to use small amounts of cheese to prevent obesity.
Cheese is also an excellent addition to meals if your dog needs to add a few pounds. Because it is rich in fat and protein, adding a small amount of cheese to your poodle’s meals can help them gain weight. Dogs that are reluctant to eat their regular meals can also be persuaded with a small amount of cheese.
What Kind of Cheese Can Poodles Eat?
You need to be very careful of the type of cheese you feed your poodle because not all of them are safe for dogs. Cheeses that have a high-fat content are not safe for poodles. Poodles are already small in size and do not have the freedom to gain as much weight as other dogs. Adding too much cheese into their diet can cause weight issues that may result in serious health problems like pancreatitis.
Additionally, some cheeses also have herbs that may be toxic to your dog’s stomach, such as garlic, onion, and chives. Therefore, it is crucial to check your cheese’s ingredients before feeding it to your poodle.
Other cheeses you should avoid feeding your poodle are:
- Roquefort, blue cheese, and French cheese: These cheeses are not only rich in sodium and fat but also produce a toxic substance known as roquefortine when they ripen, which can be lethal for dogs.
- Feta, goat cheese, and brie: These cheeses have the highest fat content, which may cause obesity in dogs. Besides, excessive fats in dogs’ meals may lead to pancreatitis – a severe illness that can be fatal for dogs.
So, which cheeses can your poodle eat? The following low-fat cheeses are suitable for dogs:
- Mozzarella cheese
- Soft goat cheese
- String cheese
- Low-fat cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
Tip: Cottage cheese has the lowest fat content, and it is an excellent addition to a poodle’s meal if they need additional protein in their diet.
Can Cheese Upset a Poodle’s Stomach?
While cheese is safe for poodles, not all of them can digest cheese properly, which leads to stomach upset. Stomach upset is especially common among poodles with lactose intolerance. Although cheese has little lactose in it, a dog with lactose intolerance may find it hard to digest even the small amounts of lactose in cheese.
For this reason, it is crucial to test your poodle with small amounts of cheese if it is your first time feeding them cheese. If you notice any discomfort afterward, chances are the dog is not digesting the cheese properly. It is also advisable to consult your vet before introducing cheese to your poodle’s diet to be sure that the cheese is suitable for your pet.
The Right Way to Feed Your Poodle Cheese
Whether you are considering using cheese as a reward for training, for weight gain, or as a treat, it is crucial to do it the right way to prevent serious health problems like pancreatitis and obesity.
Follow these tips for feeding dogs cheese:
- Start small.
- Watch the amount.
- Choose dog-friendly cheeses.
- Consult a vet before dietary changes.
If it is your poodle’s first time eating cheese, you need to start small. Give the dog a small amount and wait for a while to see how they react to it before giving them more. If you notice discomfort, consult your vet for an examination because there is a chance the dog may be lactose intolerant.
Watch the Amount
When it comes to feeding poodles cheese, moderation is key. Even cheeses that have a minimal fat content can cause problems if overeaten. Therefore, make sure you’re only giving your poodle small amounts of cheese. Also, do not give your pup cheese every day. If you’re using it as a treat, you can switch cheese for other treats to reduce the amount of cheese your poodle eats.
Here are some ideas to help you control the portion sizes:
- If you are using the cheese to hide pills, use just enough cheese to cover the tablet.
- Add a small amount of cheese to your dog’s food to avoid large servings of cheese.
- Cut the cheese in treat sizes and only give it to your dog occasionally to avoid overfeeding.
- Use the cheese as a reward only for training purposes when they get it right. For simpler tasks, consider different types of treats to reduce the amount of cheese the dog is ingesting.
Choose Dog-Friendly Cheeses
Make sure to avoid cheeses that are rich in fat and sodium because such cheeses may cause obesity or severe health conditions. Always choose low-fat cheese, and do not forget to practice moderation with the suitable cheese as well.
Consult a Vet before Dietary Changes
It’s always a good idea to consult your vet before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet. This is especially important if your poodle has a history of stomach upsets or not handling different types of food well. Besides, your vet is in the best position to offer you a recommendation for the best cheeses for dogs.
To recap, poodles can eat cheese, but not all cheeses are safe for poodles. Stay away from high-fat cheeses and those that are rich in sodium. Also, avoid blue cheeses because they produce toxic substances when they ripen that can be lethal for dogs.
Choose low-fat cheese like cottage cheese, and always practice moderation to ensure your dog is not overeating in the process. Most importantly, consult your vet before making any dietary changes. This way, you’ll know what will work best for your dog.