As a pet parent, you’re always wondering what foods are good for your pooch and which ones are not. And, if you’re in a dilemma about whether your furry pooch can eat cheese, particularly string cheese safely, then the simple answer is “yes.”
You can feed your pet string cheese but in moderation. However, there may be exceptions to this. If your pet is lactose intolerant and finds it difficult to process dairy, consuming cheese can cause adverse reactions in your pet, even if consumed in very small quantities.
So, if you want to know how much string cheese is fine for your pooch, the benefits of sting cheese and when it is bad for your pet, read on…
What Is String Cheese?
String cheese is essentially mozzarella that has been processed in a way that aligns the proteins in the cheese to make it stringy. This allows you to tear the cheese easily, making it a great snackable cheese.
String cheese does not contain a lot of salt and the lactose levels are also quite low, which makes this type of cheese quite safe for your pooch to eat in moderation.
The only drawback of string cheese is that its stringy nature may cause your pet to have trouble swallowing it, making it a choking hazard. Breaking the string cheese into chunks or cutting it into small pieces before feeding it to your pet can make it safe for him to eat.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Spaghetti Sauce?
Is String Cheese Good for Dogs?
String cheese in moderation can offer several benefits for your pooch including:
- String cheese contains protein, vitamins A and B12, minerals like zinc and phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, healthy fats and glutathione (an antioxidant), all of which are beneficial for your pooch.
- Fats: String cheese is high in healthy fats, which constitutes an important part of your pet’s overall diet and health and provides your pet energy to run, play and go about his everyday life. The fatty acids in the string cheese also help to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy and glossy.
- Calcium: The calcium in the cheese can help to make your pooch’s teeth and bones healthy and strong and it also helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
- Vitamin A: This is an essential vitamin that helps to maintain your pet’s coat and skin, improves muscle function and boosts the nervous system.
- Vitamin B12: Helps to support the health of the nervous system and brain, a healthy digestive system and the formation of red blood cells.
- Zinc: This helps to boost your pet’s immune system, thyroid function and also supports his healthy coat and skin.
- Phosphorus: This, along with calcium, helps to strengthen the teeth and bones and also helps in the growth of the tendons and ligaments.
- Riboflavin: This is a coenzyme that helps to break down the carbs, proteins and fats in the body and produce energy.
- Glutathione: A powerful antioxidant, glutathione supports other antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, etc., supports the immune system, is essential for the proper liver function and optimizes cell health.
- String cheese is very easy to digest for most dogs, except if they are lactose intolerant.
- The string cheese is very soft and easy for puppies to eat and also for adult dogs having teeth problems.
- The strong smell and taste of the cheese are quite attractive to dogs, especially for those that are fussy eaters.
- String cheese is a great way to get your pet to take his medications. You can simply wrap a piece of string cheese around the pill and your pooch will find it much easier to take his meds.
- If your pet is underweight or undernourished, string cheese is an excellent calorie-dense food that can help your pet to put on weight very fast.
- Dogs love cheese and you can use string cheese as a high-value treat to train your dog. Usually, trainers recommend using string cheese as training treats because it is quite easy to pinch off small pieces and give it to your dog, who will do anything to lay his paws on the delicious string cheese.
Is String Cheese Bad for Dogs?
String cheese is quite similar to other types of cheese. However, sometimes, it may be more processed than other types of cheese. While achieving the unique shape and texture of the string cheese does not require the use of any additional processes or chemicals, nevertheless, some manufacturers of string cheese add additives and preservatives to prolong the shelf life of the cheese, which can be harmful to your pet.
As discussed earlier, string cheese offers several benefits for dogs and is perfectly safe for most dogs when consumed in small quantities. However, the problem arises in case your pet is overweight or lactose intolerant.
If your pooch is lactose intolerant, he may suffer from bloating, gas, diarrhea and vomiting after consuming string cheese. Even if your dog is not lactose intolerant but eats plenty of string cheese, he may suffer from these symptoms.
Also, since cheese is calorie dense and contains sodium and fat, too much of it can cause your pooch to put on weight and if your pet is already overweight, too much string cheese may cause obesity.
So, it is better to avoid feeding your pet string cheese if he is already overweight. Also, too much string cheese can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stomach problems, pancreatitis and heart disease.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Takis?
How Much String Cheese Can My Dog Eat?
The amount of cheese that your pooch can safely eat essentially depends on his age, size, weight and level of activity. However, you can give your pet string cheese as an occasional treat and not as part of his regular diet.
In general, adult dogs require around 25 to 30 calories for every pound of their weight to be healthy and treats should not be more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake.
For instance, if your pooch weighs around 45 to 50 lb, he requires around 1,200 to 1,500 calories daily and string cheese or any other treats should constitute only around 125 to 150 of your pet’s daily calorie requirements. Typically, a portion of string cheese contains around 80 to 90 calories and so, it is okay for your pet to have 1-2 pieces of string cheese if you don’t give him any other treats.
What If My Pooch Ate Too Much String Cheese?
If your pooch has eaten too much string cheese, there’s no cause to panic. Cheese is not toxic to dogs. While your pooch may get sick and suffer from bloating, gas, nausea or diarrhea, he will surely not suffer from serious damage because he ate too much sitting at one go.
You can make your pooch vomit by inducing it; however, this is not really necessary because cheese is not poisonous. Give him plenty of water to drink to flush his system and expel the cheese out naturally.
Nevertheless, keep a watch on your pet and ensure that there are no serious symptoms and if he does seem to be very sick, take him to the vet immediately.
Tips for Feeding Your Dog String Cheese
- Make sure that you feed your pooch string cheese occasionally and in moderation.
- If you’re feeding your pet string cheese, then cut out on his other treats.
- First, give your pet a small chunk and keep a close watch to see if he’s not sensitive to the cheese or lactose intolerant.
- Make sure that the string cheese that you choose for your pet is low-fat and has no salt or has low salt content because too much salt can cause sodium poisoning.
- Ensure that the string cheese that you purchase for your pooch is plain and does not contain any additives such as onions, garlic, chives, etc., which can be toxic to your pet.
- Check with your vet before feeding string cheese to your dog to ensure that it is safe for him.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Black Beans?
In conclusion, as you can see, string cheese when fed as an occasional treat can be good for your dog as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, you must be very cautious and use the string cheese as a treat once in a while instead of it being part of your pet’s regular diet.
While string cheese is quite safe in small quantities, because of the fat, lactose and calorie content in the cheese, you should avoid giving string cheese to your pet if he is overweight or lactose intolerant and it is better to choose healthier alternatives like fruits such as apples, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, veggies like carrots, broccoli, cooked squash, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked lean meat, peanut butter, etc.