We all love cheese and it is no different for dogs. My beagle goes crazy when he smells cheese. But as we all know that not all food items are safe for our cuddle monsters. So can beagle eat cheese?
Beagles can eat cheese safely as long as they are not lactose intolerant. They can also eat cheddar, mozzarella, cottage cheese, and String cheese. However, it is necessary to give cheese in moderation as it is high in fats and can lead to obesity.
Further, we will have a look at the benefits of cheese and how you can implement it in your beagle’s diet. We will also look into what type of cheeses are the healthiest options and which cheeses to avoid.
How to check if your Beagle is lactose intolerant?
Most beagles can consume protein-rich dairy food like cheese, milk, and plain yogurt. But before you serve a rich cheesy dinner to your pet, do check if your pooch suffers from lactose intolerance.
There are a few signs by which you can detect if your pooch is lactose intolerant:
- Loss of Appetite
- Abdominal discomfort
If your beagle shows any of these signs after you feed them cheese or any dairy product then he is lactose intolerant.
These symptoms of lactose intolerance can be confused with dairy allergies. The latter also causes skin problems like hives. Other symptoms of dairy allergies include facial swelling and difficulty in breathing.
Once you are sure that your Beagle pup is neither lactose-intolerant nor allergic to dairy products, you can break out the cheese supply. Here is a little secret – Beagles love cheese! But it should be served in small quantities to them.
Benefits of feeding cheese to your Beagle
Cheese contains a healthy mix of calcium, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, and B-complex vitamins. Let’s discuss how each one of these can benefit your beagle:
- Calcium keeps your dog’s bones healthy and strong. It also helps with your Beagle’s muscle growth and nerves.
- Vitamin D helps to absorb Calcium and maintain a balance of calcium and phosphorus.
- Protein is an important part of a canine’s diet.
- Fat helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A. It also provides energy when consumed in moderation.
Since most beagles love cheese, trainers often use cheese conservatively to train treat-motivated dogs.
How should you feed cheese to your Beagle?
Cheese is high in fats and this can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity in your beagle. So it is not advised to add cheese to their daily diet.
However, there are some ways you can use cheese without raising any health concerns in your beagle.
Cheese can be an excellent high-value reward. A high-value treat should be given sparingly to establish the value of the reward. High-value treats are beneficial for teaching new tricks or commands to your pooch.
My Groot can smell his medicine from miles and starts running away from me. Sounds familiar? Well, you can use cheese to sneak in your beagle’s medication.
Not only should cheese be served in moderation, but the proportion of each serving should also be bite-sized for your pup. Otherwise, your Beagle could choke on it.
Chew Toy Treat
You could conceal a small portion of cheese inside the kong to make your beagle excited.
Cons of feeding cheese to your Beagle
You should keep in mind that cheese contains a high amount of fat. So, the quantity of cheese consumption must be controlled. Otherwise, it could lead to unhealthy weight gain and obesity. It could also lead to pancreatitis – which could be fatal for your Beagle.
Apart from the high-fat content, some cheeses also contain certain additives and herbs like chives, garlic, and onion, which are toxic for dogs.
Cheese also has a high sodium content, which could cause an increase in blood pressure. In the worst-case scenario, high blood pressure could lead to organ failure.
Refrain from using cheese as a treat if your dog is overweight or has kidney issues. For such cases, you should stick to healthier options like homemade dog treats or peanut butter treats.
Types of Cheeses that are Safe
It would be best to feed low-fat cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese would be your safest bet because of the following advantages:
- Compared to the other varieties of cheese, cottage cheese has lower sodium and fat content. Thereby, it decreases the risk of obesity.
- Cottage cheese also has lower lactose content. Thus, it reduces the possibility of gastric troubles and intestinal issues.
- It is a good source of protein for those puppies who suffer from protein-losing enteropathy.
Other types of cheese such as Colby, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Cheddar, and String cheese also have a low lactose content.
Types of Cheeses to Avoid
Not all types of cheeses are healthy for your beagle. Here are a few of them which you should avoid:
French cheeses and Blue Cheese: These varieties have the highest content of sodium and fat. Not only that, overripe blue cheese produces roquefortine, which is highly toxic for all dogs.
Goat cheese, Cream cheese, Feta cheese, and Brie: They have the highest saturated fat level. Consumption of such varieties could result in pancreatitis, which could be fatal for your Beagle. Cream cheese has a high-calorie content.
Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan has a low lactose content but a high sodium quantity. Plus, it has a pungent odor, which might not appeal to your Beagle.
Avoid cheese that has color-changing ingredients – especially artificial ones.
Here is a summary of all the things to keep in mind when you would like to treat your Beagle with a little slice of cheese –
- Test with a small quantity if your Beagle is lactose intolerant.
- Select a cheese with low fat and sodium content.
- Avoid cheeses, which have extra additives like herbs, flavors, and colors.
- Remember that cheese treats should only be doled out in a moderate quantity.