You should not feed goat cheese to your dog. Although goat cheese has many nutrients considered healthy for dogs, it is also very high in saturated fat. If dogs consume too much saturated fat, it could cause pancreatitis, a serious condition that can lead to death.
Many wonderful kinds of cheese are off-limits to dogs due to lactose intolerance or other health concerns (like cow’s milk allergy).
However, Goat cheese appears to be safer in most cases. You should consider your dog’s age and breed when deciding whether or not to feed them goat cheese. Consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about what type of cheese to give your dog.
What You'll Learn
Is Goat Cheese Safe for Dogs?
If you want to feed your dog cheese as a tasty snack, goat cheese does have some benefits. It has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (good for skin health), calcium (boosts bone strength), and vitamin B-12 (promotes healthy nerve function).
Compared with most cow’s milk cheeses, goat cheese contains higher protein levels, which helps keep pets energized.
Some dog treats include goat cheese in the ingredients. This is mainly because it has lower levels of lactose, which can make some dog foods less digestible.
Goat’s milk (not cheese) is also sometimes added to commercial pet food or baked into special biscuits for small or elderly dogs lacking calcium in their diets.
On top of all that, goat cheese is easier on sensitive stomachs than some other dairy products (like cow’s milk or most hard cheeses).
These are all reasons veterinarians often recommend giving goats’ milk or even raw goat’s milk to dogs with sensitivities or food allergies.
However, it’s not recommended to feed your dog goat cheese as it contains high levels of saturated fat, which is not good for dogs.
Consult your vet first if you’re considering feeding your dog goat cheese as a treat. Goat cheese should not be given regularly, in large amounts, or as a meal replacement.
Dangers of Feeding a Dog Goat Cheese
Feeding your dog goat cheese has a few downsides if not done correctly. You should always speak with your vet before feeding your pet goat cheese. If the vet does not recommend goat cheese, they will recommend alternative cheeses you can feed them that are far safer for their health.
However, even with proper safety precautions in place, there are still risks that may come from feeding too much or too often of any dairy product, including goat cheese, to dogs.
High in Calcium
Most cheeses contain a high amount of calcium, which can be very dangerous for your pet. Too much calcium can cause serious problems with your dog’s heart and overall health.
If your dog is lactose intolerant or has allergies to dairy products, avoid feeding them goat cheese entirely as they could become very sick if they consume it.
Some fats may not agree with your dog’s stomach. If your pup is sensitive to milk or milk-based products, then you should most likely avoid giving them goat cheese.
Feeding your dog too much goat cheese can lead to weight issues if you’re not calculating their caloric intake correctly.
High in Fat
Since this type of cheese is high in saturated fat, feeding your dog too much of it can lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition that can lead to death.
When feeding your pet any dairy product, including goat cheese, you should always be sure they get enough exercise and don’t overfeed them any food containing calcium.
How Much Goat Cheese is OK to Feed a Dog?
Goat cheese should only be given to your dog as an occasional snack and in small amounts. There are some experts who recommend avoiding goat cheese altogether and instead offering non-cheese alternatives.
Speak with your vet about whether goat cheese could be harmful to your dog if consumed regularly or over a long period of time, especially when mixed with other foods containing calcium or fats.
If you decide to give goat cheese to your pet even after speaking with a vet about their consumption level and health, make sure they are never given more than 1/4 cup in a day and fed only once every other day. And again, always ensure they get plenty of exercise and fresh water before consuming any dairy product, including goat cheese!
If you want to give your dog goat cheese, make sure it is plain and doesn’t contain any added flavors or herbs (e.g., chives, onions) that may be harmful to your dog.
When you first feed them cheese, be sure to monitor their behavior and their stool to see whether they can eat it. Their stomachs may not handle the lactose, making them sick. If you notice any adverse reactions, avoid feeding them cheese entirely.
Cheese can be an excellent treat for your dog if you keep portions small and don’t give it too often.
Goat Cheese Alternatives
There are alternatives to goat cheese that may better suit your dog if you still want to give them some variety in their diet.
Goat’s milk is much easier on their stomach than goat cheese but still provides similar health benefits to other forms of dairy. Human-grade raw goat’s milk can even be frozen into small treats that are perfect for rewarding good behavior or anytime you want a quick and easy treat for your dog.
If you really need a tasty little snack for your dog but don’t want to use dairy, there are plenty of alternative snacks made from beans or other grains that can provide a satisfying crunch while being very healthy for dogs too!
Be sure to read the label on your dog treats and follow the feeding instructions, as too many treats can be unhealthy for your pup.
Many types of non-dairy cheeses are also a great alternative to goat cheese. While these aren’t considered a healthy choice for humans, they’re actually much better for our canine friends.
Dogs lack both lactose and casein in their diets, so many dairy alternatives are safe options for them! One example is sunflower seed cheddar, which is low in fat and made from vegetables, making it much healthier than other treats you might offer your dog.
What to Do If Your Dog Gets Sick on Goat Cheese
A small amount of goat cheese is not harmful to dogs in most cases; however, if it causes an adverse reaction like vomiting or diarrhea, you may need to see a vet and start administering care with their approval.
They may have eaten something else along with their goat cheese treat and may require medical attention for other reasons. Your veterinarian will assess them quickly and prescribe appropriate medications or treatments if needed.
They’ll also help you figure out what’s causing symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea and put together a treatment plan accordingly.
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