If you’re wondering “can german shepherds eat cheese?” this article is going to tell you everything you need to know.
You’ll learn why cheese is good for them, AND why it’s bad. On top of this, you’ll learn what types of cheese you’ll definitely want to avoid feeding your german shepherd, as well as different ways you can treat them with it!
So keep reading to find out!
Can German Shepherds Eat Cheese?
German shepherds can eat cheese, however, you should give it to them sparingly. While it has a lot of great benefits, it’s also high in a lot of bad stuff as well, such as saturated fats.
So while they can eat cheese, you should definitely limit the amount you’re giving them. (You’ll find out how to use cheese as a treat effectively later on.)
Why Is Cheese Good For German Shepherds?
There are a number of reasons cheese is good for german shepherds. The main one, however, is the amount of nutrients your pup is going to get.
Cheese contains vitamin A, vitamin B12, calcium, protein, fatty acids, zinc and phosphorous, all of which are needed in your german shepherd’s diet!
Here’s why your german shepherd needs each of them.
- Vitamin A is one of the vitamins that keep your german shepherd’s coat looking shiny, healthy, and full of life.
- It’s also one of the vitamins that helps your dog’s eyesight. It’s the vitamin found in carrots, and the reason you’re told to eat them to help you see in the dark!
- Lastly, it’s one of the vitamins needed to help your german shepherd grow! So it’s especially useful for puppies.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin B12 is one of the vitamins that aid healthy brain and nervous system function.
- It’s also used in the formation and growth of blood cells.
- Lastly, your dog’s intestinal health requires vitamin B12 as well.
(According to Animal Biome.)
- Protein is obviously one of the main staples of your german shepherd’s diet.
- It’s especially useful in repairing muscles as well as helping them grow.
- Protein is also a source of calories. And if you’re trying to get your german shepherd to lose weight, sometimes it can be better to feed them more protein and less fat.
- On top of this, it will also help keep your german shepherds immune system strong.
- Lastly, it’s useful in the creation of hormones and enzymes that keep your german shepherd’s body healthy.
(According to PetMD.)
- We all know calcium helps your bones grow strong. And it’s necessary for keeping your german shepherd’s bones and teeth strong and in proper formation.
- It’s also utilized when your german shepherd’s blood needs to clot.
- As well as this, it aids with muscle contraction, including your german shepherd’s heart pumping.
- Calcium also helps your german shepherds vision.
- And lastly, it’s used in the metabolism of hormones and enzymes.
(According to PetMD.)
- Phosphorous combines with lots of enzymes in your dog’s body that help everything work in order.
- It’s also used in every muscle contraction that your german shepherd does, which includes their heart beating.
- As well as helping your german shepherd’s heart contract, it also helps to keep it steady when exercising.
- A lot of the time phosphorous is used in your german shepherd’s kidney functions. It helps their kidneys flush out toxins from their bodies.
- Lastly, it aids the body by turning stored energy into useable energy.
(According to Bully Ade.)
- Zinc helps your german shepherd’s immune system from becoming overreactive or underactive.
- On top of helping their immune system, it also helps with thyroid function.
- Lastly, it helps keep your german shepherds digestive tract in order.
(According To Dog Time.)
- Fatty acids help to keep your german shepherd’s skin and coat looking healthy.
- They’re also helpful at keeping the immune system strong.
- And lastly, they promote cell growth, which all animals need!
(According to Hillspet.)
When Can Cheese Be Bad For German Shepherds?
While it does have a lot of benefits, there are also a lot of reasons you may want to avoid giving your german shepherd cheese. In fact, even when you give them cheese, you should only do so sparingly.
One of the most common reasons you should avoid giving your german shepherd cheese is if they’re lactose intolerant.
Just like humans, german shepherds can have trouble digesting dairy. When they’re puppies they produce an enzyme called lactase that helps them break down lactose. However, as they get older, sometimes lactase stops being produced, and in short, that’s how lactose intolerance occurs.
Even small amounts of dairy like cheese can cause severe symptoms such as painful stomach aches, diarrhea, and sickness.
The first time you feed your german shepherd cheese, check how they react. If they seem to have a negative reaction then you may need to take them to the vets to check if they’re lactose intolerant.
As well as lactose intolerance, cheese is going to increase the chance of your german shepherd gaining weight. As you know, cheese is extremely fattening, so if you plan on giving it to your german shepherd, give it to them sparingly.
Too Much Can Lead To Illness
If your german shepherd gains too much weight from eating cheese, then their chances of suffering from diseases and illnesses increase too.
And this doesn’t always occur when they gain weight either. Your german shepherd might seem fine on the outside, but inside they could be unhealthy.
So make sure you’re not feeding your german shepherd too much cheese!
One risk associated with giving your german shepherd lots of cheese is an increased risk of pancreatitis. If they suffer from pancreatitis, they’re going to suffer from lots of horrible symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate. In some cases, it can also be fatal.
How Can You Tell If Your German Shepherd Has Eaten Too Much Cheese?
There are a few different ways you can tell that your german shepherd has eaten too much cheese.
Some of the most common ways you can tell that your german shepherd has eaten too much cheese is if they’re exhibiting some of the symptoms previously mentioned above.
Diarrhea, vomiting, and bloat are all signs that your german shepherd has eaten too much.
So remember, when you’re feeding your german shepherd cheese, make sure you’re only feeding them a minimal amount.
How Should You Feed Your German Shepherd Cheese?
Fortunately, you can feed your german shepherd cheese in a number of different ways. And by feeding it to them in different ways, you’re going to be able to keep them interested in it.
Give It To Them As A High-Value Reward
Because cheese can be unhealthy when fed to your german shepherd all of the time, sometimes it’s best just to use it as a high-value reward.
It’s often good to use it when you’re training your german shepherd. This way they’re going to be more likely to obey your commands if you’re not going to give it to them as often.
If you always give your german shepherd cheese then eventually they’re going to become bored of it, and not see it as much of a treat.
Try Adding Cheese To Their Meals
As well as giving it to them as a treat, you could consider adding it to their meals. A small amount of cottage or grated cheese can be a great addition to the same bland food.
However, remember, you don’t want to add too much cheese to their meals, and definitely don’t do it too often.
Add Any Medicine To The Cheese
If your german shepherd doesn’t like swallowing pills, then you can always try hiding the pills in cheese.
This works particularly well with cottage cheese, which you can place in their bowl. However, if you’re dog is smart enough, they’ll notice the pill inside it. If this is the case you can try cheddar cheese as well.
Add It To A Puzzle Feeder
If you know that you’re going to be out for a long time and need to keep your german shepherd entertained, then try adding it to a puzzle feeder.
To do this you can either use blocks of cheese or cottage cheese. While blocks are easier to put in, cottage cheese is going to be more entertaining and harder to get out.
Heat It Up
Lastly, if your german shepherd has trouble eating, due to teething or old age, you could try heating up a small amount of cheese and giving it to them as a sauce.
If you don’t want to feed it to them directly this way, then you could also try topping their dinner with it.
What’s The Best Cheese To Feed Your German Shepherd
When you’re choosing cheese to feed your german shepherd there are some good choices and bad choices. Ideally, you should try using cheese that is lower in calories and saturated fat.
Some great cheese to consider using is cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, and string cheese can all be used effectively.
And if your german shepherd is slightly lactose intolerant, then it may be worth feeding them cottage cheese. While it’s a great cheese for all dogs, it’s going to be particularly effective for dogs with a small lactose problem.
What Cheese Should You Avoid?
And just like there are some cheeses that are better for your german shepherd, there are some you’re definitely going to want to avoid as well.
First of all, you’re going to want to avoid any cheese that’s high in calories and especially high in saturated fats. Brie, goats cheese and feta cheese are all examples of cheese that are high in saturated fats.
On top of cheese high in saturated fat, it’s normally best to avoid blue cheese as well. Blue cheese is normally higher in salt than other cheese, which isn’t good for your german shepherd.
As well as being higher in salt, when it becomes ripe it can produce a chemical known as roquefortine which can become fatal to german shepherds.
Lastly, you shouldn’t feed your german shepherd any flavored cheese. If you feed them flavored cheese, then you’re also going to figure out if the ingredients added to them are safe.
Things that are fine for you may not be fine for your dog.
How Often Should You Feed Your German Shepherd Cheese?
As a rule of thumb, they should say 10% of your german shepherd’s diet can be treats, and the other 90% should be their standard meals. However, this shouldn’t be the case with cheese.
When you’re feeding your german shepherd cheese you really want to keep it to the minimum. 3 or 4 cubes every week is more than enough.
Remember, it’s best to give them cheese as a high-value treat, rather than all the time.
Now you know that german shepherds CAN eat cheese! However, you have to make sure you only feed it to them sparingly.
And if you’re not sure about whether to feed them cheese, you should always consult your vet first.
Here are some of the main points to remember.
- Cheese is good for german shepherds because it contains vitamin A, vitamin B12, protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and fatty acids.
- You should avoid giving your german shepherd too much cheese as it can aggravate lactose intolerance, weight gain, pancreatitis, and other illnesses.
- The best way to tell if your german shepherd has eaten too much is if you notice them vomiting, they have diarrhea or they’re bloated. However, remember, this could also be a sign of lactose intolerance.
- There are a number of ways to feed your german shepherd cheese such as using it as a high-value reward, adding it to their meals, adding medicine to it, using it in a puzzle feeder, and heating it up.
- Stick to cheeses that have relatively low calories and saturated fat such as cheddar and Monterey Jack. And avoid cheese that is high in calories and saturated fats, flavored, or blue.
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