Cheese is used as a common training tool, a nice treat, or a method to deliver medication for canines pretty regularly. Many canines seem to love it, and it while some may be lactose intolerant and cannot touch it, others who have no medical reactions still don't seem to like it. Canine palates can be similar to humans in the way that they have a diverse sensibility and what may be tasty and delicious to one may not have the same effect on another. Outside of their particular affection or distaste for cheese, is it the right thing to give them? Is it good for them to have?
The Root of the Behavior
There are some obvious things that may go overlooked here. Cheese, of course, varies a great deal from type to type. Some of the contents of cheese can be beneficial or at the least not harmful to canines while some other cheeses may contain contents that are downright poisonous to dogs. If you intend to use cheese as a treat or training tool, take note of what kind of cheese you are getting them. Aim for cheese low in fat content and that contains no additional contents. Canines lack many of the enzymes required to digest certain forms of fat and can do it much less efficiently. Cheese that contains different herbs and spices can be particularly harmful. With all this considered, low-fat Mozzarella. Mozzarella has a low-fat content and can be easier for them to digest than other cheeses without having many additional ingredients.
The herbs and spices contained in some other cheese can contain things canines cannot digest and could be poisonous. In the same vein as the digestions issues, it is important to consider your dietary responsibilities to your canine. Cheese can contain a lot of fat and calories, even Mozzarella, which is relatively low in fat content. A canine can intake far fewer calories then a human, so an amount of cheese which would seem irrelevant to us could contain far more calories then a dog should typically take in on top of their regular diet. This on a consistent basis could quickly lead to an overweight dog and eventually lead to concerning medical conditions. All this being said, cheese can be a powerful and effective training tool. Much like dog treats, most dogs simply seem to love it. This affection can be leveraged to entice your dog into proper behaviors and can lead to obedience of your commands.
Encouraging the Behavior
People often use cheese as a way to give their canine companion their doctor-recommended medication. This can be unavoidable at times as some dogs will simply avoid a pill inside a dog bowl, but it becomes much harder to avoid a pill wrapped around the delicious treat they intend to eat. In this way, it can be incredibly beneficial to give the dogs the pills they require. In cases like these, where stubborn canines will avoid the pills in their dog bowls and otherwise refuse to take their medication, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Just try to use the smallest piece of cheese that you still find effective and attempt to compensate with a slight reduction in their typical diet. Cheese as an occasional treat or training tool should not cause them any harm, but the operative word in that sentence is occasional. Giving them a lot of cheese consistently could cause weight gain and constipation just like it could in humans. For this reason it may not be best to use cheese as a training tool. If you find other treats just as effective, you should probably go with them instead. They too have some draw backs, like calorie counts, but will likely not be as harmful.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Whenever possible try to crush up the medication and mix it with some wet food for your canine. In that case, they would have no choice but to take the medication unless they wanted to skip the wet food entirely. Find out what works for you, and if it happens to be cheese, then use cheese. None of this accounts for those canines that are lactose intolerant. However, a canine who is lactose intolerant should not eat any type of cheese for any reason. This can induce stomach pains, vomiting, and other digestion complications. Lactose intolerance is extremely rare in canines and, in fact, roughly one percent of canines have lactose intolerance.
With the strong case of the training potential and your canines pure enjoyment from cheese, it is hard to argue against using it for a variety of things. In all honesty, mozzarella is very unlikely to cause any kind of medical complications for your canine. Try to use healthier alternatives whenever possible, but do not hesitate to use cheese if that is what works.
By a Malamute Husky lover Robert Potter
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/30/2020