You’ve probably had some ricotta if you’re a cheese fan like me. Ricotta cheese is a delightful and versatile ingredient in various cuisines, from lasagna to cheesecake. But can dogs eat ricotta cheese? Is it safe for them to try this creamy cheese?
Ricotta cheese is a fresh cheese prepared from whey leftover from the production of other cheeses. Because the whey is heated again to separate the curds from the liquid, the term “ricotta” means “recooked” in Italian. Ricotta cheese has a crumbly texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
Ricotta cheese contains a high concentration of protein, calcium, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also lower in salt and lactose than most other cheeses, making it a healthier choice for humans and dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Ricotta Cheese?
The short answer is yes; dogs may eat ricotta cheese safely if given in moderation and as a treat on occasion. Ricotta cheese is not hazardous to dogs, as opposed to other cheeses that may contain mold or harmful spices.
Ricotta cheese, on the other hand, includes lactose, which can cause digestive troubles in lactose-intolerant or sensitive dogs. Lactose is a form of sugar present in milk and other dairy products. Some dogs lack the enzyme in their intestines that breaks down lactose, resulting in gas, bloating, diarrhoea, or vomiting.
If you are unsure whether your dog can tolerate lactose, start by giving them a small quantity of ricotta cheese and watching their reaction. If they show any signs of discomfort or distress, stop feeding them ricotta cheese and consult your veterinarian.
Another factor to consider is ricotta cheese’s fat and calorie level. Ricotta cheese contains less fat than most other cheeses, yet it still has roughly 13 grams of fat per 100 grams. In dogs, too much fat can lead to weight gain, obesity, or pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a severe illness in which the pancreas gets inflamed due to excessive fat consumption.
To avoid these health dangers, restrict the amount of ricotta cheese you give your dog. Treats should not account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake, according to the 10% rule. For example, if your dog requires 500 calories daily, treats should provide no more than 50 calories.
How to Feed Ricotta Cheese to Your Dog
If you decided to feed your dog ricotta cheese, the following are some helpful hints to ensure that your dog has a positive experience that is both safe and satisfying:
- Choose ricotta cheese that is unflavored and low in fat. Avoid flavors or sweeteners that contain artificial ingredients or sugar, as these can harm your dog.
- Ricotta cheese can be given as a treat or sprinkled on top of the food your dog eats regularly. Ricotta cheese or any other food intended for humans should never replace a healthy diet for your pet.
- Ricotta cheese should be given in very small amounts at a time. A teaspoon or two should be sufficient for most dogs. You can use either a measuring spoon or a scoop designed for ice cream to portion the cheese.
- Keep an eye on how your dog reacts after you give them some ricotta cheese. If they exhibit any signs of discomfort or distress, you should immediately stop feeding them ricotta cheese and speak with your veterinarian.
- Ricotta cheese should be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer. Ricotta cheese can quickly become rancid if it is allowed to warm up to room temperature or exposed to air. After the package has been opened, replace the lid securely and use the contents within one week.
According to Sophie;
“I have two dogs: a Labrador Retriever named Max and a Poodle named Luna. They both love ricotta cheese, and I give it to them occasionally as a treat or a topping on their kibble.
Max can eat ricotta cheese without any problems. He has no issues with lactose or fat and enjoys the creamy texture and flavor of the cheese. He constantly licks his bowl clean when I give him some ricotta cheese.
Luna, on the other hand, is more sensitive to lactose and fat. She can only have a small amount of ricotta cheese at a time. Otherwise, she gets gassy and uncomfortable. She also prefers the crumbly texture of the cheese over the creamy one. She likes to nibble on the cheese pieces rather than lick them.
Ricotta cheese is an excellent dog treat as long as it is given in moderation and as an occasional treat. It is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit dogs’ health. It also has a mild and slightly sweet flavor that most dogs enjoy.
However, I also think that ricotta cheese is only suitable for some dogs. Some dogs may be lactose intolerant or sensitive to fat, which can cause digestive issues or pancreatitis. Some dogs may also have allergies or intolerances to dairy products or other ingredients in ricotta cheese.
Therefore, I always recommend checking with your vet before giving your dog ricotta cheese or other human food. Your vet can advise you on the best diet and treats for your dog based on age, weight, health condition, and preferences.”
Can dogs eat ricotta cheese? Dogs can eat ricotta cheese, but only in small quantities and as an occasional treat. Ricotta cheese is not toxic to dogs, but it can cause digestive issues or pancreatitis in lactose-intolerant dogs or sensitive to fat.
If you want to serve ricotta to your dog, choose regular and low-fat ricotta and use it as a treat or topping in your dog’s daily food. After giving your dog ricotta, watch his reaction and stop if they show any signs of discomfort or distress.
Ricotta cheese is a healthy and tasty dog treats but only suitable for some dogs. Always consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog ricotta or other human foods.