Feta is one of my favourite cheeses. It’s salty and tangy and tops off a salad perfectly. Because I like it so much I regularly keep it at home. I also have a Whippet who will eat anything… so is this safe for her? Can dogs eat feta cheese or is it dangerous to them?
Find out more about feta and why I wouldn’t encourage your dog to eat it in this detailed guide.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Feta Cheese?
- What is Feta Cheese?
- Calories, Vitamins and Minerals in Feta Cheese
- Is Feta Cheese Good for Dogs?
- Is Feta Cheese Bad for Dogs?
- Summary – Can Dogs Eat Feta Cheese?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Feta Cheese?
The short answer is… yes, dogs can eat feta but they really shouldn’t. As long as your pooch doesn’t eat feta cheese flavoured with foods that are poisonous to dogs it likely won’t cause any harm.
So there’s probably no need to be concerned if your dog eats some when your back is turned!
However, a dog that regularly consumes a large amount of feta over and above it’s daily calorific requirement risks potential health problems in the long term.
What is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is a traditional crumbly cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk that’s commonly used in Greek cuisine. It’s one of the oldest known forms of cheese and it has a distinct salty and slightly tart flavour.
Perhaps most famously used as THE important ingredient in a Greek salad, it’s also found in delicious pies and pastries all across the Mediterranean region.
Because it has such a distinct flavour, some people don’t like feta cheese at all. However, to many dogs I’m sure feta cheese smells amazing!
Calories, Vitamins and Minerals in Feta Cheese
Like many cheeses in moderation feta is not in itself an unhealthy food. Indeed it contains a range of important nutrients.
With 5g per every 100g, feta is a god source of protein. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin A
However, it’s also very high in sodium, fat and subsequently calories. In fact, 100g of feta cheese contains around 917mg of sodium, 21g of fat (15g of which are saturated) and around 264 calories.
Is Feta Cheese Good for Dogs?
Feta cheese made with sheep or goat milk can be a tasty treat for your pup in moderation. However, this would only apply to feta made without certain ingredients known to be harmful to dogs, like garlic, onions and certain nuts.
Feta cheese then may be beneficial to dogs as the calcium content would be good for bones and teeth. Additionally, dogs need protein in their diet, so this too might be something beneficial.
Furthermore, feta cheese may be good for a dog’s digestion due to the probiotics it contains.
However, too much feta cheese can lead to weight gain and other gastrointestinal complications. Let’s not forget that salt and fat in excess are very bad for dogs.
The key to allowing your dog feta to eat feta cheese is moderation. Your dog may eat small pieces of feta cheese as a special treat, but it shouldn’t replace regular meals or make up more than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.
Is Feta Cheese Bad for Dogs?
While it’s generally safe in moderation, too much feta cheese can be bad for dogs.
It’s important to note that feta cheese has a high salt content and very generous amounts of fat. These two components can be problematic for dogs with existing health problems or those who are prone to digestive issues.
Salt can cause dehydration in dogs and the high fat content can add strain on a pup’s kidneys, especially if they’re already prone to organ problems.
As I’ve touched upon above, feta is also high in calories. For the most part, and for most dogs, a large amount of feta on top of their regular diets will deliver an excess of calories. If a dog consumes too many calories, it may lead to weight gain and a raft of serious medical problems.
Furthermore, some dogs may be allergic to feta cheese, as with other dairy products, so always watch closely for any signs of adverse reactions such as stomach upset or diarrhoea if your dog eats some.
Finally, it’s vitally important to check the ingredients label on the feta cheese packaging if either:
- Your dog eats feta cheese when your back is turned
- You intend to let your dog eat a little feta as a treat.
Dogs should never eat any food containing:
This isn’t an exhaustive list so check your ingredients label and research what you find. If you’re unsure about any food your dog eats, speak with a veterinary professional.
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Feta Cheese?
Yes dogs can eat feta cheese as long as it’s not flavoured with ingredients known to be harmful to them.
However, feta really isn’t a food that you should give to your dog regularly. Like most cheeses, it’s high in fat and salt… two things that are never great to give to dogs in large quantities over long periods.
If your dog eat a little feta, it’s unlikely to cause harm. If your dog eats a large amount of feta in one sitting, this too is unlikely to cause more harm that an upset tummy… which is bad enough!
Of course if you let your dog eat feta in large amounts over many years it could result in a range of serious health problems.
My advice would be to stick to a high quality and nutritionally balanced dog food and treats you know are safe for dogs to eat… and avoid letting your dog eat cheese!
Has your dog snaffled some feta before? Or perhaps you let your dog eat feta cheese from time to time? Why not tell me thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page?
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