Can Dogs Eat Provolone Cheese? Is All Cheese Equally Bad for Dogs?

Introduction

Yes, dogs can eat provolone cheese. In fact, provolone is among the safest and best cheese options for dogs. The aged Italian cheese checks the boxes for taste and safety and can be given to dogs occasionally.

However, it goes without saying that dogs are carnivores, meaning any type of cheese is only an addition to their meat-based diets. To ensure the safe use of provolone cheese, give it responsibly and stick to the feeding guidelines.

Why is Provolone Cheese Good for Dogs?

Provolone cheese is a dog-friendly cheese product. When used correctly – in small amounts and on infrequent occasions, it is beneficial. Here are the reasons provolone cheese is good for dogs.

fresh provolone cheese

Moderate Lactose Content

The unique process of making provolone cheese results in the removal of lactose or, better said, its transformation into glucose and galactose. As a result, provolone is well-tolerated even by lactose-intolerant dogs.

Low in Carbohydrates

Provolone cheese is relatively low in carbohydrates and will not contribute to weight gain and obesity. This is excellent for dogs that need to lose weight and dogs with diabetes.

Vitamins and Minerals

Provolone cheese contains various vitamins and minerals. The two most abundant vitamins are vitamin A and B-complex vitamins. As for minerals, the same as all dairy products, provolone is high in calcium.

Rich in Fatty Acids

Provolone cheese is rich in essential fatty acids. Fatty acids support the dog’s overall health by boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and supporting skin and coat health.

Excellent Pill Pocket

Provolone cheese makes an excellent pill pocket. Dogs are challenging when it comes to giving meds, and it is useful to have something to wrap the pill into. If you do not have special pill pockets, a chunk of provolone cheese will do the trick.

Source of Entertainment

Giving your dog a stick of provolone cheese will keep your dog entertained. This applies to all hard cheese products. Plus, since it is low in carbs, you do not have to worry about your dog’s health while enjoying its snack.

Can Provolone Cheese be Bad for Dogs?

Yes, provolone can be bad for dogs. Although considered a better cheese than other dairy products, it can still be harmful if misused.

For example, if giving your dog too much provolone cheese or too often, it can experience some side effects. Here are the reasons provolone cheese can be bad for dogs. 

The Lactose Issue

Despite being low in lactose, provolone cheese can still be troublesome for dogs with intense lactose intolerance. In such cases, it is best to opt and purchase lactose-free provolone cheese products.

Digestive Upset

Even healthy (non-lactose-intolerant) dogs can experience digestive upsets if overfed with provolone cheese. The telltale signs of tummy troubles include diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, and lethargy.

Pancreatitis

Provolone cheese is rich in fats and fatty acids. They are beneficial in small amounts but can cause pancreatitis if present in large quantities. Pancreatitis is painful, and if left unmanaged, it can have severe consequences.

How Much Provolone Cheese Can My Dog Eat?

Provolone cheese is a treat and should not comprise more than 10% of the dog’s food intake. In those terms, dogs should only be given a few chunks of cheese.

Small dogs can eat one or two bite-sized chunks, while larger dogs can eat up to four bite-sized chunks. As for feeding frequency, once per week is more than enough.

If your dog has never eaten provolone cheese before, start with a smaller amount and gradually work your way up. For puppies, it is best to avoid giving provolone as they have sensitive tummies.

dog waiting for cheese

How to Prepare and Serve Provolone Cheese for Your Dog?

To prepare and serve provolone cheese to your dog, you need to start with shopping. Provolone cheese is readily available and can be found in all markets and stores.

It is important to get the right provolone cheese. By right, we mean regular (non-smoked and unseasoned). Smoked products contain harmful additives, and some seasons and spices can be toxic to dogs.

Once you have the cheese at home, you can serve it to your dog. Either give it as small treats or on top of your dog’s regular food. Regardless of the serving method, it is important to stick to the recommended feeding guidelines.  

Summary

All things considered, it is safe to say that dogs can eat provolone cheese. Being low in lactose and carbohydrates and rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, provolone is dog-friendly cheese.

With that being said, keep in mind that dogs are carnivores and need nutritionally rich and balanced meat-based diets. Therefore, provolone is only a snack, and it should not account for more than 10% of the dog’s daily food intake.

Sources

  1. 5 Signs Your Dog May Be Lactose Intolerant, Dr. Ari Aycock-Williams, 2020
  2. How to Make Homemade Pill Pockets for Your Dog, wikiHow Staff Writer, 2020
  3. Calcium for Dogs: Why They Need It, Elizabeth Racine, DVM, 2020
  4. Pancreatitis In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention, Dr. Sarah Wooten, 2020

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Ivana Crnec

Ivana Crnec

Dr. Ivana Crnec is a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, a passionate writer and a devoted pet parent. Specializing in domestic carnivores, her professional experience ranges from preventative medicine and routine wellness care through diagnosing and treating conditions to emergency and specialty care
Bitola, Macedonia