Yes, dogs can eat ricotta but it is best given in moderation. Ricotta is a great source of vitamins and proteins that your pup can benefit from. However, some dogs are lactose intolerant so they may have adverse reactions to ricotta and other dairy products.
Benefits of Ricotta for Dogs
Compared to most cheeses, ricotta is low in fat and sodium making it a healthy choice for your pup. Some of the healthy nutrients in ricotta include:
- Vitamins A and B
Feeding Ricotta Safely to Your Dog
- Only feed in small quantities: When feeding ricotta to your dog, it is important to remember that cheese is high in fat and can cause obesity. Only feed ricotta to your dog occasionally and keep portions small.
- Beware of additives: Ricotta may be safe for your dog, but you will find that brands may add other ingredients such as glutamic acid that are safe for your pup. Always read the ingredients label and watch out for potential allergens that may harm your dog. It is always better to go for organic options with little to no added chemicals or preservatives.
- Watch out for mycotoxins: Ricotta that is moldy or too ripe may contain toxins that can be harmful to your dog. Never feed your dog moldy or overly ripe cheese.
- Opt for low sodium: Ricotta is naturally low in sodium compared to other types of cheeses but it is still important to watch out for the salt content. Too much sodium can lead to salt poisoning in dogs which can cause serious health complications.
When is Ricotta Bad for Dogs?
Ricotta can be a good way to keep your fur buddy motivated when given as a treat. However, some dogs should never eat ricotta. If your pup is lactose intolerant, avoid giving them ricotta or any other dairy product.
Dogs that are lactose intolerant may have adverse reactions to ricotta even in small quantities. If you notice symptoms of stomach upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, consult your vet immediately.
Dogs breeds that are susceptible to pancreatitis like schnauzers should also not be fed ricotta. Fatty foods have been found to trigger pancreatitis so it is best to avoid ricotta altogether if your pup is at high risk of this disease.
How to Feed Ricotta to Your Dog
The best way to feed your dog Ricotta is as an occasional treat. Make sure that the Ricotta is free of harmful preservatives and chemicals before feeding it to your dog.
You can also add some Ricotta to your dog’s food provided you keep the quantities small. Many pet parents also find that cheese is a good way to give your dog supplements or pills that they may otherwise have trouble taking.
- Hypernatremia, 2009, Catherine M Kasai, Robert King
- Can Dogs Eat Cheese?, 2021, Randa Kriss
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