If you’re anything like me, you love cheese. Heck, you could melt some cheese and put it on a brick and I’d eat it. Even so, you might be wondering if this yummy goodness is okay for your pup. So, can Shih Tzus eat cheese? Let’s find out.
Can Shih Tzus Eat Cheese
Many people think that dogs can’t eat cheese and that it will cause issues for them and that it is one of many dangerous foods you can’t give them.
For the most part, this isn’t true.
Most Shih Tzus can eat cheese without any issues.
The Benefits of Cheese for Your Shih Tzu
You might be surprised to learn that there are some nutritional benefits of cheese.
It’s not just really tasty.
While there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of cheese, all of them start off as fermented milk.
Most cheeses are full of B12, vitamin A, phosphorus, protein, as well as zinc.
All of these will be good for your dog’s overall well-being.
Issues That Come With Cheese
As it always seems to be the case, with the good comes the bad, and that’s no different when it comes to cheese.
While it does contain some good vitamins, it is also high in fat and has a good amount of sodium, so you don’t want to go overboard when it comes to giving your Shih Tzu cheese.
Feeding your dog cheese daily can lead to weight issues and even obesity due to the high-fat content in cheese.
In the worst-case scenario, too much cheese can lead to pancreatitis which can be fatal.
Also, you will want to read the ingredients carefully when you give your Shih Tzu cheese.
Some cheeses will have added herbs and spices that are toxic for dogs. These can include garlic, onions, and chives.
Also, due to the fact that cheese does contain phosphorus, if your dog has kidney or liver issues, you will want to talk to your vet before giving them cheese.
Surprisingly, dogs can be lactose intolerant. More dogs have this issue than you might think.
A good sign that your Shih Tzu has lactose intolerance include the following after eating cheese or any dairy:
- Stomach upset
- Abdominal pain
- Watery diarrhea
If you notice any of these after you feed your Shih Tzu cheese, you should stop giving them cheese or any dairy products and check with your vet.
Just like people, Shih Tzu’s with lactose intolerance should avoid all dairy products such as cheese, cow’s milk, and goat milk, yogurt, and ice cream to avoid any health issues.
On the other end of things, keep in mind that eating a lot of cheese can cause constipation in humans and dogs, so like with all good things, moderation is key.
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When You Should Give Your Shih Tzu Cheese
One of the best times to give your Shih Tzu cheese is when you have to give them a pill.
You know how difficult it can be to get your dog to swallow a pill.
I know my two Shih Tzus don’t like it at all.
When I do have medicine that I have to give them, I use a little piece of cheese to hide the pill.
I know that my Truman (learn more about him here) rarely chews his food. He tends to swallow it whole.
So, as long as the piece of cheese is small enough for him to swallow, it will be down his throat before he even realizes there was a pill hidden in the cheese.
Tiny pieces of cheese can be used to help train your Shih Tzu as well.
Just don’t give them too much at one time.
If you decide to give your Shih Tzu cheese, you might want to consider one of the lower-fat options such as mozzarella or even low-fat cottage cheese which has lower lactose content.
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To Sum it All Up:
Cheese can be a tasty treat for your Shih Tzu, but like with all people food, you need to be careful and use moderation to ensure your pup doesn’t get an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues. Just keep in mind that cheese is a fatty food and has a high salt content and can lead to weight gain if too much is given to your dog. Use moderation and your Shih Tzu can enjoy one of the yummiest human foods out there without any adverse reactions.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s nutritional needs and issues. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.