Small in size and often with a cat-like personality, Chihuahuas can be charming pets. However, maintaining its right diet can prove to be a difficult task. Most pet owners, particularly the new ones, are often confused about what to feed their Chihuahuas and what to avoid. When it comes to dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, etc., the choice becomes all the more confusing. We know for a fact that most dogs are lactose intolerant. But what about Chihuahuas?
So, can Chihuahuas eat cheese? Yes, they can, but only in a limited amount at set intervals. Cheese is rich in protein, an essential nutrient in Chihuahua’s diet. Contrary to popular belief, all dogs have different levels of lactose intolerance. Unless your pet is highly lactose intolerant, feeding it cheese occasionally will do no harm.
However, eating too much cheese, or too often, can lead to health problems ranging between mild to severe. Read on to find out everything you need to know about feeding your Chihuahua cheese.
Do Chihuahuas eat cheese?
Regardless of being lactose intolerant, most of the dog breeds love the taste of cheese. Chihuahuas are no exception. It is because of this fact that many dog foods and treats come in cheese flavors.
If you leave cheese lying around on your table, don’t be surprised to see your Chihuahua running away with it. However, you should avoid leaving cheese or dairy products lying around when you have a pet dog at home.
What kind of cheese can you feed your Chihuahua?
Cheese, being a dairy product, contains lactose. However, there are many different kinds of cheese available in the market, and all of them have different lactose levels.
Cheese with low levels of lactose is Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Cheddar. Out of all three, Cheddar is most preferable to feed your Chihuahua.
It has the lowest lactose level, which decreases even further as it grows older. However, it doesn’t mean that every other kind of cheese is toxic to Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas can eat cheese with high lactose levels, such as Brie and mozzarella, as well. You just have to be extra cautious about the amount of cheese you feed them.
How much cheese should you feed your Chihuahua?
You can use cheese as a treat for your pet Chihuahua, occasionally and between specific time intervals. For instance, if you are feeding it a small cheese cube once a week, you needn’t worry.
Many pet owners also use cheese to hide medicinal pills that they need to feed their dogs. You can use the trick on your Chihuahua if you need to as well.
What happens if your Chihuahua eats too much cheese?
Even if you are careful about your Chihuahua’s cheese consumption, they may get hold of it in your absence or when you are not noticing.
If your Chihuahua has eaten too much cheese, the first thing you need to do is feeding them their normal food. If there are other foods along with cheese in their stomach, the cheese is less likely to affect their digestive system.
Your Chihuahua can also have loose stool as a result, so you might want to keep an eye on it. If they have eaten slightly more than the moderate amount of cheese, they even might suffer from mild Diarrhea.
Diarrhea can often lead to Dehydration. Thus, encourage them to drink more water to stay hydrated. You can also offer them Pedialyte diluted with water to bring their electrolyte level back to normal.
However, if your Chihuahua suffers from severe Diarrhea, you must take them to a veterinarian immediately.
Cheese you should keep your Chihuahua away from
Although Chihuahuas can eat a variety of cheese in moderation without severe consequences, there are some kinds of cheese you should never feed them at all.
Roquefort and blue cheese are harmful to your Chihuahua for two reasons. First, they have a high-fat content. The second and more important reason is, as they get ripe, they can produce roquefortine, which is proved to be highly toxic for dogs.
Other kinds of cheese you should avoid are Cream cheese and Havarti. They contain herbs and garlic, which is lethal for dogs.
Can you feed cheese to a pregnant Chihuahua?
You should definitely not feed your Chihuahua cheese during their pregnancy. In fact, take care to keep them away from all dairy products.
Dairy products contain a high amount of calcium, disturbing the blood calcium level in their bodies and leading to Eclampsia. Eclampsia is a disease that affects new mothers in their nursing stage. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy is one of the most common causes of Eclampsia is dogs.
If possible, you should avoid buying cheese altogether when your Chihuahua is pregnant. If that’s not possible, store it in places beyond their reach.
What about cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese has a low level of lactose and is great for Chihuahua puppies and adult Chihuahuas.
Cottage cheese is rich in a special kind of protein known as Casein. The protein lasts longer in Chihuahuas’ bodies as its digestion rate is slower than the regular protein. It also contains high calcium, which strengthens their bones.
However, you should avoid feeding them any kind of flavored cottage cheese. Flavored cottage cheese often contains chemicals or artificial sweeteners that your Chihuahua might be allergic to.
The best way to feed cottage cheese to your Chihuahua is by adding small pieces of fruits with it, such as banana or raspberries. This will make a healthy snack for your pet.
Can you feed other dairy products to your Chihuahua?
Out of all the dairy products, milk has the highest lactose level. Therefore, feeding milk to your Chihuahua can be a bad idea. If you absolutely have to, go with goat’s milk instead of cow’s, since its lactose level is comparatively lower.
However, if your Chihuahua is a pup, never feed them milk. Milk can cause severe damage to their fragile digestive system, making them ill with Dehydration and Diarrhea. In place of milk, you can feed them canine milk replace of a decent quality.
Unlike other dairy products, yogurt is considered a healthy food for Chihuahuas. Yogurt contains proteins which act as a probiotic for dogs and help their digestive system. It is also rich in Lactobacillus, a bacterium that counteracts lactose intolerance.
Greek or whole white yogurt have lower lactose levels than regular yogurt and are ideal for their overall diet. You can also use yogurt to add moisture to the dog meal.
Although feeding your Chihuahua ice cream on a regular basis can create problems, a spoon here and there doesn’t hurt.
Chihuahuas enjoy ice creams on a hot day as much as we do. Thus, you can let them have a few spoonfuls of it once in a week without troubling their digestive system.
Whole vanilla bean ice cream is ideal for your Chihuahua. Also, make sure to keep them away from chocolate ice creams, as chocolates are harmful to dogs.
Foods your Chihuahua shouldn’t eat
While cheese doesn’t harm your Chihuahua when given in moderation, other foods can. Here is a list of food and beverages your Chihuahua should not eat at all.
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia nuts
Many dog owners have a habit of feeding their pets a bite from their plate. Before you do it, make sure you are fully aware of what and what isn’t toxic for your pet. Because a bite of something toxic can be lethal to them.
When feeding your Chihuahua cheese, always remember that moderation is the key. When given in small amounts, your Chihuahua can enjoy cheese without upsetting their stomach.
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