The Short Answer is:
Cheese including Ricotta is unhealthy for dogs mainly because of its high-fat content. Ricotta cheese has nearly 10 grams of fat per 100 grams. A dog that eats ricotta cheese on a regular basis is more likely to become obese and develop diseases such as pancreatitis.
In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Ricotta Cheese?“.
- What is ricotta cheese?
- How much Ricotta is eaten?
- Don’t feed ricotta cheese to lactose-intolerant dogs
- How is ricotta cheese unhealthy for dogs?
- Does ricotta cheese contain any healthy nutrients?
- Is ricotta a healthy cheese?
- How much ricotta cheese should I feed my dog?
- What types of cheese should never be fed to dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Ricotta Cheese? (Watch Video)
So here you are at the kitchen counter with your four-legged sous chef stuck to you like glue.
Well he doesn’t really want to help prepare the meal he would much rather help eat it.
Tonight is Italian night and pizza is on the menu.
There is a complete mess on the counter since you used so many ingredients.
Perhaps you can feed your dog the last piece of ricotta as a shortcut.
The alternative is to wrap it back up and leave it in the fridge to become moldy. Isnot that much easier?
However should you? Does ricotta cheese go well with dogs?
Let me do a bit of ricotta cheese 101 before I baffle you with some science and nutrition.
Let me start by introducing myself.
What is ricotta cheese?
Ricotta cheese is an ancient Italian cheese that dates back thousands of years.
The period between 3200 BC and 1200 BC is known as the Bronze Age.
In other words five thousand years ago.
The cheese is typically made from leftover whey from other cheeses.
Whey is the liquid that remains after cheese making.
Whey can be made from a variety of milk including cow goat sheep and even water buffalo.
How much Ricotta is eaten?
A growing number of Americans are becoming increasingly fond of cheese.
American adults consumed 16 pounds of cheese annually in the late 1970s.
It had risen to a whopping 40 pounds of cheese per American in 2020.
Ricotta-specific statistics are difficult to locate.
There is no doubt that mozzarella is the most popular Italian cheese in the United States.
Americans eat about 12 pounds of mozzarella each year and about three pounds of other Italian cheeses including Ricotta.
Having provided a few fun facts about this cheese lets get down to business and see how good this cheese might be for your dog.
Don’t feed ricotta cheese to lactose-intolerant dogs
I apologize for starting out with such a harsh warning but I believe doing it first will help to get it out of the way.
The lactose in ricotta cheese is similar to that in most other cheeses and milk-based products.
As a result if your dog has lactose intolerance then cheese should not be added to their diet.
If you’re reading this with alarm bells going off in your head then the most common symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs are diarrhea vomiting and abdominal pain.
Take them to the vet for an examination and diagnosis if this describes your dog.
Next I will continue with the bad news by discussing how ricotta cheese is bad for your dog.
How is ricotta cheese unhealthy for dogs?
I have included some nutritional information about ricotta cheese below.
There are things in it that are good for dogs and things that are bad for dogs as with any food.
Any nutrition found in ricotta should be viewed as a boost because your dog should be on a complete diet.
This means that they do not require any additional food in their diet.
Cheese including Ricotta is unhealthy for dogs mainly because of its high-fat content.
Ricotta cheese has nearly 10 grams of fat per 100 grams.
Despite the fact that dogs do need fat in their diet most of them probably do not need any more than they have already been given.
A dog that eats ricotta cheese on a regular basis is more likely to become obese and develop diseases such as pancreatitis.
In addition to its high levels of sodium (salt) ricotta cheese also contains high levels of cholesterol.
Before you get too depressed there are some benefits to your dog eating ricotta cheese.
Does ricotta cheese contain any healthy nutrients?
Ricotta cheeses saving grace lies in the vitamins and minerals it contains.
In terms of vitamins this cheese is high in vitamin B2 and B12 which will help your dogs metabolism and production of red blood cells.
Ricotta also contains a lot of calcium which is important for the maintenance of strong bones and teeth.
In addition ricotta contains a lot of phosphorus and selenium.
The most important mineral for bones is phosphorus.
The mineral selenium boosts immune function and metabolism among other things.
I will compare ricotta with other cheeses in the next section.
Is ricotta a healthy cheese?
The table below has been created.
Several types of cheese are represented in the table including ricotta mozzarella and cheddar.
|Fat||9.5 g||20 g||34 g|
|Cholesterol||40 mg||83 mg||100 mg|
|Sodium||102 mg||486 mg||654 mg|
|Carbohydrate||6 g||3.3 g||2.4 g|
|Protein||9.6 g||20 g||23 g|
|Vitamins||B2 and B12||None||A B2 B12|
|Minerals||Calcium Phosphorus and Selenium||Calcium||Calcium Phosphorus Selenium Zinc|
You should feed cheese to your dog. It should be ricotta cheese.
Those are some impressive numbers!
It shows “healthier” numbers in most of the important stats.
Both mozzarella and cheddar have significantly lower fat cholesterol and sodium content than mozzarella.
Ricotta has a higher carbohydrate content and a lower protein content (which is a bad thing).
Ricotta has a higher vitamin content than mozzarella but a lower one than cheddar.
In terms of minerals ricotta again trails cheddar.
The zinc content of ricotta is lower than that of cheddar.
How much ricotta cheese should I feed my dog?
“As little as possible” is the honest answer to this question.
If you have some leftover from pizza or lasagne that you are making you can occasionally give it to your dogs but do not feed it regularly.
Unfortunately its rubbery and wet texture makes it a poor choice for cutting into cubes and using as a training treat.
You’ll thank your dogs waistline for that!
What types of cheese should never be fed to dogs?
Earlier we discovered that ricotta can almost be considered a healthy cheese in comparison with other popular cheeses.
However in this section I want to briefly discuss a type of cheese that you should never share with your dog.
Blue cheese of any type falls into this category.
The vast army of blue cheese fans should be happy to hear that there is more to come!
When making blue cheese a fungus is added to the mixture which is how those beautiful blue veins are formed!
Dogs are potentially fatally affected by the substance that is produced by this fungus called roquefortine C.
The name of one of the most famous blue cheeses (Roquefort) derives from this region.
In addition to being found in blue cheeses this substance is also found in moldy foods.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.