The Short Answer is:
The short answer is yes. It is safe for dogs to eat mozzarella. Dogs cannot be harmed by pure mozzarella since it contains no ingredients that are known to cause immediate toxicity.
The purpose of this article is to explain “Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella?“.
- Can dogs have Mozzarella?
- What is mozzarella?
- What are the ingredients in mozzarella?
- What is the nutrition in mozzarella cheese?
- How much mozzarella should I feed to my dog?
- Mozzarella vs Cheddar vs Goat’s
- Can Dogs Eat Mozzarella? (Watch Video)
Cheese is a favorite food among Americans and is becoming more popular as time goes by.
In many ways mozzarella the poster boy of pizza toppings is the king of them all.
Cheese is the food most loved by Americans or at least eaten the most of it.
Here are a few numbers for you.
The average American consumed just over 38 pounds (17 kilograms) of cheese in 2019.
Among these twelve pounds were mozzarella and just over ten pounds was cheddar.
Can dogs have Mozzarella?
It is a good thing to know that mozzarella contains no poison that could endanger the life of your dog a few hours after eating it.
Basically it consists of buffalo or cows milk salt and a few enzymes.
Lets be clear mozzarella cheese is very unhealthy food for our dogs.
You can breathe easy if your dog ate too much cheese or a mozzarella stick or a slice of pizza because the worst that can happen is a bit of vomiting or diarrhea if your dog ate too much cheese.
Before I go into too much detail about mozzarella and dogs let me take a moment to look at the past and find out why this cheese is so special.
What is mozzarella?
Mozzarella is an Italian curd cheese traditionally made from buffalo milk.
Because the curd is kneaded (almost like a bread) it has a distinctive texture that is plastic-like.
Mozza literally translates as “to cut off” which is how the cheese is cut after it has been kneaded.
Although the cheese might date back to the 12th century the word mozzarella was first used in an Italian cookbook in the 16th century.
As a way of acknowledging its importance it has been accorded a special “status” with the European Union since 1996.
What are the ingredients in mozzarella?
There are only a few ingredients in authentic mozzarella.
There are four main ingredients in buffalo milk: buffalo milk water salt and enzymes (rennet and natural whey cultures).
Can my dog eat milk?
Lactose intolerance is always mentioned when milk is mentioned as an ingredient.
There will also be dogs out there who cannot consume lactose.
There is a very small amount of lactose in buffalo milk compared with cows milk.
Every 244 ml of buffalo milk contains 13 g of lactose while cows milk only contains 11 g.
Therefore if your dog is lactose intolerant then feeding them mozzarella cheese made from buffalos or cows milk may not be the best choice.
It is worth noting that goats milk which is known for its low lactose content has just a little less lactose than cows milk.
The majority of mozzarella eaten by people is probably made from cows milk.
Since milk is the main ingredient most dogs can eat this because milk is not toxic.
The milk in the cheese however will upset the stomach of a dog who is lactose intolerant.
If your dog is lactose intolerant it is probably best not to give him mozzarella cheese.
Can my dog eat salt?
Salt is a necessary component of their diet which is likely to come from their main food.
So they do not have to rely on getting salt from mozzarella cheese.
The fact is that mozzarella cheese is packed with salt.
320 mg of salt can be found in a 50g portion of mozzarella cheese (about three tablespoons).
It is hard to understand measures such as those.
Heres another way to put it.
An adult human would get 14% of their daily recommended salt intake from 50g of mozzarella cheese.
So you can imagine how much salt that would be for a small dog!
Can my dog eat enzymes?
Dogs would not be affected by the two enzymes in mozzarella cheese.
Several different kinds of cheese are made with rennet an enzyme.
It works much like a natural glue helping the solid parts of the milk (the whey) stick together.
Rennet is derived from a part of the stomach of calves.
Now that we understand the ingredients that mozzarella cheese is made from and how they may affect your dog we can move on to learning about the nutrients in mozzarella cheese.
What is the nutrition in mozzarella cheese?
I discussed in the previous section how some mozzarella cheeses contain a high level of salt.
Well that was just the beginning in terms of shocking nutrition data.
Keeping with our 50g serving size I have created a chart to make the information easier to understand.
I have a problem.
Because mozzarella cheese has so much fat the calculator on the website has been broken!
I do not understand how a 50g serving can have 107 g of fat!
This figure has been checked and double-checked by me.
I am certain that few foods contain more fat than others.
Cheese made from mozzarella is in the top 1%.
Despite the fact that dogs need fat they do not need this much.
The cholesterol levels of this product are also not good and the amount of salt it contains has already been discussed.
Moreover it contains no vitamins or minerals other than calcium.
If anything mozzarella is high in protein which may be its only upside.
Plain mozzarella isnot the only way to eat mozzarella.
There are many types of it.
I want to briefly look at how dog-friendly some of these other mozzarella foods are after discussing the nutrition or lack thereof in it.
Can dogs eat mozzarella sticks?
A mozzarella stick is a stick of mozzarella that is wrapped in breadcrumbs.
Within these mozzarella cheese is the most important ingredient followed by wheat flour and then oil.
Wheat flour might have some adverse effects on a dog that is wheat intolerant so that would be a red flag.
Some of the ingredients which appear in very small amounts have been shown to be toxic to dogs.
Things like onion or onion powder or garlic or garlic powder fall into this category.
The amounts in each stick are probably not toxic to your dog but onions and garlic are highly toxic to dogs.
If your dog eats a large amount of these sticks all at once onion poisoning or garlic poisoning may occur.
Can dogs eat mozzarella pizza?
Its impossible to find a pizza in America that does not have mozzarella cheese on it!
Three billion pizzas are consumed in the USA alone every year which is an incredible amount of mozzarella cheese.
However its not the cheese that is the most dangerous.
Instead you should consider the other ingredients on the pizza.
Bread and tomatoes are two of the most important ones to consider.
Although both of these foods are toxic to dogs in my experience dogs who eat too much of either will have stomach upsets.
Make sure that you carefully read the ingredient list if you share a pizza with your dog as a comforting ritual and find out if it contains ingredients such as onions and garlic.
Can dogs eat shredded mozzarella?
Shredded mozzarella is simply mozzarella cheese in another form.
Because its shredded I guess the only difference is that your dog can eat it faster because its similar to standard mozzarella.
If it is shredded it might pose less of a choking hazard for your dog.
How much mozzarella should I feed to my dog?
I can tell you the best answer to this question is that you want to give your dog as little mozzarella as possible.
I have demonstrated in this article that mozzarella does not provide any meaningful nutrition or health benefits to dogs.
To make their kibble more enticing you can sprinkle mozzarella over their kibble if your dog is a picky eater.
If your dogs eating habits are not improving you’ll need to find an alternative food or method.
As an alternative you could soak your kibble in a chicken or bone broth.
The added benefit is that it is far healthier and equally delicious for your dog.
The bones in bone broth are far less calorie-dense and far more nutrient-dense than those in mozzarella.
Before I wrap up this article I wanted to make a quick comparison between mozzarella and other cheeses: specifically cheddar and goats cheese.
Mozzarella vs Cheddar vs Goat’s
Below I have included one of my charts to make things easier.
|100 g serving||mozzarella||cheddar||goat|
|Fat||214 g||34 g||30 g|
|Cholesterol||40 mg||100 mg||79 mg|
|Sodium||640 mg||654 mg||415 mg|
|Carbs||0||2.4 g||.1 g|
|Protein||18 g||23 g||22 g|
|Calcium||248 mg||707 mg||298 mg|
In this comparison mozzarella has done better than I had expected during the funny four years.
Compared to the other two kinds of cheese it has relatively few calories and cholesterol.
I mean that “fat” figure is plain nuts and I cannot comprehend why it continues to appear this way.
When it comes to sodium Ghost wins because it has such a low amount
The runaway winner in this category or the true winner if we see lots of calcium as a positive thing is a cheddar.
Therefore I’m not sure if there are any real differences between these three popular types of cheese when it comes to your dog.
You can share a piece of cheese with your dog once in a blue moon if you really must.