Yes, dogs can eat cheese. In fact, cheese is often a great training tool, especially for puppies. But should dogs eat cheese? While some dogs can eat cheese, and most dogs love it, many dogs can be intolerant of cheese. Even for dogs that are able to tolerate cheese, it is probably best fed in moderation.
Benefits of Cheese
Cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins. Most dogs love cheese, and trainers often use it for treat-motivated dogs. This snack is also a good way to conceal pills for dogs that require medication.
Feeding Cheese Safely to Your Dog
While cheese can be safe to feed to your dog, there are some things to remember. Cheese is high in fat, and feeding too much to your dog regularly can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. Even more problematic, it could lead to pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs. In addition to the problems presented by the high-fat content, some cheeses contain herbs or other products that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic, onions, and chives.
Therefore, it’s better to feed your dog low-fat cheeses, like mozzarella, cottage cheese, or a soft goat cheese. Cottage cheese is lower in fat and sodium than other cheeses, helping reduce the risk of obesity. Cottage cheese is also lower in lactose, thus reducing the likelihood of intestinal upset.
Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
Not all dogs digest cheese well, and while cheese contains little lactose when compared to whole milk, dogs with severe cases of lactose intolerance may have adverse reactions to cheese, even in small quantities. Observe your dog closely for signs of intestinal upset after feeding cheese for the first time, and consult your veterinarian with any questions you may have about adding cheese to your dog’s diet.
Watching a dog take a nap can be an entertaining experience. Their legs twitch as if they are running. They yip, they snore and sometimes they even growl. Dogs have far different sleeping patterns than humans do, and understanding the way dogs sleep can help pet owners keep their dogs happy and healthy for a lifetime.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
Cats are famous for sleeping the day away, but dogs sleep quite a bit, as well. While owners are away at work all day and a pet’s stimulation is quite low, odds are the dog will sleep. Puppies sleep far more than adult dogs, as sleep is an important factor for raising a happy, well-adjusted dog. Owners of growing pups must balance out stimulation and exercise with plenty of rest.
The sleep patterns of adult dogs depend upon the age of the pet, the daily activities of the pet, and even the size of the pet. Large breeds sleep far more than small breeds. It’s not uncommon for owners of Saint Bernards and Mastiffs to believe their dogs spend more time sleeping than they do in wakeful activities. A simple walk for a large dog can be enough to send the pooch into a two-hour nap.
As a dog matures, he will sleep a bit less, but once a dog reaches its golden years, it’s likely that the dog will sleep early and often. As the body slows down and conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia set in, dogs are far less apt to romp around the house or the yard. Typically, puppies sleep anywhere from 12-18 hours a day, adult dogs can sleep around 14 hours per day, large breeds may sleep up to 18, and elderly dogs can sleep even more.
Do Dogs Dream?
The noises and movements that dogs make during a nap seem to be clear indications that dogs do, in fact, dream. Why animals dream has long been a topic of scientific debate, but one of the most widely accepted theories is that dreams are a vehicle for processing all of the data that the brain takes in throughout the day. Just as a computer needs to reboot from time to time, so does the brain.
Researchers have studied the brain waves of dogs during the sleep cycle and compared them to human brains, and they have discovered similar results, further strengthening the theory that dogs dream. Dogs experience two stages of sleep, the stage knows as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and slow wave sleep (SWS). SWS is the early stage of sleep; the “dozing off” period. Mental functions are slowed down, but the body is still engaged.
REM sleep is the deeper stage of sleep, at it is recognizable from eye-darting movements, body twitches, and noise. Fast brain wave patterns recorded during dogs’ REM sleep cycles indicate that the physical activity is a manifestation of a dream state. While all dogs experience these two stages of the sleep cycle, the amount of sleep that a dog requires depends on several variables including breed, size, age and lifestyle.
Exercise is Critical for Managing Sleep
Dogs that do not engage in exercise and mentally stimulating play throughout the day will sleep far longer than their active counterparts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, inactive may also suffer from insomnia. If a dog sleeps all day, it’s likely he won’t be ready to turn in for a long night with the rest of the family. Insomnia from inactivity is especially common in small breeds or among dogs that live an urban lifestyle, where they don’t get out and run regularly.
Owners should commit to exercising their dogs at least 30 minutes a day, though large breeds and working breeds will require much more. Walking a dog before and after work can help significantly manage sleep, and scheduling some one-on-one play time is also good for developing healthy sleep patterns. When a dog is left alone during the day, owners should leave behind interesting, puzzle-like toys – the kind where a dog must work to find a treat, for example – in order to keep their bodies and minds stimulated when they are left alone.
Dogs are creatures that like to play hard and sleep hard. Having a dog that sleeps the day away is perfectly normal, as long as his activities are balanced to include proper physical and mental stimulation.
We often assume that our guilty because of the way they act when we catch them doing something they’re not supposed to do. This guilty look — which we are all familiar with from various Internet memes — is frequently perceived as a canine acknowledgement of wrongdoing or as an expression of remorse. But in reality, your dog’s guilty look means something vastly different
What Guilty Looks Like
A dog’s posturing may translate as “guilty” because of the lowered, insecure movements reminiscent of how a human may act when feeling ashamed and repentant. The “guilty” dogmay squint his eyes and blink more frequently. He may also avoid eye contact or lower his head and look at you with the whites of his eyes exposed.
He may press his ears back, closer to his head. He may lick his lips and yawn, lower his tail and sink to the ground in a cowering motion. He may also turn away from the scene of the crime, as though he’s so embarrassed by what he’s done that he cannot face the aftermath.
But your dog’s guilty look may not indicate guilt at all; instead, it is most likely a reaction to a human’s upset or angry response. Two studies, one led by Alexandra Horowitz and the other by Julie Hecht, found that when a dog is confronted by an angry or upset owner, he is more likely to present the guilty look, independent of actual guilt or innocence.
Bad Dog? Maybe Not
In Horowitz’s study, a treat was placed in front of a dog. The dog’s owner commanded him not to eat it and then left the room. Horowitz gave some dogs treats but not others. “In some trials the owners were told that their dog had eaten the forbidden treat; in others, they were told their dog had behaved properly and left the treat alone,” ScienceDaily reported in 2009. The owners were not necessarily told the truth about whether their dogs had eaten the treats or not.
If you are the owner of a dog, you may have asked yourself at some point if your pup can see things you can’t. I mean, sometimes pups will stand somewhere in a house and bark at seemingly nothing.
It’s even spookier when the dog is looking directly at a wall or area of a room while barking, and you see nothing.
The question of whether or not dogs can sense the supernatural has been researched extensively by scientists.
According to Animal Planet, this “sixth sense” that many dog owners believe their pups have could be a result of dog senses being stronger than that of a human’s.
Dogs have exceptional hearing and sense of smell, and a dog’s view allows him to sense small movements with his sight as well. They can see delicate movements, have a sense of smell 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger than that of humans, and can hear at higher frequencies.
There have been many claims of dogs who have sensed when a family member or owner was going to pass away. Also, there are many instances where dogs will remain by their owner’s bedside as they are dying, or even by their grave after they have passed.
Pet psychologist Marti Miller believes that both humans and dogs possess a sixth sense that connects them to the paranormal. The catch is that humans judge or deny what they are feeling while dogs “don’t judge what is going on in the environment,” theoretically making them more sensitive to supernatural goings on.
With these crazy dog senses, canines are often able to sense danger before humans can. For example, before the tsunami in 2004, many animals, including dogs, exhibited behavioral differences and ran for cover or refused to go outside. Animal experts believe they could have possibly felt the vibrational changes before the earthquakes shook things up.
The truth is, because dogs can’t offer their explanation, there’s no telling the reason behind a dog barking at what seems like nothing. Until a dog can tell us about Caspar the friendly ghost taking residence in our home, we won’t know whether or not Fido can sense ghosts. Miller states that there’s no way to know if dogs can actually see ghosts or not, but she does believe that “if you observe a dog standing in the corner, barking at nothing visible, then there’s a pretty good chance that he’s barking at an entity, spirit, or energy that doesn’t belong there.”
So whether your pup is barking at an energy or spirit from someone who has passed, or is just barking at a wafting smell of something tasty that your neighbor is cooking, we may never really know for sure. What we do know is that dogs are pretty awesome, and these superhero senses that they have only make them even cooler.
The Dog’s Christmas Dinner - what your dog can and can’t eat When preparing your Christmas dinner it is fun and a special treat to put some safe bits and pieces by for your dog too, so they can enjoy a special Christmas dinner or treat. But not all food is safe for dogs to eat. Some human food can cause digestive upsets in dogs which is unpleasant but some are far more dangerous and can even result in death. Once you have viewed the list of food items that are OK for dogs to eat, please remember to still feed human food to dogs in moderation. Too much of any strange food, whether it is harmful or not, can upset your dog’s stomach. No one likes feeling full and bloated on Christmas day. You are in charge of making sure your pet does not eat beyond their own comfort levels. Moderation is the key.
OK for your dog’s Christmas dinner There are quite a few human foods to avoid feeding to your dog but there are some yummy staples of a Christmas dinner that your dog can safely eat in moderation.
Turkey Your dog can enjoy small amounts of boneless, skinless white meat.
Cranberry sauce Feel free to let your dog try a little on their turkey if you like but only a little and only if it is pure cranberry sauce with nothing else added like sweeteners or other fruits, nuts etc...
Potatoes A tasty festive treat but make sure you only feed your dog plain mashed or boiled potatoes with nothing else added (e.g. salt, butter). Again, moderation is important. Potatoes, no matter how they are prepared or cooked are very starchy, which dogs can struggle to digest.
Vegetables Take it easy with veggies but you can feed your dog some carrot, parsnip, green beans, courgette, Brussel sprouts, broccoli florets (very small amount only), peas, spinach, cauliflower etc... Most green or mixed veg is fine for dogs. If you do a mashed carrot and swede with your Christmas dinner your dog is sure to love that but don’t add butter or seasoning to their portion. Avoid corn on the cob and bulb vegetables such as onions and leeks.
Eggs I love scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for my Christmas Day breakfast. As a treat you can cook your dog an egg too. Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals and are good for our dog’s health. If you are worried about the salmonella risk of feeding raw eggs, cook them. Scrambled is a great way to cook eggs for your dog, but don’t add milk, butter or salt of course. As for the smoked salmon, I think the jury is out on that one but I keep that all for myself anyway, lol.
Fruit Can be high in sugar and can also be acidic, which can upset your dog's digestion so give in moderation and remove the pips/stones first. The fruit to avoid is rhubarb. The stalk of the plant and also its leaves are toxic to canines.
Don’t feed to your dog
Bird bones They are hollow and whether raw or cooked they can easily splinter, making them a dangerous puncture or choking hazard.
Turkey or chicken skin This is far too fatty for your dog. Fat can cause inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis).
Gravy Very tasty but too salty and fatty for dogs. They will enjoy their turkey dinner just as much without gravy. It is best avoided. Onions, garlic and other bulb vegetables (e.g. chives, leeks, shallots) Onions are a definite no as they are poisonous to dogs. This includes any variant such as onion powder. Also avoid feeding your dog other bulb vegetables e.g. chives, leeks and shallots. Garlic is a contentious issue and while a little bit of garlic is not toxic to your dog it can have a dangerous cumulative effect.
Herbs and spices Dogs are not used to eating herbs and spicy foods and stomach upsets may result.
Stuffing A mixture of breadcrumbs with onions, spices and herbs. Therefore best avoided (see above). Pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) Too salty and fatty for dogs.
Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas These are fatal to dogs, even in small amounts. Seek veterinary help immediately if your dog eats these foods. Some dogs can cope with eating a few but many cannot and you have no idea which way your dog may react so don’t risk it at all.
Mince pies, Christmas pudding and fruit cake Apart from being full of dangerous fat, these festive treats contain dried fruits (such as raisins, see above), spices and sometimes alcohol.
Avocados A festive favourite for many of us but both the fruit and the stone of the avocado contain a chemical that is dangerous to dogs.
Chocolate So tasty but a big danger to dogs. It contains Theobromine which can be deadly to canines, even in small amounts. Keep it well out of their reach at all times.
Yeast and uncooked dough It rises and ferments in the stomach. Not only painful but can be fatal. Keep yeast and dough safely away from your dog when doing your Christmas baking.
Human deserts and sweets These are way too sugary or if they are sugar-free they contain artificial sweeteners. The sweetener Xylitol is very dangerous to dogs and sugar is bad for your dog’s waistline and teeth.
Nuts Macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs and salted peanuts of course won’t do your dog any favours. Other nuts such as cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds are OK in small quantities but may be hard to digest and may cause stomach upsets.
Fruit pips and stones Dogs love fruit but only in moderation and be sure to remove all pips and stones first. Many fruit stones and pips (e.g. apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum, and apricot) contain cyanide, which is poisonous. But actually the danger of intestinal blockage is why this is on our list, which probably poses the greater risk.
Milk and dairy products Take it easy when it comes to giving your dog any milk and dairy products. Dogs have difficulty digesting lactose so upset stomachs can result.
Mushrooms Some are OK but some are not so our advice is to avoid feeding them to your dog.
Other dog Christmas food tips No booze or caffeine – clear cups and glasses away and put all coffee and alcohol out of reach of your dog. Keep pets out of the busy kitchen to prevent accidents. Don’t over feed your dog – with dog food/treats or with human food/treats. Dispose carefully of wrappers, human food and especially bones. Take the rubbish out and whether the rubbish bags are inside or out secure them so they can’t be broken into. Dispose of leftovers, especially the bird carcass, carefully. Ask all visitors not to feed your pet anything. It is easier than trying to get everyone to follow the food rules above and if everyone gives your pet tit bits it will soon add up to a lot of extra food.