Cheese is a basic stable in most American homes. Its versatility makes it a perfect snack as well as a condiment in many dishes.
Ricotta cheese is one of the healthiest ones out there. It’s loaded with healthy nutrients and is delicious as well. You might be tempted to share this yummy cheese with your dog, but can dogs eat ricotta cheese without you being worried about their health?
Learn everything about feeding ricotta cheese to your pet dog in this complete guide. Let’s start!
Can dogs eat ricotta cheese?
Yes, dogs can eat ricotta cheese in small amounts. The abundance of protein, calcium, and vitamin A in ricotta cheese makes it a super healthy snack for dogs.
Ricotta, meaning “recooked” or “twice cooked” in Italian, is made with the leftovers of other cheeses. The curd from the milk is separated from the whey. The liquid whey is then cooked again to get crumbling ricotta cheese.
The inexpensive process of making ricotta is the reason it has such a high nutritional value. Anyone can easily make it at home and enjoy the taste of this cheese. Rest assured, you can feed ricotta to your dogs as treats or with another edible without fussing over their health.
Nutritional value of ricotta cheese
Let’s take a quick look at the nutritional value of ricotta cheese per 100 grams:
Ricotta has less sodium compared to other cheese. It is much healthier for your dog to eat ricotta instead of cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Health benefits of ricotta cheese for dogs
The nutritional value of ricotta ensures that your dog gets a healthy dose of protein and other good elements. Here’s a quick overview of the health benefits your dog can enjoy.
Balanced levels of protein do wonders to your dog’s body. Proteins make the muscles strong by strengthening the tissues as well as bones. It also keeps a dog’s skin healthy and hydrated. Protein is also responsible for keeping nails and fur healthy. You will notice a new sheen in your dog’s coat with a regular protein-rich diet.
Selenium is among the trace minerals that a dog requires in small amounts. Nonetheless, it is an essential element. Selenium is responsible for keeping the immune system and thyroid glands in check. Just like human goiter, dogs can also suffer from hyperthyroidism.
Omega 3 is a beneficial element that is mostly found in fish. Surprisingly, ricotta cheese has it, too, and it’s packed with various health benefits.
- helps in the brain development of puppies
- Reduce inflammation due to arthritis in senior dogs
- Boosts immune system
- Fights cancer-causing cells
- Supports heart and kidney health
When we say ricotta cheese is rich in calcium, we really mean it. Calcium plays the most important role in keeping the bones and teeth healthy. Since a dog’s body does not make its own calcium, it is important to have calcium-rich elements in its diet.
Low lactose levels
Some dogs are lactose intolerant – meaning that they cannot digest dairy products properly. Although ricotta cheese is made with milk as its base, the twice cooking methods make its lactose level lesser than other cheeses. So even if a dog is lactose intolerant, they can still enjoy a bit of ricotta mixed in their meals.
How can ricotta cheese be bad for your dog?
Ricotta cheese is generally nothing but good for your dog. However, we insist that you keep the cheese portion in moderation. While there are a ton of health benefits for your dog in ricotta, there may be some setbacks if they consume too much of it:
- Ricotta cheese is high in fat. A small amount of fat is good for dogs, but your dog will end up gaining weight if they eat ricotta regularly. Also, it is not a good option for obese dogs.
- Some natural sugars present in ricotta may affect your dog’s health. Diabetic dogs should also avoid eating too much ricotta.
- Dairy-based products may cause bloating, diarrhea and gas to your dog.
- Lactose intolerant dogs should avoid eating a lot of ricotta cheese. The lactose levels may be low in ricotta, but it’s always best to stay cautious.
Delicious ricotta spinach treats recipe
Now that you know everything about the benefits as well as drawbacks of ricotta cheese, it is time for you to know how you can feed ricotta to your dog.
You can simply crumble some ricotta on your dog’s regular meal. Dogs love the taste of ricotta on meat. Make sure that you don’t do this every day, or your dog will get chonky!
We present to you a simple and delicious ricotta and spinach recipe that makes a perfect dog treat. Your dog will love you even more after every bite of this healthy treat.
- Oat flour – 3 ½ cups
- Ricotta cheese – 1 cup
- Spinach – ½ cup
- Milk or water – ½ cup
- Egg – 1 large
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Whisk or blend the egg, spinach, and milk. You can use plain water instead of milk if your dog is not fond of milk.
- Add ricotta and oat flour to the liquid mixture. Mix well and knead firmly to form a dough.
- Roll the dough to about ½ inches thick. Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut out treats.
- Grease a baking tray with oil and place a parchment paper on it. Place the cut-out dough pieces on it.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cookies are golden brown.
- Let them cool down before storing them in air-tight bags/jars.
- Use these ricotta and spinach cookies as treats only.
Related FAQs to ricotta cheese and dogs!
Can dogs eat ricotta cheese and spinach?
Yes, dogs can safely eat the combo of ricotta and spinach. Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and good fats, while spinach is a healthy vegetable for dogs.
What cheeses can dogs not eat?
Dogs should not eat:
- Blue cheese
- Goat milk cheese
- Cheese with spices, raisins, garlic, and herbs
Can dogs eat ricotta cheese pasta?
Pasta is not healthy for dogs. If you must feed pasta to your dog, it should be plain, and your dog must not have it more than once a week. Ricotta cheese should be given with other healthy food items.
Can dogs eat cream cheese?
Cream cheese is okay for dogs but bear in mind it must not contain onion, garlic, or any ingredient that is toxic to dogs. Remember that cream cheese is high in fats and calories, so it must always be given in small amounts.
Final verdict on can dogs eat ricotta cheese!
Ricotta cheese is a fine example of pure homemade food. It can be used in a variety of ways for humans.
As for dogs, you may get experimental and pair it with their regular diet. The only thing you should be concerned about is the amount they eat of ricotta. You don’t want your pup to be sick now, do you?