Can Dogs Eat the Rind from Parmesan Cheese? + What to Do if They Did

QuestionCan Dogs Eat Parmesan Cheese Rind?
AnswerOccasionally, in Small Amounts
More Info1. High Fat and Salt Content: Parmesan is rich in fats and salt, which can be unhealthy for dogs. 2. Lactose Intolerance: Some dogs are lactose intolerant, and cheese can cause stomach upset. 3. Hard Texture: The rind can be tough to chew, posing a choking hazard or risk of intestinal blockage.

Decision Tree: Dog Ate Parmesan Cheese Rind

Assess the Amount Consumed

  • Small Piece: Proceed to Step 2.
  • Large Piece or Whole Rind: Proceed to Step 3.
  1. Small Piece Consumed
    • Monitor for Symptoms: Watch for signs of gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
    • No Symptoms: If no adverse reactions occur, continue monitoring your dog.
    • Symptoms Occur: If symptoms develop, proceed to Step 4.
  2. Large Piece or Whole Rind Eaten
    • Risk of Gastrointestinal Blockage: Large pieces of cheese rind can cause blockages, especially in smaller dogs.
    • Contact Your Veterinarian: It’s advisable to consult your vet, particularly if the consumed piece was large or if your dog is small or prone to digestive issues.
  3. Consult a Veterinarian
    • For Any Symptoms: Contact your veterinarian for advice, even if the symptoms seem mild.
    • Follow Vet’s Instructions: The vet might suggest monitoring at home, dietary changes, hydration, or a visit for a check-up.
  4. Prevent Future Incidents
    • Keep Food Out of Reach: Ensure that cheese and other human foods are stored safely away from your dog.
    • Dog-Safe Diet: Stick to a diet that’s appropriate for dogs and avoid giving them human food scraps.
  5. Other Considerations
    • High Fat Content: Parmesan rind is high in fat, which can lead to pancreatitis in dogs if consumed in large amounts.
    • Choking Hazard: Besides the risk of gastrointestinal blockage, there’s also a potential choking hazard, especially with larger pieces.

What to Do if a Dog Eats a Whole Wedge of Parmesan

If your dog eats a whole wedge of Parmesan cheese, it’s important to act promptly because Parmesan is high in fat, salt, and may cause digestive upset or more serious health issues in dogs. Here’s what you should do:

Immediate Response

1. Evaluate the Quantity Consumed

  • A larger amount can be more concerning, especially for smaller dogs.

2. Monitor for Symptoms

  • Watch for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating.
  • Be alert for signs of pancreatitis, which can include abdominal pain, lethargy, or loss of appetite.

Contact a Veterinarian

3. Consult with Your Vet

  • Call your veterinarian or an emergency vet clinic. Explain the situation, including how much cheese was eaten.
  • They may advise you on specific steps to take, which could include bringing your dog in for an examination.

4. Possible Veterinary Actions

  • The vet might induce vomiting, depending on how recently the cheese was consumed.
  • They may provide treatments to address symptoms like nausea or diarrhea.

At-Home Care

5. Ensure Hydration

  • Give your dog access to plenty of fresh water to help counteract the high salt content in the cheese.

6. Dietary Management

  • Your vet may recommend a bland diet temporarily if your dog experiences gastrointestinal upset.

7. Rest and Observation

  • Allow your dog to rest and continue to monitor them closely for any changes or worsening symptoms.

Preventative Measures

8. Secure Food Items

  • Keep cheese and other potentially harmful foods out of your dog’s reach in the future.

9. Review Dietary Habits

  • Ensure your dog’s diet is well-balanced and appropriate for their health needs.

Treats and Human Food in a Dog’s Diet

Importance of Balance:

  • Nutritional Completeness: Dog food is formulated to provide complete nutrition.
  • Weight Management: Excess treats can lead to obesity.
  • Health Risks: Some human foods are toxic to dogs.

The 10% Rule:

  • Caloric Control: Treats and human food should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s total daily calories.
  • Training and Rewards: Use small, low-calorie treats for training, keeping most of the diet as regular dog food.

Risks of Overfeeding Treats:

  • Nutrient Imbalance: Can lead to deficiencies or excesses.
  • Behavioral Issues: Dogs may become picky eaters or beg persistently.

Safe Practices:

  • Choosing Treats: Select treats made specifically for dogs.
  • Portion Size: Adjust meals if treats are given, to maintain calorie balance.
  • Avoid Harmful Foods: Chocolate, grapes, onions, and others are dangerous.

Consulting with a Professional:

  • Veterinarian Advice: For a diet plan that suits your dog’s specific needs

Conclusion:  Parm Rinds are OK, Not Great

In summary, while a small piece of Parmesan cheese rind may not be immediately harmful, a larger amount can pose risks such as gastrointestinal blockage and pancreatitis.

It’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort and consult with your veterinarian if there are any concerns. Keeping human foods out of your dog’s reach is the best preventive measure.