Can Dogs Eat Provolone Cheese? A Vet’s Guide

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As a dog owner, you’re likely always on the lookout for new and exciting treats for your furry friend. But not all human foods are safe for our canine companions.

So, when you’re making that sandwich and your dog is giving you the “puppy eyes,” you might wonder, “Can dogs eat provolone cheese?” As a veterinarian, I get this question a lot.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about provolone cheese and dogs.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make smart choices about your dog’s diet and treat them with some cheesy goodness. So, let’s get started!

The Nutritional Profile of Provolone Cheese

Let’s first delve into the nutritional profile of provolone cheese and see how it measures up against other cheeses.

Nutritional Profile of Provolone Cheese

Nutritional Breakdown of Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese, like most dairy products, is packed with various nutrients. Here’s a quick snapshot of what 100 grams of provolone cheese brings to the table:

  • Calories: 352
  • Fat: 26.6g
  • Protein: 25.6g
  • Calcium: 756mg
  • Sodium: 819mg

These numbers might seem a bit abstract, so let’s bring them to life by comparing provolone with other popular cheeses.

Cheese Wars: Provolone vs. The Rest

When it comes to nutritional value, how does provolone cheese stack up against other favorites? Let’s find out:

  • Cheddar: This crowd-pleaser packs 402 calories, 33.1g of fat, 24.9g of protein, 721mg of calcium, and 621mg of sodium per 100g. While cheddar is a bit more calorie-dense and fatty, it lags behind provolone in protein and calcium.
  • Swiss: Swiss cheese is a decent contender with 380 calories, 27.8g of fat, 26.9g of protein, 791mg of calcium, and a significantly lower sodium content of 192mg per 100g. Swiss cheese and provolone are neck-and-neck in terms of protein and calcium, but Swiss takes the cake when it comes to lower sodium.
  • Parmesan: Parmesan is the heavyweight here with 431 calories, 28.4g of fat, a whopping 38.5g protein, 1184mg calcium, and a sodium level that’s off the charts at 1529mg per 100g. Parmesan outmuscles provolone in protein and calcium, but its high sodium content might make you think twice.

So, where does this leave us? Well, like most things in life, it’s all about balance. While provolone cheese offers some nutritional benefits, it’s also high in fat and sodium, which can be problematic for dogs in large quantities. As always, moderation is key!

The Benefits of Provolone Cheese for Dogs

Benefits of Provolone Cheese for Dogs

“Can dogs have provolone cheese?” If you’ve been pondering this question, you’re in for a treat. Not only can dogs enjoy this delectable cheese, but it also packs a nutritional punch that can contribute to their overall health. Let’s dive into the benefits of provolone cheese for our canine companions.

Provolone: A Powerhouse for Muscle and Bone Health

Provolone cheese is a protein dynamo, essential for building and maintaining your dog’s muscle mass. It’s also a valuable source of calcium, a mineral that’s crucial for bone health. A study published in the Journal of Animal Science found that high-protein diets can help dogs with weight control and muscle maintenance.

A Slice of Provolone for Skin and Hair Health

But the benefits of provolone don’t stop there. This cheese also contains essential fatty acids that can improve your dog’s skin and hair health. According to a study published in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs that consumed diets enriched with essential fatty acids showed a significant improvement in coat condition and reduced skin inflammation. If your dog’s fur has lost its glossy magazine cover shine or if they’re scratching away at dry, itchy skin, provolone cheese could be their ticket to relief.

Provolone for Better Vision

Provolone for Vision: Seeing is Believing

Can a slice of provolone cheese help your dog see better? It might sound like a tall tale, but it’s backed by science. Provolone cheese is a source of Vitamin A and dogs having diets rich in Vitamin A have a lower risk of developing age-related eye diseases. So, serving up provolone cheese could help keep your dog’s eyes as sharp as a hawk’s.

Provolone: The High-Value Reward in Training

In the world of dog training, a high-value reward is like the golden ticket in Charlie’s chocolate bar. It’s a treat that your dog finds irresistible and is willing to work hard to earn. With its enticing aroma and delicious taste, provolone cheese can serve as this high-value reward, motivating your dog to learn new tricks faster than you can say “sit.”

The Perfect Pill Concealer: Provolone Cheese

Administering medication to dogs can sometimes feel like a wrestling match, but provolone cheese can be your secret weapon. Just wrap the pill in a slice of cheese, and your dog will likely swallow it without even realizing they’ve taken their medicine.

Can Dogs Eat Provolone Cheese: Risks Involved

But, there are few risks associated with provolone cheese which is vital for you to know before feeding it to your furry friend:

Risks of Provolone Cheese for Dogs

The Lactose, Salt, and Fat Factor

Provolone cheese, like many other types of cheese, contains lactose, salt, and fat. While these ingredients might seem harmless, they can pose some serious health risks for our furry friends.

Dogs, in general, have a lower tolerance for lactose than humans. This means that an overindulgence in cheese can lead to lactose intolerance, causing unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Moreover, the high salt content in cheese can lead to salt poisoning, which manifests as excessive thirst, urination, and in severe cases, even seizures. Lastly, the high fat content in cheese can contribute to obesity, a growing concern among pet parents.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Consequences

When it comes to lactose intolerance, salt poisoning, and obesity, it’s crucial to recognize the signs early on. Lactose intolerance can cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Consequences of provolone cheese

Salt poisoning, on the other hand, can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures. Obesity, while not as immediate, can lead to long-term health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues.

The Science Behind the Risks

Multiple studies have shown the risks associated with feeding dogs foods high in lactose, salt, and fat. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that high salt intake can lead to hypertension in dogs, while another study linked high fat intake to obesity and related health issues in dogs.

Allergic Reactions to Provolone Cheese in Dogs

Another potential risk of feeding your dog provolone cheese is the possibility of an allergic reaction. Food allergies in dogs can cause symptoms like itching, swelling, and gastrointestinal issues. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can occur, which is a medical emergency.

Preventing and Treating Allergic Reactions

If you suspect your dog has an allergy to cheese, it’s important to consult with your vet. They can conduct an allergy test to confirm the diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. This may involve avoiding cheese altogether or introducing a hypoallergenic diet.

So, next time you’re tempted to share your provolone sandwich with your furry friend, consider these risks.

Allergic Reactions to Provolone Cheese in Dogs

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Provolone Cheese

While provolone cheese offers numerous benefits, it’s important to feed it to your dog in moderation. Too much cheese can lead to weight gain and digestive issues. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

A Treat, Not a Meal

First and foremost, remember that provolone cheese is a treat, not a meal replacement. It’s like the cherry on top of a sundae, not the sundae itself. Starting with a small amount – about a teaspoon for small dogs and a tablespoon for larger breeds – is a safe bet. But don’t make it a daily routine. Offering cheese once or twice a week is more than enough to satisfy their taste buds without overloading their system.

Factors to Consider

The suitability and digestibility of provolone cheese can vary from dog to dog. Breed, health condition, dietary needs, and even individual preference play a role. For instance, if your dog is a French Bulldog with a sensitive stomach or a Labrador struggling with obesity, cheese might not be the best choice. Always consult your vet before introducing new foods into your pet’s diet. Consider it like asking your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Provolone Cheese

Adjusting Portions and Frequency

Just like humans, dogs can have different reactions to food. If your dog seems to digest the cheese well without any adverse effects, you can continue with the same amount. However, if your dog shows signs of discomfort, such as bloating or diarrhea, it’s time to reassess. You might need to reduce the amount or frequency, or stop feeding cheese altogether. It’s like finding out you’re lactose intolerant – you adjust your diet accordingly.

Storing and Serving Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese should be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. When serving, it’s best to offer cheese at room temperature. Also, remember to remove the rind, as it can be a choking hazard. It’s akin to peeling an orange before eating it.

Serving Cheese – The Fun Part

Making cheese more appealing and safer for your dog can be a fun activity. Here are a few tips:

  • Cut the cheese into small, bite-sized pieces. Think of it as doggy hors d’oeuvres.
  • Shred or grate the cheese and sprinkle it over their regular dog food. It’s like adding a sprinkle of Parmesan to your pasta.
  • Combine cheese with other dog-friendly foods like cooked chicken or vegetables for a tasty treat. It’s like creating a gourmet meal for your pup.

Remember, while provolone cheese can be a tasty treat for your dog, it’s not a substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet. Always consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.


Provolone cheese can be a great way to reward your dog or spice up their diet, but only if you feed it to them responsibly. However, you should watch out for the amount, the frequency, and the ingredients of the cheese you give to your dog.

Some dogs may have trouble digesting or tolerating cheese, so you should always check your dog’s reaction and talk to a vet if you notice any problems.

Do you want to learn more about what foods are safe or unsafe for your dog? Check out more dog guides from us.

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Dr. Alex Crow (BVetMed, MRCVS) is a skilled veterinary surgeon in the UK. A graduate of the esteemed Royal Veterinary College, he specializes in laparoscopic neutering. With a passion for online pet education, he’s a trusted contributor to pet blogs, offering valuable insights to pet owners. Dr. Crow is dedicated to enhancing animal welfare and promoting informed pet care.

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