cheese2I got this question and thought it was a good opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings about lactose, cheese and pets:

Question: I am a bit troubled at the advice in giving cats cheese for treats? I know cats and dogs are lactose intolerant. IT may not kill them, but it causes a lot of gas and can cause a horrid stomachache! I see this advice in many on-line cat recipes as well. Please tell me why you suggest cheese when cats and dogs are lactose intolerant?

Answer: Thanks for the question. First of all, most dogs and cats are not necessarily lactose intolerant so it’s on an individual basis that we offer them some milk, if we feel like it, and see if there are any adverse digestive reactions. What that means is that if your dog gets gassy with milk products – or gets very loose stool – then you may want to avoid it. But in most cases even those lactose-sensitive dogs will adapt. What you may not be aware of is that most cheese is actually very low in lactose, since the fat in the cheese displaces the lactose, which is most present in milk. HALO has a great cheese treat called Liv-a-Little Chicken and Cheese treats which have parmesan cheese near the top of the ingredients, along with yogurt, another dairy product that dogs love. These biscuits are a great training and reward for dogs because the cheese makes them extra-tasty and they are 100% pure and natural, like all HALO products.

Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible, guest blogs here every Thursday on healthy, natural choices for pets.

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