My Catherine loves cheese, cheese of all kinds. I have been adding cheese to her treats for years and giving her little bits of cheese as treats occasionally, too. Since we are sharing our recipes now with the world, I thought it prudent to take a look at whether or not cheese is good for our furry family members, something I hadn’t looked too closely at before. After doing the research, cheese is a good addition to your Yorkie’s diet in small amounts.
Milk can be difficult for dogs to digest. Milk contains a significant amount of lactose, which is broken down in the body by lactase. After weaning, lactase production in the body falls to less than 10% of what it is at it’s peak during nursing. This means that a large amount of milk cannot be digested by the body and ingesting too much can cause diarrhea. Now, dairy products like cheese and yogurt have the lactose removed or partially broken down by bacteria and are much more easily digested.
As far as lactose content, cow’s milk and goat’s milk contain around the same amount of lactose at around 4.1 – 4.7%, though goat’s milk contains different fats and proteins than cow’s milk and is healthier and easier to digest. Traditionally made cheese contains about 10% of the lactose found in the whole milk from which it is made. So, cheese contains very little lactose in comparison with milk and is therefore much easier to digest. Its important to keep an eye on the sodium content in the cheese, though. Goat cheese contains about 1/2 the sodium content of cheddar, and cheddar contains about 1/2 the sodium of cottage cheese. There’s a list of sodium content in cheeses here, just scroll about 1/2 way down the page: http://www.alsosalt.com/sodiumcontent.html.
Both cow’s and goat’s cheese are high in calcium and protein, but goat’s cheese has other benefits, too: the amino acid tryptophan, phosphorus, riboflavin or vitamin B2 (which plays important roles in the body’s energy production), potassium (which helps prevent high blood pressure and protects against arteriosclerosis). Goat’s milk contains 25 percent more vitamin B-6 than cow’s, and vitamin A is 47% higher in goat’s milk, too. Goat’s milk has three times as much niacin, it is also four times higher in copper. Goat’s milk also contains 27 percent more of the antioxidant selenium than cow’s milk.
So, cheese is good for your Yorkie, and goat cheese is even better. In small amounts, cheese is an excellent addition to your Yorkie’s diet.
Today’s recipe also contains a few other ingredients that have amazing health benefits for your Yorkie, making this treat healthy and tasty! Let’s take a look at the other ingredients.
Our recipe uses Garbanzo Bean Flour. Garbanzo bean flour, also known as chickpea flour, is high in protein and low in fat. It is a good source of dietary fiber and iron and is completely grain-free. Garbanzo bean flour contains no cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat, and is gluten-free.
Flax seed meal is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, is good for the coat and arthritis. It’s also an excellent source of fiber.
Our recipe uses Agave Nectar as a sweetener. One of the most health-promoting properties of agave nectar is its favorable glycemic profile. Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Agave nectar is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used moderately – by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks – to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars.
Pears contain a fair amount of vitamins A, C, K, B2, B3, and B6. For expecting or nursing moms, they also contain folate. Pears aren’t too shabby in the mineral department either, containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Vitamin C and copper are antioxidant nutrients, so eating pears is good for your Yorkie’s immune system, and may help prevent cancer. It’s a hypo-allergenic fruit. That means those with food sensitivities can usually eat pears with no adverse effects (read more about Pears here – dogs should never eat the seeds or pits of pears).
Cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs and used in this recipe for added flavor (do not substitute nutmeg as it is toxic to dogs in large-ish quantities).
Vanilla Bean Paste is used for added flavor as well – notice we did not use vanilla extract, as it contains alcohol.
Okay, enough with the boring stuff, time for the fun part, the cooking! We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
Bosc Pear and Goat Cheese Yorkie Treats
2 Bosc Pears – diced
4 oz Goat Cheese
1/2 tsp. Simply Organic Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1/3 C Organic Flax Seed Meal
2 1/4 – 2 1/2 C Garbanzo Bean Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. In a skillet, sauté diced pears in coconut oil on medium-high heat until softened. Remove from heat to cool.
In a separate bowl, mix goat cheese, agave nectar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean paste with a mixer until smooth.
Add flax seed meal and pears to goat cheese mixture and stir until well-mixed.
Add flour a 1/2 cup at a time until stiffened. For last 1/2 cup or so you will probably need to use your hands to get the flour mixed in.
Roll dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper. Cut dough with cookie cutters and place on greased baking sheet. The cutting may be a bit messy as the dough is sticky. You can dip your cookie cutter in flour between cuts to make it a little easier. Place cookies on tray and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until a nice golden brown.
Store in airtight container in the fridge and take out as needed. They will last about a week.
The nifty little container I am using for these treats is called “Pupperware” and they are totally awesome. I have a couple of these and they are bone shaped and stack together. You can get yours online for just $3.99. They come in clear with lid colors of clear, pink, red, and black. Click here to get some for yourself: Bone-shaped Pupperware to store your dog treats.