Can parrots eat cheese

Humans find it hard to resist when their pet is craving some of your food. We often share almost everything we eat with our pets. As humans, we enjoy eating cheese in any form, and you will notice your pet begging for it. When it comes to avian creatures like parrots, is it okay for them to eat cheese? What type of cheese is suitable for them? You can find the answer to this question and all other do’s and don’ts related to it in this article.

Can Parrots Eat Cheese?

The answer to this question is both, yes and no. If you give them, they will eat it, but it definitely should not be given in large quantities. Cheese is not a healthy option for your pet as it can cause digestive issues like a stomach ache. Other than cheese, any other dairy product is not suitable for parrots. So it is best if you avoid it or give them a minimum amount as possible.

Why is Feeding Cheese to Your Parrot, not a good option?

While there are benefits of the cheese itself but for parrots, have a look below why you shouldn’t feed cheese to your parrot a lot:

High Lactose Content:

Cheese and other dairy products have high lactose content. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. Most humans are intolerant toward lactose. Why? Because they produce a little amount of enzymes that are required to break down sugar, but for parrots, it’s even worse, their bodies do not produce such enzymes at all.

Avian creatures are very different from mammals; they have not fed up upon the mother’s milk; this is the reason their digestive system does not produce these enzymes because their body does not need it. And if you feed cheese to your parrot, there is a chance that it will get a stomach ache or even cause diarrhea because the enzyme to break down such sugars is absent.

It can catch bacteria:

It is a well-known fact that cheese is made through the fermentation process, and there is a possibility that it might catch some bacteria. Although it happens in rare cases, it can be quite harmful if it does as it can also cause stomach ache and diarrhea.

A high amount of Sodium and fat:

Most of the cheese is salty and contains a high amount of fat which is also harmful to parrots and makes them lazy.

Are there any nutritional benefits of cheese for parrots?

Vets do not recommend giving cheese in greater quantity to your parrot, but you can provide them sparingly as it has little nutritional value. Cheese is rich in:

  • Calcium – helps in the strengthening and formation of bones, connective tissues, and ligaments as well.
  • Vitamin A – Great for kidneys, healthy brain function, and vision. It also helps in building healthy skin, feathers, and skeletal systems.
  • Vitamin B12 – This helps in blood formation and better nervous system function.
  • Protein – helps in preventing fatty liver disease.
  • Zinc – It is essential for Vitamin A to function properly and helps produce insulin. Apart from that, it helps in cartilage formation and feathering.
  • Riboflavin – involved in energy production and also reproduction.
  • Vitamin K – It is responsible for preventing blood clotting.

Well, after reading all these benefits of cheese, you must be thinking it might be safe to feed your pet cheese. But it is important to remember that it should be avoided to make a regular part of a parrot’s diet. Cheese is something they will not find and eat if they were in the wild. There are plenty of other options you can find with these nutrients.

Types of cheese:

Cheese comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes, and most of them might be more harmful to your pet than the other like:

  • Cheddar cheese – it is not preferred because of high lactose content, adverse effects of which have been discussed earlier in this article. It is not toxic, nor beneficial. It is suggested that you feed a little amount.
  • Mozzarella cheese – it has a lesser amount of lactose than cheddar cheese. So it is a better option to provide it with your parrot.
  • Cream cheese – yet again, this type of cheese is very high in lactose. It is also not advisable.
  • Cottage cheese – This cheese is very safe to feed as it does not contain any lactose and is safe to provide to parrots. Not to forget the fact it is a dairy product and should be given in moderate amounts.
  • Parmesan cheese – Like every other type mentioned above, this one is also not recommended. If you wish to share, consider in small amounts.

What about non-dairy cheeses?

You may be thinking non- dairy cheese is a healthy alternative and the best solution to give to your pet. But is it? Let us have a look below:

  • Soy cheese – This is an excellent alternative to lactose, but it has very harmful hormones. When parrots consume too much soy, it can cause bones and beak deformity. It is also the leading cause of premature aging.
  • Coconut oil-based cheese – This is a big no for avian creatures because they are cumbersome and highly processed. Coconut oil cheese is mainly flavored with some spices, so it’s better to avoid feeding them.
  • Nut-based cheese –  This is the best option and the safest one to give. Parrots love nuts, and they will enjoy eating this one more as compared to all of the above.

Conclusion

To sum up this topic, you can feed almost every type of cheese to your pet parrot, but it is not advisable. If you want to add all the beneficial nutrients that cheeses have to a parrot’s diet, there are many different food varieties available in the market. However, we suggest that you take a word of advice from a vet to know whether your pet is fit enough to eat cheese or not. All in all, it is okay to give a bit-sized piece but not a significant part of a parrot’s diet.

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