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Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese? Is Cottage Cheese Good for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Maybe it starts from those sad eyes looking up from the side of the table. Or maybe, you have seen some added health benefits in your own diet and start thinking about your other beloved family members. Regardless of the reason, something has made you wonder if it is safe for your dog to eat cottage cheese.

If your dog is on a balanced and approved dog food, their dietary needs are likely covered by this food. Dog food is designed to focus on the things that dogs need most at all times in their lives. However, people can’t help but want to share their food with their pets. We completely understand, and for the right dogs, cottage cheese can be a great treat in moderation.

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Is Cottage Cheese Good for My Dog?

If you are curious about the safety of cottage cheese, it is relatively safe for a dog to eat. There are a few dogs that should not be eating cottage cheese, but we will get to that in a minute. The majority of dogs will like this low-fat treat.

Even though cottage cheese is okay for your dog – the thing is, it is mostly a treat. There is no reason to make cottage cheese a stable or a significant part of your dogs’ diet. This is not one of those human foods that does wonders for animals; it is more of a healthy alternative to giving your dog other higher fat table scraps and treats.

Cottage cheese is considered to be a probiotic, just like yogurts. Probiotics are known for being good for digestive health. If you have a dog that is struggling with diarrhea issues, cottage cheese in moderation can be a great way to introduce some bland and easy to digest foods.

What Dogs Should Not Eat Cottage Cheese?

If you are thinking of giving your dog some cottage cheese, you must first make sure they are not lactose intolerant. Cottage cheese is a dairy product with much less lactose than something like milk, yet it does contain lactose. If you give a product with lactose to a lactose intolerant dog, the results will not be good. If you have already given your dog some cottage cheese and they have an upset stomach and diarrhea, chances are they may be lactose intolerant.

It is also not recommended to give cottage cheese to large breed puppies. Large breed puppies grow at an extremely fast rate, and that is why they need food explicitly tailored to their growth rate. Filling too much of their diet with cottage cheese could result in some negative health benefits.

Cottage cheese is not a high-calorie food; however, if your dog is overweight, it is likely not necessary to be giving them cottage cheese. This is just extra calories in addition to their regular dog food that they don’t need.

dog eating
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

How Much Cottage Cheese Should I Give My Dog?

Anytime you make a change in your dogs’ diet, it is best to consult the vet. Your vet may believe that adding some dairy/probiotics to your dog’s diet could be a great thing, and others will tell you to avoid it. Only you and your vet know the specifics of your dog’s health and diet. If you do get approval for cottage cheese, then it is generally safe to give a spoonful or so of cottage cheese to your dog every day.

You may not want to get them started on a new routine like this. It may be best to save cottage cheese as a treat once a week instead. If you start putting cottage cheese in your dog’s food every day, they may become dependent on the taste and give you a hard time should you suddenly take it away.

On a day when your dog is given some cottage cheese, make sure they get extra water as well. Cottage cheese is high in sodium and could cause your dog to get dehydrated. Although this is quite rare, you will likely just notice that your dog is a bit thirstier after eating cottage cheese. Leaving out a little extra water will help this problem.

cottage cheese
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Are There Better Options Than Cottage Cheese to Feed My Dog?

If you are set on giving your dog some human food, there are lots of other options to consider. Some of the healthiest options to provide dogs are apples, carrots, fish, peanut butter, and green beans. Although these may not seem as fun as a bowl of cottage cheese, these foods offer some more significant health benefits than cottage cheese.

How Should I Feed My Dog Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese can be a bit messy to eat, so be prepared to have to wipe down your dog’s face after the meal. Most dog owners will add the cheese directly to the feed or put a small amount in the bowl after your dog is finished with their meal. If your dog has been suffering from some stomach issues and you want to use cottage cheese to start reintroducing a mild food, you may start with some rice first and move on to cottage cheese once the rice has been held down by your dog.

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Cottage cheese is an excellent probiotic, it does not have a high amount of lactose, and it is a good source of both protein and calcium. All of these things sound like they would be an excellent option for a dog. As far as people’s food is concerned, giving your dog a bit of cottage cheese is a safe choice. As we mentioned, make sure to check with a vet before any significant changes in the diet of your dog. Also, make sure to test if your dog is lactose intolerant before giving them a large amount of cottage cheese. Start with a spoonful and see how your dog handles it.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay, Pxfuel

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