- It’s safe — In moderation, cottage cheese is among the foods that won’t harm dogs.
- It assists with weight gain — Cottage cheese contains healthy fats that can help an underweight dog add needed pounds.
- It’s a better choice than other cheeses — Cottage cheese contains less sodium, fat, and lactose than some other cheeses.
Most dog owners enjoy sharing dinner scraps with their pup or giving them people food as an occasional treat. While some human foods are a definite no-no for dogs, cottage cheese is not one of them. In fact, cottage cheese is full of nutrients that are good for dogs and may particularly help dogs with an upset stomach.
Is cottage cheese safe for dogs?
According to the ASPCA, a small amount of cottage cheese can be safely added to your dog’s regular diet of canned and dry dog food. However, it should not constitute more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Also, dogs with certain health conditions or food allergies should avoid cottage cheese. Be sure you exercise caution when introducing a new food to your dog. It’s usually a good idea to check with your veterinarian first.
Health benefits of cottage cheese for dogs
Compared with other cheeses, cottage cheese is a low fat cheese and contains less sodium, which helps reduce the risk of obesity in dogs. Because cottage cheese has undergone fermentation, its lactose content is lower than that of other milk-based products. This means the likelihood of upsetting your pup’s tummy is lower. Most importantly, cottage cheese provides essential nutrients dogs need to be healthy. These nutrients include:
- Protein. This supplies a dog’s body with energy and helps them build and maintain body tissues.
- Calcium: Cottage cheese is rich in calcium. This crucial element in your dog’s health works as a digestive aid, helps bones store calcium, and helps your dog’s heart function efficiently.
- Magnesium: This key mineral staves off heart disease. Without sufficient magnesium, dogs may suffer heart arrhythmia, fatigue, and GI issues, among other problems.
- Vitamin A: Benefits include support for healthy eyes and skin, the formation of organs and structures in growing animals, and immune function.
- Amino acids: Protein is made up of amino acids. Of the 20 amino acids that dogs use, 10 essential ones must come from food.
- Fatty acids: An important part of a dog’s meal because fatty acids are responsible for regulating their body temperature and cushioning their internal organs. They also play an important role in skin and joint health, too.
- Probiotics: Probiotics support your dog’s gut health by introducing healthy bacteria into the system. Probiotics are most beneficial to dogs that have recently been on antibiotics or are recovering from an illness.
- Potassium: This important electrolyte is vital for normal function of muscles and nerves.
Cottage cheese is also a healthy way to help your underweight dog pack on a few needed pounds. It’s a wiser choice than giving a skinny dog more treats because too many treats can cause them to vomit or have diarrhea. That would totally defeat the purpose of giving your pup extra calories with treats.
Selecting the right brand
Keep in mind the type and amount of cottage cheese you share with your dog. Cottage cheese can have a high sodium content, which can lead to high blood pressure. It’s better to choose a low-fat variety and low-sodium brand, if possible.
Cottage cheese that contains flavoring agents such as onion, chives, and garlic can present a toxicity risk. Avoid feeding your dog anything but plain, low-fat cottage cheese.
Dogs that should avoid dairy products
Many dogs are lactose intolerant but they can usually tolerate cottage cheese. However, some dogs may have adverse reactions to any type of cheese, even in small quantities. Examples include dogs with milk allergies and pancreatitis. Interestingly, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and even pancreatitis have similar symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. If your dog eats cottage cheese and begins to suffer any of these symptoms, stop feeding them cottage cheese and schedule an appointment with your vet.
Food intolerance is something else to watch for, which differs from a food allergy. While the two may present themselves in a similar fashion, food intolerance occurs with an initial exposure to the problem food or food additive compared with food allergies, which generally require several exposures before signs appear.
You don’t have to just give Fido cottage cheese straight from the carton. You can get creative and create some dog-friendly treats with cottage cheese. Here are just a few recipes that integrate cottage cheese and should be tasty for your dog!
Homemade dog food with cottage cheese
Make this yummy, healthy homemade dog food today!
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.
- Brown the chicken in the pan over medium heat.
- While the chicken is cooking, you’ll need to cook the rice in a small saucepan.
- Cook about 1/2 cup of dry brown rice according to the instructions on the packaging. It should yield about 1 cup of cooked rice.
- Add the rice, egg, and vegetables to the browned chicken. Once you’ve added all of the ingredients (except the cottage cheese) to the chicken, cover the pan and cook on low for 5 minutes.
- When it’s finished cooking, add the cottage cheese and stir until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Once this homemade dog food with cottage cheese has cooled, you can feed it to your pet. The recommended serving size for this recipe is about 1/2 cup for every 20 pounds of body. It is best to check with your veterinarian to get an exact serving size for your pet, as some dogs may need more/less calories than others.
Frozen yogurt cups
These frozen yogurt cups are tasty for dogs and humans alike. It’s also a low-fat treat that’s ideal for pups who need an extra dose of fiber — and most dogs love the taste of pumpkin. You can substitute yogurt for cottage cheese.
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 cup of nonfat cottage cheese (or yogurt)
Blend pumpkin with 1 cup yogurt. Spoon the mixture into small paper cups and freeze. When ready to serve, peel away the paper covering.
Other foods that are safe for dogs
There are a range of foods that are safe for dogs — from oatmeal to pumpkin. Even vegetables, such as cucumbers, green beans and carrots, are safe and many dogs can’t get enough of them. Rice is included in some dogs foods, and you can safely give your dog a little cooked rice off your plate. “Superfoods” that we humans are encouraged to eat for their high nutritional value, such as blueberries, salmon, and sweet potatoes, are also a great choice for your dog. You can combine some of these foods with cottage cheese to make a delicious homemade dish for your dog.
While there are many safe foods for dogs, there’s a litany of bad foods you should never let your dog have. You may be aware of culinary dangers such as chocolate, but other foods, such as grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic can also be toxic to dogs.
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Frequently asked questions
What does cottage cheese do for dogs?
Cottage cheese is full of healthy fats, protein, and nutrients that are good for dogs. Eating cottage cheese can also help a dog suffering from stomach problems because of the calcium content and certain compounds present in cottage cheese.
How much cottage cheese should I give my dog?
Dogs should have no more than a few tablespoons of cottage cheese at once. In general, don’t let cottage cheese represent more than 10 percent of your dog’s dietary intake for the day.
Why is whole milk not recommended for dogs?
The beverage’s high fat and sugar content makes it not recommended for dogs. Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity and pancreatitis, which are serious conditions. It can also be harmful to dogs with lactose intolerance.