Dogs are our best friends, and they deserve the best when it comes to their diet and nutrition.
Cottage cheese has many benefits and there are plenty of people out there who love it, but do any of them think to feed it to their pets? We’ve done the research to find out whether it’s a suitable food for our dog, and for yours!
Can my Dog Eat Cottage Cheese?
This is a question that’s been asked often, and there’s a lot of information to be found online. We’ve put everything you need to know in this comprehensive article.
We’re glad to report that, yes, your dog can eat cottage cheese. It can be used as a treat or as something to bulk out their regular meals and has several benefits. While a lot of dogs may be partial to a bit of cheese every now and then, this is one that could actually help them as part of their diet.
So what’s so good about cottage cheese, and are there any downsides? Read on to find out!
The Nutritional Value of Cottage Cheese
What exactly is in cottage cheese? Is it good or bad for our pets? Let’s break it down.
Cottage cheese is an exceptional source of protein. Surprisingly, dogs aren’t naturally carnivores and don’t actually need meat to survive, but protein does provide them with essential amino acids that keep them healthy. Cottage cheese is one way to give it to them when meat is off the menu for any reason.
Calcium and Other Minerals
Dogs need calcium just like we do, and cottage cheese is packed full of it. Calcium keeps their teeth and bones healthy, as well as their heart. It also builds muscle and helps their nervous system to boot.
This cheese has a hefty amount of phosphorous and selenium, which are also beneficial to your pooch. Phosphorous helps with bone and teeth formation, and selenium is good for the immune system and thyroid.
It’s worth mentioning that, while these minerals are good for your dog, they can also be overfed to them and lead to issues. Always make sure their diet is properly regulated.
You can also get a lot of B vitamins from cottage cheese. These vitamins are very good for your dog and have many benefits, assisting with enzyme and nervous system function, as well as immune response and hormone regulation.
Cottage cheese can be high in sodium, which can lead to major problems for dogs. It can be toxic and can lead to problems ranging from vomiting to seizures.
There is an easy fix for this, however. If you’re getting cottage cheese for your dog, we recommend going for a low-salt option. The extra salt in the normal version may make it taste better for us, but dogs have far fewer taste buds than we do and we’re sure they won’t mind missing out on it.
Cottage cheese is relatively low in fat, to begin with, but like sodium, it is also possible to get a low-fat alternative. If you’re going to be giving it to your pup, the best option would be a low-salt, low-fat cottage cheese.
Other Nutritional Data
Dogs can get high cholesterol and face the same ill-effects. Thankfully cottage cheese is low in cholesterol, so this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about when feeding it to your pet.
Are There Other Advantages to Cottage Cheese?
We’ve established that cottage cheese is pretty good for your dog compared to a lot of the other stuff you could feed them. Is there anything else it has going for it?
You might find that your vet recommends feeding cottage cheese to your dog if they have gastrointestinal issues. When dogs get upset stomachs you shouldn’t just feed them whatever they want or go on giving them their normal dinners. Certain foods will help to calm their tummies and make them feel better.
When a dog gets sick and has vomiting or diarrhea, it’s good to put them onto something bland and easy to digest. These foods avoid worsening the issue and help them get back on the right track.
As with everything, although cottage cheese has its benefits, you don’t want to overfeed it to your dog. They can even have too much of the good stuff, so moderate those portions.
Can Cottage Cheese be Bad for Dogs?
We’ve gone over the good aspects of cottage cheese. You’re probably thinking about running out and getting some for both your dog and yourself. Is there any reason not to?
It seems this is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to dogs and cottage cheese. Unfortunately, dogs can suffer from lactose intolerance just like humans. They will experience the same effects, putting their stomachs through the wringer.
Cottage cheese is fermented and is quite a lot lower in lactose than other types of cheese, but that’s not to say your dog will be in the clear. If they eat too much of it they could still end up having issues, so make sure it is strictly limited if your dog is lactose intolerant or find a suitable alternative to meet your needs.
You may not know whether your dog is lactose intolerant yet, so if they haven’t had dairy products before it’s a good idea to start them off with very small amounts. Also, be sure to check whether the cheese has been mixed with other milk products before buying.
As we mentioned when talking about the nutritional value of cottage cheese, the amount of salt it contains can be bad for dogs. This can have awful effects and in the worst case could possibly be fatal, so find them some low-sodium cottage cheese.
Other Kinds of Cheese and Their Effects on Dogs
If cottage cheese is a good option for your dog, does that mean other cheeses will be as well? Not necessarily. Cottage cheese is appropriate because it ticks most of the right boxes, but there are a variety of issues with other cheeses that may make them problematic for your pup.
Bad Cheese for your Dog
Harder, aged cheeses often contain a high salt content, making them bad choices. Some cheeses also have things added to them for flavor, such as garlic which dogs should never eat. If there is anything extra in the cheese make sure you know what it is and whether your dog is okay to have it.
Blue cheese should never be an option when it comes to dogs. This is because of a substance called roquefortine C which can have serious adverse effects on dogs, ranging from vomiting to seizures, or even death in the worst cases. If you like some gorgonzola or stilton every now and then, keep it away from your furry friend.
Some consider goat cheese to be a good option for dogs, but a lot of it is actually still fairly high in fat and as such may not be best for them. Cheddar is also not great because of the saturated fat content.
Good Cheese for your Dog
There are other cheeses that may be okay to feed them. Mozzarella is lower in fat than other cheeses, and it’s also naturally low in sodium along with ricotta and swiss cheese. Swiss cheese is also lower in lactose than other cheeses, which is good if your dog has an intolerance.
Some (but not all) cream cheese can also be okay for dogs. Sticking with the emerging pattern, go for ones that are plain and low in fat and salt.
Whether they’re good or bad, very few cheeses are going to be dangerous in small doses. If you want to give your dog a tiny bit of cheddar on the odd occasion, it shouldn’t be an issue. Be sure to avoid those blue cheeses, though.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cottage Cheese and Dogs
Will my dog get sick if they eat too much cottage cheese?
Too much of anything is never good for your dog. If they like a certain food they can be quite bad at regulating themselves and as such you must do it for them.
What are good alternatives to cottage cheese if my dog has a bad tummy?
If you need something quick, or your dog just does not like cottage cheese, there are other things you can feed them when they have an upset stomach. Plain white rice is often recommended. Canned, unsalted pumpkin is another option.
We often mix white rice, plain chicken, and a little veg like peas and carrots when our pup is feeling under the weather. It always seems to do the trick.
Not only is cottage cheese good for dogs, but it can also actually come in handy when they’re sick and be used to bulk out their normal food as opposed to just being an occasional treat.
There are things to be wary of such as overfeeding and the lactose content despite it having less compared to other cheeses, but they do not outweigh the positives in most cases. Overall we think cottage cheese is well worth considering for our pets, as long as the portions are kept to a reasonable and healthy size.
Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat (Nutrition Data): https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/15/2
Roquefortine C (Science Direct): https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/roquefortine-c