While mozzarella is America’s favorite cheese, did you know that USDA averages that each approximately eats two pounds of cottage cheese yearly?
Quite underrated but it has been becoming quite popular in your fruits, salads, toasts and even pasta.
If you happen to be enjoying its soft, creamy and mildly salty cheese, you might have wondered if it’s safe to share some cottage cheese for your dog. Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Safely Eat Cottage Cheese?
Generally speaking, dogs can eat cheese according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). While there are a variety of cheeses around, cottage cheese is a good choice to share since it is comparatively low in fat.
Cottage cheese, or any cheese, is not toxic for dogs either. So yes, dogs can safely eat cottage cheese. Plus, it is also good for your furry best friend, too.
There is a bit of a caveat though, many dogs are lactose intolerant so always serve cottage cheese with caution.
Cool Facts about Cottage Cheese
This mild, soft and creamy white cheese is slowly gaining popularity because of its health benefits compared to other cheeses around. Here are some facts you and your dog might find interesting about this cheese:
Cottage cheese got its name because it was said to have been made in cottages from milk leftover, after making creamy butter. Basically, cottage cheese is fresh drained curds of low-fat milk which is also slightly sour. Cottage cheese is made when the curds are drained; if draining takes a while longer, it becomes pot cheese. Pressing it further to dry it, it is then called farmer’s cheese.
Americans consume 600 million lbs of cottage cheese according to USDA and to meet that volume, 4 billion pounds of milk is required. And to produce 15 pounds of cottage cheese, it takes quite a lot of milk at 100 pounds!
This cheese is popular among dieters, health enthusiasts, athletes and weightlifters because it is high in casein protein.
Cottage cheese is recommended to be safe to eat even during pregnancy.
The 37th US President Richard Nixon loves cottage cheese and a pineapple ring for lunch.
Benefits of Cottage Cheese for Dogs
Compared to other cheeses, cottage cheese is healthier because it is low in fat and high in fiber. Here are some great things about the nutritional benefit of cottage cheese:
Lots of Protein – 100 grams of cottage cheese have an equivalent of 11 grams of protein! Protein is an important building block of your dog’s health and your dog will definitely benefit from this cheese, along with its regular diet.
Rich in Calcium – as a milk source, it is also great to develop strong and healthy muscles.
Other loads of vitamins and minerals – apart from protein, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Selenium that helps promote the health and wealth of your dog.
Improves digestion – if your pooch has a tummy ache, cottage cheese will help with this problem. In fact, some veterinarians recommend it to improve digestion. It can be likened to give your dog bland rice or pumpkin soup good for its stomach.
Good news also as cottage cheese is great for your dog, even if:
Your dog is pregnant – since it has great amounts of calcium, dogs will benefit from calcium while pregnant and nursing. But make sure your vet is in the loop so as not to give too much calcium that can lead to eclampsia, a life-threatening condition.
Your dog has kidney disease – Kidney function of your dog will benefit from its low phosphorus content.
Your dog has a liver disease – It is also low in ammonia, beneficial for their tiny liver.
With cancer – Have you heard of Budwig Protocol? It is mixing one teaspoon of flaxseed oil with two teaspoons of cottage cheese. Dogs with cancer will benefit from this healthy concoction.
Risk of Cottage Cheese for Dogs
While cottage cheese is healthier, there are some risks in feeding it to your dog. Be fully informed before sharing some with them:
Most dogs are lactose intolerant – Lactose is the sugar component of milk and other dairy products. To break down lactose, a chemical compound found in the small intestine called lactase is needed. If one is lactose intolerant, it means that the body does not produce enough lactase to synthesize it. Naturally, dogs produce very low quantities of lactase except before the weaning stage. Although cottage cheese has lower lactose levels compared to other milk-based products, it is still wise to check how sensitive their tummies are to lactose.
Dogs with pancreatitis – If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, it is not in their best interest to give cottage cheese. Dogs with this health condition do not usually respond well to new diet additions and usually have trouble digesting food. Since cottage cheese still has some portions of fat in it, it is better to steer clear from it.
Best Way to Feed Cottage Cheese for Dogs
Check out this portion first before finally giving your dog some cottage cheese.
Introducing Cottage Cheese to Dogs
If it is your dog’s first time to try cottage cheese, play it safe by giving only a small portion. This is also if you do not have an idea if your dog is lactose intolerant. If he is, the symptoms below will usually appear within 30 minutes to two hours:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating or gas
- Thirst and dehydration
- Weight loss
Usually, these symptoms will subside on its own especially if triggers are avoided.
Choosing the Best Cottage Cheese for Dogs
There are so many cottage cheeses around and make sure that you only buy the best quality for you and your pooch. Make sure that the cottage cheese you are buying is perfect for your dog’s requirements:
- Low in sodium – too much salt is bad for your dogs
- Reduced-fat – as suggested by the Humane Society of the Ouachitas, go for low-fat.
- With live probiotics – these live microorganisms found in the gut promotes good gastrointestinal health. In particular, check out the label for lactobacillus acidophilus. The problem with most cheap cottage cheeses is its absence of prebiotics which is weird because this is what makes it healthy!
Do not also go for cottage cheese with flavors as those ingredients might be bad for dogs such as garlic and onions.
How Much Cottage Cheese Can Dogs Eat?
Serving dogs in moderation is always a doggy-food tenet that must always be practiced.
Cottage Cheese Serving Size Recommendation for Dogs
Depending on the age of your dog, below is a good guide to follow when feeding cottage cheese:
- Adult dog – for a grown-up dog, serve cottage cheese not exceeding two teaspoons.
- Puppy – for the little ones, ¼ to ¼ teaspoon will just be right for their small tummies.
- Senior dog – past prime its age, it is best not to share cottage cheese for them as they might have trouble digesting it.
Cottage cheese should just be considered a treat and therefore, must not exceed 10% of your dog’s total diet. If you are worried about their nutrition, their high-quality dog food is already complete with all the nutrients their body needs.
Fun Ways Dog Can Eat Cottage Cheese
Dogs can eat cottage cheese either raw or cooked.
For raw cottage cheese, explore the following ways to share it:
- Share in small nibbles as a treat during training
- Grate and top it with their regular dog food diet
- Add it in their homemade biscuits!
If you are to cook it, make sure to blend it before adding in their dry food kibble.
Some also use cheese to trick dogs into swallowing their pills!
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?
For dogs, foods that they consume must be beneficial in their overall health. Cottage cheese is definitely a treat addition that can be added to their diet as it is protein and calcium-rich. Just make sure that your dog is not lactose intolerant before sharing some.
Next time you eat a salad, spare a little bit of cottage cheese for your dog.