Many dog owners look at the diet of dry food that their pets eat and feel that they must be craving something more! Although most veterinarians recommend giving a high-quality commercial food to ensure that dogs are receiving all the necessary nutrients in their diet, supplementing with a small amount of “people food” can give some welcome variety. Before giving your dog any table food, be sure to check whether it is safe. Some common foods can be toxic to dogs, such as onions or chocolate. If you are unsure, consult with your veterinarian before offering your dog any new types of food.
Can Dogs Eat Cottage Cheese?
If you would like to feed cottage cheese to your dog, you may be wondering, “Is cottage cheese good for dogs?” Rest assured that it is not toxic for them. However, cottage cheese and other dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose. Like people, some dogs are lactose intolerant. Others will tolerate dairy products without any problems. Because cottage cheese is a processed dairy product, it contains less lactose than milk. However, it is difficult to be certain how much it contains, as the amount of lactose remaining will depend on the way the cottage cheese has been processed. Most types of cottage cheese contain a small amount of lactose, and it should not cause problems for most dogs. Many dogs enjoy cottage cheese as a regular addition to their diet, but you should avoid it if you know that your dog is lactose intolerant.
Choosing the Right Type of Cottage Cheese
If your dog tolerates cottage cheese well, then it can be a healthy addition to their diet. It is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamins. It is generally lower in fat than other types of cheese, but if reducing fat in your dog’s diet is a concern, be sure to use low-fat cottage cheese. You should also consider choosing a type that is “no salt added” or “sodium reduced” in order to prevent your dog’s diet from becoming too high in sodium. Another thing to consider is whether the type of cottage cheese you are considering contains active bacterial cultures. When any type of cheese is made, the milk or cream has bacterial cultures added to it to turn it into cheese. In many types of cottage cheese, the type of processing that is done kills the bacteria in the cheese before it is packaged. However, in some types, the bacteria will either be preserved or reintroduced before it is sold. These types of cottage cheese will say on the package that they contain “active bacterial cultures”. These are usually similar to the bacterial cultures found in yogurt, and they can promote good digestive health in both dogs and people. Also be sure to check that no sugar has been added to the cottage cheese you select. Flavored varieties may taste good, but the excess sugar is not good for dogs. Each brand and variety of cottage cheese can have different ingredients. Just as with humans, it is best to stick with products that have all-natural ingredients.
Adding Cottage Cheese to Your Dog’s Diet
It will be important to add cottage cheese to their diet gradually if you decide to feed it to your dog. You will likely notice the symptoms of an upset stomach if your dog is lactose intolerant. If this is the case, you should immediately stop giving it to them. If you would like to try again, choose a different brand of cottage cheese. Read the nutritional information and try to find a brand that has active bacterial cultures in it. The bacteria can help with digestion and may possibly counteract the effects of lactose intolerance if it is not severe. If your dog tolerates and enjoys cottage cheese, remember that it is still only a small part of a healthy diet. A medium-sized dog should probably not eat more than a spoonful of cottage cheese in a day, and not every day.
When to Feed Your Dog Cottage Cheese
If your dog tolerates and enjoys cottage cheese, it can be fed in small amounts whenever your dog would like more variety. You can also feed it to a dog who is experiencing diarrhea or an upset stomach, since it is a bland food. It will be even more beneficial to a sick dog if it contains active bacterial cultures. If you do feed cottage cheese to your dog, you can rest assured that it contains many nutrients that are beneficial to their health. Again, it is advised to consult a veterinarian before feeding your dog foods beyond his or her recommended feed.