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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat cottage cheese?

Yes, but don’t serve it with your dog’s antibiotics.

Does your pup come running at the sound of the fridge opening? They might know it’s time for a midday snack and are drooling for a lick of your cottage cheese. But can you share this dairy-filled treat with your dog? 

Cottage cheese is an OK choice for your dog when served in moderation, Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian, says. That said, presenting your pet with a daily afternoon cheeseboard isn’t recommended.

(Even though cottage cheese is generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.)

‍Is cheese bad for dogs?

Not all cheeses are safe for dogs to eat. With so many cheese types on the store shelves (and in your fridge), it’s important to understand which varieties are OK for dogs and which aren’t.

“Most cheese isn’t toxic to dogs, and they can contain some helpful nutrients, including calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B1 and fat,” Dr. Singler explains.

Dog-friendly cheese choices include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese

Moldy cheeses like blue cheese, Roquefort and Gorgonzola can make your dog feel funky. “Blue cheese should never be given to dogs because the fungus involved in making it creates a substance that can be toxic to dogs,“ Dr. Singler shares.

Even though some cheeses aren’t technically toxic to dogs, they’re not considered a healthy addition to regular meals. Safe cheese varieties can be high in fat, sodium and calories, leading to weight gain, stomach upset, fluid retention and pancreatitis.

RELATED: Can dogs eat ice cream?

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What makes cottage cheese a healthy option for dogs?

“Cottage cheese can be safer and healthier than some other cheeses,” Dr. Singler says. So when you want to share a scoop with your pup, reach for a low-fat variety.  

Just remember that any treat, in addition to your pup’s complete and balanced meals, shouldn’t make up more than 10% of a dog’s daily calories. Dr. Singler adds that cheese should be an occasional treat for your pup, not a daily one.

Can I give my dog cottage cheese to alleviate diarrhea?

A bland diet isn’t a treatment for, or the underlying cause of, diarrhea. But mild foods can nutritionally support your pup while allowing for gentle digestion.

According to Dr. Singler, low-fat cottage cheese paired with white or brown rice is a good choice for a dog with an upset stomach. Boiled or baked white meat (like plain turkey) can also be served to your dog. Just be sure to remove all the bones.

Is it OK to use cottage cheese to hide medicine?

A small amount of your pet's favorite dog-friendly cheese is A-OK for administering some medicines, and cottage cheese might be the cheese of choice — with one caveat.

“Cheese, including cottage cheese, isn’t recommended for hiding antibiotics,” Dr. Slinger says. “The calcium in the cheese may bind with the antibiotic and prevent it from being absorbed.”

So, check with your veterinarian before serving up your pup’s pill in a spoonful of cottage cheese (or any cheese). In place of cheese, your vet might suggest peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, bread, wet dog food or treats made specially to hide pills and taste delicious.

“I recommend avoiding hot dogs and lunch meat to hide medication, as these are much more likely to upset their stomachs and are often high in sodium,” Dr. Singler adds.

We’re confident there are plenty more human foods your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo. 

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