Cottage cheese for dogs is a safe option as part of a bland diet to combat diarrhea. Typically, a bland diet could include a mix of low-fat meat with cottage cheese or certain other bland foods. Many experts also approve of cottage cheese for dogs as an occasional treat or additive for dry food when used in moderation. Although some dogs are lactose intolerant and therefore cannot tolerate dairy products, cottage cheese contains smaller amounts of lactose than some other dairy products. Some sources recommend using low-fat and low-sodium cottage cheese for dogs, and others advise squeezing out the excess liquid before serving.
Many owners use cottage cheese for dogs as part of a temporary bland diet to treat acute diarrhea or stomach upset. Cottage cheese can provide protein, phosphorus, and calcium in addition to settling the dog's gastrointestinal system. After withholding food entirely for up to one day while providing small amounts of water to prevent dehydration, small amounts of a bland diet mixture can be introduced. Gradually, the bland food mixture can be replaced by the dog's normal diet.
Bland food including cottage cheese for dogs can feature low-fat meat, such as cooked chicken or boiled hamburger, cooked oatmeal, white rice, or boiled potato. For small breeds, human baby food in the form of pureed chicken can substitute for cooked chicken or hamburger. A few tablespoons of plain yogurt or boiled sweet potato can be added for additional digestive soothing.
A diet of bland food is an appropriate response to acute diarrhea in dogs who are exhibiting a normal activity level. A dog who displays diarrhea along with lethargy, blood in the stool, or repeated vomiting could be seriously ill and should be taken to the vet immediately. Owners who notice chronic or recurring diarrhea in their dogs should also have these animals examined by a veterinarian. A bloated or distended stomach, difficulty breathing, retching, and obvious pain or discomfort in the abdomen are signs of gastric dilation and torsion, an emergency condition that can result in death if not treated quickly.
Another common gastrointestinal ailment in dogs is constipation, in which the dog has difficulty passing stools or produces stools that are small and hard. Adding cooked vegetables to the dog's diet in moderation can aid this condition. In addition, frequent exercise and sufficient hydration are key to dealing with constipation. Over-the-counter laxatives could be harmful and should not be given to dogs.