Butter tastes and smells good; no questions about that. So, if it’s too good for us to resist, how much more for our dogs who have a more sensitive sense of smell? But, isn’t butter bad for dogs? And can dogs eat butter?
Some people might say that we are overanalyzing things, but as a dog owner, you know that you are not. And besides, what if you are? It’s better to be cautious than sorry, right?
Also, for the record, the two questions raised above have valid grounds. It’s good that those concerns were raised because the truth is – no, dogs cannot eat butter.
Nevertheless, if your dog ate a small amount of butter accidentally, you should not worry that much. However, if you are adding butter to his food regularly, and he is eating too much every meal, then, it’s completely a different story.
Moving on, the discussion about this matter doesn’t stop in knowing the straightforward answer. That is why in this article, we will delve deeper into the “what ifs”, whys, what to do, and what not to do when your dog eats butter. Let’s begin.
Can Dogs Eat Butter? Is It Bad?
Butter is not harmful to dogs but it is not recommended either. It is not toxic or lethal like other foods such as onions, garlic, chocolate, xylitol, and grapes.
If your dog ate a small amount of butter, he should just be fine. The butter would just make its way through your dog’s digestive system without causing trouble.
However, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to add butter to his foods. It’s not advisable to feed dogs with dairy products, and butter is dairy-based. In fact, it is made by mixing fatty milk or cream.
And foods with high-fat content are not just harmful to humans, but also dogs. Too much fat and calories in the diet can lead to increased body weight and other weight-related problems such as pancreatitis.
So, while butter is an edible ingredient to human foods, we can’t simply add it to our pup’s diet. There are still more reasons why our dogs are better off without butter. And we’ll talk about these health implications below.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats a Stick of Butter?
By nature, most adult dogs are lactose intolerant. This means that their digestive system cannot produce an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for breaking down lactose. And butter, as we know, is made from milk which is high in lactose.
Hence, if your pooch eats butter, the enzymes inside his stomach cannot break down the components of butter or he cannot digest it. As a result, your dog can suffer from stomach cramps, bloating, and diarrhea if he won’t throw the butter out of his system.
So, yes, the butter will still pass out of your dog’s body in the form of loose tools. However, he may have to bear the discomfort for a day or two and even face the risk of being dehydrated.
This is what happens most of the time when dogs eat butter, but there are still other complications that might occur and may require assistance from your veterinarian like the following:
The pancreas is an organ that is located in the abdomen, and it is responsible for the production of digestive enzymes and insulin. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and it can happen when the digestive enzymes start digesting the organ itself.
A poor diet that is rich in fats over an extended time is the primary cause of pancreatitis in dogs. However, the condition can also worsen and can lead to pancreatitis sooner when a dog consumes a lot of fat in one go. Hence, if a dog eats a whole stick of butter, he may already be predisposed to this condition.
Pancreatitis is a painful and potentially life-threatening condition. If it’s just mild, it can resolve in 2-3 days with medications.
However, if a dog suffers from acute pancreatitis and was not taken to the vet right away, the mild condition can become hemorrhagic pancreatitis. Once it reaches this point, it can even lead to sudden death.
Symptoms of pancreatitis to watch out for are vomiting, stomach pain, and poor appetite.
Gastroenteritis commonly occurs when bacteria or virus enters the digestive system. However, it may also occur when a dog consumes food that is new to him in huge amounts, such as a stick of butter.
Once a dog eats food that disagrees with his digestive system, it can lead to inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which then causes diarrhea and vomiting. While gastroenteritis can only last for a few days, it’s still important to seek professional help.
In the case of gastroenteritis caused by dietary indiscretion, your vet may recommend withholding food for 24 to 48 hours.
Keeping your dog hydrated after fluid loss is crucial. And depending on the situation, your vet may also prescribe IV fluids for hydration and to make up for the electrolytes that were lost from vomiting and diarrhea.
Butter is high in calories, so, regular intake can lead to weight gain and eventually to obesity. And just like with humans, obesity is also rampant in dogs.
As dog owners, we may have a soft heart towards our pet dogs to the point of spoiling them even with fatty foods. But for their own good, we should be sterner in not giving in to their demands.
Dogs that suffer from obesity are also at risk for pancreatitis, as well as diabetes and arthritis.
Can Your Dog Die If They Eat Too Much Butter?
Like what was mentioned above, butter isn’t toxic to dogs just like grapes, chocolates, and onions. However, when taken in significant amounts, it can predispose your dog to pancreatitis, which can be fatal if not treated on time.
Butter is also high in fat, so, it can make your dog at risk for weight-related problems that can also be fatal if not managed well.
What Should You Do After Your Dog Eats Butter?
If you noticed that your dog ate a stick of butter, the first thing that you should do is to stay calm and have a presence of mind. Don’t panic. Instead, assess the situation to get a better picture of what really happened.
Of course, you should take away the remaining butter to prevent your dog from eating more. Find out if the butter was wrapped or unwrapped. Was it regular butter, cocoa butter, or some other type? Is it possible that your dog may have eaten more than one stick?
Once you have all of this information, call your veterinarian right away to find out what is the next best thing to do. It’s important to know all of these details because they will all play an essential part in the treatment plan for your dog.
Not all butter is created equal; some can be more dangerous to your dog, particularly those that contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be fatal for dogs when eaten even in small amounts.
If your dog ate cocoa butter, you should also contact your vet right away because this type of butter contains theobromine. This substance can cause your dog to suffer from hyperactivity leading to seizures, or even heart attacks.
It is also necessary to determine whether your dog ate the wrapper or not because it can be a choking hazard. However, if your dog doesn’t appear to be choking or gasping for breath, then, you can breathe lightly.
You’ve one less concern to worry about. For small breeds like a teacup Chihuahua, though, the wrapper can cause intestinal blockage.
What Will Your Veterinarian Do?
Once you’ve sought the help of your vet, he may advise that you watch out for your dog’s reaction closely, depending on the amount of butter your dog ate, as well as his existing medical condition.
If your vet is concerned about the impact of the butter on your dog, he may ask you to bring your pup over to the clinic for further tests and examination. And you should do so immediately because the sooner the problem can be addressed, the better.
If your dog has eaten the butter, less than four hours ago, your vet may administer an injection to induce vomiting. Doing this can halt the progression of the butter deeper into the digestive system.
If your dog has eaten the butter for more than four hours already, this would be too late to induce vomiting since the butter must have gone too far into the GI tract.
Nevertheless, most dogs can cope with this very well. Like what was mentioned earlier, if it’s just accidental one-time ingestion of butter, your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or even no symptoms at all.
Butter isn’t toxic to dogs, but it is mostly just saturated fat that doesn’t offer health benefits to your canine buddies. So, it would be safer not to feed your dog with butter.
And if you are baking, or preparing your food with this ingredient, make sure to always keep an eye on it and your dogs. This way you can keep them safe while also keeping yourself from worrying too much.
Below are easy do-it-yourself recipes that your beloved doggos might enjoy!
Cheddar Dog Treats
- 1 cup Al-purpose flour
- 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp Butter, softened
- 1/3 cup Whole milk
- In a small bowl, combine flour and cheese. Stir in butter until combined.
- Gradually add milk just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times.
- Roll dough into a 12×9-in. rectangle; cut into 3×1-in. strips. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand in the oven with the door slightly open until cooled completely. Store in an airtight container.
Yogurt Banana Dog Treats Recipe
- Food Processor
- 16 oz Plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tbsp Natural unsweetened almond butter (or plain butter)
- 1 medium Banana , sliced
- Place silicone molds on a baking sheet (this helps transfer them easily to the freezer without spilling.) Set aside.
- Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor; blend until combined and creamy. Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout, for easy pouring.
- Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout, for easy pouring.
- Fill each slot to the top with the mixture.
- Place in the freezer for about 3 hours or until solid.
- Gently release the frozen treats out of the molds and watch your doggie gobble them up!
Almond Butter Dog Biscuits
- 1 cup Almond butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tbso Gold Medal™ whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 3/4 cup Milk
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.
- Mix almond butter and egg until combined. In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
- Stir half the flour mixture and half the milk into almond butter mixture. Repeat. Mixture will be stiff.
- Roll out on work surface sprinkled with flour. Using bone-shaped cookie cutters, cut out biscuits and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Cool and give to your dog.
- Peanut butter can be used in place of the almond butter.
- Store in an airtight container.
Will butter hurt a dog?
Butter is not dangerous for dogs. It's not life-threatening or lethal, like other foods such as chocolate or xylitol. Small quantities of butter, such as a stick, will usually make their way through your dog's digestive system without causing significant damage.
Why does my dog love butter?
Before that they were essential, and high-energy foods would have been the best foods to eat. In addition, butter is often salty, which makes it taste delicious, too. Don't forget that what the butter has been spread on may be delicious, too. Buttered bread in particular is a canine favorite!
Can I give my dog toast and butter?
While dogs can technically eat butter, it's not a good option for your dog as it's mostly just saturated fat with no health benefits.
Can butter make a dog sick?
Butter is not dangerous for dogs. It's not life-threatening or lethal, like other foods such as chocolate or xylitol.