Can Dogs Eat Butter? 4 Reasons Why Dogs Must Avoid It!

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can dogs eat butter

Can dogs eat butter? The answer is no. Even though butter is not toxic for dogs, the enzymes in his stomach cannot break down the butter. As a result, your dog will suffer from bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

If your dog consumes butter, it won’t be able to digest it.

Why Is Butter Not Recommended for Dogs?

You may be wondering why you cannot give your dogs butter even though it is not toxic to them. Here are the four reasons why you should avoid giving butter to your dogs.

Too Much Salt

Salt may be essential in your dog’s diet, but too much of it is catastrophic. Unfortunately, the salt content in butter is very high.

Sodium should be less than 0.5% of your dog’s diet. For instance, if your dog weighs 33pounds, the sodium should be about 100mg.

Unsalted butter contains 14mg of sodium. For salted butter, one serving contains around 90mg of sodium which is higher than the recommended 100mg considering one whole stick contains about 30 servings.

Dairy Product

Dog’s have sensitive digestive systems and may not handle dairy products well. For instance, if your dog feeds on fatty milk, they always end up having acute digestive issues.

As we mentioned earlier, most dogs are lactose intolerant. What are the signs of lactose intolerance in a dog?

  • Gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating

A Lot of Calories

Butter contains high calories, about 9 per gram. One whole stick of butter contains about 3000 calories.

Even if you feed your dog a small portion of butter, it will still exceed the limit. Imagine feeding your dogs a small amount every day; it will lead to excess weight gain, which is unhealthy.

Too Much Fat

In addition to having a lot of salt and calories, butter contains too much fat[1]. In fact, butter is just saturated fat. It is neither in high-energy foods nor carbohydrates. Butter contains 12gms of fat in one serving. Therefore a stick of butter contains around 400 gms of fat.

Usually, dogs should eat less than half their body weight in grams. This means that if your dog weighs 100 pounds, it should eat around 50 gms of fat or less in a day. Butter, just like fatty foods, can make your dogs sick.

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Butter?

Although it’s not toxic to your dog, it contains high-fat content and does not offer any health benefits. The good news is that they will still pass it out but will suffer from discomforts or even dehydration.

There are some severe complications that may require your dog veterinarian’s intervention. They are:

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis occurs as a result of bacteria or viral infection and sometimes parasitic infection. In most adult dogs, it occurs when they feed on something new such as butter.

Once your dog consumes something that affects their digestive system, they can have intestine and stomach inflammation.

This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. While it may last for a few days, it is advisable to consult a dog vet immediately.

Suppose it is as a result of dietary indiscretion. In that case, your dog veterinarian’s assistant may ask you to withhold food for 48 hours and give him significant amounts of fluid to keep him hydrated.

Sometimes the dog vet can prescribe IV fluids to replace the lost electrolyte from diarrhea and vomiting.

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is an organ in living things located in the abdomen. It is responsible for producing insulin and digestive enzymes.

On the other hand, pancreatitis is a disease that happens when there is inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening condition to dogs.

If you feed your dog with a poor diet that is rich in high-fat content over a long period, it may suffer from pancreatitis. Additionally, if your dog ate butter at a go, they may still suffer from pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is very painful and risky. If it is mild, your dog will get better in 3 or 4 days under medication.

However, acute pancreatitis can become hemorrhagic pancreatitis if you don’t take your puppy to a dog vet immediately. Hemorrhagic pancreatitis can lead to sudden death. The symptoms of pancreatitis are poor appetite, vomiting, and stomach pains.

Weight-related complications

As we noted earlier, a stick of butter contains a lot of calories, and regular intake can lead to obesity. And just like you, obesity is risky for dogs. If you are not sure whether your dog is obese or not, check our article on How Heavy Should My Dog Be?

As dog owners, you may want to spoil your dog once in a while. But for your furry friend’s sake, you should never give in to these demands. Obesity may lead to diabetes, pancreatitis, and arthritis.

What Should You Do After Your Dogs Eat Butter?

Can dogs eat butter without getting sick? If your dog ate a stick of butter, do not panic. Instead, stay calm and assess the situation.

Of course, if it still hasn’t finished the stick, you should take the remaining piece. Check if there are any wrappings around. Was it cocoa butter, peanut, salted or unsalted butter? Did any of your dogs eat more than one stick of butter?

It is essential to know all the above details as they will play a significant role in the treatment plan. Butter contains an artificial sweetener that is extremely dangerous to your pup. After getting all the information, call your dog veterinarian to know the next step to take.

If the dog ate cocoa butter, contact your dog veterinarian’s assistant immediately since it contains theobromine. Theobromine can cause seizures or heart attacks in your dog. In case of theobromine poisoning, the dog suffers from:

·      Diarrhea

·      Vomiting

·      Panting

·      Increased thirst

·      Racing heartbeat

·      Excess urination

Again, if it was peanut butter, it should be fine as long as it does not contain xylitol which is toxic and can make the dog sick. What are the symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs?

·      Vomiting

·      Weakness

·      Decreased activity

·      Staggering

·      Collapsing

·      In-coordination

·      Seizures

Additionally, it is essential to know if the dog ate the wrapper because it is a choking hazard. But if you don’t notice your dog gasping for breath or choking, it is all good. If your pooch is a tiny dog such as a Chihuahua, it may cause intestinal blockage.

First Aid Steps to Take If Your Dogs Eat Butter

As a dog owner, if you rule out the situation as not serious, you can prepare the following steps to follow. Most of the time, the dog will only suffer from a bout of diarrhea, and you may require the next steps to avoid a mess in your home:

1. Do not feed your dog at night

After consuming butter, it may overload your dog’s digestive system. Giving the dog some food isn’t advisable as it will only add more loads and worsen diarrhea and stomach pain. Therefore, let the dog fast for the rest of the day but place a bowl of water near them.

2. Keep your dog in an enclosed space

In most cases, the butter will become out of their system as loose stools, so you should keep the dog in an enclosed space. Also, ensure that the area is clean and easy to clean. If it is not easy to clean, you can cover the floor with newspaper.

3. Feed your dog a bland diet for some days

Your dog will need energy when recuperating. However, you cannot give the dog kibble as it will make the situation worse. Instead, prepare a bland diet and feed the dog until diarrhea passes.

How to Prepare a Bland Diet

A bland diet is a homemade meal that is easy on your dog’s digestive system and contains ingredients that should restore solid stool. It is usually lean meat such as turkey, chicken, or hamburger for most dogs and carbohydrates such as sweet potato or white rice.

To prepare this meal, use chopped or ground meat. Boil it until cooked and drain the excess water. Boil the rice and mix it with the ground meat.

Do not add any seasoning or oil, and feed the dog at room temperature. Bland meals may not taste delicious, but they are healthy.

How do you feed your dog the bland diet?

Before giving your dog a bland diet, veterinarians recommend a 2-3-hour break from water and food after they vomit or have diarrhea. This is to allow their digestive system to settle down. When the problem stops, you can start giving the dog water in small quantities or small meatballs.

Increase the quantity and the frequency gradually of the bland diet and continue with it for three days until diarrhea or vomiting stops. Then start introducing your dog’s regular food a little at a time, say once in five days, until your dog’s health is restored.

What Does the Vet Do When Your Dogs Eat Butter?

A lot of butter is bad for most dogs. If the dog ate a stick of butter in the last four hours, the dog veterinarian could induce vomiting through an injection. This injection brings the butter up the throat and stops it from causing more harm.

Again, never induce vomiting at home as it can complicate things in some cases. If your four-legged friend consumed butter more than four hours ago, the vet cannot induce vomiting. In most cases, the dog may get mild stomach upsets or no symptoms at all.

In case of a sensitive stomach or your dog suffers from other digestive sicknesses, then the symptoms may need a veterinarian’s help.

Your vet performs some clinical tests and asses fever, dehydration, stomach pain, and other symptoms. If the vet suspects pancreatitis, they may perform some blood tests.

During treatment, your dog may require some IV fluids and pain and nausea relieving medication. Many dogs make a full recovery if given the correct help and at an early stage.

How to Feed Your Dog Butter and How Much to Feed

Can dogs eat butter safely? There is no reason why it’s a good idea to give your dog butter.

After all, it does not have any health benefits to your pooch. If you give him a leak occasionally, or they consume buttered bread, there is no cause for panic. However, never do it knowingly, either in foods that have butter or by themselves.

If your dog vomits or has diarrhea after consuming butter, then you should avoid butter and other dairy products in the future. True, your dog may consume butter here and there but never give it to them as a regular treat or in baked treats. 

When going grocery shopping, you will find salted and unsalted butter on the shelves. Salted butter contains a lot of sodium, making your choice easier.

Sometimes they stock natural or regular butter, which has more minerals and vitamins and should be the ideal choice for your furry friend.

The Bottom Line

So, can dogs eat butter? Is it safe or toxic for your favorite canine friend? As final thoughts, butter lacks essential nutrients for your furry friend and can cause severe digestive system problems for your dogs.

It is not advisable to give your dogs any butter, whether peanut butter, cocoa butter, unsalted butter, cultured butter, salted butter, and more. If you love dogs, switch to healthy oils such as extra olive oil and use other foods as treats, as excess butter is bad for them.

Photo of author
Author
Andrei Bratu
Andrei is the owner of Dog Food Camp and manages the team of expert writers on the site. He is passionate about helping dog lovers learn about canine nutrition.

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