Butter seems like a necessity for many human foods, which leaves people wondering if dogs can eat it too. While this dairy product is tasty for humans, it certainly isn’t the healthiest option. So, is the same true for dogs?
Your dog might beg for any table scraps they can get, but it’s important for you to pick and choose which treats you share with your dog. Always do your research before serving a new food to your dog, especially if it’s a flavor enhancer like butter.
Can Dogs Eat Butter?
No, dogs cannot eat butter. In fact, people often refer to it as a human food that’s toxic for dogs. This is because butter is a fatty food with no real health benefits. For humans, it’s simply a flavor enhancer to put on other foods, but dogs don’t see it the same way. Dogs don’t enjoy butter, salt, and seasoning the way we do. In fact, it’s often more dangerous for them to consume those items too.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, butter doesn’t necessarily have a toxicity factor for dogs like many humans believe, but it’s still not safe. It has a similar effect to oil, grease, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener), all of which should be avoided for furry friends. If necessary, keep your dog in a separate room while you’re cooking or eating a dish with lots of butter.
Risks of Butter for Dogs
Any fatty foods like butter are likely to cause vomiting, which could begin 1 to 4 days after your dog ingested the food. Other common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, a reduced appetite, and lethargy.
Many dogs are also lactose intolerant. So, since butter is a dairy product like milk, ice cream, and cottage cheese, your dog may have difficulties digesting it. Lactose intolerant dogs are the most likely to experience severe symptoms after eating butter. Butter can also lead to weight gain in dogs that eat large amounts.
Butter usually isn’t life-threatening like chocolate, but your dog will experience long periods of pain and discomfort. Luckily, if it was only a small amount of butter, the symptoms should pass after a few days. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check in with your vet if your dog has eaten a significant amount of butter though.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Butter?
While butter isn’t the most appealing food for dogs, many canines are curious and hungry. Some will gnaw on anything that resembles food. So, even if you keep butter away from them, it’s still possible for them to find a way to grab a piece of buttery food or even a whole stick of butter if you’re not paying attention! If this happens, try to stay calm and take extra precautions.
The first thing you should do is contact your vet. Give them as much description about the situation as possible, including how much your dog consumed and if they’re showing any unusual behaviors. From there, your vet can help you decide how severe the situation is. They may simply recommend you stop feeding them for the time being or feed them less. In some cases, they may also suggest anti-nausea or anti-vomiting medications to help your dog feel more comfortable.
Extreme cases may cause in-hospital care. If your dog consumes a lot of butter but doesn’t throw it up, that could cause even more pain for them. The vet might need to take a look at IV fluids and monitor their blood chemistry panels as needed. Some cases may require specific drugs or antibiotics. It all sounds a little scary, but it will ensure that your dog stays healthy and safe. The more careful you are with your dog’s health, the better off they’ll be.
Butter might be a tasty addition to your own diet, but it’s best if you keep it out of your dog’s reach. Dogs don’t need flavor enhancers with their food, so keep them on a beneficial dog-friendly diet at all times. If you can’t resist sneaking a human snack to your furry friend, make sure you do your research first. Otherwise, you could accidentally serve your dog something harmful like butter without even knowing it. So, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!