Butter is found in a lot of things, more things then you are probably aware of. So you may wonder can dogs eat butter as well? No, dogs cannot eat butter, please let me state that it is not toxic to dogs, just extremely unhealthy.
Can Dogs Eat Butter?
No, dogs cannot have butter. Let me change that, they should not be having butter! Butter is not toxic to dogs, so they will not die from it, but it is extremely unhealthy for a dog to have.
By feeding your dog butter you are putting their health at risk. There is no nutritional value for giving a dog butter, it is just fat…Which will intern make your dog overweight and cause serious medical illnesses down the line. We will explain everything below.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Butter?
You will know from experience that you cannot keep an eye on your dog 24/7. Sometimes they will find something they should not have, even after making sure you have put everything away.
So what happens if your dog has eaten some butter? They are most likely to have a bad stomach, maybe a bit bloated, a bit gassy, and a loose stool. They will probably have a loose stool for a couple of hours, if not days. If you think it is a serious situation then you should contact your local veterinarian straight away.
You will also know that butter is filled with a lot of salt, so they may be drinking more than usual. It is important you keep an eye on their water bowl. Salt is not healthy for humans or dogs, so you need to be wary of this.
Butter is also full of different types of oils that a dog’s digestive system is just not used too. They may have a hard time digesting the butter.
My Dog Ate the Butter and The Wrapper!
If you have found that your dog has eaten the wrapper of the butter as well and is not showing any signs of choking or suffocation, then you do not need to worry so far.
Considering butter is a very greasy product, it probably has helped the wrapper go down your dog’s throat and into their digestive system.
You might find the wrapper in their feces or their vomit if they have brought it back up.
What you need to be worried about is if it gets stuck in their digestive system and clogs it up.
To be on the safe side, we would recommend you contact your local veterinarian or emergency center for their advice. They may need a medical examination. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our little loved ones.
If you are ever worried, always contact your local veterinarian, they have the best and most expert advice on your dog you will find.
Why Is Butter Bad for Dogs?
For starters, butter has an extremely high-fat content in it. We are talking about true butter here not the oil-filled margarine spreads. Butter has 11.5g of fat, per 1 tablespoon, an adult dog that weighs 30 pounds only needs 14g of fat a day. So, if you fed your dog this on a regular basis, they would easily gain weight from it.
Your dog receives everything they need from their daily dog food. This will nearly double your dog’s fat intake each time they have it.
There is also the lactose intolerant factor, butter is made up of milk which is a dairy product. If your dog is lactose intolerant then you should be avoiding anything dairy-based anyway. Some owners do not know if their dog is lactose intolerant, as they have only ever fed their dog, dog food.
If this is something you are worried about and are not sure if your dog is, or not, then you are best contacting your veterinarian as they will be able to guide you to the best approach for your dog.
We should also mention that some brands of butter and margarine like to use something called Xylitol, which is an artificial sweeter. They use this to keep the sugar low. This is very toxic to dogs and should never be fed to dogs. It should not be anywhere near them. Please always check the ingredients list.
Check the below table showing what can be found in a general butter product. Please note that there are many different types of butter, salted, non-salted, higher oil, and fat. Please take the below statistics as only a guideline. They have been taken from the USDA FoodData Central Database.
|Total lipid (fat)||0g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||26.67g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.7g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||26.67g|
If your dog has been fed high-fat products like butter on a regular basis you will notice an increase in your dogs’ weight. They will be overweight, which can cause serious health problems for your dog.
Some of the health problems that come with obesity and overweight dogs are joint issues, diabetes, heart problems, and pancreatitis, all very serious.
Begging is not always about wanting more to eat; it’s often a ploy to get more attention. (And, when it’s rewarded, you reinforce and encourage the behavior to continue.) If your dog begs, don’t assume that he is hungry. Trust your instincts and keep track of when the last mealtime was.
Read the original article – American Kennel Club
As you can see from the above quote, sometimes your dog is not looking for something to eat, but just attention. Maybe keep this in mind next time you think their begging for food.
When your dog is overweight, your dog is going to have some problems with their joints, especially if they are an older dog. The amount of weight on the dog will cause your dog to be in pain with his joints because of the weight load. They would like to be able to run like they used to, but they just will not be able to. This can lead to other things like depression and your dog just becoming lethargic.
Dogs can become diabetic just like humans, but it is more complicated when it comes to a dog. You do not want your dog to become diabetic, it becomes a complicated process. This is especially if your dog is not a big fan of you grooming them or going to the veterinarian on a regular basis.
Your dog could start to have heart problems because of the amount of weight they are having to carry with them. It will put a strain on their heart, especially if they are an older dog.
The fat content that they have been eating on a regular basis will also be a factor in your dog having trouble with their heart. This will be the amount of cholesterol that has come from the fat, cholesterol is one reason why your dog can have heart problems.
Cholesterol in Butter
Butter has an amazing amount of 31mg of cholesterol in each tablespoon. While some breeds are known to have high cholesterol as well. Not to mention dogs that have a health condition like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, adrenal disease, and being overweight, all these types of dogs should avoid butter at all costs… Adding to an already high cholesterol can be seriously dangerous to your dog.
In veterinary terms, high cholesterol in a dog is called hyperlipidemia. Which means there is too much fat in their bloodstream. Your dog’s bloodstream should decrease in fat after 10 hours of eating any fat. If their levels stay high for 12 hours, then this is when they are considered hyperlipidemic.
Some signs you should keep an eye out for are:
- Cloudy eyes
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Fat deposits under your dogs’ skin (You should be able to feel lumps, they will be filled with a greasy substance)
Check out the below video showing how butter is actually made in a factory condition. It might help explain why you really should not be feeding your dog butter. The video shows what actually goes in it, the amount of fat that goes in, it is quite a lot.
Pancreatitis is a very serious condition that can cause your dog immense pain. It can easily be avoided as long as you do not feed your dog such a high fat/rich lifestyle.
Veterinarians have stated that they see an increase of submissions at the start of the year because of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This will be because of all the high-fat foods we eat around them times and how we always like to prepare too much anyway.
The dog’s pancreas is part of their digestive system and releases enzymes that are known for breaking down food. The enzymes struggle to break down the fatty food quick enough, which then leads to inflammation in the pancreas, which is very painful.
Some signs you should keep an eye out for are:
- Irregular heart rate
- No appetite
- A painful abdomen, you will be able to tell because they cannot get comfortable anywhere. Along with being in a lot of pain when you touch them.
- Diarrhea and vomiting
If you suspect your dog of having pancreatitis, you need to consult your local veterinarian straight away.
All the above can be avoided or put off for a longer point of time if you feed your dog the correct food and keep them healthy. They might get diagnosed with some conditions later on in their life, such as joint issues, as some breeds get this when there older.
How About Margarine or Vegetable Oil Spread Butter?
You may think that the artificial butter that is meant to be healthier for humans might be better for dogs? Well, it is not, sorry to say.
Margarine still contains a crazy high amount of fat and cholesterol. Not to forget that they have a high amount of oil in them too. Margarine still has 11g of fat in it per a tablespoon, only 0.5g less than butter, which is still a crazy amount.
You will also find that there is a lot of preservatives and chemicals in margarine, so it is best to avoid it altogether.
So can dogs eat butter? No, even though it is not toxic, it extremely unhealthy. If your dog has sneaked a bit of butter, then they should be fine. As mentioned, butter is seriously unhealthy for dogs and should not be given to them at all, not even on a rare treat basis.
We cannot understand why you would want to feed your dog butter anyway. There is so much healthier and tastier foods out there for your dog to have.
Eating butter on a regular basis will lead your dog to become overweight and to have serious health problems. For such a little treat, it can have a ripple effect in their future life.