I was sitting at home watching TV when I heard a thud coming from the kitchen. I thought nothing of it.
Later that day, I went to make my favorite mid-afternoon snack – toast with butter and jam plus a little tea. So tasty!
Sadly, there was no butter to be found. My dog ate it. The whole stick.
Is this something I should be worried about? I did some digging and checked with some vets and this is what I discovered…
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Check For These Signs
To tell if your dog needs to go to the vet or not, you need to keep an eye on their stools. While butter isn’t lethal in healthy dogs, it can cause problems for dogs that are overweight or have diabetes.
Another thing to look for is whether the dog ate the wrapping or not. Butter is usually wrapped in a wax-like wrapper. The wrapper isn’t made of toxic materials, but it can clog your dog’s digestive organs if they’re tiny breeds.
A way to check if the wrapper is going to be a problem is to keep an eye on your dog. If they pass loose stools soon after eating the butter, then it should be fine. If they go the entire day without passing stools, then the wrapper may be clogging them. In this case, you need to visit the vet.
If your dog is overweight, then the butter may cause them to suffer from acute pancreatitis. This is a condition in which the enzymes involved with digestion start to consume the pancreas instead. Vets can cure pancreatitis quickly and most of the problems clear up after two or three days.
Overweight dogs, however, are at risk of developing acute pancreatitis if they eat a lot of fat in a short amount of time. A stick of butter has a lot of fat in it. This could become a deadly situation for the dog. If your overweight dog shows signs of pancreatitis, then you need to take them to the animal hospital or vet immediately.
Here are a few problems that you may notice from your dog after they eat a stick of butter.
- Increased thirst
- Stomach ache
Serious complications can result in:
What To Do
If your dog eats a stick of butter, then you shouldn’t panic. They should be fine. One of the first things to do is determine whether or not your butter contains xylitol. Standard butter shouldn’t. If you use a special kind of butter, however, then it may. Xylitol is lethal in dogs. Even a small amount can kill them. If your dog consumed butter that has xylitol in it, then you need to take them to your vet immediately.
Otherwise, you just need to wait for the butter to pass through their digestive system. In most cases, the dog will either vomit or pass it through diarrhea. You’ll want to quarantine your dog in an enclosed area during this time. The area should be easy to clean if accidents occur.
If available, you should place newspaper or puppy pads in the area. This can make cleaning up after your dog considerably easier.
Stay near your dog and listen to them when they indicate that they need to go outside. If you want to be proactive, then you can always let them go outside every other hour. You should join your dog to keep an eye on their stools.
Don’t panic if it seems like they have a lot of diarrhea. This is to be expected. However, because diarrhea can dehydrate them, make sure that your dog has plenty of access to fresh, cool, water.
You won’t want to give them anything to eat that day. Even kibble can be too hard on their stomachs. It can make the stomach ache they’re experiencing even worse.
Instead, wait until the next day. To help ease their diarrhea on the second day, you’ll want to make a homemade dog food recipe. Take a pound of lean chicken and some rice, then boil them together. Add a little bit of pumpkin. This helps ease digestion.
Feed a little bit to your dog and see how their stools look when they use the bathroom next. If diarrhea has stopped, then you can feed them the homemade meal again but mixed with their kibble. If diarrhea hasn’t stopped, then you should feed them the homemade meal again without kibble in the afternoon.
The goal is to feed them a bland diet that doesn’t excite their digestive system too much. The food is mostly there to keep up their strength.
Do I Need To See The Vet Or Go To The Emergency Animal Hospital?
If you do want to take your dog to the vet, then that’s fine. Healthy dogs can see the vet.
However, if your dog is overweight or consumed a type of butter that contains xylitol, then you may want to take them to the animal hospital. Even overweight dogs can likely get by with just visiting the vet. It’s if they start to display signs of pancreatitis that you need to take them to the hospital.
Another condition is gastroenteritis. This is a condition when a virus enters the digestive tract. It can cause your dog a lot of discomforts. To recover from it, they need to be put on a special diet. A vet can assist with that diet.
Safe Alternatives To Eat
Butter, itself, is fine for dogs to eat as long as it’s in small amounts. However, if you want to find an alternative if your dog eats an entire stick again, then you’ll want to find a non-dairy butter that doesn’t contain xylitol or other ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
Peanut butter is a great choice as long as it doesn’t contain xylitol. Other kinds of butter are chia seed butter, pumpkin butter, and sunflower seed butter.
Can Dogs Eat Butter?
Dogs are lactose-intolerant. Their body is unable to process or digest lactose. Regular butter has a lot of lactose in it. While dogs can eat butter without lethal consequences, they may receive a big stomachache from doing so.
Vomiting is common. Your dog will also likely suffer from diarrhea for a day or two.
As such, while dogs can eat butter, it may better for their stomachs to avoid giving them access to it. Your carpets will also appreciate it.