I was sitting at home watching TV when I heard a thud 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 the whole stick. Is this something I should be worried about? I did some digging and checked with some vets, which I discovered…
Table of Contents
- Why Dogs Love Butter
- Check For These Signs
- Potential Problems
- What To Do
- Do I Need To See The Vet Or The Emergency Animal Hospital?
- Safe Alternatives To Eat
- Can Dogs Eat Butter?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Dogs Love Butter
Dogs are omnivores and have a strong sense of smell, which means they are attracted to the aroma of butter, just like people are.
Butter also has a high fat content, which can appeal to dogs as it is a source of energy and tastes good to them.
However, it is important to note that feeding dogs large amounts of butter can lead problems, read on to learn which problems are those.
Check For These Signs
To tell if your dog needs to go to the vet, you must 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. (1)
Another thing to look for is whether the dog ate the wrapping. Butter is usually wrapped in a wax-like wrapper. The wrapper isn’t made of toxic materials but can clog your dog’s digestive organs if they’re tiny breeds.
To check if the wrapper will be a problem, keep an eye on your dog. It should be fine if they pass loose stools soon after dog eating butter. If they go the entire day without passing stools, the wrapper may clog them. In this case, you need to visit the vet.
If your dog is overweight, 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 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 quickly. 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, you must immediately take them to the animal hospital or vet.
Here are a few problems that your dog may notice after eating a butter stick.
Serious complications can result in the following:
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.
However, if you use a special kind of butter, it may. Xylitol is lethal in dogs. Even a small amount can kill them. If your dog consumed butter with xylitol, you need to take them to your vet immediately.
Otherwise, you must wait for the butter to pass through their digestive system. In most cases, the dog will vomit or pass it with diarrhea. You’ll want to quarantine your dog in an enclosed area. 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 when they say they need to go outside. If you want to be proactive, 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, ensure your dog has plenty of access to fresh 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, you can feed them the homemade meal again but mixed with their kibble. If the diarrhea hasn’t stopped, 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 The Emergency Animal Hospital?
If you want to take your dog to the vet, that’s fine. Healthy dogs can see the vet.
However, if your dog is overweight or consumed a type of butter containing xylitol, you may want to take them to the animal hospital. Even overweight dogs can likely get by with just visiting the vet. If they display signs of pancreatitis, 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 discomfort. They need to be put on a special diet to recover from it. A vet can assist with that diet.
Safe Alternatives To Eat
The butter 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 get big stomach pain or upset stomach.
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 be better for their stomachs to avoid giving them access to it. Your carpets will also appreciate it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Butter Bad For Dogs?
Butter is not toxic to dogs, but it can be difficult to digest and cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. In small amounts, it’s usually not harmful, but it’s not a recommended addition to their diet.
Can Butter Kill My Dog?
No, butter is not toxic to dogs, but as mentioned above, it can lead to digestive problems in large amounts.
What if my dog ate butter with the wrapper?
Eating the wrapper can be dangerous for dogs as it can cause blockages in their digestive system. If your dog ate a wrapper, it’s important to monitor them for any signs of digestive distress and contact a veterinarian if you’re concerned.
My dog just ate an entire stick of butter. Is that bad?
Yes, eating an entire stick of butter is a lot for a dog to digest and can cause digestive issues. (2) Contact a veterinarian for advice and to monitor your dog’s health.
How Do Dogs React To Butter?
The reaction if a dog eat butter can vary. Some dogs may enjoy the taste of butter and eat it without any problems, while others may experience digestive issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
Dogs generally have a harder time digesting dairy products like butter, so it’s important to keep their consumption in moderation and monitor their reaction to it. If you notice any signs of digestive distress or other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for advice.
My name is Danny Jackson and I’m the CEO and Chief Editor behind Petloverguy.com. After spending a decade working with vets and private clients as an animal behavioral and nutritional specialist I co-founded Pet Lover Guy to help other pet parents learn how to interact with, and make the most of the time that they spend with their adopted and rescued best pet friends.
Working with Ella, our chihuahua rescue, we seek to help all dog and cat lovers have the happiest life possible.