The creamy delight butter has been a staple in human kitchens. But when it comes to hooman’s best friend, the question, “can dogs eat butter?” can be tricky to answer.
In short- it’s a yes and a no.
Let’s dive nose-first into the butter and find out if your canine companion can have a buttery feast safely.
Pros and Cons of Dogs Eating Butter
Butter has gained popularity from its ability to magically add richness to any dish. Be it slathering it on toast or drizzling some on popcorn, butter never disappoints!
Apart from that luscious flavor, it is packed with ingredients that may or may not suit your pooch. Regarding our furry friends, butter can bring benefits and risks to their health.
Let’s look at the buttery side first!
1. Shiny coat
Butter has fats that can make your dog’s coat shiny and glossy. As dogs love to be groomed and stay clean, butter can benefit by enhancing their appearance and coat health.
If your dog is a picky eater, it can be challenging to find something that tastes good and also give the energy to run errands with you. Butter encourages dogs to eat more and has calories that are an instant booster.
However, just because it boosts their energy does not mean they can have a whole stick of butter.
The buttery delight also has the minor goodness of vitamins A, D, and E that maintain healthy skin, healthy eyesight and give your dog strong bones (article). Meaning butter is not just a party for taste buds but also nurtures a dog’s health.
4. Adds variety
Bored of kibbles? Add butter. Bored of daily salads? Add butter. Bored of life? Add butter. Butter is a solution for all; we are sure your dog wouldn’t deny that!
I can add diversity to your dog’s regular menu and meals.
1. High calories
Butter has 102 calories per tablespoon which is high for human and dog consumption. Humans are more likely not to be impacted by butter so much.
However, human food that works for us may not always work for dogs. High calories can lead to weight gain in dogs, so it is essential to check your dog’s health with a veterinarian before adding butter to their meals.
Professionals say that even one high-fat meal can lead to pancreatitis in dogs (article). Dogs have more sensitive digestive systems than humans, so butter or other human food items will affect them differently.
It causes inflammation in the pancreas, a severe condition that dogs are prone to. Hence, after accidentally eating a stick of butter, if your dog shows any signs of nausea or vomiting, lethargy, or abdominal pain, it is recommended to seek veterinary attention immediately.
Allergies are yet another common issue in the dog world. Dogs can be allergic to dairy products or lactose intolerant. As a responsible pet owner, you should know your dog’s triggers for allergic reactions.
Avoid giving them even small amounts of butter if your dog is lactose intolerant.
4. Gastrointestinal problems
If overfed, dogs can face gastrointestinal problems and digestive issues. There can be a possible blockage in the intestines or the gut. Due to excessive grease, there can be signs of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, etc.
Instead of giving your pooch excessive amounts of water to reduce butter concentration, consult your veterinarian immediately, as this can lead to severe gastrointestinal problems.
4. Low nutritional value
Finally, the last con of feeding your butter is that it brings negligible nutritional value. It does have vitamins and qualities that keep your dog fit, but it is not good enough to add to your dog’s menu.
If you add it to other meals, it can only enhance the taste and not the nutritional value. And for flavor, there are far better alternatives that are dog-friendly.
What About Other Butters?
1. Peanut butter
You can look for unsalted peanut butter if you want an alternative to regular butter sticks. Although this also should be served in moderation, it is healthier than regular butter as it has more nutritional value and comparatively less fat.
2. Almond butter
As almond butter isn’t toxic and mildly healthy for dogs, you can give them almond butter in moderation. It should not be a part of everyday meals. Also, note that if your dog has allergies to almonds, avoid giving them even the slightest bit of it.
3. Cashew butter
Dogs love cashews and cashew butter because of their creamy, buttery texture. You can serve them cashew butter— plain or roasted, but it should not substitute for their main meals or daily snacks. If your dog loves their creaminess, you can give cashew paste instead of butter as it has less fat.
4. Sunflower butter
Occasionally, you can serve your dog delicious and creamy sunflower butter. It comparatively adds more nutrients to your furry buddy’s plate than regular butter. But as it is only butter, it contains fat and calories, so the consumption must be kept in moderation due to the risks mentioned above.
Safe Ways to Serve Butter to Dogs
After understanding the pros and cons of serving your dog butter, let’s dive into the safe ways your dog can enjoy the buttery delight!
1. Spread it!
Instead of tossing a whole bar of butter or letting your dog lick the entire stick, you can take treats like cookies or homemade crispies and add small amounts of butter. This will be their “paw-licking good” treat without causing them any harm unless your dog is allergic to dairy products.
2. Peanut butter balls
As peanut butter is a slightly healthier alternative to regular butter, you can make peanut butter balls with a touch of regular butter. You can freeze the mixture or keep it gooey; your dog is the one to decide!
Peanut butter balls are a great treat for both you and your pooch.
3. Chew toys
If your doggo loves to chew toys and butter, why not mix the two? You can grab their chewy toys, clean any dust on them, and dip them in creamy butter. It is essential to use butter in fewer quantities.
This way, the next time you fetch them their chew toys, they’ll come wagging their tails.
4. Mix with kibbles
The easiest way to incorporate butter into your dog’s diet is to drizzle some of it into their regular dog food or kibbles. You can blend it with butter or give it on the sides.
With this recipe, your dog can have all the nutrients they need from kibbles with a hint of delicious buttery flavor.
Who knew making boring kibbles even yummier would be this easy? However, before serving your dog even small amounts of butter, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian or a professional dietitian.
In the end if you still find yourself wondering, “can dogs eat butter?”, if served in small amounts along with other meals (occasionally), butter is safe to eat. Otherwise, never throw a whole stick of butter at your dog, as they are eager eaters and will not take a second to gobble that greasy, buttery stick.
As a responsible parent, you must choose health over their tantrums, and well, you can also be their chef and cook them their favorite meals with a hint of butter.
Now if your dog makes puppy eyes and asks for buttery treats, think before you melt for them!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, your dog can have butter cookies in moderation. Butter isn’t toxic to dogs, but it still can cause harm to your dog. Butter cookies are often high in calories, fat, and sugar content. If overfed, butter cookies can cause digestive issues and other health problems. Moreover, dogs have far better options, especially made for them.
Plain or unsalted butter on toast is not toxic to dogs. It is an excellent way of serving butter without harming your dog. However, moderation is the key. Spread butter in small amounts, as dogs can be allergic to butter or dairy products. Do not add toppings or spices to toast; your dog will enjoy a simple bread and butter toast.
No, butter does not have toxins to create life-threatening situations for dogs. However, it can cause severe problems that affect your dog’s core and health. Excessive fat content can cause pancreatitis, digestive issues, and obesity. Hence, you should consult a veterinarian before introducing new food to your dog.
As every dog is different in size and dietary requirements, it cannot be specified. But, small dogs generally should have at most half a tablespoon of butter (once in a while), whereas medium to large dogs can have one tablespoon occasionally. Remember not to make butter a part of their regular diet plan