If your dog ate a stick of butter, you may be wondering what to do. We’ve got the answers!
Dogs seem to have an innate talent for eating anything and everything – including the things they shouldn’t. Is butter one of the foods on the “no-no” list? It may be fun to have your dog “clean up” after dinner or to help “mop up” spills on the floor. But their fascination for food and willingness to try just about anything can sometimes get them in trouble!
Sometimes, their quest to try new flavors is harmless. Other times, they love the taste of a new food but that food may compromise their health. A common ingredient found in most kitchens is butter. It can be used whipping up a batch of cookies, creating a cream sauce, or topping your toast in the morning. Whether you choose to keep it in the fridge or on the counter, butter is a versatile and valuable ingredient.
So what does this ingredient mean for your dog’s health? Is butter toxic to dogs? What do I do if my dog ate a stick of butter? To help you answer those critical questions in caring for your dog, here we share some essential things to know about when your dog eats a whole or part of a stick of butter. From the effects on their overall health and steps you can take to address the situation, you can use these tips to help care for your dog when they eat something they shouldn’t.
Is Butter Bad For Dogs?
Thankfully, butter is not a toxic ingredient for dogs. It is a dairy product that is made of mostly fat and protein. It’s solid at room temperature and refrigerated, but it can also be melted. It’s rich in saturated fat, which means that it offers little to no health benefits to your dog. Yet, unlike other ingredients and foods like grapes, onions, chocolate, or garlic, which are toxic, a stick of butter is typically not very harmful to dogs. While butter isn’t necessarily contaminated, that doesn’t mean that butter is suitable for your dog. Some dogs may not experience any side effects from eating a stick of butter.
They may behave like they never even ate anything and continue playing and enjoying an activity. However, other dogs may be in for some significant digestive discomfort. However, dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning that the cream or milk components in the butter may cause some adverse side effects that your dog will need to deal with. Being lactose intolerant means that their stomach can’t produce the enzyme that breaks down the lactose found in butter. Much of their reaction to eating a stick of butter will stem from how tolerant their stomach and digestive system are. Other underlying health conditions may also affect how eating such a high amount of saturated fat will affect their system.
What Happens After Your Dog Ate a Stick of Butter?
When it comes to a dog’s reaction to eating butter, it may differ among other dogs. Some dogs will act as if nothing happened. However, other times it can spark some digestive concerns that you’ll want to monitor closely.
Most often, a dog will vomit up the butter if its stomach can’t take it. Getting rid of the butter from their system quickly will help them to relieve their stomach pain. Be sure to monitor your dog for signs of vomiting or nausea. If you’ve noticed your dog eat a stick of butter, be ready for the possibility of vomit. It can happen minutes or a few hours after consuming the butter. It’s essential to keep them in an enclosed spot where you can keep an eye on them and address their needs when you notice they’re ready to relieve themselves.
If your dog does vomit, be sure to clean them up and the mess if they couldn’t make it outside. Give them water to drink to clean out their mouth and stay hydrated. As vomiting can make them lose a lot of water and lead to dehydration, it’s essential to give them lots of water to replace their lost fluids. It also may not be best to provide them with food immediately. Let their digestive system rest for a moment to recover and calm down before they ingest more food.
Not all dogs will vomit after eating a stick of butter. Their system may also pass the butter through the digestive system, but it will do so with a bit of discomfort. Keep your eye out for symptoms in your dogs like stomach cramps and diarrhea. They may appear more tired and may just want to lay around during the day. After a day or so, their digestive system will help to excrete the butter from their system.
As with vomiting, diarrhea can also cause dehydration and loss of water. Therefore, your dog must stay well hydrated as its digestive system works. You also may notice that they are more tired or not as interested in food as they usually are. This may be part of them working to digest the food their stomachs aren’t used to. As with vomiting, it is important not to overfeed them as their digestive system continues to work. Give them a break from food and let their system work itself out. Even following them passing stools, you may want to limit their food and keep things bland for their diet for the next few days.
While butter is typically harmless aside from an upset stomach, diarrhea, or nausea, it also can cause some more serious medical conditions in some dogs. While these are much rarer, they are something you’ll want to keep your eye out for as you monitor your dog’s health after they eat a stick of butter. Pancreatitis is a condition that can be worsened with poor foods, like a stick of butter that contains way too much-saturated fat for a dog’s health. With pancreatitis, there is inflammation in the pancreas, which is needed for digestion. If you know your dog has this condition and eats a stick of butter, it may be worth a quick call to the vet to ensure there aren’t any additional steps to take.
4. Other Things to Consider
As you assess the situation of your dog eating a stick of butter, there are a few other questions you’ll want to ask. For example, knowing whether your dog ate the wrapper that butter comes in may help you identify a choking hazard. Dogs can’t digest the wrapper, which can lead to blocking in the intestines or choking. If you notice they are not passing stools after eating butter, it’s worth a trip to the vet. Another thing to consider is whether or not they ate natural butter or some butter substitute. Sometimes, these butter substitutes can contain extra ingredients that may not be as friendly for their digestion. Processed butter that contains artificial sweeteners may pose a severe health risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I bring my dog to the vet if he ate butter?
In most cases, it won’t bve necessary to bring your dog to the vet just because he consumed butter. The dairy product will pass through his system, but keep an eye on your dog. If you notice signs of discomfort, vomiting, or diarrhea, it’s a good idea to call your vet and ask for the next best step.
Is margarine toxic to dogs?
If your family uses margarine instead of butter, you’ll want to keep it out of your pup’s reach. While there’s nothing inherently toxic in the ingredient, your dog may suffer diarrhea or vomiting after consuming the food.
Are dogs lactose intolerant?
For the most part, dogs are lactose intolerant. Tummy aches, diarrhea, and vomiting can be signs that your pup has ingested dairy products like milk, cream, or butter. Thankfully, there are alternative snacks you can give your dog! The local pet or grocery store sells dog-friendly ice cream, for example, that’s safe for your pup’s tummy.
Conclusion For “My Dog Ate a Stick of Butter”
While butter isn’t technically a toxic ingredient for your dog, dairy and high levels of saturated fat are not ideal for a dog’s sensitive digestive system. By carefully monitoring their health and caring for them as they deal with unfortunate digestive ailments, you can help your dog move on from their butter experience and get on to living their healthy, happy life. Remember that your veterinarian can also be a helpful resource if your notice anything very strange or abnormal with their behavior.
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To learn more about what your companion can’t eat, watch “12 Dangerous Foods For Dogs” from ErinsAnimals down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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