Since most dogs are lactose intolerant, it only makes sense that dogs shouldn’t eat butter, right? Actually, most dogs can eat butter, as long as it is in very small amounts. It also depends on the health of the dog. For instance, since butter is high in fat, it is not the best option to give to a dog that is overweight. However, butter is typically OK for dogs that are in good health and at a healthy weight. Just because dogs can eat butter does not make it a healthy option for them. We will explore below the reasons why butter is bad for dogs, as well as one of its only health benefits.
Butter May Help Your Dog’s Skin Allergies
The jury is still out but there are some experts who say that butter might be good for dogs with skin allergies. Butter can help protect your dog’s skin and reduce the chances of your dog experiencing any serious allergy symptoms. However, only give your dog small amounts of butter if you are planning on using it to help reduce symptoms of skin allergies. You should only give your dog a teaspoon full of butter about once or twice a week.
Butter Can Cause an Upset Stomach and Worse
Because dogs do tend to be lactose intolerant, butter can cause a lot of gastrointestinal distress. A little bit of butter probably won’t do much harm, but too much can cause stomach aches, diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, gas, bloating, etc. Even worse is that if your dog eats too much butter, the high fat content will be unhealthy.
Butter is very high in fat and can lead to obesity which, in turn, can cause pancreatitis, a serious condition that can be fatal if not diagnosed early. In fact, just one tablespoon of butter has 12 grams of fat. An adult dog weighing around 30 pounds only needs 14 grams of fat per day.
Therefore, that one tablespoon would make up most of your dog’s daily intake and the fat content in your dog’s diet should come from healthier sources. Remember, monounsaturated fats are good but trans fats are extremely unhealthy for dogs and humans.
Be Careful About High Cholesterol
Another issue with butter is that it is high in cholesterol (31 mg per tablespoon). If your dogs have certain health problems, including hyperthyroidism or diabetes, they are even more prone to having high cholesterol. If this applies to your dogs, foods like butter should be avoided in their diets.
Margarine is no better. In fact, it can be a lot less healthy than butter, even though many are supposed to be low in fat. Margarine is loaded with chemical additives and preservatives, which are not good for dogs (or humans for that matter).
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Butter But Rarely Should
There are plenty of human foods that are perfectly safe and healthy for dogs to eat. However, butter is not necessarily one of them. Yes, butter is high in calcium and it may help prevent skin allergies but there are other, healthier options that exist and will be better for your dog in the long run. At best, butter should be given to your dog sparingly.