Vet Reviewed

By The Farmer's Dog | April 24, 2021

Is it safe to give your dog butter? Yes, dogs CAN eat butter, but it isn’t recommended

Though butter isn’t toxic for dogs, it doesn’t offer any health benefits and the high fat content presents real health risks. 

Key info about butter

Butter is a dairy product typically made by churning the cream of cow’s milk. Per tablespoon, butter contains about 100 calories with 12 grams of fat, negligible amounts of protein, and no carbohydrate. It contains some vitamin A, vitamin D, sodium, and potassium in small amounts as well as more significant amounts of cholesterol. 

The benefits/drawbacks of butter

Butter is low on benefits and high on drawbacks for dogs. 

Butter is about 80% fat, and that’s mostly saturated fat. It doesn’t provide much in the way of nutritional value for your dog.

The high fat content of butter, when consumed frequently, could contribute to obesity. And getting into too many table scraps can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

As a dairy product, milk could trigger digestive upset in dogs who are lactose intolerant; it can also cause stomach upset related to general food intolerance. 

How to feed butter/how much to feed

There’s no good reason to give your dog butter as a treat. If they get a lick of it occasionally, it’s not cause for panic. But avoid knowingly feeding it by itself, and avoid feeding your dog foods that have been cooked using butter—this includes meats sautéed in butter and pastries cooked with a ton of butter and sugar and other things dogs shouldn’t eat. 

If your dog develops diarrhea or an upset stomach after consuming butter, they may be lactose intolerant, or it may just disagree with them, and you should certainly avoid it and other dairy products in the future.

Conclusion: Your dog will likely end up consuming a bit of butter here and there, and it’s no cause for alarm. But steer clear of feeding it as a regular treat, by itself or in baked goodies.