As you smack down in front of your television watching your favorite shows, you might want a bowl of popcorn to snack on. This is the perfect set-up to relax; that’s why it’s very popular when watching movies. But there is one problem if you own a dog.
If your pet dog stays inside the house, he or she will probably enjoy watching TV with you. Most definitely, your popcorn will be a target as your K9 eyes that delicious snack sitting in your lap. Surely you don’t mind sharing with your canine friend, right? It can be particularly hard to say no when they turn on that all-too-familiar charm as those puppy dog eyes are right there in your face.
But you might be subconsciously wondering if it is really alright to give popcorn to a dog. Popcorn is 100% pure people food and you have probably heard about stories of people food being fatal or toxic to dogs. This can be quite a conundrum as the stare-down unfolds in your living room.
Can I Give My Dog Popcorn? Answer: Not Recommended
No is the quick answer to the question regarding feeding popcorn to dogs. On the other hand, popcorn is not a high-risk type of people food for dogs in general. There are only a few reported cases of dogs dying from popcorn, but it is still better to err on the side of caution.
Generally, giving popcorn to dogs is not life-threatening. That is unless you are giving your dog popcorn that is highly salted, buttered, or otherwise flavored with sugar or artificial flavorings. It is a fact that all types of food that are heavily salted, oily, and sugary are very bad for your dog’s health. These should be avoided if not completely eliminated from your dog’s diet.
The Risks of Giving Popcorn to Dogs
Unsalted, unflavored, and typical popcorn which is not buttered will not really harm your pet dog when given in moderation. In fact, popcorn is a healthy snack as foods like these are high in fiber and can therefore aid digestion. Moreover, popcorn is high in carbohydrates and this will give you and your dog an extra energy boost. You must exercise, your dog as well, for this to be true though.
However, in spite of being a fun snack for both you and the dog, it is not such a great idea to feed your dog popcorn regularly. You see, dogs tend to gulp down these small pieces of popcorn, especially if you own a large breed of dog. When your dog does this, he or she will swallow kernels of corn without even chewing them up. The kernels are not easily digestible and this can cause an upset stomach for your dog. They don’t know about kernels like you do.
There are also some reported cases of dogs, especially small breeds of dogs, choking on unpopped kernels of popcorn. This rarely happens, but when it does it can cause a quick death as the air passage to the lungs is completely blocked. Even if it doesn’t kill your dog, the tiny pieces of this snack can get caught between your dog’s teeth. You know how uncomfortable that can be. It can be very painful for them in addition to causing tooth decay over the long term.
Popcorn as Dog Treats
Because popcorn is not regarded as a highly dangerous type of people food for dogs, they are sometimes used as treats, rewards and training snacks for dogs. Surely, most dog owners are getting away with it without harming their dogs.
If you feel comfortable about giving popcorn to your dog as a type of snack or treat, make sure that you only use plain and unsalted popcorn types. Flavored and salted popcorn are harmful to a dogs’ health. A K9 system is not built to withstand too much salt and artificial chemicals. Excessive salt and sweet flavoring intake can lead to obesity, heart problems, diarrhea, diabetes and even arthritis. Still worse, your dog can have a general organ failure. Commonly, they become more lethargic over time as a result of a poor diet.
There are a lot of healthy doggie treats and snacks available on the market today and it is more advisable to get those instead. Real dog treats should be vitamin-fortified. Some even have dual functionality like the added benefit of also helping to clean your dog’s teeth. Healthy dog treats that can be purchased from reputable dog food manufacturers, under various brand labels, are so much safer than popcorn and most other types of people food.
Seek Out Health Dog Treats
You give your dogs snack treats, among other reasons, to let them know how much you love them. But if you are really concerned about your dog’s well-being, you will stick to providing him or her with only the best food and snacks. The best way to do this is to minimize giving your pet people food which is generally not really that nutritious for them anyway. If your dog is overweight, it may be the clearest sign to lay off the popcorn and switch to a healthier treat and overall lifestyle.