As you relax in front of your television, you might want a bowl of popcorn to snack on. Popcorn is great for munching during a movie but there’s one problem if you own a dog. Your popcorn will be a target as your K9 eyes that delicious snack sitting in your lap.
It can be hard to say no when they turn on the charm with those puppy dog eyes. As the tension builds, you may have wondered if it’s alright to give popcorn to a dog. This can be quite a conundrum as the stare-down unfolds in your living room.
Don’t feel guilty for not sharing. Popcorn is 100% pure people food and we’ve all heard stories of people food being toxic or even fatal for dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Popcorn? Answer: Not Recommended
No is the quick answer regarding feeding popcorn to dogs. While popcorn is not a high-risk type of human food for dogs in general, it’s still better to err on the side of caution.
Generally, giving popcorn to dogs is not life-threatening. There are only a few reported cases of canines dying from popcorn. That said, giving your dog popcorn that’s highly salted, buttered, or otherwise flavored with sugar or artificial flavorings makes matters worse.
All types of heavily salted, oily, and sugary foods are bad for your dog’s health. These should be avoided if not completely eliminated from your dog’s diet.
Risks of Giving Popcorn to Dogs
Unsalted and unflavored popcorn which is not buttered won’t really harm your pet dog when given in moderation. Popcorn is actually known as a healthy snack since it’s high in fiber and can aid digestion. High in carbohydrates, popcorn can give you and your dog an extra energy boost. For this to be true, you must combine it with exercise which also goes for your dog.
In spite of being a fun snack for both you and the dog, it’s not such a great idea to feed your K9 popcorn regularly. Dogs tend to gulp down these small pieces of popcorn, especially if you own a large breed of dog. When your dog does this, they may swallow kernels of corn without even chewing them up. Kernels are not easily digestible and can cause an upset stomach for your dog.
There are also 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 blocked. Even if it doesn’t kill your dog, the tiny pieces of this snack can get caught between their teeth. You know how uncomfortable that can be; plus it eventually causes tooth decay.
Popcorn as a Dog Treat
Popcorn is sometimes used as a rewarding treat while training a dog. Surely, most canine owners are getting away with it without harming their dogs. If you feel comfortable giving popcorn to your dog as a type of snack or treat, only use plain and unsalted popcorn types. Flavored and salted popcorn are harmful to your dog’s health.
Their system is not built to withstand too much salt and artificial chemicals. Excessive salt and sweet flavoring can lead to obesity, heart problems, diarrhea, diabetes and even arthritis. Still worse, dogs can experience organ failure in extreme cases. More commonly, they become 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. It’s advisable to get those instead as dog treats should be vitamin-fortified. Some even have the added benefit of also helping to clean your dog’s teeth. Healthy dog treats from reputable dog food manufacturers, under various brand labels, are much safer than popcorn and most other popular human foods.
Health Dog Treats Instead
You give your dogs healthy snack treats, among other reasons, to let them know how much you love them. If you are really concerned about your dog’s well-being, stick to providing them with only the best food and snacks which probably doesn’t include popcorn.
Try to minimize giving your pet too much 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 salted and buttered popcorn and instead switch to a healthier overall lifestyle.