As you smack down in front of your television and watch your favorite shows, you might want a bowl of popcorn to snack on. Everyone knows popcorn is great for munching on when watching movies. But there is one problem if you own a dog. He or she probably enjoys watching TV with you. Likewise, your popcorn will be a target as your K9 eyes that delicious snack sitting in your lap.
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. As the tension builds, you may have wondered if it is alright to give popcorn to a dog. This can be quite a conundrum as the stare-down unfolds right there 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 to the popular question regarding feeding popcorn to dogs. While popcorn is not a high-risk type of human food for dogs in general, it is still better to err on the side of caution. That’s what were are recommending here.
Generally, giving popcorn to dogs is not life-threatening and there are only a few reported cases of dogs dying from popcorn. That said, giving your dog popcorn that is highly salted, buttered, or otherwise flavored with sugar or artificial flavorings makes matters even worse. 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.
Weighing 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. Popcorn is actually known as a healthy snack since it is high in fiber and can therefore 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.
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. 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 may 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 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, dogs can experience general organ failure in extreme cases. More commonly, they become increasingly 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 popular human foods.
Seek Out Health Dog Treats Instead
You give your dogs 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 treat and overall lifestyle.