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.
If your pet dog stays inside the house, he or she will probably enjoy watching TV with you. And definitely, your popcorn would be a target too. Surely you don’t mind sharing with your canine friend, right? It would be particularly hard to say no when he or she turns on that all-too-familiar charm plus those puppy dog eyes.
But you might be asking yourself deep inside if it is really alright to give popcorn to a dog. Popcorn is people food; and you have probably heard about stories of people food being fatal or toxic to dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Popcorn? Answer: Not Recommended
No is the quick answer to the question regarding feeding popcorn to dogs. However, popcorn is not a high-risk type of people food for dogs. 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 salted, buttered, or flavored with sugar or artificial flavorings. You should know for 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 unbuttered popcorn will typically not harm your pet dog. 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.
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. And 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.
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 immediate 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. And you know how uncomfortable that can be. It can be very painful.
Popcorn as Dog Treats
Because popcorn is not regarded as highly dangerous types of people food for dogs, they are sometimes used as treats, rewards and training snacks for dogs. And surely, most dog owners are getting away with it without harming their dogs.
If you feel comfortable about giving popcorn to your dog as snacks or treats, make sure that you only use plain and unsalted popcorn types. Flavored and salted popcorn are harmful to a dog’s health and their system is not built to withstand too much salt and artificial chemicals. Too much salt and sweet flavoring can lead to obesity, heart problems, diarrhea, diabetes and even arthritis. Or worse, your dog can have a general organ failure.
There are a lot of healthy doggie treats and snacks available on the market today and it is more advisable to get those. Real dog treats are vitamin-fortified and some even have the dual functionality of cleaning your dog’s teeth. Dog treats that can be purchased from reputable brands of dog food manufacturers are so much safer than popcorn and other people food.
Dog Treats are Healthy Treats
You give your dogs snack treats just 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. And the best way to do this is to minimize giving your pet people food which is not really that nutritious for them anyway.