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Can dogs have popcorn?

Updated on June 29, 2010

Popcorn has always been a favorite snack when the family is watching TV. People entering movie houses would commonly clutch tubs of popcorn. Unbuttered popcorn is an ideal snack for health conscious people. Of course the salted and buttered ones, the caramel and butterscotch flavored, the popcorn mixed with raisins and nuts would be sinful treats for weight watchers. Consumption of these flavored popcorns would tip the scale a little more. We humans have the habit of sharing what we eat with the dog. Popcorn is one of the people foods commonly shared with the pet. Dogs eat popcorn. Some dogs have even developed an unaccountable treat for this snacks made from corn.

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Is popcorn safe for the dog?

It is certainly hard to resist feeding the dog people food especially when the pet turns on the charm. Dogs are accomplished actors that have mastered the art of begging for human food. So what would momma do if the dog with a woebegone expression has its eyes fixed on the bowl of human food? The pet owner would give a piece…and then another…and another until the dog has had its fill. Popcorn is one of the safe people foods that can be given to the pet.

Nutritional benefits a dog can get from popcorn

Popcorn is rich in complex carbohydrates making this healthy snack a great energy booster. It is also a good source of fiber. Fiber is needed by the body as it aids digestion. This dog treat is healthful as it has very low caloric content; a cup of plain popcorn contains less than 60 calories. Plain popcorn is one of the few treats that can be given to an obese dog.

Popcorn as a training treat

A handful of popcorn makes a handy training treat. Because dogs love the crunch and the taste of this popular snack for humans, the dog will be enticed to respond well to the commands just to receive the reward.

When are popcorn unsafe for the dog?

Puffed up corn kernels contain a lot of air. A handful of popcorn will not make the dog gain weight. However, as what is common, the popcorns that come in many different flavors are the ones preferred by humans. The flavored ones, loaded with fat, salt and sugar will naturally be fed to the dogs. This will result to the obesity of the dog. Responsible dog owners would know that the pet’s obesity can lead to other medical concerns. Obesity can lead to heart problems, diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis and other serious health problems. Tossing kernels of popcorn to the dog can be an entertaining game but the amount of popcorn consumed (especially if buttered) can damage the dog’s metabolism and eventually result to organ failure. Plain unflavored popcorn is a healthy treat for the dog but it would never do to let the pet finish off a big bowl…not if you do not want to deal with the mess created by a dog with diarrhea. Dogs generally wolf down the food, without chewing. Popcorn and toy breeds would not be a good combination as kernels that have not puffed can choke the dog.

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