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It’s time to snuggle up on the couch to watch your favorite movie. Your precious pup loves the smell of the popcorn you’ve made, but should you give your dog popcorn? Maybe you are looking for a new treat to spice things up a bit with your companion, or perhaps you’re just feeling a little curious. Regardless, the answer isn’t so simple. At first glance, it might seem okay. After all, isn’t popcorn just like any other snack? As it turns out, that it’s not the best option, but it’s not terrible either.
Is Popcorn Bad For Dogs?
Well, the truth is that popcorn with large hulls can be somewhat dangerous for pets with much smaller throats than us. The corn itself is fine, but the kernels may get stuck between teeth, possibly scrape the throat or even get lodged in the dog’s airway, making it an unsafe food for dogs to eat regularly.
Other Health Risks Associated With Popcorn
Of course, there are other factors to keep in mind as well, such as the salt or butter that’s often added to popcorn. These extras only really serve to make the snacks taste better for people, but it’s best to keep them away from your pet. They aren’t immediately dangerous like the kernels; however, they are unhealthy additives that can diminish a pup’s health over time. It’s important to be wary of potentially harmful ingredients and additives when you give any snacks to your canine friend.
What Is Hulless Popcorn? Is It Safe?
Perhaps you’ve heard of kernel less (a.k.a. hulless) popcorn. The name is a little misleading because every corn kernel has a seed and thus every piece of popcorn has a kernel. However, not all popcorn is created equal, and hulless popcorn has a smaller kernel which is more tender than your average corn kernel, making it a safer option for you and your pup. A reduced hull size also comes at a steeper price since it’s rarer than your average corn kernels. While hulless is safer than regular popcorn, it still comes with similar risks.
Is There Special Popcorn For Dogs?
If you are determined to share movie time snacks with your pup, you may want to try Pup Corn. It’s available in several dog-friendly flavors like cheese, peanut butter and more. It also contains a bonus of prebiotics and probiotics to aid your pup’s digestion. Pup Corn is also low in calories, low carb and low sodium, offering a good alternative to heavier dog treats.
Can Popcorn Be Good For Dogs?
There are several health benefits to popcorn when it doesn’t get stuck in the teeth or throat. It contains antioxidants that can boost the immune system. When there’s no salt or butter added, it’s also a low-fat snack. Popcorn can also offer essential vitamins and minerals, like zinc or phosphorus. However, keep in mind that popcorn is not the best way to increase these nutrients for your dog. In fact, you should probably try a doggy multivitamin if you are looking to improve your dog’s nutrient balance. At the end of the day, popcorn is still a snack and should be treated as such.
So, when you weigh the potential health risks versus benefits of popcorn, is it worth treating your pooch to this popped treat? It could be, but perhaps a dog-safe fresh fruit (e.g., banana, pear slices and oranges) is a more suitable healthy snack with far fewer risks.
With All Snacks, Moderation Is Key
If you take anything away from this, remember that like all snacks, you should give your dog popcorn in moderation. Eating too many snacks is never good for anyone’s health, whether they’re a dog or a human. If you want to know which foods are safe for dogs to snack on, check out our list of foods not to feed dogs, which includes several foods that are dog-approved! And if you want to be extra safe, buy dog treats that are made specifically to enhance your canine buddy’s health.
What is your favorite dog movie?
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