Butter popcorn is the nation’s favorite type of popcorn. But it’s not something that should be eaten by dogs. Butter popcorn is packed full of fat which is unhealthy for dogs. It can also contribute to a host of health problems.
Let’s find out more about what happens when dogs eat butter popcorn, the risks associated with it, and what to do if your dog accidentally nibbles on some.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn with Butter on it?
The answer to this question is complicated. Butter isn’t toxic to dogs, so they can technically have popcorn with butter on it.
However, butter is typically 80% fat. What’s worse is that the majority of this fat is saturated fat. The type of saturated fat in butter is known as ‘long-chain fatty acids’. As it’s difficult for a dog’s body to break this down, it’s likely to be stored as fat on the dog’s body.
Excess fat puts your dog at risk of becoming overweight or obese. More than 50% of dogs in the US are currently overweight, according to VCA Hospitals. As so many dogs are already battling with their weight, it’s not a good idea to risk increasing your dog’s body mass by offering it popcorn with butter.
Is Butter Popcorn Bad for Dogs?
Yes, butter popcorn is bad for dogs.
As already mentioned, butter is high in fat, which automatically makes butter popcorn fatty. It’s also packed full of calories. 1 cup of lightly buttered popcorn contains around 80 calories – 50 calories more than plain, air-popped popcorn.
Dogs don’t need a massive amount of calories. Generally, 30 calories per pound of their total body weight is enough.
This means a typical Labrador Retriever weighing 60 pounds needs around 1800 calories per day. The majority of these calories should come from nutritious foods. A small number of treats can be offered to make up the rest.
Another reason why butter popcorn is bad for dogs is because many dogs are lactose intolerant. This means they can’t tolerate lactose (found in butter, milk, cheese, and other dairy products). Most dog owners won’t know that their dog is lactose intolerant as these types of foods aren’t usually eaten by dogs.
If you feed a dog who’s lactose intolerant butter popcorn, they’re likely to get sick. Vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues are likely.
It’s not just these problems that you need to consider. A dog that eats a lot of butter popcorn will also be at risk of the following health complaints:
- High cholesterol
- Stomach cramps
As these health issues are serious, we don’t recommend feeding butter popcorn to your dog, even as a one-off.
You might also be interested in: Can Popcorn Kill Dogs?
Is Butter Popcorn Good for Dogs?
No. Butter popcorn isn’t good for dogs, and it shouldn’t ever be offered as a treat.
Butter provides no health benefits to dogs. Popcorn, on the other hand, is nutritious as it’s high in fiber and contains protein. For dogs, these benefits are outweighed by the health risks mentioned above when butter is poured on the popcorn.
READ NEXT: Can dogs eat Skinny Popcorn?
Will Butter Popcorn Give My Dog Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is a common complaint in dogs. There are two types of pancreatitis; acute and chronic.
A little bit of butter popcorn is unlikely to give your dog pancreatitis. But if your dog eats butter popcorn frequently, then it could suffer from the condition.
Pancreatitis is also more likely to occur if your dog eats butter popcorn alongside other fatty foods, such as:
- Fat scraps
- The skin of meat, such as turkey and chicken
Some dogs are more likely to get pancreatitis than other pooches, although the reason for this isn’t known. These dogs include:
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Sled dogs
- Dogs aged 5 years and older
- Overweight and obese dogs over the age of 7 years
If you own one of these breeds or have a dog that falls under one of these categories, you must keep butter popcorn away from it. Pancreatitis can cause horrible symptoms in dogs, including:
- Poor appetite (which can lead to weakness)
- Cardiovascular damage
- Breathing difficulties
What’s worse is if pancreatitis is left untreated and becomes chronic, it can result in death. So, don’t risk your dog’s life for the sake of feeding it a few pieces of butter popcorn.
Can Dogs Have a Small Amount of Butter Popcorn?
If you accidentally drop a piece of butter popcorn and your dog gobbles it up before you get to it, there’s not likely to be any damage.
We don’t suggest giving butter popcorn to your dog willingly, though. The last thing you want is for your dog to get ill and for you to have to make a mad dash to the vet. Your dog and your bank balance won’t thank you, and you’re sure to feel guilty too!
What Can Dogs Have on Popcorn Instead of Butter?
The simple answer is nothing! Plain, air-popped popcorn is the best and healthiest popcorn option for a dog.
Butter popcorn may be one of your favorites, but don’t be tempted to share it with your four-legged friend. Butter is unhealthy for dogs and can put them at risk of some serious health issues. Instead, stick with plain, air-popped popcorn when feeding popcorn to your pooch, or reach for other dog-friendly snacks.
Next, check out Can Dogs have Sweet Popcorn?