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Can Pom Eat Popcorn

 Can a Pomeranian Eat Popcorn?

You are here: Pomeranian Information - Feeding - Can a Pomeranian Puppy or Dog Safely Eat Popcorn?
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While loving owners take care to feed their Pomeranian a balance diet of healthy, high quality food - whether that be a high rated manufactured food or planned home cooking, there will always be times when you are eating a certain snack or hear about a particular food and wonder if it is okay for your Pomeranian to eat it as well.

It is highly recommended to plan out snacks, treats and rewards so that healthy options are chosen as opposed to grabbing something quickly… 

In some cases, a food that 'sounds' healthy can actually cause stomach distress at best and toxicity poisoning at worst! 
We receive a lot of emails from our loyal readers (if you are not yet a Member, be sure to sign up for free) asking if it is alright to feed a particular snack or food ingredient to their Pom.

We have rounded up the top 8 food ingredients in question and are going to give detailed answers. This page is going to answer the question of: Is it okay for a Pomeranian to eat popcorn?

This is a good question can many owners wonder about this since popcorn is a very popular snack for many people. Popcorn has been around for a long time, thought to first be cultivated by people thousands of years ago in the area that is now Peru. Scientists have found remnants of popcorn from as far back as 4700 BC!

Many of us were taught in school that the pilgrims were introduced to popcorn by the Native American people, however this is now thought to be a myth. Interestingly, back in the 1800's people regularly ate popcorn as a breakfast cereal, with milk and sometimes a bit of sugar poured over it.

While many of us think of popcorn being just the kernel, some salt and perhaps some butter, in some areas of the world, it is eaten much differently. In the UK, it is sometimes sweetened with sugar. And in Peru, small candy pellets and condensed milk are added to it. In addition, there is of course, caramel popcorn and other specialty treats. For the purpose of this article, to learn if a Pomeranian can eat popcorn, we are going to discuss regular, plain popcorn without added sugar, caramel or any additional toppings other than salt and butter.

We must note that the way in which the corn kernels are popped makes a huge difference in regard to the nutritional value and benefits or negatives of eating it. When air popped, this is the healthiest option, since no oils are added.

Let's look at the difference between air popped and oil popped:
  • Air popped -1 cup has 1 gram of protein, 6.2 grams of carbs, .4 grams of fat and contains 31 calories 
  • Oil popped - 1 cup has 2.1 grams protein, 12.8 grams of carbs, 12.4 grams of fat and contains 165 calories 
One of the biggest "cons" of popcorn can be the sodium. One ounce of air popped popcorn has 2 mg, but one ounce of microwave popcorn has 300 mg of sodium! This food does contain fiber, which is healthy (1 ounce has 3.6 grams of dietary fiber). It does not contain any Vitamin A, C and D among others and there are only trace amounts of potassium, iron, B6 and magnesium.
Now that we know more about the popcorn that we eat, can a Pomeranian eat popcorn?

The answer is a YES, however there are some elements to keep in mind before you give a bowl of popcorn to your Pomeranian.

1- Let's talk about sodium, as this can be a huge element in feeding popcorn to a Pomeranian. Dogs do need sodium. 

It works to help nerves and muscles work properly. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and blood volume.

When a dog receives the correct levels of sodium, it helps the dog maintain an overall good balance of body fluids. However, too much sodium is very unhealthy for dogs. A dog that consumes too much sodium can actually develop salt intoxication (also referred to as salt poisoning).

Early signs are extreme thirst, which in turn leads to excess urination. Untreated, the circulatory system and kidneys struggle to cope, become strained and there will be swelling all over the body. A dog may then throw up, have diarrhea and in some cases, a dog will have seizures.
So, the element to keep in mind is that sodium is an important part of a diet, but too much will cause terrible medical problems.

How much sodium does a Pomeranian need? An 8 pound Pomeranian will need no more than 25 mg per day.

For this reason, if you are to feed popcorn to your Pom, it is very important to make sure that it is air popped and that no extra salt is added, unless your Pomeranian is in need of sodium to keep levels healthy.
small bag of popcorn
If you feed your Pom manufactured dog food, most likely it already contains plenty of sodium. If you home cook for your Pomeranian, if you are not adding a touch of salt to the recipes, you can add a small touch of salt to the popcorn, as long as you stay around the recommended 25 mg per day.

2- Many people are used to adding butter to their popcorn, as while a little bit of butter will not bother most Pomeranian dogs, a moderate to large amount can cause stomach upset. Also, it adds more sodium and it adds lots of fat and calories. If a Pomeranian likes popcorn, he or she will like it air popped and plain…and there is no reason to add any butter.

3- Have you ever eaten popcorn only to wish that you chose a different snack instead once a piece of hull gets stuck in your teeth? It is not uncommon for slices of kernels to become wedged between a person's tooth and gum. It can be very irritating to say the least!  

This can happen to dogs as well. Worse, is that a hull can slip under the gum line and cannot be seen - we know someone that this happened to - and a dentist had to take an x-ray to identify the culprit and then removed the unseen, hidden popcorn hull. This will most likely not happen to a dog that has very healthy gums, however even with daily dental brushings and regular vet visits for dental care, gums may not be tough enough to handle the hulls. 

4- If you do feel air popped popcorn (without added butter and without added salt) to your Pomeranian, never allow your Pom to eat from the bottom of the bowl - where the kernels end up settling down. Crunching down on a un-popped kernel can crack a tooth. (it happens to humans every once in a while, so it can happen to dogs as well - while rare, you want to prevent the possibility). Carefully take some good sized, fluffy pieces and set those aside for your Pomeranian.

5- If you do decide to feed popcorn to your Pom and he or she seems to love it, do remember that as with any other food, it should be given in moderation. Experimenting with different snacks for a puppy or dog can be a great thing - once you find out your dog's favorite treats, you'll know what to work with in regard to rewards for training. In fact, for pups and dogs that do love the taste, popcorn is a great treat for rewards since one piece can easily be given for each 'success' and it is very portable, whether you are training your Pom outside or are out on the road for some work with heeling.
small bowl of popcorn
Points to Remember

No matter which type of food item that you choose to give to your Pomeranian, never allow your puppy or dog to see that you offer food from your own plate. Doing so sets up a very strong foundation for begging behavior - and once that begins it can take a lot of hard work to set things back correctly. 

To have a well-trained, well-behaved Pomeranian, one part of that is to have your Pom obey the "Sit" command before any food is given (meals or snacks).  
If you would like to read more about training your Pom, you may be interested in Faye Dunningham's highly popular book: The Well Trained Puppy: Housebreaking, Commands to Shape Behavior and All Training Needed for a Happy, Obedient Dog found on Amazon - both hard copy & Kindle (and priced very reasonable): Great Training Book for Poms

Also, since we are speaking about food, please be sure that the bowls that your Pom use are either stainless steel or ceramic, since plastic bowls are terrible for the fur! To see our top recommended bowls or to see which supplements are recommended for Pomeranians, you may wish to look to the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.
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