Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?


Popcorn is a delicious snack, particularly as we enjoy a movie night. And it is almost a guarantee that your dog will be looking at you anytime you are eating a snack with suggestive eyes that they also want to have some. However, most people are not sure if dogs eat popcorn, if they are safe for their pup, or if they can cause adverse health effects. While it might be difficult to resist your dog’ s pleading eyes, it is best to ensure what you are feeding to your dog is always safe. Read on to know if your dog is allowed to join the fun too.

So, can dogs eat popcorn?

Yes, dogs can eat popcorn but with the provision that they are plain and fully air-popped and given as a treat. Popcorn by itself is not bad for dogs. According to Verywell Fit, popcorn have essential minerals for canine nutrition, including; manganese, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous, fiber as well as traces of vitamins. Popcorn have a trace amount of B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin, useful for vision, digestion, and boosting energy levels. However, the things that make popcorn delicious to our taste bring a different story. Most people prefer the popcorn seasoned with salt and dripping with butter even if it is not suitable for our health. this also applies to dogs. Oils, butter, salt, and other popcorn toppings can cause intestinal upset in dogs, per Hillspet. For some lactose-intolerant dogs, eating buttered popcorn might result in vomiting and diarrhea. Also, the fat contained in oils and butter can contribute to obesity and other obesity-related health issues. This is why it is best to feed your pup plain popcorn instead of seasoned or buttered popcorn.

Potential Side Effects and Hazards

If you feed your dog popcorn with unhealthy additives or toppings, it might result in negative side effects for your pup. Some of the side effects that could result from giving your dog popcorn with excessive butter, salt, or unhealthy preservatives include;

  • Digestive problems such as diarrhea
  • Possible kidney damage due to regular consumption of salty popcorn
  • Dehydration due to excess salt
  • Obesity in the long run from high-fat popcorn

Give Plain Popcorn as A Treat

Plain, air-popped popcorn provides a safe popcorn treat for your dog. Therefore, you can safely enjoy your next movie with your dog and some air-popped popcorn for a treat without any worries. However, now that it is safe to feed air-popped plain popcorn to your dog does not mean you should allow it to eat a whole bag of popcorn. Like humans, filling up on nutritionally deficient foods is not healthy. Ideally, treats, snacks, and people foods should make less than ten percent of your pup’s daily diet. So, while popcorn can provide dogs with minerals such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese, the fact is the dog is already getting all its nutritional needs from its raw food diet, so maintain popcorn as a treat.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Kernels?

It is not recommendable to feed popcorn kernels to your dogs. Kernels are likely to get stuck in the dog’s teeth damaging their teeth. The kernels also pose a choking hazard. Hence, it is a good idea to keep the parts or whole popped kernels away from your dog. Ensure to choose only the fully popped popcorn when you feed your dog. Also, be sure to maintain a watchful eye to ensure your dog is okay when handling the popcorn.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Popcorn Kernels?

If by any chance, your dog eats popcorn kernels, you should ensure to monitor him closely for any emergency and consult with your veterinarian. As stated earlier, the popcorn kernels can get stuck in their teeth and present a choking hazard. If you see any sign of choking on your dog, you should immediately take them to an emergency animal hospital or nearby vet. Otherwise, ensure a vet checks your pup if they present other concerns.

So, Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Popcorn?

The answer to the question is yes and no. it is safe for your dogs to eat small quantities of air-popped popcorn. Popcorn with other types of toppings, including buttered popcorn, is not safe for your dog, even though eating a few drooped pieces once in a while will most likely not hurt your dog. Like any treat, too much popcorn is not good for the dog. Therefore, ensure to keep the treats down to around ten percent of their daily diet intake. Some dogs might react negatively to popcorn, so stop giving popcorn to your dog and contact the vet immediately if you notice signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.

How To Safely Prepare Popcorn for Your Dog

To start with, you should not share prepackaged popcorn with your dogs, including microwave popcorn. These might contain additives, oils, or unhealthy chemicals for your dog. Also, the popcorn bag presents a suffocation hazard to your dog. For your dog’s safety, prepare unsalted, plain, and unflavored popcorn. These are healthy for both yourself and your pet. The ideal way to make the popcorn is to air pop it instead of using a stovetop to avoid seasoning or oil. Air popping is super simple, and you can do it in a microwave or popcorn machine. After you finish popping, ensure to remove partially popped kernels and give your dogs popcorn in moderation. If you want to add any toppings to your popcorn, remove a portion for your dog and add your chosen additives later.

Bottom Line

Feeding plain, fully air-popped plain popcorn pieces to your dog is completely safe and healthy. However, according to veterinarians, treats including popcorn should not make more than ten percent of the diet of your dog so keep that in mind. On the other hand, avoid buttery, cheesy, salty, and sugary varieties of popcorn. Also, ensure not to feed unpopped and hard kennels to your dog as they might damage their teeth and pose a choking hazard. Happy movie time with your canine friend!

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