Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

It sure is unconventional, but can dogs eat popcorn? How does it affect these furry friends? If you find your dog accidentally chewing and swallowing one of these cinema-famous treats, you probably stumble here to find the answer. However, don’t panic just yet! Here’s what we have compiled to deliver you the information you need.

What is In Popcorn?

Popcorn is precisely like what it sounds: it’s where corns (kernels) are popped after they’re cooked. Popcorn has a pretty interesting history that originated from New Mexico, with more evidence discovered throughout South and Central America. Back at the time, popcorns were used as ceremonial embellishment and clothes decoration as well, besides being consumed like now.

As a whole grain, popcorns contain high levels of fiber and don’t impact blood sugar levels when eaten as a snack. In comparison to containing complex carbohydrates, popcorns have pretty low calories and fats. When consumed in an appropriate amount, popcorns are undeniably a satisfying treat between meals!

How Does Popcorn Affect Dogs?

popcorn picture
popcorn picture

After knowing the facts about popcorns, now can dog eat popcorn? Well, they actually can, but there are still many precautions to pay attention to. There are good and bad effects from allowing your dog to consume popcorn:

Good Effects

The thing about giving popcorns to your dog is: as long as they’re plain, air-popped, and free of uncooked kernels, that means there won’t be any adverse results.

Popcorns are, in the bottom line, aren’t toxic and bad for dogs. According to the Pet Insurance Company Trupanion, “at its core, popcorn can be a pretty healthy snack for humans and dogs alike.” The kernels, in fact, consist of zinc, iron, and magnesium, which are contributing to canine nutrition. Popcorns also have a high amount of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for your dog’s digestive system.

Along with other vitamins like B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin inside, these minerals can boost your dog’s fiber intake.

Bad Effects

Now, what makes popcorn harmful to dogs is the way they’re prepared and how often dogs consume those. Air-popped popcorns without any seasonings don’t entirely eliminate the danger, but it’s at least tolerable in the long run. It’s also an occasional tasty treat.

However, if your dog happens to consume popcorns seasoned with salt, butter, caramel, oils, or any other delicious toppings, then you need to be aware. You can give yourself this thought: we know these popcorns aren’t good for our health. It’s also the same for your dog.

For instance, butter and oils in popcorns can slowly lead to obesity in the long-term. Some quick reactions your dog can experience are intestinal upset, diarrhea, and more digestive issues. The high amount of salt in the popcorns can make them dehydrated and lead to possible kidney damages.

Another thing to note is that corn kernel pieces can also harm the dog’s teeth and gums. You may notice some corn kernels leftovers that don’t get expanded and puffed out under the bottom of the plate or pan. These uncooked little pieces can get stuck in your dog’s teeth. Besides causing problems like tooth decay or gum disease to his or her oral health, they can also be hard to digest and thus pose a choking hazard.

Dr. Danielle Bernal

A veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, states, “Popcorn can cause a host of issues in dogs when consumed, including allergic reactions and an upset stomach.” The thing is: corns are indeed one among possible allergens for canine, just like an allergy to soy, wheat, or dairy.

Some adverse reactions to expect when your dog’s allergic to corn are chronic gas, diarrhea, and inflammation.

Just to be safe, it’s highly suggested for you to consult and check up your dog first to the vet before cooking the popcorn. Even if you’re following the rule of cooking plain, air-popped corns and giving them an appropriate amount, you should always consult your vet first.

How to Feed Dogs Popcorn?

While popcorns are great for both humans and dogs alike, they have to be mainly plain and air-popped ones. Moreover, they have to be in small quantities and not consumed regularly. What does this mean?

It means that you have to forget about buttered popcorn, caramel popcorn, or any popcorn made with other toppings when you have your dog beside you. The thing about popcorn is, they’re prone to fall out of our hand when we grab a bunch of it. The fallout pieces can get to the floor or between the cushions, which are the places often sniffed by your dog.

One way to avoid such circumstances is to cook separate popcorn treats for you and your dog. Give them an appropriate amount that’s no more than 10 percent of his or her daily caloric intake.

This is how you can prepare the popcorn for your beloved furry friend:

  1. It’s extremely quick and straightforward to make air-popped popcorns. Feel free to use a microwave, popcorn machine, or closed pan.
  2. Never season the kernels! According to Wild Earth, some of the flavorings you should avoid are garlic, onions, avocado, grapes, chocolate, and macadamia nuts.
  3. After they’re all popped up, recheck them all to remove any uncooked kernels. It does take time, but it’s safer this way.

Popcorns for your dog, on the other hand, can be made into something else that’s similarly tasty and healthy. You can try making cheesy bacon popcorn where you simply cover the popcorn with bacon bits and reduced-fat grated cheddar on the popcorn. Heat it to 350 degrees until the cheese melts.

We hope our information above covers what you’re searching for. So, can dogs eat popcorn? Yes, but with certain precautions! Your vet may have specific advice about how your dog can consume this light snack, though. Make sure to follow the guide from the professionals, and have a fun time in feeding your dogs this delicious treat!

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