Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Salty or Sweet?
There’s nothing better than sitting down for a good movie night with a big bowl of popcorn. But we all know how messy popcorn can be and how much of it actually ends up down the back of the couch or stuck to the cushions. So should you worry if your pup manages to eat a bit of your favorite snack? Can dogs eat popcorn?
The answer is yes. Dogs can eat popcorn but only in certain situations – so make sure you read before you feed!
What Actually Is Popcorn?
Most of us know what popcorn is and especially know the nostalgic smell we associate with the movies. But did you know that there are actually a number of different types of popcorn? Not just your standard butterfly popcorn you get when waiting for your favorite movie to start. Popcorn is just dried corn kernels that pop into a fluffy white ball when heated.
Although air-popped popcorn is a relatively healthy snack for humans, most of us treat ourselves to this delicious food because of all the added extras. Toffee sauce, butter, salt, and even chilly. This is where it gets tricky for our four-legged friends.
Is Popcorn Dangerous for Dogs?
Giving your dog popcorn that has been cooked without oil and that has no added ingredients isn’t a problem. It’s not the most nutritious snack for them, but in small quantities, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
You shouldn’t, however, feed your dog popcorn that has all the added extras. Sugar and salt are not something your pup needs in their diet and, let’s be honest, popcorn is full of them.
Can Dogs Eat Caramel Popcorn?
Nope! Dogs shouldn’t eat caramel popcorn. Overly processed popcorn with lots of sugary extras isn’t good for your pup. There are plenty of other naturally sweet human snacks you can feed your pup such as watermelon and pineapple.
Can Dogs Eat Buttered Popcorn?
Again, doggos don’t need extra fat in their diet. Plain popcorn can be OK, but buttered popcorn is just extra calories which can lead to a number of health issues later down the line.
Can Dogs Eat Salty Popcorn?
Dogs really don’t need extra salt in their diet. You should be feeding your pup well-balanced dog food that’s been specifically combined with your canine’s needs in mind. If you want to add to their diet with some healthy, nutritious snacks, why not try avocado, cucumber, or celery?
What Other Problems Are There When Your Dog Eats Popcorn
Even plain air-popped popcorn can be a danger if it isn’t fully popped. Partially or unpopped corn kernels are a potential choking hazard – especially for small dogs. If you want to feed your pup plain popcorn, make sure it’s fully popped.
As well as being a choking hazard, the small, hard skins of uncooked popcorn can get trapped in your dog’s teeth. This can cause gum infections and a lot of discomfort for your furry friend.
Some pups are also allergic to corn. In fact, a lot of pet parents feed their pups dog food without corn in it. Many fresh dog food companies offer food without corn in it as it’s seen as a potential allergy and doesn’t contain that many nutrients.
Is Popcorn Good for Dogs?
Whilst plain, microwave popcorn isn’t bad for dogs, it’s not the most nutritious either. It does contain some nutrients such as magnesium and zinc and has a good amount of fiber but your pup should really be getting most of these from their main food. Human food such as shrimp has many more nutritional benefits than popcorn.
How Much Popcorn Should You Feed Your Dog?
Generally, when it comes to your pup, you should follow the 90/10 rule. This means 90% of their food should be nutritious, specially formulated canine food and 10% can be treats. Of course, it’s better to feed your pup unprocessed dog treats because processed ones often contain unhealthy additives.
Depending on the breed of your pup and how much they eat, a couple of kernels is enough. Too much popcorn (even plain, air-popped corn) might cause your pup to have some digestive problems. As will all food, monitor your dog after you’ve given them a small amount. If there are any signs of allergy or they seem unwell (vomiting, diarrhea, or they look lethargic) contact your vet.
It goes without saying, but if you think your pup is allergic to corn don’t feed them popcorn.
How to Feed a Dog Popcorn?
Something your dog will love about popcorn is the different texture it has. Unlike soft food, popcorn adds a bit of crunch at meal times – so adding it to their regular food bowl is a great way to serve this treat.
You can also try stuffing a few kernels into a great interactive toy. This will keep your pup engaged and stop them from gobbling it up so quickly! Because popcorn is dry and easy to transport, it can also make a good treat. Try rewarding good behavior with a kernel.
So, Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
The next time you have a movie night, it’s quite OK if you give your dog a few bits of plain popcorn. It’s not the most nutritious snack ever but if your dog likes it, there’s no reason they shouldn’t enjoy movie night too!
What’s really important is that you make sure the corns are fully popped as unpopped kernels could be a choking hazard. Dogs also don’t need extra salt or sugar in their diet as this can lead to health problems. So avoid giving them sugary, buttery, or salty popcorn.
Which snacks are your pup’s favorite?