Question: Can dogs eat popcorn? And is popcorn good for dogs? Or is popcorn bad for dogs?
Answer: So, it’s time for you to sit back, relax in your living room and watch a good movie.
And what kind of movie experience would that be with no popcorn to go along with it? So, you hop on your way to the kitchen to prepare some popcorn and get back to the couch.
But, before you know it, your dog appears out of nowhere! What brought them here? The smell of that freshly popped popcorn, you can bet.
What kind of dog would they be if they didn’t want to eat from everything you’re eating from, right? 🙂 That’s how dogs are!
But, the question here is, can dogs eat popcorn? And is popcorn safe for dogs to eat?
After all, we do know that popcorn is essentially corn in a different form, and we do know that corn isn’t exactly the best of foods to be feeding dogs, as dog food companies that include corn in significant amounts in their products have come under significant heat for this issue as of late.
So, what’s the deal here? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? The Short Answer
Before I answer this question, I just want to let you know that this question is one of the most common dog food questions I hear being asked around, always! Interesting stuff.
The short answer is YES, dogs can eat popcorn! Fortunately, the case of dogs eating popcorn isn’t as bad as the case of dogs eating corn, even though popcorn is essentially a variety of corn.
Popcorn in and of itself isn’t toxic or poisonous for dogs, so as long as you feed your dog popcorn in proper methods and safe quantities, you’re good to go. So the problem isn’t really about giving your dog popcorn, the problem is about how exactly you give your dog popcorn to eat.
If you run a fast search on the internet about this subject, chances are you’re going to find a whole lot of controversial opinions on the topic.
But, the majority of experts who have something to say in this area and are qualified to do so are in consensus that it’s safe for dogs to eat popcorn.
When Is Popcorn Bad For Dogs?
You should be aware that popcorn that’s loaded with butter and salt is a disaster waiting to happen if your dog gets anywhere near it, so watch out about that!
As long as you only give them a few air popped, unsalted and unbuttered pieces of popcorn, your dog should be fine. Also, stay away from giving your dog any flavored popcorn, as this is just as bad as giving them popcorn full of butter, salt and sugar.
Flavored popcorn is full of additives, artificial coloring, chemicals and artificial sweeteners that are terrible for dogs, which is why you should always stay on the natural side of things when giving your dog popcorn – the same way you would approach giving them anything else to eat.
All of these elements make up a very poor diet, one that will eventually lead to your dog developing such an unhealthy lifestyle, that it will effect everything they do on a daily basis.
How Much Popcorn Can Dogs Eat?
As is a rule with everything in life, too much of everything (popcorn in this case) all at once is a bad thing.
So, you should only feed your dog a few pieces of air popped popcorn without any salt or butter at a time, and monitor how they react after they’re done eating.
If you see any problematic signs after your dog eats a few pieces of popcorn, then chances are you shouldn’t be feeding any to your dog anymore.
Is Popcorn Good For Dogs?
Even though your dog won’t be getting enormous health benefits from eating air-popped corn, because of the fact that your dog won’t be eating enough amounts of it since their bodies can’t tolerate much, here are some of the few health benefits that popcorn can offer your dog.
- Popcorn contains riboflavin and thiamine, which help in visual aid, improve digestion, and keep energy levels at a high.
- Freshly air popped popcorn is a good source of iron and protein.
- Plain, air popped popcorn is a good source of dietary fiber, which will go a long way in improving your dog’s bowel movements and digestive system activities.
- Last but not least, popcorn pieces are one of every dog owner’s favorite pieces of treats when training their little furry friends. Fairly cheap for a treat and your dog goes nuts about it, what’s there not to love about this positive reinforcement treat option?
How Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
As we talked about above, popcorn served to your dog should be air popped, salt-less and butter-less.
Any form of popcorn made with oil, butter or salt will be a disaster for your dog’s health, leading to diarrhea, dehydration, and even kidney damage.
And this a major reason why people often say that popcorn is bad for dogs, because the majority of popcorn that dog owners consider feeding their dogs is full of salt, butter and sugar. The same way that this type of popcorn is bad for you, it’s bad for your dog as well.
Microwave popcorn is also a disaster because if you check the nutritional facts of the bag, you’ll be surprised to learn that the sodium content in it is very high, which leads to salt toxicity in your dog.
The safest popcorn you could ever share with your dog is plain, air popped, unseasoned, and completely natural popcorn.
Corn Kernels For Dogs
When preparing air popped popcorn, you’ll find that some of the kernels don’t “pop” the first time around.
If these kernels are given for your dog to eat, they can lead to damage in their teeth, infections and diseases in their mouth, as well as choking.
And, if your dog chokes on one/a few of these unpopped corn kennels, this can easily prove to be fatal if you don’t know what to do on the spot. So don’t take the risk in the first place and make sure your dog doesn’t encounter corn kennels at all.
These corn kernels also aren’t properly digested by your dog’s system, which means that they will most probably cause digestive problems in your dog. You will also see them in your dog’s feces in the same form your dog swallowed them in, because of the fact that your dog’s body didn’t properly digest them.
To really minimize the risk of your dog choking on any of these pieces, make sure that the all the kernels are fully popped.
This way, even if your dog doesn’t really chew the popcorn piece and just swallows it as it is, they won’t face much of the probability of choking on it.
Again though, you don’t want your dog to swallow too many kennels because of the digestive problems this will cause. If your dog manages to make their way to a goldmine of kennels, be sure that they’ll be more than happy to gobble them all down in an instant if given the chance to.