Is Popcorn Good For Dogs? The Truth You Need To Know

Is Popcorn Good For Dogs? The Truth You Need To Know
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Nothing beats a movie night on the couch with your furry friend nestled next to you and a bowl of tasty popcorn. When we’re sitting on the couch eating by the handful, it’s easy to drop a piece of popcorn on the floor, where our dogs will immediately pounce. Have you ever wondered if popcorn is good for dogs? This Canvas Personalized‘s guide will answer any questions about whether or not popcorn is safe for dogs to eat. Read on to find out if you can share popcorn treats with your four-legged friend during the next movie season.

1. Is Popcorn Good For Dogs?

Popcorn isn’t beneficial for dogs but is not inherently terrible, either. Although dogs can occasionally like popcorn as a treat, it might not be the healthiest choice for your dog. You should only give your dog plain, unseasoned popcorn in moderation while keeping an eye on him.

So, does popcorn have any benefits for dogs? What dangers do they present, if any? Continue reading as we go deeper into this topic.

2. Four Advantages of Popcorn for Dogs

Dogs can reap some health benefits from eating plain popcorn. Popcorn is safe for dogs, but only in small amounts. This means that the nutrients in popcorn will have a negligible effect on your dog’s health. Popcorn contains nutrients like:

Is Popcorn Good For Dogs?
Is popcorn good for dogs?
  • Antioxidants: Popcorn includes polyphenols that aid in the defence against cell-damaging free radicals.
  • Fiber: This delightful snack offers a satisfying crunch and a significant dietary fiber boost. Like numerous other grains, maize is a rich source of dietary fiber. This is good for your dog’s digestive tract and can help prevent health problems like obesity.
  • Minerals: Popcorn has a good amount of magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper, among other trace minerals. All of an animal’s systems can’t work without these minerals. Additionally, they maintain the skin and coat health of your dog.
  • Vitamins: Popcorn is rich in niacin, thiamine, and pyridoxine, three B vitamins that support hormone production, energy balance, and immunological and brain health.

3. Six Common Dangers of Giving Dogs Popcorn

While a modest amount of this beloved snack can be relatively harmless and may even offer some minor advantages for dogs, it’s crucial to be aware that certain varieties of popcorn can potentially pose risks to your beloved pooch. Let’s discuss the question, “Is popcorn dangerous for dogs?”

Allergies in Dogs

Some Dogs May Be Allergic To Popcorn
Some dogs may be allergic to popcorn. Image via Nom Nom

Some dogs have a severe reaction to maize. Keep an eye out for symptoms of an allergic response, such as hives or trouble swallowing.

Choking Risk

Popcorn Can Cause Choking In Dogs
Popcorn can cause choking in dogs. Image via Kohepets Blog

Popcorn kernels’ form and dogs’ propensity to gulp down food could lead to a hazardous situation. Popcorn kernels can pose choking dangers if they are too firm to chew. To prevent them from choking on unpopped popcorn kernels, remove all unpopped popcorn kernels before sharing this treat with them.

Digestive Issues

Digestive Issues In Dogs
Digestive issues in dogs. Image via Orlando Weekly.

There always seem to be a few corn kernels in a batch of pop that won’t pop. Ingesting unpopped kernels might lead to digestive issues and even intestinal blockage in your dog.

Stomach Upset

Popcorn Can Cause Stomach Pain In Dogs
Popcorn can cause stomach pain in dogs. Image via Texas A&M

Dogs’ stomachs cannot handle large amounts of fat. If you use oil to pop your popcorn, don’t give it to the dog. This is especially important for overweight or insulin-resistant dogs.

Serious Ailments

Flavored Popcorn Can Be Harmful To Dogs
Flavored popcorn can be harmful to dogs. Image via The Vets

The ingredients you add to your popcorn can negatively affect a dog’s health. This includes seasonings like sugar, caramel, chocolate, salt, pepper, garlic, and other herbs and spices. There is a risk of allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, and permanent kidney damage from these components.

Some microwave popcorn and store-bought popcorn treats may include artificial additives hazardous to dogs, including the sweetener xylitol. Serve only your plain, low-calorie air-popped popcorn instead of buttered, microwaved, cheddar, caramel, or popcorn candy.

Dental Problems

Dental Problems
Dental problems in dogs. Image via Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital.

Dogs’ teeth become clogged with popcorn hulls and rigid, tiny bits along the sides of popped corn kernels. Dogs struggle to keep their mouths clean, unlike people who can use dental floss and toothbrushes to remove popcorn kernels.

4. How to Prepare Safely Popcorn For Dogs

Air-popping popcorn is the healthiest option if you want to give your dog a snack every once in a while. It’s also really simple to do. Simply place unseasoned maize kernels in a popping device, microwave, or hot pan and wait for them to explode. Then, take out any that haven’t or are only partially popped before serving them to your dog.

5. How Much Can Popcorn Dogs Eat?

How Much Can Popcorn Dogs Eat?
How much can popcorn dogs eat?

Popcorn is a treat that should be given to your dog on rare occasions. Estimate a handful for a larger dog and a few pieces for a smaller dog, and make sure it doesn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie consumption. They can have it plain or with a touch of dog-friendly toppings like cheddar, bacon, peanut butter, etc. Popcorn is okay for dogs to eat in moderation, although it might not be their best treat.

>>> Find the healthiest food for your dogs in this article!

6. My Dog Accidentally Ate Some Popcorn; What Should I Do?

Unless your dog is allergic to corn or has had a significant quantity of flavored popcorn at once, you probably don’t need to worry if he or she unintentionally consumes some popcorn. In either situation, dogs may have gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea lasting several days.

Unpopped kernels can irritate if left wedged in a tooth and put your dog at risk of choking, so if your pet manages to consume some, check to be sure they’ve swallowed them without getting stuck. Then, contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog shows any unusual symptoms.

7. Is Microwave Popcorn Bad For Dogs?

Some dogs with heart conditions shouldn’t eat microwave popcorn because of the high salt and fat content. However, a small piece of plain, air-popped corn is a fine treat for your dog.

8. Can Dogs Eat Popcorn With Butter?

For several reasons, popcorn with butter, oil, salt, and other seasonings is bad for dogs. The lipids in oil and butter can contribute to obesity and its associated health problems. As mentioned above, air-popped, plain popcorn is a healthy snack your dog will occasionally enjoy.

>>> We have a group of fascinating details about other things your dogs can and cannot eat:

While bonding over treats with your dog can be fun, you should always prioritize your dog’s health and safety. When given in moderation and properly made, popcorn can be safe for dogs but not very good for them. Overall, the benefits pale in comparison to the drawbacks. So the next time you and your pup settle in for a movie night, you’ll know the answer to the question, “Is popcorn good for dogs?”