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Can Dogs Have Popcorn?

We’ve all been there. Snuggled under a blanket on the sofa with a huge bowl of popcorn and a chick flick, taking it in turns to grab a handful with our four legged friends eagerly waiting for their share. It is easy to toss them a few pieces or let them clean up what you drop. However, have you ever stopped and wondered, can dogs have popcorn? 

Dogs can have air-popped plain popcorn in moderation. However, the salt and sugar found in most commercial popcorn can have adverse effects on your dog’s health if consumed regularly. 

For more information and dog-friendly popcorn recipes please keep reading.

Air-popped popcorn can be given to your dog as a treat however, it should not be their main source of food. 

As a treat, popcorn should not make up more than ten percent of their daily calorie intake. Therefore, a handful of pieces now and then is okay for them to consume as long as it is not on a daily basis. 

Give your dog one piece at a time and watch them as they consume the popcorn to ensure they do not choke. 

What Type of Popcorn Is Best For Your Dog?

As we all know, there are multiple types of popcorn. Any popcorn with additives to it is not healthy for your dog. 

If you’re going to feed your dog popcorn as a treat, feed them plain, air-popped kernels. However, make sure that the pieces you feed your dog do not contain any partially popped or whole kernels. These can pose a serious choking hazard for your pet and can get stuck in their teeth. 

can dogs eat popcorn?

Is Popcorn Good For Your Dog?

Plain, air-popped kernels do have some health benefits for your dogs. They contain several substances that provide excellent nutrition for your dog. A few of these include:

  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Fiber
  • Trace amounts of vitamins

Therefore, in small amounts, popcorn can actually be good for your dog.

What Type of Popcorn Should You Avoid Giving Your Dog?

Any popcorn that is not plain and air-popped, isn’t good for your dog. They can consume small amounts of it, but try not to let them on a regular basis. 

The toppings on popcorn are what makes it unhealthy for dogs. Toppings such as:

  • Butter
  • Oils
  • Salt

Can have adverse health effects on your dog. 

Can Popcorn Make Your Dog Sick?

Popcorns with toppings can result in your dog having an upset stomach or an allergic reaction. A few other adverse results include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic gas
  • Obesity
  • Dehydration 
  • Kidney damage

Most of the time, your dog will be fine if consuming a few dropped pieces. However, if it is their first time-consuming popcorn, keep a close eye on them for any signs of an allergic reaction. Signs include:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling

If your dog exhibits these signs, be sure not to feed them popcorn again. If it is severe, seek immediate veterinary attention. 

Can Dogs Have Popcorn? 3

Safe Popcorn Recipes For Your Dog

Although plain-air-popped popcorn is the best type to give your dog, it is not often that we make that for ourselves. Nor is it that enjoyable to consume for your pet. 

If you are looking to make popcorn specifically as a treat for your dog, you may consider adding some pet-safe toppings to make it more enjoyable for them to consume. 

First, though, you should ensure that air-pop your popcorn. This can be done using:

  • A microwave
  • A popcorn machine
  • A pan on the stove

Then be sure to remove any partially popped or unpopped kernels.

Peanut Butter Popcorn

Dogs love peanut butter and it is a safe topping to put on their popcorn. Simply mix a cup of popcorn with a cup of peanut butter and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and you got yourself a peanut butter popcorn ball.

Form multiple small balls to help your dog more easily eat the treat. For best results, let the balls sit for a bit on wax paper to harden. 

Peanut butter that is low in salt and sugar will result in the healthiest option for your dog. 

Cheesy Bacon Popcorn

This popcorn can be great for your dog and you. Lay the popcorn out on a baking sheet and spread reduced-fat cheddar and a few bacon bits over the top. Cook until the cheese is melted at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Let it cool and then you and your dog will have a nice treat together. 

Dogs Can Have Popcorn In Moderation

Just like with humans, dogs can enjoy popcorn occasionally as a treat. As long as you are careful about how much they consume, and the type, your dog will love a few pieces of popcorn here and there.

For more information on which foods your dogs can and can’t eat please see our article here

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