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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
Popcorn may be your favorite snack during movie time, but is this a healthy treat to share with your puppy? Can dogs eat popcorn?
While it may be your favorite human snack food, popcorn is not 100% safe for your fluffy friend to eat. Although it is loaded with essential nutrients and provides numerous health benefits for us two-legged creatures, it may be hard for your dog to digest—especially when prepared with a large amount of salt and butter or margarine.
The answer also depends upon how you prepare your popcorn – do you buy it as an end product, do you pop it in your microwave, or do you use the old-school stovetop technique?
Let’s explore the pros and cons, which should help you decide whether you should treat your dog with popcorn tonight.
How is Popcorn Good for Dogs?
Many people don’t know it, but popcorn is a whole grain food, which is why it is high in several nutrients, including vitamin B1, B3, B6, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It is also rich in antioxidants that protect the body’s cells.
Research has found that popcorn is also high in fiber and may reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Because of that fiber content, it may also help with weight loss.
So far, you may be asking yourself: If popcorn has nutritional benefits, how can it be bad for dogs?
The issue isn’t with the popcorn or corn kernels as ingredients, but with the way we season it and cook it. The things we add to popcorn—like salt, butter, or melted cheese—make this snack potentially harmful for our canine friends.
How Is Popcorn Harmful to Dogs?
Like other dog owners, you want your puppy to be healthy, so therefore you pay attention to the food and snacks you buy. When it comes to feeding your fluffy friend, many factors are essential to consider.
While popcorn is not dangerous for us humans to consume daily, it may be harmful to our dogs, especially if you buy it pre-seasoned or if you add a lot of butter, salt, and extra toppings to your popcorn. A popcorn kernel or two may not be fatal for your pets. Still, if they eat enough popcorn, they may develop diarrhea, stomach cramps, and other unwanted side effects such as dehydration, kidney issues, and obesity.
Also, popcorn is a potential allergen for your pet, since many dogs suffer from corn allergies. Before you treat your dog to a bag of popcorn, please consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your doggy doesn’t end up with an allergic reaction.
The Best Way to Safely Share Popcorn with Dogs
As long as you are careful about how you prepare your popcorn, there is no reason you shouldn’t share it with your dog in moderation. Air-popping is probably the safest way to cook corn kernels. You can use a stovetop or a popcorn machine. Make sure the popcorn is organic. Please read the label to make sure it contains no harmful ingredients or additives.
Moderation is key. If you don’t feed your dog large quantities of popcorn, you have nothing to worry about, as there could be no side effects. If your dog isn’t allergic to corn, a few popped kernels should not make your dog sick.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Popcorn: The Final Verdict
Air-popped popcorn with no additives is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. Popcorn with salt and other toppings is not safe for your pet to consume.
The quantity depends on the size of the dog. As with any dog treat, keep the treats to 10% or less of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Please call your veterinarian if your dog has eaten a large quantity of buttered or salted popcorn or shows any signs of gastric distress.