It’s movie night, you have wine, you have popcorn, your dog is staring at you (i.e. your bucket of popcorn) so lovingly and you catch yourself thinking: Can dogs eat popcorn?
Sometimes tough love means depriving our favorite four-legged friends of treats and snacks, no matter how entitled to them they may feel. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to provide a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog.
When you ask yourself something like “Can dogs eat popcorn?”, you also need to ask yourself whether it would be a nutritionally beneficial addition to their diet. It’s not so much “Can dogs eat popcorn”, but rather “Should dogs eat popcorn?”.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
It is not recommended to feed your dog popcorn. When people ask whether they can give their dogs human foods, the foods usually fall into one of four categories:
- Occasionally and in moderation
- Not recommended
Is Popcorn Safe for Dogs?
If you are looking for a healthy snack that is safe for dogs, popcorn shouldn’t be on the list of options.
Popcorn and popcorn kernels can cause quite a lot of damage in dogs. The kernels can get stuck in their teeth and lead to gum disease or dental decay. Another problem with kernels is that they aren’t easy for your pup to digest. On top of that, popcorn is also a potential choking hazard.
People generally don’t enjoy plain, unbuttered popcorn. To err on the side of caution, it’s safe to say that all the things people put on their popcorn to make it more delicious, is not good for dogs.
Oil and butter can lead to obesity, and obesity leads to a list of health issues such as heart problems, arthritis, or even kidney failure. Then there are salt and sugar. Both of which are not safe for dogs. It is not unheard of for a dog to get sodium ion poisoning (salt poisoning) from indulging in too much people food.
Is Popcorn Healthy or Toxic? Breaking Down the Nutrients
Popcorn is not toxic to dogs. The things people put onto air-popped popcorn or microwave popcorn, are what makes it a toxic treat. It really doesn’t bring much nutritional value to the table. Corn is often found mixed into not so great dog food because it’s cheap and adds dietary fiber and calories.
Dogs Need Their Daily Minerals and Vitamins too!
On the positive side, popcorn does contain some beneficial nutrients (albeit not enough nutrients to justify giving it to your dog). It contains trace amounts of certain vitamins. It also contains minerals such as Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium and Phosphorous.
What Vegetables/Fruits can Dogs Eat?
Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat:
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
Do NOT give your dog any of the following:
- Macadamia nuts
- Green tomatoes
Feeding Your Dog Popcorn: Possible Side Effects!
You probably won’t see any side-effects after giving your dog small amounts of plain popcorn. If your pooch, however, has helped themselves to your entire bucket buttered and salted popcorn, chances are you can expect some stomach upset.
If your dog starts vomiting, drooling, or is uncoordinated, you need to take them to the vet. Or at the very least call the Animal Poisoning Control Center (ASPCA) at 888 426-4435.
Eat All the Things: Food Dogs Can Eat
Dog owners need to know how to safely give human foods to their dogs. Always read the label of a product before giving it to your dog. There are so many added ingredients to people food that are potentially harmful to your fur-kids.
Make Popcorn for dogs: The Ultimate Pupcorn Recipe Your Pet Will Love
Why not try your hand at making some delicious (and safe) Pupcorn dog treats?
Dried or dehydrated fruit and vegetables make great dog treats and don’t pose a health threat to dogs. If you dry smaller pieces you will end up with something resembling popcorn instead of normal fruit or vegetable jerky.
Simply blanche, and then slice your pumpkin, apples or carrots into small pieces and bake them for two hours at 250˚F.
Dog Not Eating DIY Treats or Dog Won’t Eat Your Meal? 3 Tips to Help Them Out
Try not to be offended if your dog is not viewing your culinary endeavors as a success.
The treats might just be missing that extra something. Here are a few ideas that might change their mind:
- Add some peanut butter to the treats before baking (great way to get some extra fatty acids to your dog). Dogs love peanut butter!
- Try something a little more “meaty”. Some dogs just don’t do vegetables.
- Leave the baking up to someone else and buy some healthy dog treats at the pet store.
Comparing Apples and Oranges: What Can Cats Eat as Well as Dogs?
Cats are so picky. They probably could eat most of the fruits and vegetables that dogs can. But that doesn’t mean they will.
Just Food for Dogs: 3 Foods Your Dog Can Eat but Not Your Cat
Certain foods are may be fine to give to dogs but are not safe for cats.
Keep the following food out of your cat’s reach:
- Soy protein
- Foods high in dietary fiber
- Dog food
What do Dogs Eat? 3 Ways to Feed Your Dog Fruit
Why not give your dog some fresh, fruity treats?
Here are some of the best fruits to feed your dog:
- Strawberry leather
- Mango bacon
- Peach leather
So, Is Popcorn Good for Dogs? Can Dogs have Popcorn?
No. Popcorn is not good for dogs. Can dogs eat popcorn? Sure. Should dogs eat popcorn? It’s not a good idea. There are so many other safe and nutritionally beneficial foods out there. Even though dogs shouldn’t eat popcorn, there is no wanting for better options!