Can dogs eat popcorn? Whenever you are sitting down to watch a movie with a big bowl of this salty, buttery snack, your dog’s pleading eyes might make you want to share. But should we do that? Your heart might tell you “yes,” but your dog’s health might tell you “no.” But does popcorn make dogs sick? Or are there certain ways that popcorn can be a healthy treat for a dog? This article will give you complete information regarding can dog eat popcorn.
What is popcorn?
Popcorn is just corn, which is a type of grain that is in a lot of commercial dog foods. Dried and hardened corn kernels “pop” into fluffy, white popcorn when heated.
There are two kinds of popcorn: butterfly popcorn, which is spread out, and mushroom popcorn, which is rounder and can be found in popcorn tins and candy-coated popcorn mixes.
Is Popcorn Bad for Dogs?
So can dogs eat popcorn? Popcorn that has popped but hasn’t been seasoned is safe for dogs in small amounts as long as it has been popped without oil, such as by air popping. Popcorn, like plain yellow or white corn, is full of fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc, which are all good for your dog in small amounts.
The main problem with giving your dog popcorn is how it is made for people. Normal popping methods that use oil add fat and calories, which can give your dog stomach problems and make him or her fat. The same is true of butter, which is often added. Salt can also cause a lot of health problems, and dogs can’t eat some seasonings for popcorn, like garlic. In particular, chemical preservatives and unhealthy kinds of fat are found in microwave popcorn.
Fats and spices aren’t the only things that could be bad for dogs and popcorn. Unpopped or only partially popped kernels can cause your dog to choke or even hurt his or her teeth. Popcorn hulls can also get stuck in your dog’s teeth and gums, which can be painful.
Moreover, can dogs eat buttered popcorn? The most common and obvious things that happen when dogs eat buttery popcorn are throwing up and having diarrhea. Even though these symptoms usually go away on their own, giving a dog a lot of seasoned popcorn can lead to more serious health problems, such as dehydration and kidney damage from too much salt. Dogs can also get fat and gain weight if they eat popcorn that was made for people on a regular basis.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn That’s Sweet or Seasoned?
When a holiday comes around, you might find that you have more than one kind of popcorn at home. Here are some things to worry about if you give your dog sweet or flavored popcorn.
Popcorn with Spices
If your dog eats one or two dropped kernels, it probably won’t hurt them. But you should focus on keeping an eye on them in case they start throwing up or having diarrhea. You should call your vet if these symptoms don’t go away in a day. So, if your dog gets into popcorn seasoned with things like butter or cheddar cheese, you should call your vet immediately for advice. And if you’ve been giving your dog seasoned popcorn often, you should stop and take your dog to the doctor for a health checkup. Most likely, your vet will want to check your dog’s kidneys to see if too much sodium has hurt them.
Can dogs eat caramel popcorn if it tastes sweet and not salty? Caramel corn, kettle corn, and other sweet-coated or candy-coated popcorn can all be dangerous for your dog in different ways. Some of these, like xylitol, are artificial sweeteners that are bad for dogs. Some candies, like chocolate, have coatings that are poisonous. And dogs can get fat and diabetes much faster from sugar than people can. It’s bad for their teeth, too.
How to Give Your Dog Popcorn Without Making It Sick
Most ways to pop the popcorn, like on the stove, over a campfire, with an electric popper, or in the microwave, involve heating the kernels in oil, which adds fat and calories that aren’t good for your dog. Follow these steps to make popcorn a safe and healthy treat for your dog if you really want to share it with him.
1. Pop a small amount of popcorn in the air or use the method for making popcorn in the microwave without oil.
2. Separate the hulls and kernels that didn’t pop.
3. Give it to your dog without adding any salt or butter.
4. Make sure to count the treat into your dog’s daily calorie count and change his meals accordingly. Keep in mind that your dog also needs the right balance of nutrients. For this reason, you shouldn’t give your dog too much popcorn for any reason, not just the calories. If you ever have queries, you should talk to your vet.
Most of the time, it’s not a good idea for dogs to eat what people eat. So, knowing can a dog eat popcorn is quite essential. But if you make popcorn the right way and give your dog a small amount, it can be a safe and healthy snack if your vet says so. So go ahead and make your dog a treat of popcorn so they can join in on the fun when you all go to the movies.
Further Reading: CAN DOGS EAT CUCUMBERS: HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
What Else Can Pet Dogs Eat?
By now, you know can dogs eat popcorn or not. If you wish to offer your pet some treats from your kitchen, start with a small amount and watch for any reactions. Keep in mind that treats and snacks, even healthy ones, should only make up a small part of a dog’s balanced diet. This isn’t a complete list of human foods that pets can eat, but it’s a good place to start if you want to give your pet a healthy treat. Let’s discuss what things pet canine friends can eat in this section.
Oatmeal has a lot of fibre, so it’s great for them with bowel problems and safe for them with wheat allergies. Check the package before giving your pet oatmeal. Only serve whole grain oats that haven’t been sweetened or flavoured. About one tablespoon is the right amount of food for a 20-pound pet. You don’t want to give them too much oatmeal because it can cause stomach and weight problems.
Cook the oatmeal in water, not milk, because milk can upset a pet’s stomach. Let it cool a bit before giving it to your pet. Oatmeal can be put on top of food or eaten by itself.
High in calcium and protein, this bland food can be a good addition to canine friend food. But if your pet has trouble digesting dairy, don’t give him cottage cheese.
Add just one or two teaspoons of cottage cheese as a special treat. Or, mix with cooked rice and give your pet a small amount to help settle his stomach.
This vegetable has few calories and a lot of vitamins and fibre. Also, they can keep their teeth healthy by crunching on carrots.
They can eat carrots in raw form too, but they should be sliced into little pieces to prevent choking. To keep your pet’s diet balanced, don’t give him more than one medium carrot as a treat per day.
Iron and vitamins are found in abundance in green beans, which is why you should feed them to your pet. They are also low in calories. Ensure your canine friend only gets cooked green beans or beans that haven’t had any salt added to them. Ensure you always know what things pets can eat to keep them healthy.
A type of protein found in most beans, lectins, may have an adverse effect on the digestive tract depending on the amount consumed. This is a big problem with raw kidney beans because they have more lectin than green beans do. The safest way is to make sure green beans are not raw all the way through before giving them to your canine friend.
While knowing about can dog eat popcorn, don’t ignore peanut butter. Giving your pet a tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter once in a while is a treat that both your canine friend and you will both enjoy. It’s a great way for them to get protein and healthy fats. You can give your dog peanut butter that is either crunchy or smooth. Ensure the peanut butter you choose doesn’t have salt in it. Salt can make your canine friend drink and urinate too much, which can lead to sodium ion poisoning.
The peanut butter you give your dog mustn’t have xylitol in it. They quickly absorb xylitol, which can cause a lot of insulin and a drop in blood sugar that could be life-threatening.
Among safe things to feed pets is yogurt. Plain yogurt is a great treat for dogs, especially if your pet has trouble digesting it. It is high in protein and calcium. Make sure you choose yogurts that don’t have added sugar, fruit, or artificial sweeteners like xylitol.
To avoid added fat, which can upset a canine friend’s stomach, choose plain Greek or regular yoghurt that is low-fat or fat-free. If your pet can’t handle lactose, don’t give it any yogurt.
In case your pet dog requires a protein-rich diet, cooked chicken that does not have seasoning is an easy way to add it. A serving of baked, boneless chicken shouldn’t be bigger than half an ounce. 14 Make sure that the chicken you give your pet has been cooked all the way through. The AVMA says that raw or undercooked meat, like chicken, can cause the same diseases that people get when they eat raw meat, like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. So, among many foods safe to feed canine friends is chicken.
Make sure that your dog doesn’t have an allergy to chicken. Protein, which includes chicken, is a common allergen that can make some pets sick.
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for people, but they are also good for canine friends. To give your pet a healthier, shinier coat, put some cooked salmon in its food bowl. You should only give your pet dog salmon only after poaching, grilling, baking, or streaming.
Never give your pet salmon that is raw or not fully cooked. Salmon can get a parasite that makes pets sick and kills them. Check fish for bones before giving them to a pet because even small bones can cause them to choke or hurt their internal organs.
Apart from the above-mentioned things, what vegetables can pet dogs eat? Broccoli is full of vitamins and can be a great way to give your pet a boost of nutrition on occasion. But it should only be given in small amounts because broccoli can irritate the digestive tract.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, chopped into small pieces, with or without seasonings or oils. Broccoli stalks can cause your pet to choke, so cut them up before giving them to your canine friend.
Thinking about what vegetables can pets eat? Dogs can eat pumpkins too. You can give your pet raw or canned pumpkin as an extra source of fibre and vitamin A. It’s also a good thing to add to a dog’s diet if your pet is having trouble digesting.
When a dog has mild diarrhoea or can’t go to the bathroom, canned pumpkin can help. Depending on the size of the dog, one to four tablespoons of pumpkin can be added to the dog’s regular canned food to help relieve constipation.
Apart from these, what can pet dogs eat? The experts say that small amounts of cheese are a great treat for pets, as long as your pet can handle lactose.
To avoid giving your pet more salt and fat, choose plain cheeses like mozzarella and goat cheese that are low in salt and fat.
Because most dogs like cheese so much, it is often a good place to hide medicines for them. But antibiotics shouldn’t be given with cheese or other milk products because the high calcium content can make it hard for the medicine to work.
If your pet needs more protein, you can make him a healthy snack by scrambling or hard-cooking an egg once in a while. Eggs have a lot of protein but also a lot of fat, so you shouldn’t give them to your pet too often. Salmonella can make your pet sick, so you should never feed your pet raw or undercooked eggs.
So, what fruit can pet dogs eat? Bananas are good for your pet because they are full of potassium and vitamins B6 and C.
You can give your small pet slices of banana or mash them up and mix them with your dog’s regular food. Banana peels are hard to break down, so pets shouldn’t eat them. Bananas are another easy-to-digest food that can help a pet with an upset stomach feel better.
So, what fruit can pet dogs eat? Strawberries are another tasty fruit that is full of vitamins that your pet will love. Before giving your fresh pet strawberries, take off the stems, wash them, and cut them up. Don’t use frozen or canned strawberries that have been sweetened or made with chemicals.
You can also freeze strawberries before giving them to your pet as a cool snack. As with any treat, strawberries should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s diet. Remember, you should have a complete idea about what food can pet canines have? This completes our list of all the foods dogs can eat.
Basic Dog Feeding Guide
So, you are well aware of can dogs eat popcorn. Now, let’s discuss their feeding habits. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian if your pet has particular nutritional needs or is adversely affected by a regular diet, as the information provided here is general in nature.
The main part of your dog’s diet should be a high-quality, well-balanced commercial pet food that is right for their age, health, and stage of life (puppy, teen, adult, pregnant, or senior). You can make sure it meets the Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food by reading the label.
Your dog’s size, breed, age, and level of activity all play a role in how much food it requires, but be careful not to overfeed or underfeed it. Your vet will be able to measure your pet’s body condition score, weigh your dog, and give you advice.
To avoid bloat, which can be fatal in adult pets, they should be fed at least twice daily and should not be active immediately before or after eating. This is especially true for pets with deep chests, like Boxers and German Shepherds.
There should always be fresh water for your dog to drink, but you shouldn’t give it milk because it can upset its stomach.
Food in Relation to Your Dog’s Age
At this age, many puppies will go to their new homes. It’s important not to make a lot of changes to your diet right now because you might upset your stomach by accident.
Many breeders will tell you what they fed your pet while it was in their care. Ideally, you’ll keep doing this and slowly add the food you want to feed them in small steps over a few weeks until you’re feeding your puppy only the food you want.
The best thing to feed a puppy is high-quality kibble made for puppies. This makes sure that your puppy has all the nutrients it needs to grow and get stronger.
You can add cooked meats, vegetables, or rice if you want, but the kibble should be the main part of the diet.
Raw food isn’t good for very young puppies because their immune systems aren’t strong enough to handle a lot of bacteria. A raw diet for growing puppies is also very hard to get right.
Puppies need a lot of food and can’t go for long periods of time without it. Small, regular meals are very important.
At 16 weeks, you can slowly add some raw bones with meat on them. If your child is chewing on something other than your shoes or couch because their permanent teeth are coming in, it won’t do any harm to their teeth. Most puppies only need one bone a week; remember the more meat on the bone, the better.
Don’t worry if your puppy acts possessive over its food while it’s eating. Don’t let kids get too close to them when they’re eating, and be aware that if you try to take the food away, they may growl or snap at you. Feeding your puppy by hand when it’s young won’t learn to guard its food. If your dog is already a guard dog, please ask a vet for help.
When you give your pet new food, keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get sick or upset. Like people, dogs can have intolerances or allergies to things or might not like a certain food. If your puppy has a reaction or gets sick, write down what you fed it and put it on the list of things not to feed.
As your puppy grows up, you can slowly cut back the number of times you feed it to twice a day. Try not to overfeed or underfeed your pet. Most people think that bigger breeds need more food, but this isn’t always the case. If you feed your puppy too much, it could have health problems like musculoskeletal problems as it gets older.
Dogs that are adults should be fed once or twice a day. Use a high-quality store-bought pet food and make sure it’s right for your pet’s age and health.
Small and medium-sized dogs are usually considered “adults” at 12 months of age, while larger pets take a little longer and aren’t really “adults” until they are 18–24 months old.
Check with your vet to find out when to switch from food for puppies to food for adults.The same rules apply to feeding an adult dog. Make sure that the diet you choose has everything you need. You can change things up by adding cooked or raw meat, vegetables, or fish. Choose big, raw bones with lots of meat. Most important, don’t feed them too much.
For older dogs, it is very important to keep an eye on their health. Many older pets have long-term health problems that can be made worse or better by what they eat.
Some older dogs will be happy and full if they eat small meals more often. Others want to keep things the same as they were before. Some older pets may need more fibre, protein, or other vitamins and minerals to take care of their bodies. Consult your dog’s veterinarian to find out what he or she requires.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn: FAQs
How much popcorn can I give my dog?
A handful is enough for a medium-sized to large dog, and it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. So you can watch a movie with your dog and a small amount of plain air-popped popcorn without feeling bad about it.
Is microwave popcorn bad for dogs?
Yes, air-popping is easy. You can use a popcorn machine, a pan on the stove, or a microwave device.
Why do dogs love popcorn?
Freshly popped popcorn smells great and can catch the attention of even the most picky dog. It also makes a great crunching sound when he eats it, which is very stimulating for dogs. Popcorn can be really good for you. It is good for his diet because it has calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium in it.
Can popcorn give dogs diarrhea?
Popcorn can also make you sick to your stomach, making you throw up, have diarrhoea, or get gas. The sodium in popcorn can cause dehydration, salt poisoning, or ion poisoning in dogs. These are all very serious problems that need to be treated right away by a vet.
What do I do if my dog eats popcorn?
Even though a few pieces of popcorn probably won’t hurt your dog, you should call your vet if your dog eats a lot of popcorn, especially buttered popcorn, by accident.
Parvaiz Yousuf is a senior SEO writer and editor with an experience of over 6 years, who also doubles up as a researcher. With an MSc zoology degree under his belt and possessing complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, he works as a science journalist for a US-based website and Asian Scientist (A Singapore-based magazine). He also works as Director of Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund YPJK since 2018. Besides, he has several publications to his name on cancer biology and biochemistry in some reputed journals such as Nature & International Journal of Molecular Sciences, & magazines such as Science Reporter, BUCEROS BNHS, and has an abiding interest in ornithology. He also worked as a Research Associate for JK Policy Institute.