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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Yes! But Read This First

Can dogs eat popcorn? In its plainest form yes, dogs can eat popcorn. But there’s important information to know before feeing your dog popcorn, along with risks to be aware of.

A brown puppy and popcorn

Popcorn serves as a tasty snack for watching movies and chilling around. It’s crunchy, it’s tasty, and it doesn’t cause weight gain. What’s there not to love?

Well, what if your dog wants to join in on the fun? Dogs seem to love popcorn, but can my dog eat popcorn? After a long movie night, you’ll find your pup sniffing around the floor, looking for a hidden kernel here and there. So is it safe?

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Safely?

Overall, popcorn is a safe snack for dogs when given in moderation and without any toppings. So go ahead and enjoy a bowl of popcorn with your furry friend – they’ll love it. But only a few pieces for them!

Dogs can eat plain, air-popped popcorn without an issue. In fact, it’s a healthy treat for them because corn contains a lot of minerals, making it high in nutritional value. These minerals include zinc, phosphorus, fiber, manganese, and some fibers.

The main question here is, is the popcorn you’re eating plain and air-popped? Probably not. In this case, your dog can’t eat it.

We all use some additives to make our popcorn taste good, including salt, butter, and maybe some powdered flavors. All of these are harmful to dogs. They cause stomach discomfort, digestive system issues, and they cause obesity.

A lot of popcorn shot overhead

Is Popcorn Safe For Dogs?

There are many risks to serving your dog popcorn. Most are related to popcorn kernels or added flavors. Ingesting popcorn kernels can lead to digestive issues. While flavors added to popcorn are often high in fat and sodium that will also upset their stomach.

Common ingredients in popcorn to watch out for

Most store-bought popped popcorn has flavors added because that’s what makes them tasty! But these common ingredients are not good or even toxic for dogs.

  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder

Side effects of feeding your pup salty popcorn

If you want to share your popcorn with your furry friend, just be sure it has no flavors or salt added and is air popped. Otherwise they may suffer from these side effects:

  • Dehydration because of the salt
  • Digestive issues and discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney issues (If salt is consumed in large amounts regularly)
  • Obesity
  • Salt poisoning

Can Dogs Eat Carmel Corn?

No, caramel corn is cooked in sticky syrup. Sugary substances are not good for dogs and can lead to obesity, digestive issues, and tooth decay.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn With Salt?

In very small doses, salted popcorn is safe. If a piece drops on the floor, the dog will be fine if they eat it but they should not be given multiple pieces because excess salt is harmful to a dog’s digestive health.

Can Dogs Eat Buttered Popcorn

Dogs should not eat butter, which can cause stomach upset and even pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Microwave Popcorn?

No, most microwave popcorn has butter, oils, salt, and other additives. None of these are good for dogs and will lead to an upset stomach. Now, should you take your dog to the vet after they sneak a piece of popcorn from your bag – no. They will likely be okay. But, do watch them for the next couple of hours and avoid them eating anymore.

Can Dogs Eat White Cheddar Popcorn?

Your dog should not eat white cheddar popcorn products (like Smartfood Popcorn), because the “cheese” is actually a combination of salt, oils, flavorings, and milk powder. These ingredients are not good for your dog’s digestive (although 1 or 2 pieces won’t send them to the vet).

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Kernels?

Popcorn kernels should not be eaten by dogs. They can get stuck in their teeth and cause intestinal blockage. This is because kernels are not easily digested so if a dog eats them (or human), they just sit in the stomach or hopefully pass but will likely not be broken down.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Shrimp?

Despite similar names, popcorn shrimp does not contain any actual popcorn! With that said, dogs should not eat popcorn shrimp because it is deep fried and therefore bad for their digestive system (the same goes for popcorn chicken – you dog doesn’t need it!)

Popped popcorn on a white background

How to Feed Dogs Popcorn Safely

Serving popcorn to your dog is not a preferred snack for them, but if you are giving them some, it should be plain and air-popped. It can be given individually as a treat, but dogs should not eat popcorn in any amount more than this.

If your pooch loves popcorn, and you don’t have it in your heart to deny him or her, there are some precautions to follow.

First, make sure the popcorn is completely plain without any salt, butter, oil, flavor, or other additives. Then, try not to give the dog a large amount. Dogs don’t mind what they’re eating; they’ll keep stuffing their mouth with the popcorn, which may cause choking.

Moreover, when feeding your dog popcorn, make sure it’s air-popped. You can easily make popcorn without oil in the microwave. Just pour the kernels into a paper bag, fold its top tightly, and keep it in the microwave for 2–3 minutes. It won’t taste as good as oil-made popcorn, but it’s at least healthy.

Conclusion: Should dogs eat popcorn?

Popcorn is not a healthy treat for dogs. It tastes good, but its disadvantages outweigh its advantages, especially if it contains unnecessary additives.

A lot of popcorn kernels shot overhead

What About Our Other Furry Friends?

Most pets can eat popcorn, and that is great news since it is just way too tempting to slip thumper or squeaky a few pieces of yours. We are asked about a few specifically fairly often.

Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?
Yes. According to the American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), most pets, including hamsters, can eat popcorn. You shouldn’t give your hamster heavily buttered popcorn and avoid salt. The ASPCA states that “large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Too much salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.”

The ASPCA advises that only about 5% of a pet’s diet should come from snacks. The rest of their diet should be pet food designed for their needs.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?
Yes, popcorn has the ASPCA’s seal of approval for your guinea pig. Like all “people” foods, give it to them in moderation, and without salt.

Can Rabbits Eat Popcorn?
Yes, the ASPCA greenlights popcorn for rabbits, but with no salt and go easy on the butter or better yet hold out their pieces before you butter yours.

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?
Yes. The ASPCA lists no ill effects from feeding unsalted popcorn to cats.

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