Can My Dog Eat Popcorn?

No movie night is complete without a bowl of popcorn. However, with everyone passing the bowl around, some popcorn is going to end up on the couch and the floor. There is no doubt that your dog is waiting patiently for something to drop.

When it comes to human snacks, there is a laundry list of snacks that our dogs should have and not have. It is important as pet parents that we learn what we can share and what we can not. So, can our furry movie watcher have a bit of popcorn?

The answer is not clear cut. Not all popcorn is the same, making it difficult to give one definite answer. So, yes your dog can have some popcorn. Read on to discover how you can safely give your pup on movie night.

Will my dog be ok if he eats some popcorn off the floor?

Popcorn is on a human’s healthy snack to eat list when it is not covered with butter, oils, and other toppings. When it comes to dogs, however, there are many human treats that are not safe. Healthy treats such as raisins, grapes, chocolate are not safe for our furry friends.

However, popcorn is not on that harmful list. Popcorn with no salt and butter is fine to give your dog in moderation. The American Kennel Club advises that popcorn kernels can get stuck in the dog’s teeth.

Popcorn can also be a choking hazard. It is important to pay attention to your dog when he is enjoying his movie snack.

Just a side note. Your dog can have an allergy to corn in general. Make sure to check with your vet if you suspect a corn allergy.

But does popcorn have any health benefits for my dog?

We have established that popcorn is safe for your dog to eat in moderation. However, does it provide your dog with any health benefits? The short answer to this is yes. Popcorn kernels contain minerals that should be in the regular diet of our dogs to keep them healthy.

The minerals found in the kernels include zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese. There are small amounts of fiber and vitamins, which are also beneficial for your dog.

Popcorn becomes unhealthy for dogs and humans when it becomes loaded in oils, butter, salt, cheese, and other favorite toppings. Popcorn toppings can cause tummy problems for dogs.

Most of the toppings are also full of fat, which can cause the dog to gain unnecessary weight. Stick to air-popped popcorn when giving your dog this snack. There are no oils involved. Make sure to take out kernels that did not pop.

Should popcorn become part of their regular diet?

No snack should be a replacement for any part of your dog’s regular healthy meals. Popcorn should not be used as a meal substitute. It does not contain the necessary nutrition that your dog needs to be healthy and happy.

There are plenty of human substitutes that you can give your dog if you are in a pinch. Foods such as chicken, salmon, tuna, and even cheese and yogurt would work.

The convince of microwave popcorn

Most movie night popcorn comes straight from the microwave. Though it is convenient for you and your family, it may not be the type to feed your snuggle buddy. The sodium count in microwave popcorn is very high.

Consider the fact that humans are to only have 10mg sodium per pound in a day. Think about how much sodium your dog will be digesting. However, if you do not have an air-popper, you still can make healthy popcorn for your dog. Instead of buying microwave popcorn from the store, just buy the kernels.

When it is time to make snacks, place a handful of kernels into lunch bag size paper bag. Roll the top of the bag once or twice. Just enough to keep the kernels from escaping from the bag. Place the bag in the center and push the popcorn button.

Make sure to stay close and remove the bag when the popping sound stops. Remember, do not add anything extra to your dog’s popcorn. Also, make sure the popcorn is not too hot.

Caramel corn is out

Caramel corn is not something that your dog should eat. That does not mean that something terrible is going to happen if you share a piece or two. After all, we all know how hard it is to resist those puppy dog eyes. The danger of eating too much caramel corn comes from the caramel.

Most dogs love sweets, however, their dental hygiene is at risk. Dogs can get cavities, just like humans.

Caramel corn can get stuck in your dog’s teeth. If your snacking partner does manage to get a couple of pieces, check his teeth. If your dog allows you to brush his teeth, do so after eating popcorn.

It can also get stuck in your dog’s beard and mustache. Make sure to check the dog’s face for stuck popcorn. You do not want him snacking on stuck popcorn in the middle of the night.

Moderation is key

When it comes to giving your dog popcorn moderation is key. Only 10 percent of your dog’s diet should consist of treats and snacks. However, movie night is a special time for the entire family to gather around and share popcorn.

As long as you are feeding your dog popcorn with no toppings, enjoy sharing the snack. He will enjoy movie night as much as you do. Make sure to clean up all the bowls at the end of the night. You do not want your dog to eat popcorn leftovers for breakfast.

He still wants your buttery popcorn

What happens if he will not eat his bland popcorn and still wants your buttery popcorn? Well, that is an easy fix too, sort of. Dog popcorn is available on the market.

There are a variety of dog-friendly flavors to choose from. Just make sure to read the labels before purchasing.

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