Right now, much of the world is holed up in place. In a time of global pandemic, many people are turning to at-home activities to stay sane. By far one of the more popular options is sitting in front of the TV, watching the latest Netflix documentary. Of course, there’s no better way to snuggle up on the couch than with your furry friend by your side! Except for, maybe, some popcorn. Whether salty or sweet, popcorn pairs perfectly with binge-watching your favorite show. But if you’re a dog owner like me, you may be asking- ‘why not both?’ And when your dog gives you that signature look, your next question is- ‘can dogs eat popcorn?’
We at Furzly can sympathize with the desire to share treats with your dog. Especially when they’ve mastered those irresistible puppy-dog eyes! But as a dog owner, it is important to know which foods you can and can’t share with your dog. Some foods may seem perfectly fine to us but can have disastrous effects on our pets. Even household favorites, like chocolate and raisins, can be dangerous to our furry pals. That’s why Furzly takes dog diets very seriously, and our aim is to help readers answer some of these important questions.
As with all foods, knowing whether or not feeding popcorn to your dog is safe involves costs and benefits. Understanding the potential risks- as well as upsides- is crucial. To put your mind at ease, we’ve done the research to provide some insight on these costs and benefits!
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
Unfortunately, the answer to ‘can dogs eat popcorn?’ is not so black-and-white. Plain, air-popped popcorn is not inherently harmful to dogs. However, popcorn does pose some risks. It’s important to keep these risks in mind when deciding whether or not to give popcorn to your dog. As a responsible dog owner, you should be careful about what you put in your dog’s diet. So before you let your canine friend sneak a bite of your favorite movie snack, let’s go over some of the risks.
The Salty Side: Risks of Giving Popcorn to Dogs
Like most foods, popcorn can be a risky treat for dogs. While a savory (or sweet) treat for humans, it may not be a perfect fit for your dog. Although plain popcorn is typically safe, it doesn’t come without its own hazards. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a small list of some of these hazards to consider:
- Although plain popcorn is usually safe, additives like salt, butter, and seasonings can be harmful in large quantities
- Popcorn kernels should be avoided, as they can be a choking hazard or cause dental problems
- High fat-content in buttered popcorn can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs
- As with all treats, the quantity of popcorn should be kept to roughly 10% of caloric intake
Just like any other food, knowing how to give your dog popcorn is half the battle. The best bet is to give your dog plain, unseasoned popcorn as a rare treat. To be safe, you should monitor your dog for signs of choking if kernels are present. It should also be noted that checking your dog’s teeth for unwanted kernels can be helpful. And like all treats, intake of popcorn should be kept to a reasonable amount based on your dog’s dietary needs. A handy rule of thumb is that treats should comprise of no more than 10% of caloric intake. Of course, we always recommend speaking with a veterinarian to determine if your dog can eat popcorn. Every dog is different, and what works for one dog may not work for another.
The Sweet Side: Benefits of Giving Popcorn to Dogs
It may seem like the answer to ‘can dogs eat popcorn’ is looking grim. Thankfully, popcorn isn’t all risks and hazards. When it comes to giving your dog popcorn, it can even have some benefits! It may surprise you, but popcorn contains some ingredients that are good for dogs. To decide whether or not to give your dog popcorn, you should consider both the cons and the pros. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a short list of some benefits of popcorn:
- Popcorn contains zinc, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins- all of which are benefits to dogs
- Even plain popcorn can be a tasty treat for dogs- no seasoning necessary!
- Popcorn make for a relatively inexpensive and easy treat
Although there are definitely some potential hazards to keep in mind, you don’t have to write off popcorn completely. If prepared without additives and given in small, rare doses, it can be a perfectly fine treat for your furry pal. With that said, you can always speak with a medical professional to decide whether or not to try it! Who knows- maybe movie-night will be a lot more exciting for you and your dog!
Role the Credits: Final Thoughts
We at Furzly know how tempting it can be to share food with your pet. Whether you’re snuggled up inside or exploring the great outdoors, it seems like you can always rely on your dog to be at your side. Being in a global pandemic is no different. If anything, it makes the urge to share stronger and more frequent. But being a responsible pet owner means providing appropriate diets for your pets.
Overall, deciding what you should and shouldn’t feed your dog can be a difficult process. With so many wonderful foods, it’s hard to know which are safe and which aren’t. This shouldn’t stop you from exploring options- sharing food with your dog can be a rewarding experience! That being said, it’s important to research foods before giving them to your pet. If ever in doubt about whether or not something will be harmful to your dog, you should speak with a veterinarian.
We hope that we’ve been able to answer your question, ‘can dogs eat popcorn?’ To learn more about other potential treats, here are a few more articles!