Is Popcorn Good for Dogs? Pup Secret

It’s time for the movies. What’s the first thing you’re grabbing? While some might say chocolate, popcorn is an iconic snack sure to compliment any trip to the cinema or night spent curled on the couch. But is this crunchy treat strictly for humans, or can canines enjoy the snack as well? Is popcorn good for dogs? Today we will be answering these questions.


Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

While it’s no surprise that dogs can’t eat M&Ms, popcorn is more of a grey area when it comes to doggie snacking. Is popcorn a safe treat for our four-legged friends?

You may be surprised to find out that dogs can eat popcorn. (Are you feeling better about all the times your dog helped clean up snack spills?) Read on to find out the surprising benefits of this snack and how to serve it to canines safely.


Is Popcorn Good for Dogs?

Not only is popcorn an edible treat for dogs, but it actually has health benefits. So how is popcorn good for dogs?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) finds that popped kernels have minerals in them that are critical for canine nutrition. The kernels contain zinc, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. Popcorn also has fiber and small amounts of vitamins.

Canine website Dogster goes as far as calling popcorn extremely healthy for dogs in small servings.  Popcorn is beneficial for both humans and dogs when it is air-popped. The high amounts of natural dietary fiber found in the corn aid in digestion.

Popcorn also provides a source of protein and iron when it is fresh. It even has small amounts of thiamine and riboflavin, which are both beneficial B vitamins.


Popcorn Perils for Pups

While plain, air-popped popcorn is safe for dogs to eat, there is still always a risk of choking. Due to choking hazards, keep dogs away from any partially popped kernels.

Any popcorn eater is probably familiar with the feeling of getting a popcorn kernel lodged in their gums. (Why is it so hard to get out?) Kernels can also get stuck in dogs’ teeth. This poses a potential choking hazard.

To keep things safe, only feed your dog a few pieces of fully popped popcorn at a time. It’s also good to play it safe and stay with your dog while he eats. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to start dogs out on new foods slowly to make sure they are able to eat and digest them without any issues.


Pup Secret: Serving Dogs Popcorn

Now, when I say popcorn is a safe snack for dogs, I am not referring to the delicious movie theater variety that we all love to douse in melted butter. Dogs do not need any extra fats or salts in their diet. Always serve human food to dogs as plainly as possible.

Therefore, a safe way to feed dogs popcorn is to air pop the kernels at home. This way you can control the oils and seasoning. However, the kind of popcorn that you purchase at the cinema, the grocery store, or a street fair is not the type of treat that will be beneficial to your dog.

Other types of popcorn for dogs to avoid include Cracker Jack, kettle corn, microwave popcorn, and flavored popcorn.

Thus it is important to evaluate the fat and sodium content of the popcorn before sharing with your canine. Of course, like you, your dog will probably prefer the buttery alternative. However, this is not the right choice for your pup’s health.

Make sure not to overdo it with popcorn servings. Your dog should never be eating more than 10 percent of her daily calorie intake from treats such as popcorn.


Jiffy Pup Conclusions

I just had to squeeze in one more pup-corn pun. But really, dogs and popcorn are likely more compatible than you might have thought. Is popcorn good for dogs? It turns out popcorn is an approved snack for canines with several great health benefits. Popcorn contains important minerals for dogs and is a healthy treat. Just be sure to hold the salt and butter.

Now if only you were allowed to bring your dog to the cinema with you! To read about how other human foods stack up in a doggie diet, check out can dogs eat shrimp.

Emma Polini