The quick answer: Yes, a few pieces of popcorn here and there are generally safe for your dog to eat.
Benefits of popcorn
This light, crunchy snack is highly coveted by some dogs. The healthiest and safest option is plain, air popped popcorn because it doesn’t contain any unhealthy additives. By itself, popped corn contains beneficial nutrients including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and fiber.
Though it’s generally safe if your dog gobbles up a piece or two, they shouldn’t be regularly eating popcorn that is loaded with butter and salt. Too much oils and fats can cause diarrhea and weight gain, and excess sodium will cause dehydration. Don’t feed your dog kettle corn, caramel corn, or popcorn with any other kinds of seasonings. Added sugar in your dog’s diet can cause weight gain, and cheese popcorns can contain artificial ingredients and high amounts of sodium. Other popcorn seasonings might include ingredients like garlic, onion, or artificial sweeteners which are toxic to pets.
Corn is also a common allergen among dogs. If your dog is allergic to corn, she might experience uncomfortable symptoms like inflammation, itching, hot spots, diarrhea and gas.
When treating your dog to a bite of popcorn, avoid giving them whole kernels and partially popped pieces. These are difficult to digest and can get stuck in their teeth or hurt their gums.
Like any foods outside of your dog’s regular diet, moderation is key. Don’t allow your dog to eat large quantities of popcorn, and keep in mind that treats of any kind should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s diet.
ScritchSpot is your one-stop destination for all things pet. Store and share your pet notes and records, browse the map of pet-friendly spots, find pets in your area to adopt, find pet care, read product reviews, and much more. Sign up for free to get full access today.