Can My Dog Eat Popcorn?

Can my dog eat popcorn? Yes. Air-popped popcorn is a healthy snack for dogs as long as it doesn’t have sugar butter, salt, or any toppings. Popcorn contains iron, protein, and B vitamins. Although a few pieces of popcorn won’t have a huge effect on your dog’s health, it certainly is a healthy snack alternative compared to other human food. 

It shouldn’t be used as a daily treat but as an occasional snack your dog enjoys from time to time. For example, if you are sitting on the sofa watching a movie and eating air-popped popcorn you can toss a few pieces your dog’s way for them to enjoy too. 

Veterinarians often hear the question “Can my dog eat popcorn?” and the answers are often yes but with hesitation. While the snack is healthy, some dogs don’t react well after eating popcorn. It depends on your specific dog and the only way to find out is if you give it a try. 

The key is to stick to plain popcorn that is air-popped without any oil. An at-home electric popcorn maker is the best way to ensure freshly popped popcorn. Always make sure you remove unpopped kernels from the serving to prevent your dog from choking.

Can My Dog Eat Popcorn

Possible Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Popcorn

The following side effects can occur if you choose to put salt, butter, oil, and other toppings on the popcorn: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney damage
  • Obesity

Popcorn Recipes for Your Dog

While plain popcorn is healthiest and the best way to serve it to your dog, there are a few dog-friendly toppings that are tasty too! Check out these fun recipes.dog sleeping on bed

Peanut Butter Pop Balls

Choose a peanut butter that doesn’t contain Xylitol and has low salt and low sugar. Organic and natural peanut butter are often the best options at the grocery store. Place 1 cup of peanut butter and ½ cup of popcorn in a mixing bowl along with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix it together. Then form the mixture into bite-size balls for your dog and place them on wax paper to allow them to set. Once they are solid you can feed them to your dog. 

Cheesy Bacon Baked Popcorn

Air pop the popcorn and spread it on a lined baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle bacon bits and reduced-fat grated cheddar on top. Bake the mixture in the oven at 350 degrees. Make sure you keep a close eye on it because as soon as the cheese melts the mixture needs to be removed from the oven immediately.

All ovens differ in temperature so make sure you don’t leave it unattended. It usually takes 3 minutes or less for the cheese to melt.

Bottom Line

These dog-friendly popcorn treats are also people-friendly and a great way to share snacks with your dog and family. You can also refrigerate them and serve them in small portions another day. 

If you choose to refrigerate the popcorn treats make sure you allow them to thaw out on the countertop before serving it to your dog. 

You can also create your own recipes by mixing dog-friendly people’s food such as carrots, popcorn, and bacon bits together like a doggie trail mix. 

While popcorn is healthy for most dogs some have sensitive digestive systems. If your dog has food allergies or digestive issues before serving them popcorn, check with a veterinarian to confirm it’s the right treat for your dog. 

So, now that you know the answer to your question, “can my dog eat popcorn?” start creating some recipes, curl up on the sofa with your dog, and munch on delicious popcorn treats!

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Razvan is a dog trainer and veterinary technician with over 10 years of experience working with dog daycares, animal shelters, vet clinics and private dog training. Razvan is one of the lead publishers on Dog Struggles covering the latest product reviews and dog health advice.

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