Is Popcorn Bad for Dogs? A Checklist That You Must Know Now

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We all like some popcorn for a snack from time to time. It’s a crunchy, satisfying treat that we enjoy. But your dog wants to eat everything you eat too. Is it safe if your dogs eat popcorn? The answer is yes.

What If A Dog Eats Popcorn?

If you’re eating popcorn, and you give him a little air popped popcorn with no toppings like salt, butter, or sugar, your dog should be okay. It’s all right if dogs eat a few pieces of popcorn. Popcorn has a few health benefits that are good for both of you.

Popcorn has:

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • B vitamins riboflavin and thiamine
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • phosphorus

Your dog will get all these nutrients in the dog food you feed your dog, so he doesn’t need the popcorn. But if you wanted to give your dog popcorn in small amounts as a little treat, it shouldn’t hurt. Don’t give your dogs the wrong types of popcorn. Make sure the popcorn is air popped, though, not cooked in oil. Most microwave popcorn has toppings, and these aren’t good for dogs.

Only give dogs the popped corn kernels because the unpopped ones can be a choking hazard. If your dog inhales his food, any popcorn can be a choking hazard. The kernels can stick in a dog’s teeth, just like ours. They can’t floss, so they stay there and cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Popcorn border

Can Popcorn Give Dogs Diarrhea?

The oil and butter in popcorn can give your dog diarrhea. In fact, popcorn kernels themselves can irritate his digestive system. The wrong kind of popcorn can make dogs sick, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to what type of food we are feeding our pets.

These are some of the things we put in popcorn that can make popcorn bad for dogs:

  • Butter – The fat in this can make your dog gain weight, leading to obesity and other health problems.
  • Seasonings – Salt and others can cause sodium poisoning. Dogs get all the salt they need in their dog foods.
  • Sugar – This piles on the carbohydrates and leads to obesity and diabetes.
  • Oil – High in fat, this will upset a dog’s stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Peanut butter – Dogs love this, but it’s high in sugar and fat and often contains Xylitol, a toxic sugar substitute to dogs.
  • Cheese – Dogs love this, but it’s high in fat and cholesterol and causes obesity and heart disease.
  • Caramel – It’s high in sugar, adding carbs and causing diabetes.

If you wanted to feed your dog a little plain popcorn out of the air popper, it should be fine. It’s when you start putting something extra on top. I like to share a snack with my pet, but I have to make sure it’s safe for my dog.

Corn is a grain, and some dogs can’t tolerate that in their diet. That’s why we have grain-free dog foods that are free of things like wheat, corn, and rice. This stuff may not be something your pup can eat. In case you have questions about this, you should enlist the services of your vet. They can give you the name of a good dog food.

Giving popcorn to your dogs long term in sizeable amounts is not the answer. A few pieces as a snack is fine, but you don’t want to give it to your pet as a meal. And, of course, if your dogs eat popcorn, keep an eye on them. Eating popcorn can lead to choking.

If your dogs eat popcorn, here’s a list of things to watch out for:

  • Dehydration – This comes from eating too much salt. Watch your pet to make sure they’re not drinking a lot of water. Take them to the vet if you think they have sodium poisoning.
  • Dental Problems – Watch for bad breath and swollen gums. Kernels can get stuck in between teeth or in the gums and cause tooth decay or periodontal disease.
  • Diarrhea and digestive problems – If your dog’s system is irritated from unpopped kernels or oil, this may cause issues.
  • Kidney damage – This comes from too much salt consumption. Always make sure your pet has fresh water available.
  • Obesity – Whether it’s too much fat or too many calories, this leads to heart disease and diabetes. Please, keep your pets on a healthy diet.

But is popcorn bad for dogs? If your dogs eat popcorn, and it’s the right kind and a moderate amount, no. I give my dog popcorn.

Popcorn in a plate

List of Foods That Dogs Can’t Eat

Did you know a macadamia nut can poison your dog? There are all sorts of foods dogs shouldn’t eat. Just because you’re eating, it doesn’t mean you should give it to your pup. Human foods are not dog food.

  • Chocolate – This has methylxanthines, which are toxic to a dog. They can cause irregular body movements, an uneven heart rate, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Cinnamon – This is bad for dogs because it lowers their blood sugar too much and irritates the mouth’s inside.
  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Chives – These have delayed symptoms. They cause weakness, elevated heart beat, and collapse. Garlic is the most dangerous.
  • Macadamia Nuts – These are toxic to a dog and make him sluggish and unable to walk. They raise body temperature and affect the nervous system.
  • Xylitol – This sweetener, found in candy, peanut butter, and other products, causes low blood sugar, seizures, and liver failure.
  • Alcohol – Poisonous to a dog, this gets into the blood cells and means intoxication, respiratory distress, coma, and death.
  • Caffeine, coffee – This equals elevated blood pressure, seizures, and death.
  • Raisins, grapes – a few of these will cause vomiting, low energy, and kidney failure.
  • Avocado – It contains Persin, which causes diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion. The seeds are the most dangerous and can cause choking.
  • Yeast – This will expand in the stomach and can cause a rupture or alcohol poisoning.

 

Human food can be dangerous to your pup. There are plenty of pet food products out there for your dog to snack on. They don’t have the side effects our food does. For a comprehensive list of foods that dogs can’t eat, look at this Canine Journal page. You might also get this in a newsletter from your vet.

Can Popcorn Make You Gain Weight?

Popcorn is a healthy snack. It provides nutrition while getting something on your stomach. Will it make you gain weight? There is nothing that won’t put you at the risk of obesity if you don’t eat it in the right way in the right amount.

If you’re adding a lot of butter, oil, salt, sugar, cheese, peanut butter, caramel, or any additive to your popcorn or popping it with anything but air, it’s more than likely going to add to your waistline. Popcorn is a grain, and it’s a carbohydrate. It provides energy. The thing is, you need to exercise to burn off that energy, or it becomes more weight. People need to keep a healthy diet and workout plan. The more you exercise, the more fuel you burn.

A little popcorn is not going to hurt you. People can eat it in moderation, and it’s okay. It’s when you eat a huge bowl of butter and cheese popcorn popped in oil while you’re sitting around watching T.V. that it’s a problem. So, go ahead and have a little light popcorn! Just remember to eat right and exercise. Walk your dogs!