Do you feed your dog popcorn when you're on the couch hanging out? Of course, you do! I don't know any pet parents that don't. What if the popcorn is plain, air-popped and unsalted? Do you eat popcorn like this? I do sometimes but not often! I add lots of butter.
When it comes down to it, it's all about the high levels of fat and sodium! The fat content will lead to an obese dog but what's really bad about popcorn are the un-popped kernels as those can hurt their teeth and gums.
Try a safer snack, or better yet you should try fruit or veggies, and we have plenty of recommendations for what is healthy for dogs to enjoy!
Is it safe for them to eat popcorn?
The American Kennel Club tells us that popcorn itself isn't bad for dogs,
"Popped corn kernels actually contain several minerals important to canine nutrition, like magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and zinc, along with fiber and trace amounts of vitamins. The stuff that makes popcorn taste delicious to us is a different story. The majority of us prefer our popcorn dripping with butter and loaded with salt, even though we know it is not good for us. The same goes for dogs. Butter, oils, salt, and the other toppings on popcorn can lead to an intestinal upset in dogs, and the fats in oil and butter also contribute to obesity and obesity-related health problems."
You can try the alternative of plain, air-popped popcorn and this does make a nice occasional treat for your dog. However, it may cause stomach upset so a few kernels perhaps and then switch over to fruit. Try avoiding it altogether!
If you must share your movie snack, always watch for un-popped kernels that can be a choking hazard and get caught in teeth. Monitor any snack that could be an issue for your dog!
Other Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
Dog owners should consider most fruit as healthy snacks. This snack should always supplement their dog's diet and perhaps be added as a topper to dog food. Feed this in moderation of course, as fruit can cause some gastrointestinal upset. Here's a list:
- Apples (without the core or seeds)
- Green Beans
Popcorn kernels just aren't a great idea so stick to dog treats that are easy on their teeth and stomach. Remember that you should also stay away from peanut butter as some brands contain Xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
You want to stay away from anything that will add to weight gain or has too much salt. My senior dog has heart disease and salt in any form is terrible so even plain popcorn is out for my three hounds.
Try to find snacks with some nutritional value and you're less likely to run into health issues down the line. Most dogs can have some human foods (see above) so choose a few of the low calories fruits we included in this article. No more microwave popcorn and people foods that are life-threatening like peanut butter!
What snacks do you feed your dogs? Please leave a comment below!