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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

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It’s your favorite movie-time snack. But when you’re curled up on the couch with your furry BFF, can you share popcorn with your pooch?

You’re settled in for the night, curled up in front of the TV with the remote in one hand and a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn in the other. But what is this? A furry little face leaning in from the side, waiting for his share of this healthy alternative to chips, Cheesies, and Cheetos. Do you share, or do you find something better for him to snack on?

Well, if your popcorn is air-popped without salt, oil, or flavorings, feel free to toss him a handful or two to enjoy. I mean, all dogs are intrigued by the ritual of preparing popcorn; they love the sounds, the enticing smell and the stimulating crunch that popcorn delivers. And it actually provides several important minerals that support dog health including magnesium, manganese, zinc, and fibre.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Scrambled Eggs?

But let’s be honest, none of us eat just plain popcorn. It’s the salty, buttery flavor that has us hooked and its for this very reason that you may need to either revisit how you prepare this tasty snack or change your sharing practice when it comes to your best buddy. For some breeds, even a small amount of butters or oil can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and ultimately dehydration.

The good news is that most microwaveable brands offer a plain option that means you can still keep the prep process quick and easy. Or, you can go old-school and invest in an air popper. Just add the kernels and let the hot air do the rest. Once done, you can set aside a popcorn portion for your poochie, then add butter, salt and those zesty flavors to your own.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

And, just like what happens with we humans, those pesky hulls can get caught in-between teeth and cause gum irritation. The easiest work-around for this is to take a moment to just pick the hulls off popped kernels before sharing.

But there’s more to consider because its not just those tasty toppings that can pose a problem for your pup. One of the most common allergens for dogs is grains – and this includes corn. In fact, its so widespread a concern that it has resulted in many top-quality brands producing a vast range of grain-free dry and wet foods as well as treats. If your dog is known to have this type of allergy, popcorn is going to be a trigger and should be considered a big no-no snack for Rover.  

If you’re just now finding that your dog seems to experience bloating, diarrhea or gassiness after chowing down on popcorn, he may have a sensitivity that needs to be explored further with your vet. As you go forward, if sharing a night-time snack with your pooch is still a positive bonding time for you both, simply explore alternative options.


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