Who doesn’t love some popcorn during a movie or a Netflix binge? A lot of us do and so do our dogs, but is popcorn okay for our dogs to eat? The experts say the answer isn’t straightforward, it really depends on how the popcorn is prepared and how much of it we share with our furry friends(1).
According to the American Kennel Club, popcorn can be a healthy treat for both us and our dogs. Plain, air popped corn contains magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and zinc, as well as, fibre and some vitamins(2). The problem with popcorn comes with the salt and butter we often add. As we have heard time and time again, too much of these, especially in large quantities, can cause gastro-intestinal upset, kidney disease, obesity and obesity-related conditions(1,2). Additionally, unpopped kernels can get stuck in you and your dog’s teeth, leading to dental disease and even worse, could pose a choking hazard(2).
That being said, popcorn can be given to your dog as a healthy treat, if prepared using the following recommendations(1,2):
1. Don’t add extra butter nor salt, keep it plain and air-popped
2. Remove all unpopped kernels
3. Only give popcorn to your dog occasionally and in small quantities
So there you have it: Popcorn can be a safe treat for you and your furry friend! Fewf!
Healthy Popcorn Recipes for You and Your Dog
If you and your dog are big popcorn fanatics, here are a few healthy recipes that you can both enjoy (in small quantities)!
Cheesy bacon popcorn(2)
Air pop your corn and spread it on a baking sheet. Lightly cover the popcorn with reduced-fat grated cheddar and a few bacon bits. Cook on low heat until the cheese melts, then let it cool.
Peanut butter poppers(2)
Put your air popped corn in a large bowl. Mix in 1 cup of low-salt, low-sugar peanut butter (make sure there is no Xylitol), and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Using your hands, make small balls and place them on wax paper to set.
1. Burke, A. 2016. Can dogs eat popcorn? American Kennel Club. [Online]. Available from: akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-popcorn. [Accessed: Jan 20, 2019].
2. Trupanion. Can dogs eat popcorn? Trupanion Pet Insurance. [Online]. Available from: trupanion.com/canada/pet-care/can-dogs-eat-popcorn. [Accessed: Jan 20, 2019].