can dogs eat popcorn?

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Woman and dog on couch | Can dogs eat popcorn?
Posted by Dr. Ernie Ward on Nov 23 2015

While my human family relishes the film, I’m pretty sure my dog’s main interest in movie night is the popcorn. That’s OK with me, because popcorn can be a healthy snack for cinema-loving canines.

Is popcorn safe for dogs?

Plain popcorn, in moderation, is a healthy treat for humans and dogs. It has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity among health-conscious families seeking low-calorie, nutritious snack options.

Air-popped corn is full of healthy fiber and contains smaller amounts of B vitamins and protein. Sharing a handful with your dog isn’t likely to add extra pounds nor boost health – it’s a great way to indulge without a load of guilt.

I often recommend popcorn to many dog owners as part of their pet’s weight loss program. I’ve found offering wholesome, shared foods is a great way to satisfy many pet parents’ desire to give their pooch the occasional “people food.” Popcorn is infinitely healthier than pizza and ice cream.

The healthiest choice for dogs

Plain, air-popped corn is the healthiest choice. I don’t advise feeding popcorn made with oils, salt and butter. Many commercial corns contain excessive levels of fats, sodium and additives and can cause intestinal upset or worse. If you have an older dog (or cat), pay close attention to the sodium or salt content of any treats you give. I’m always concerned about the impact a high-salt diet has on hidden kidney disease or high blood pressure.

Portion size should be matched to the dog. One cup of plain, air-popped corn has a meager 31 calories. Dogs under 20 lbs. should get no more than half a cup during movie time and larger dogs a cup. My typical instruction is to fill your dog’s measuring cup with the proper allotment of popcorn and dole it out during the flick or throughout the day.

Go ahead and share a bite with your best friend as you snuggle up with a good motion picture. Your dog will thank you.