Popcorn is basically a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs when heated. Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in dietary fiber and antioxidants, full of healthy nutrients, low in calories and fat, and free of sugar and sodium.
Research has proved that popcorn contains more antioxidant substances called polyphenols than fruits and vegetables. Studies have also shown that Polyphenol has several health benefits which include better blood circulation, improved digestive health, and even reduced the risk of cancer. Such heart smart nutritious snack and at the same time so yummy no one can’t resist munching some while popping the popcorn when that popcorn aromas spread all around you cannot overlook that cute doggy eyes requesting you to share some. As a responsible dog parent, the only question that stops you from sharing is can dogs eat popcorn? Let’s dig it.
Is popcorn bad for dogs?
Popcorn itself is safe for your canine buddy so you can feed your dog popcorn. But the problem lies in its preparation and how it is served. Air popped popcorn if given in moderation makes an ideal healthy treat for dogs. So, if prepared properly and fed in moderation popcorn is ok for dogs. Although your dog does not drive enough benefits from it so you can occasionally give some popcorn to your dog.
How can dogs have popcorn?
Now when you know that popcorn is a safe, in fact, healthy treat for dogs it is equally important to know how to attain full benefits out of it. Feeding dogs popcorn is ok in moderation and most importantly unseasoned, and unbuttered (plain). So if while enjoying your buttered or caramel popcorn this question struck your mind can dogs eat buttered popcorn or can dogs eat caramel popcorn? Think again! Additional ingredients like butter, salt, sugar, or preservatives are by no means safe for dogs and should always be avoided.
When it comes to how much popcorn can a dog eat? A few plain air-popped popcorns as a treat occasionally can be given to a healthy dog. Avoid sharing too much at one time as it can be bad or can cause an upset stomach. Moreover, some kernels don’t ‘pop’, and can cause tooth damage, become lodged in the mouth and cause infections. Un-popped kernels in rare cases also proved to be a choking hazard also pay heed attention that the pops you share really pops well to minimize the risk of choking.
Health benefits of popcorn for dogs
Plain and fully popped popcorns can be good for dogs due to these health benefits:
- Popcorn contains natural dietary fiber which aids in digestion.
- Popcorn contains potassium and calcium, which helps keep bones strong.
- It can be used as a low-calorie training treat when prepared without any seasoning and fats.
- Popcorn also contains B vitamin riboflavin and thiamine in a very small amount which is both considered good for visual apparatus, digestion and maintaining energy levels.
Popcorn you get at a cinema or theatre, your local parks, or the flavored ones you get from the superstore, prepared in industrial machines, full of heavy oils, butter and salt are really bad for your dog because of its fat and salt content. The important thing to understand is that if you really desire to give some popcorn to your dog only air popped and fully popped popcorn without any salt and butter, is tolerable, just a few popcorns occasionally as a treat are safe for dogs. Do not go for the flavored ones as they are full of additives, artificial coloring, chemicals and artificial sweeteners that are awful for dogs. It can cause diarrhea, dehydration, heart diseases and even kidney failure.
So if you really want to pop some popcorn for your buddy next time just pop unseasoned plain popcorn to satisfy your and your buddy’s temptation. Do not feed too much and practice moderation when it comes to anything you give to your dog. Go for some healthy alternatives like apples, bananas, and cucumbers that would be both safe and good for your companion friend.