What snack is buttery, salty, and delicious?

Popcorn!

That tasty combination of buttery goodness and satisfying salt makes popcorn the perfect snack, and not just for the movies.

But is popcorn safe for dogs?

Here’s the short answer:

Yes.

But just because popcorn is safe for dogs to eat doesn’t mean that it’s good for them!

Here’s what you need to know:

What Kind of Popcorn is Safe for Dogs?

When you buy a box of microwave popcorn, you probably go for the “butter lovers” or “movie theater butter” flavors. When you do, you aren’t under any illusion that it’s going to be a healthy snack.

But is all popcorn unhealthy?

Not exactly.

Air-popped corn with little or no salt is a low-calorie snack for both pets and people!

Where can you find this kind of popcorn?

Look for organic salt-free popcorn at the grocery store or purchase popcorn kernels and pop them yourself. You can buy a simple popcorn popper that you plug in to the wall, or you can find versions that go right in the microwave. Just be sure not to add too much oil or salt.

Okay, so what kind of benefits does popcorn offer your dog?

Keep reading to find out:

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What Are the Health Benefits of Popcorn for Dogs?

Popcorn is simple corn kernels that have been heated until they pop.

You probably already know that.

But is corn a healthy food for your dog? The answer to this question isn’t quite as easy as a simple “yes” or “no” – there are multiple factors to consider.

First of all, corn is a grain.

Whole grains can sometimes be good for your dog, but only if he is able to digest them properly. Many dogs have trouble digesting grains and grains are also among the most common food allergens. If your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, popcorn may not be the best snack.

Second, corn offers limited nutrition value for your dog.

Corn may contain dietary fiber as well as carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. It also contains trace minerals like zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. However, there are plenty of other grains that offer higher concentrations of these nutrients.

Okay, so what is the final verdict? Is popcorn good for your dog?

Salt-free, air-popped popcorn is a perfectly suitable snack for your dog, but only when given as an occasional treat. Popcorn and other snacks should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet – most of his nutrition should come from a high-quality, nutritionally balanced kibble.

So, if you’re going to feed your dog popcorn, how do you do it?

Here are our recommendations:

How to Feed Your Dog Popcorn

The best way to ensure that your dog gets popcorn with no added salt or fat is to pop it yourself at home.

You can buy a simple microwave popcorn popper on Amazon for $15 or less.

But is it really worth it?

If you plan to pop popcorn for yourself anyway, buying a popcorn popper is a smart choice. But popcorn isn’t a healthy enough snack for your dog to warrant the purchase of a popper for solely that purpose.

Any popcorn you feed your dog should be air-popped and free from added salt and fat. Limit your dog’s intake to no more than one cup at a time – a serving this size contains about 30 calories. Smaller dogs should eat smaller portions, no more than ¼ cup at a time.

You also need to be careful about unpopped kernels.

Before you feed your dog popcorn, go through it to make sure he only gets the kernels that are fully popped. Unpopped kernels could get stuck in your dog’s teeth or cause a choking hazard, particularly for smaller dogs.

Does your dog like popcorn? Share your story in the comment section below!

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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