This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.
Can dogs eat plain popcorn?
Corn is a common ingredient in most pet foods. But what about the popped variety?
Great news! In moderation, certain types of plain popcorn can be a tasty, low-calorie snack for dogs. But it's important to note that not all types of popcorn are safe for our furry friends: Flavored or salted varieties should be avoided, as they contain added ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. (In other words, keep the movie theater version to yourself.)
When feeding popcorn to your dog, be absolutely sure there aren't any unpopped kernels lurking. These hard kernels pose a choking hazard, and can cause damage to your dog's teeth if crunched on too hard. And keep portion sizes small; the high fiber content in popcorn may cause gastrointestinal discomfort if your dog eats too much.
As always, consult with your veterinarian before introducing a new food item into your pet's diet! If your dog eats popcorn (or any food) and begins showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. And if your pet requires veterinary care because of something they ate, pet insurance may help cover the cost of treatment.
The good news is that plain popcorn, in moderation, can be safe for cats! Popcorn contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps keep the digestive system running smoothly. It also contains small amounts of protein, which can help maintain muscle mass.
But there are a few things to consider before offering your cat this treat.
Firstly, remember that you should only feed your cat popcorn as an occasional treat and not as a regular part of their diet. Most types of popcorn contain high amounts of salt and butter, which can cause digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in excess. And even the plain kind offers limited nutritional value beyond fiber. (As obligate carnivores, cats need to get most of their nutrients from meat-based foods.) Finally, make sure your cat doesn't eat any unpopped kernels, as these can cause broken teeth or even choking.
As always, consult with your veterinarian before introducing a new food item into your pet's diet! If your cat eats popcorn (or any food) and begins showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. And if your pet requires veterinary care because of something they ate, pet insurance may help cover the cost of treatment.
The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Pet Poison Emergency Protocol
If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).