Which Household Pets Can Eat Popcorn?

  • Author: Sue Dorrens
  • Published: September 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

There are lots of different household pets that can eat popcorn. This is great news if you’re one of the 70% of households in the U.S. with a pet.

Treating your pet to some delicious popcorn is a great way to show your love for them and reward them for good behavior. Popcorn is a suitable treat for many pets because it’s low in calories, contains antioxidants, and is free from harmful ingredients.

So, let’s find out if it’s safe for your beloved pet to eat popcorn and how best to feed it to him or her.

Can All Pets Eat Popcorn?

No, not every pet can eat popcorn. Popcorn can be very dangerous for some pets and should never be fed to them. These pets include:

  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs

If you have one of the following pets, then you’ll be pleased to hear that they can eat popcorn:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Hamsters
  • Ferrets
  • Chinchillas
  • Mice
  • Rats

But before you break open a bag of popcorn and share it with your pet, make sure you follow our advice below as popcorn should be fed to some pets with caution. You may also need to spend a little time specially preparing popcorn for your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Yes, dogs can eat popcorn. Most dogs love crunching away on pieces of popcorn, and it makes a great snack or treat for them.

Plain, air-popped popcorn is a good choice for dogs as it’s free from additives and potentially toxic ingredients, such as garlic and cinnamon. But you haven’t got to stick to popcorn you make yourself as there are readymade popcorn bags that are marketed just for dogs. Pupcorn, for example, does a cheese and chicken flavor that is sure to get your dog salivating.

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Cats can eat popcorn; however, it’s not recommended for felines. Cats have small mouths, and popcorn is a choking hazard for them.

Popcorn covered in yummy toppings, such as cheese, garlic, and butter, isn’t good for a cat’s digestive system either and is likely to cause an upset tummy. If you do want to feed your cat popcorn, offer a plain air-popped variety that has been cut up into smaller pieces.

Can Pet Fish Eat Popcorn?

It is possible to feed popcorn to your pet fish, but it should be done with caution. Fish have very small mouths, so the popcorn needs to be as small as possible. It’s usually best to cut popcorn up.

Hulless popcorn is better for pet fish as it’s smaller and is less of a choking hazard.

Avoid feeding your pet fish popcorn that has flavorings such as salt or butter on it as it could make your fish ill.

Can Pet Birds Eat Popcorn?

Pet birds love to eat popcorn, and it’s safe to give to them occasionally. Popcorn has no nutritional value for birds, but it is a nice treat. Plain, air-popped popcorn is the only type that should be given as toppings and flavorings are unhealthy for birds and are potentially harmful.

Can Rabbits Eat Popcorn?

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in America, according to Pet Keen. You may want to spoil your pet rabbit with some popcorn from time to time, but this isn’t something you should do.

Rabbits can’t eat popcorn as they cannot digest corn. Due to this, it’s not safe for rabbits to eat even one piece of popcorn, so make sure you keep your popcorn bowl away from your pet.

Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?

Yes, hamsters can eat plain air-popped popcorn as an occasional treat. The popcorn mustn’t have any seasonings or flavorings on it as they can be harmful to hamsters. You need to keep unpopped popcorn kernels away from your hamster, too as they’re a health risk that can cause choking and digestive issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?

The thought of seeing a guinea pig nibbling on a piece of popcorn is a cute one. However, it’s not a good idea to feed popcorn to guinea pigs as it can cause digestive complaints. Guinea pigs are herbivores, and popcorn is not a natural part of their diet. They may also find it difficult to chew popcorn and may even choke on it.

Can Ferrets Eat Popcorn?

Ferrets tend to prefer a meat-based diet, but they can indulge in the odd piece of popcorn. It’s very important that you only feed your ferret a small amount of popcorn now and then otherwise, they may develop a love for it.

As popcorn has little nutritional value to ferrets, you don’t want your pet to yearn for something that’s not good for them.

If you do feed popcorn to your ferret, stick to plain, air-popped popcorn. You also need to remove the hull and any unpopped kernels from their treat.

Can Chinchillas Eat Popcorn?

Your cute little chinchilla can eat popcorn on a very rare basis. As a high carbohydrate food, popcorn isn’t the healthiest option for chinchillas.

But if your chinchilla wants to take some popcorn from you, make sure it’s plain and has been air-popped. Just keep an eye out for any digestive symptoms and stop feeding popcorn to your chinchilla if they appear.

Can Pet Mice Eat Popcorn?

Do you like to sit with your pet mouse in the evening, watching a movie and snacking on popcorn? Well, make sure you set aside some popcorn for your tiny friend, as mice love it, and it’s perfectly safe for them to eat.

The fiber in popcorn is healthy for mice, so it’s a great snack for these furry creatures. The popcorn does need to be plain and air-popped, though. Always make sure your mouse can’t nibble on any unpopped popcorn kernels as they could choke on them.

Can Pet Rats Eat Popcorn?

It’s fine for you to share plain, air-popped popcorn with your pet rat. Pet rats are, however, prone to obesity if overfed, so you should only give popcorn to your rat as a treat.

Remember, rats are small pets and have tiny mouths. This means you should remove the hull from the popcorn and break the popcorn up to make it easier for your rat to eat.

Important Things to Remember When Feeding Popcorn to Pets

  • Only ever give plain, air-popped popcorn (unless you buy a special dog-friendly popcorn)
  • Remove the hull
  • Breaking the popcorn into smaller pieces is recommended
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended with popcorn as they could choke
  • If popcorn makes your pet ill, take the popcorn away, and seek advice from a vet

As you can see, many household pets can eat popcorn without any issues. The key thing is to only serve plain, air-popped popcorn to your pet as this is the safest and most nutritious type of popcorn there is.

If you’re ever in any doubt as to whether it’s okay for your pet to eat popcorn, make sure you refer back to this guide or double-check with your vet.

Sources

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-pet-ownership-and-insurance

https://www.pupcornplus.com/

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