Can Pugs eat Popcorn

Can Pugs Eat Popcorn?

Can Pugs Eat Popcorn?

Wow! Can they ever! Drop some popcorn, put a bowl in front of them, toss a kernel in the air; they most certainly can eat popcorn.

But your question probably is, “Is it safe for Pugs to eat popcorn?” Now that’s a different story.

Let’s say it’s movie night at your Pug palace. You and your Pugs cuddle up for another night of watching your favorite Pug movie. Pop a bag of microwave popcorn and watch your Pugs jump around! They know what’s coming next – Popcorn for All!

Can Pugs Eat Popcorn?  Microwave Popcorn?

Oil, salt, and who knows what else? But microwave popcorn tastes excellent! You love it, and your Pugs love it. 

What’s Unhealthy about Microwave Popcorn for Pugs (and Humans)

Many popcorn brands still use trans fats. Trans fats are partially hydrogenated soybean oil. What’s so bad about that? Trans fats are one of the most harmful fats. It’s associated with 20,000 heart attacks a year and over 7,000 deaths. It clogs your arteries, causes inflammation, and is terrible for your liver.

For Pug’s health, avoid trans fats in everything. Check your labels to be sure. It seems like trans fats are in everything that tastes good! It’s in pizza, bakery goods, non-dairy creamer, canned frosting, and some crackers. I guarantee your favorite fried fast food is going to have trans fat in it! 

Proply Gallate is an ingredient often found in microwave popcorn. Unfortunately, it can result in skin rashes, stomach issues, and breathing problems. 

Our Pugs certainly don’t need any more breathing problems.

TBHQ stands for “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone.” It’s a preservative in microwave popcorn and other food. For myself and my Pugs, I stick to the rule of eating only real food. I can’t think of one actual food product that goes by an acronym. I guess that’s because generally, we know how to pronounce food names. TBHQ is a chemical made from butane. Remember butane lighters? It’s a toxic gas. It can be used at 0.02 percent of the total oil in the product. 

New rule for my Pugs (and myself): If something is okay in a small quantity but bad in a greater amount, We don’t want any of it! One gram of this toxic chemical can result in allergies, asthma, ADHD, dizziness, and stomach cancer in lab animals. There may also be links to problems with eyesight and lung problems. But, again, our Pugs certainly don’t need any added stress on their lungs or breathing issues. 

And what about artificial flavors? We see this all the time in our food. But what are the artificial flavors and microwave popcorn? And should our Pugs be eating it? Artificial flavors often mean MSG and diacetyl butter flavoring. 

I bet that diacetyl butter flavoring is what gets us and our Pugs hooked to microwave popcorn.

So what is it? It’s toxic! Seriously toxic! In factories, it causes serious lung problems for people who are working with it all the time. Again, another lung issue. Our Pugs sometimes have breathing issues on a good day. It is also linked to brain problems.

What about MSG? It is known to cause weight gain, something our Pugs don’t need. It is also linked to brain damage, liver damage, headaches, sweating, numbness, chest pain, weakness, and nausea. The Mayo Clinic says these symptoms are anecdotal, and there is no definitive link. Manufacturers hide the word MSG under things like “artificial flavors.” 

And even the microwave popcorn bag is toxic. Almost all varieties come lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical is the same stuff found in Teflon pots and pans. It can stay in Pug and human bodies for long periods. When heated, it is linked to cancer, infertility, and other diseases. It will be heated when you put it in the microwave. And there have been no long-term studies on humans (or Pugs). The EPA lists this as a carcinogen. As we all know, carcinogens cause cancer in Pugs and humans.

What’s the Popcorn Alternative for Pugs?

Popcorn Pug

After reading about all the toxic chemicals, I’m sure you realize that microwave popcorn is not a good option for your Pugs. Unfortunately, it’s not great for humans either.

So, what kind of popcorn will your Pug love? I doubt your Pug will refuse popcorn that does not have tasty, buttery carcinogens on it.

You have two options: 

Air-popped popcorn and microwave popcorn in a paper bag.

Air-popped Popcorn for Pugs

Air-poppers are cheap, easy to use, and create healthy popcorn.

My Pugs love the sound of popcorn in the air-popper. Is that because they love air-popped popcorn more than other food? No. They know that sound means that I’m going to share some food with them. 

Mimi and Lulu hear the air-popper and start running around the kitchen. Literally, running in circles.

Once complete, I divide the popcorn into two bowls. In the first bowl, I put in popcorn for my Pugs that has nothing on it. Believe me. They love it just as much as popcorn with unhealthy oil, butter, or salt on it.

The second bowl is for me. 

I put some melted coconut oil and salt on it. I can give up salt on a lot of things, but not popcorn. 

Microwave Popcorn in Brown Paper Bags for your Pugs

If you and your Pugs really love microwave popcorn, there’s an easy way to make it. Maybe your Pugs love that microwave popcorn sound. Who says Pugs can’t be trained? Pugs can be easily trained to know that microwave popcorn means “popcorn party time for Pugs!”

How to: Microwave Popcorn for Pugs

  1. Pug ¼ cup of popcorn kernels into a brown lunch paper bag. Some people like to put a little oil over the popcorn, but I’ve never found it necessary.
  2. Fold the top of the bag. You may have to fold it a few times so the kernels can’t spill out.
  3. Microwave until there are more than 3 seconds between pops. I usually set my microwave to 3 minutes. AT a little bit over 2 minutes, the pops will get further and further apart.
  4. Remove the bag of popcorn. Time for a popcorn party-time for your Pugs!
  5. Enjoy with your favorite Pug movie!

Are Pugs that are Allergic to Corn also Allergic to Popcorn?

After researching many medical websites about humans with corn and popcorn allergies, I came up with a great big maybe. If a Pug (or human) has an allergic reaction to corn, they may or may not have an allergic reaction to popcorn.

Pugs that are allergic to corn often have skin problems, discharge in their ears, ear infections, inflammation/redness in their paws, chronic gas (more than usual), and sometimes wheezing. Make sure you take your Pug to the vet if she is having these problems. It could be the popcorn, or it could be a coincidence, and she’s having a different problem.

I used to think that Mimi had a corn allergy. Any dry dog food with corn resulted in chronic ear infections. But then again, there are so many harmful ingredients in the typical dry dog food; it’s tough to know. Read your dog food label to get the healthiest dog food you can afford for your Pug.

However, when I feed Mimi air-popped popcorn, she has no problems with any ear infections. So maybe she’s not allergic to corn. Or maybe she’s allergic to corn, but not popcorn. 

Or maybe because I’m not giving her tons of popcorn in one movie night, she does not have an allergic reaction. 

Pugs and popcorn can be a complex issue!

Thank goodness she does not have any allergic reactions. Because sharing popcorn with my Pugs is fun, and I don’t feel guilty about indulging them in a snack.

It’s always a good idea to find the lowest-calorie snacks that you can find for your Pugs. They have so much joy from eating, and we have so much joy from feeding them and watching their happy faces. You and I don’t need to add extra Pug weight to them just because we want to have some fun.

Teaching the Pug Popcorn Air Catch

This is a fun trick, and your Pug will love it. It’s super easy to teach because the motivation is so high.

Hold the piece of popcorn over her nose.

Start by letting her take it out of your hand. 

Then drop the popcorn an inch from her nose.

If it falls on the floor, try to pick it up before she does. This will keep her motivated to catch it in the air. If she gets it before you, no big deal. Just move on with your training. She’ll eventually get the idea.

Once she is catching it, move your hand further and further away.

Once catching it consistently, add the word “catch” when she gets it.

As with all of our Pug training, be sure to give verbal praise each time she catches.

Once your Pug gets what is going on, move to a toss. Start to toss the popcorn to your Pug in an arch. 

Some Pugs get this in a couple of minutes. Others take a couple of weeks. It seems to me that some Pugs are just natural catchers. Each Pug has his or her own learning curve.

Keep the sessions short. 

I can’t imagine that any Pug would get bored catching popcorn, but you don’t want him to end up with an upset tummy!


Yes, Pugs can eat popcorn. 

But with all things, there are some guidelines to follow. My Pugs love plain air-popped popcorn. It makes a movie night even more enjoyable watching them catching it in the air.

I like popcorn as a snack for Mimi and Lulu. It makes the happy, and it’s low fat and has few calories. I could give them a high-calorie training treat or popcorn. They’d be just as happy with either.

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