Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Is Popcorn Bad For Dogs? The Truth Here!

can dog eat popcorn

Can dogs eat popcorn? This is an interesting question. Popcorn is a very popular snack you can even make yourself at home. Its popularity comes with no exaggeration that we celebrate National Popcorn Day every January 19! There is no cinema that doesn’t sell this, and there is no movie night without this snack.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

But, when it comes to answer question like is popcorn bad for dogs, this popularity doesn’t count anymore. While popcorn is mentioned to carry mild nutrients for human, it may not work the same way with dogs. In fact, many people ask, is popcorn harmful to dogs? The answer is it highly possibly is.

dog eat popcorn

This is maybe shocking for some of you because you often let your pooch climbs the couch and eats the spilled over popcorn. Can you feed dogs popcorn? Let’s learn more on popcorn and the effect of feeding it to your dog here.

What is Popcorn Exactly

Before we can answer the question like can dogs eat popcorn, it is necessary to know more about this popular snack. Popcorn is made out of corn of course. Corn, in fact, is one of grains we can consume daily. Many dog foods contain corn. But, is popcorn good for dogs?

popcorn pop

Popcorn is made after hardened and dries corn kernels are cooked so they popped into a different form. This new form is more a white puffy kind and it is really nice seeing how it forms. Can dog eat popcorn like this as we can? Your dog basically can.

However, the popcorn dogs can eat should be different with human popcorn. Human popcorn is rarely plain. We coat it with salt, caramel dressing, or flavoured powder to add the taste. For us, this addition is the one that makes popcorn an irresistible snack all the time. It’s just too tasty with those additional flavours!

dogs and popcorn

However, this flavouring is why is popcorn bad for dogs mostly. Flavouring adds the taste of popcorn, but it doesn’t enhance anything else. In fact, it isn’t so healthy for us human, so it is only logical that it may not safe enough for the dogs too.

Nutrient Facts on Popcorn

As you wonder can dogs eat popcorn, you may as well take a look on the nutrients this snack contains. In general, popcorn can be categorized as whole grain as it is made of corn. Whole grain plays important role in reducing the risk of several diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

popcorn nutrition fact

Other than that, there are a few more nutrient values from popcorn I need to enlist, and of course we are talking about plain popcorn here. This includes:

  • Fiber
  • Antioxidant agents
  • Vitamin A, B, E, and K
  • Panthotenic acid
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

Popcorn nutrition values contribute enough to our health naturally. Enough intake of fiber and antioxidant agents will promote our digestion system as well as our stamina. Even though claimed to bring mild benefits, eating popcorn can deliver us those key ingredients that may help in weight management too.

can my dog eat popcorn

So, is popcorn ok for dogs? Hold your breath. It is still too early to summarize this popcorn and dog safety.

Now, let’s say we make pop corn out of three cups of corn kernels. What the nutrition will be? Without additional ingredients in the making, the nutrition of this portion of popcorn will be:

  • 93 calories
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 2 grams of sugar
  • and 1.1 grams of fat

Looking at this fact, we should feel okay with popcorn. So, is popcorn bad for dogs? Are dogs allowed to eat popcorn? Well, this fact only shows that your dog may get this healthy intake too but it doesn’t mean there is no danger at all.

What Parts of Popcorn Can Be Dangerous for Dog?

dogs and popcorn

Can dogs eat popcorn? Before you feed your dog with popcorn, it will be important to know the entire dangerous aspects of this snack. When we cook the kernels like usual, adding more ingredients and flavours, these dangers are basically lurking:

  • Oils and Fat

Can dogs eat popcorn? No, they can’t if you make the popcorn using a lot of ingredients like butter. Just by adding these ingredients, there will be risks like gastrointestinal issues and obesity on your dog that will lead to many other health issues. Trust me. You don’t want any of this on you or your pooch.

popcorn classic

  • Peanut Butter

Is popcorn safe for dogs when we add peanut butter in it? Absolutely not. More often than not, peanut butter contains artificial sweetener. We often know it as Xylitol. The not very fun fact about xylitol is that it is highly toxic when it comes to dogs.

can dogs eat butter popcorn

  • Sodium

This is just the easiest and most added ingredient when we make popcorn. Can my dog eat popcorn with salt added, you say? It’s a big no. While too much intake of sodium can risk our health, it is extremely hazardous for our dogs. Don’t add salt to make sure your dog stays healthy after eating some of your popcorn.

can you give dogs popcorn

Now, you may assume that as long as you don’t add one of those ingredients your dog will be fine eating some popcorn. But, can puppies eat popcorn then? Hold there, champ. The dangerous parts don’t end here. These parts are also unfriendly for your canine friends too:

  • PFC on the Bag

We often make popcorn from a bagged one on the microwave. The problem is this bag contains PFC which is a dangerous chemical to get inside your pooch body, and yours too. So your dogs eat popcorn of this kind isn’t a very good idea.

is popcorn okay for dogs

  • Its’ Shape

The natural shape of popcorn isn’t really a friendly shape for your canine friends. It is a little too difficult to break for your dogs so your dogs tend to swallow just as it is. When this happens and it gets stuck inside, this is when problems come. So, can a dog eat popcorn? Be careful on the shape though.

can i give my dog popcorn

  • The Kernel Hulls

Will popcorn hurt dogs? It will when your dogs get the kernel hulls. In human alone, these hulls can create discomfort. However, we can solve it by using dental floss or simply by brushing our teeth. Mostly, these solutions aren’t available for dogs. This is when another problem happens.

popcorn for dogs

  • Unpopped Kernels

Are dogs allowed to have popcorn with unpopped kernels included? Of course, their teeth are strong enough to break them, but our pooch won’t be able to grind it to make it safer to swallow. So, the answer is no. It is too dangerous for our dogs.

unpopped kernels of popcorn

So basically, there are more than enough possible dangers if you feed your dog with popcorn. Is popcorn healthy for dogs? It is possibly healthy enough without any additional ingredients, but still, you need to watch out on other parts too that are proven to be problems for dogs.

Possible Risks if Your Dogs Eat Popcorn

can puppy eat popcorn

Okay, now we get it. Popcorn has many dangerous parts for our dogs. Can dogs eat popcorn? A lot of things need to be taken care of first before we feed our pooch with one. We also need to recognize the entire possible risks that may happen to our dog. Such as:

  • Obesity

Of course, the risk of obesity happens only if your dog eats popcorn with added butter or oil. Oil and butter will only add fats in it, and it increases the risk of obesity to your dog. Obesity alone can be the trigger for so many other health problems including kidney problems, arthritis, and heart diseases.

dog obesity

In many cases, the risk includes gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. So can dogs eat popcorn with oil and fat? Of course not.

  • Dehydration

Is popcorn okay for dogs? It is not when you add salt in it. Salt or sodium causes dehydration. Even worse, too much sodium intake leads to health issues like poisoning and salt toxicity. These three problems are enough causes for you to immediately go to the vet.

dog is drinking

  • Diabetes

Is caramel popcorn bad for dogs? Yes, it is. When you make caramel popcorn, you add sugar in it. Just as it happens in human body, too much sugar intake leads to problems like overweight as well as diabetes. The case is our dog tolerance to sugar is even lower than us.

  • Intoxicated

As mentioned before, we often add peanut butter on the popcorn and it means we possibly add Xylitol in it. It is toxic to dog that it may result in several reactions including vomiting, fever, digestion problems, and many others. You can answer no to question like can dogs eat butter popcorn, and you should do the same for sweetened popcorn too.

french bulldog is sick

  • Internal Blockage

Can dogs eat popcorn kernels? Our dogs can’t eat the kernels. Their teeth are strong enough to crush the kernels, probably, but the kernels are too small and round. Most likely, your dog will not crush it, and the kernels will slip and it will be swallowed. This can cause blockage, not to mention it won’t be able to be digested.

  • Dental Problems

As you may have wondered, is it ok for dogs to eat popcorn hulls? The hulls will be a huge problem. It will be lodged between the gum and teeth. First, it creates discomfort. Second, the lodged hulls will cause dental diseases, gingivitis, or tooth decay.

dog cleaning plaque from his teeth

  • Choking

Is it okay for dogs to eat popcorn no matter what the shape? Unfortunately not. The shape of popcorn is rather hard to process due to the dog mouth anatomy. In most cases, our pooch will just swallow the popcorn whole, and get choked. It will be even more dangerous if it blocks the airway.

  • Cancer

Is it safe for dogs to eat popcorn that comes in bag? The PFC contained in the bag is an enough cause for cancer if you consume it too often. It is already dangerous for human, so imagine the multiplied effect on our pooch. It will be best to avoid it.

dog eat popcorn

Can dogs eat butter popcorn? You already know the answer for this question now. We need to be really careful on what kind of popcorn to give to our dog. If we choose the wrong one, it may lead to serious health problems as mentioned above.

Human Style Popcorn for Dogs

can you feed dogs popcorn

Now you know the basic limits of feeding your dog with popcorn. Can dogs eat popcorn? The answer is it depends on what kind of popcorn. Using the information explained above, let’s try figure out if several kinds of popular human style popcorn is still okay for our pooch.

  • Seasoned Popcorn

Seasoned popcorn includes all kinds with additional flavouring, from salt to other flavours too. Can dogs eat popcorn shrimp? As explained above, seasoning will only add the health risk of our canine friends.

seasoned popcorn salt

Can dogs eat popcorn chicken? Can dogs eat buttered popcorn? It is an easy answer now. Our dogs can’t have those at all.

But what about cheese, can dogs eat cheddar popcorn that tastes so yummy? Cheese can potentially add fat which leads to cholesterol problem. So, it is a no for the cheddar popcorn.

  • Sweetened Popcorn

There are several kinds of sweetened popcorn. The most popular one is the caramel. Can dogs eat caramel popcorn? Due to the added sugar, our dogs shouldn’t eat caramel popcorn.

caramel popcorn

Next, kettle popcorn! Kettle popcorn is also popular. Can dogs eat kettle corn popcorn? Due to the salt, sugar, and oil ingredients, they can’t.

So, can dogs eat popcorn in any of this style? The answer is a plain no. There are too many additional ingredients and those ingredients cause the health problems. For the best health of our dogs, it will be best to avoid these kinds of popcorn and keep the popcorn out of your dog’s reach.

What to Do If Your Dog Accidentally Eat Popcorn

dog popcorn

Now, there are times when you had a great movie night and you left some of the popcorn on the couch. Can dogs eat this popcorn then? Of course, they can’t eat the popcorn, unless it is plain ones. But, what if our dog accidentally eats the popcorn? Don’t worry. Stay calm and follow the following steps:

  1. Try and Find Out The Amount Your Dog Ate

Seasoned or sweetened popcorn for dogs is dangerous. Meanwhile, those two are the kind of popcorn we often have at home and cinema. If it is possible, try to find out if your dogs ate too many. Can my dog have popcorn? If it is just one or two pieces, it shouldn’t be too hazardous.

  1. Give the Dog Enough Fresh Water

Can dogs eat popcorn and staying healthy? If you are sure that your dog didn’t eat too many popcorn so far, giving your pooch enough fresh water should help. It helps rinse the popcorn well, preventing any choking or blockage possibility.

Labrador dog drinks water from a bowl

  1. Watch Out for Bad Reactions

Why can’t dogs eat popcorn? One of the most frightened results of it is that there will be bad reactions that are serious indications of more serious health problems. Pay attention if your dog has choking signs, or if it seems like it has trouble breathing.

  1. Call Your Vet!

If there are any sign or reaction after eating the popcorn, it is best to call your vet. Or better, you should take your pooch right into the emergency unit for immediate help. So, can you give a dog popcorn? Trust your vet and be really careful if you insist so.

How to Feed Popcorn to Your Dog Safely


Even though we know exactly the side effects and possible health risks, there are times when we want to share some of the popcorn to our pooch. Can dogs eat popcorn if we prepare it ourselves? They can possibly enjoy the popcorn if you follow these preparation steps:

  1. Make the Popcorn Plain

Can dogs eat popcorn if we make it plain? Yes, it can. It is the best and the safest way to feed popcorn to your dog. In order to get the plain one, please avoid using any oil, butter, or other additional ingredients in it. Dog popcorn should be totally free from these additional stuffs.

plain popcorn

  1. Clean It before Feeding

Popcorn good for dogs also needs to be free of the unpopped kernels. You already know the danger so make sure that you don’t put these kernels into your pooch bowl. In addition to it, it will be best if the hulls are also removed to prevent the possible risks.

  1. Don’t Add Additional Seasoning

Can I give my dog popcorn with additional seasoning? In your mind, you imagine that it must be nice for your dog to have a little seasoning for some taste. If your dog likes chicken, chicken flavour will be nice. However, the fact is this additional seasoning is the source of problems. So, can dogs eat pop corn with seasoning? It is better not to feed your pooch this popcorn.

dog eat popcorn with lady

  1. Small Portion Only

There is no definite rule for the right portion but you should make it as small as possible. A handful of popcorn should be enough treat every few days for a dog with medium size body. This portion of popcorn safe for dogs despite the body size.

Can dogs eat cheese popcorn in this portion? If it is with fatty cheese, it is best for you to feed your pooch with only one or two pieces of it.

  1. Never with Bagged Popcorn

Can dogs eat smartfood popcorn? Let’s be safe and say no to bagged popcorn because it contains additional ingredients and chemical substance on the package. Always make your own popcorn, preferably with air fryer.

Homemade Popcorn Ideas for Dogs

dog popcorn

Can dogs eat popcorn if we know how to prepare it in a healthy way? Yes, they can. You already know how to prepare dogs popcorn but you may need some ideas or simple recipes to make for your dogs. If you need several options, these three recipes should be fit:

  1. Classic Plain Popcorn

Can dogs eat popcorn with plain style? It is in fact the best kind of popcorn for the pooch. Simply cook your corn hulls in microwave or air fryer. Make sure to never add oils while cooking to keep it really as plain as possible. This popcorn ok for dogs and actually the perfect one to work with for the next recipes.

plain popcorn

  1. Cheesy Bacon Popcorn

Spread the cooked popcorn on a baking sheet. But, can dogs eat popcorn kernels? They can’t, so you should remove the kernels entirely. Then, cover the popcorn with shredded cottage cheese and unsalted bacon. Bake in the oven in 350° until the cheese melts.

cheesy popcorn with bacon

  1. Poppers in Peanut Butter Coat

Can dogs eat kettle popcorn? They can’t, so prepare the alternative. Prepare a half cup of well cooked popcorn and then mix them with your own peanut butter dipping. Make sure to add no xylitol in your mixing or sugar. It makes a perfect diet snack too.

peanut butter popcorn

There are actually many other recipes you can try but you can always try with these basic ones. Can popcorn hurt dogs if we make it with these recipes? With this recipes, popcorn is safe enough for the pooch.

Can popcorn kill dogs if we make it just as in the recipes? The popcorn will be totally safe if you follow the recipes and clean it thoroughly first.

Final Thoughts

  • In sum, can dogs eat popcorn? Our dogs can eat popcorn, but not the same kind of popcorn human usually has. Dogs and popcorn in human style contain many addition ingredients including butter, oil, salt, and other possible seasoning like flavouring powder or peanut butter.

popcorn dog

  • Can dogs eat popcorn with butter? No, they can’t. These additional ingredients are toxic or disadvantageous for your dogs’ health. It is better to avoid using these ingredients in your dog popcorn.
  • Can you give dogs popcorn if it still has kernels or hulls? Kernels and hulls are dangerous for dog as it causes issues like blockage and choking. Make sure to feed clean popcorn for your pooch safety.
  • Prepare your own popcorn to make sure it is free from any dangerous ingredients and parts. Can you give popcorn to dogs often then? No. It shouldn’t be in your dog’s diet, but an occasional treat only. Now, your dog can have the same snack as you for the next movie night!

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