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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Written by Ella White


human and dog watching TV with popcorn

If you’ve settled down on the sofa for movie night and your pup has made a quick move to snuggle in next to you, it can be tempting to share your popcorn treats with them. And even if you’re not actively giving your snacks away, there’s always a chance that your dog will hoover up any dropped kernels before you have a chance to grab them back yourself.

Whether you’re worried about the dropped kernels snuffled up by snacksident or you can’t resist those big brown eyes, always double check before feeding your dog something new. In this post we’re going to look at when popcorn is an OK snack for your canine and when you need to exercise caution. 

Is Popcorn Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Popped corn kernels are packed with essential nutrients, like zinc, fiber, magnesium, and manganese. So in this sense: yes, popcorn is safe for dogs to eat. But the answer, in reality, is not so simple.

As humans, we love to cover our popcorn in toppings and coatings that aren’t so good for us, like salt, sugar, and caramel. And this is where the treat becomes unsafe for dogs to share.

Butter, oil, salt, sugar, and other ingredients in flavored popcorn can be very unhealthy for dogs. They can lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, bad gas, obesity, and other related issues if fed regularly. So even if you’re popping some pre-packaged ‘plain’ popcorn, check out that ingredient list first. 

So Can My Dog Eat Popcorn At All?

If your heart is set on sharing your movie night snack with your furry friend, opt for plain popcorn that has been air popped. And be sure to remove any unpopped kernels before eating, as they can cause a choking hazard and get stuck in your dog’s teeth. Plus, they’re not great for us humans either so it’s a win-win.

That said, it’s still advisable to only feed your dog popcorn as a rare treat. Despite the nutrients in popped corn kernels, these snacks shouldn't make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake and should never be fed as a substitute for healthy dog food. 

Furthermore, corn is a fairly common allergen for dogs so it should be avoided if you know your dog cannot eat corn and monitored closely if they’re being fed corn for the first time. Mostly, this allergy causes reactions like diarrhea, stomach upset, and vomiting.

For a healthy snack that’s just as easy for your dog to nibble on during movie night, try Front of the Pack’s freeze dried treats. In fresh, raw protein flavors including rabbit, salmon, and beef, your pup will be able to eat along with you, without the worry of stomach upsets, allergies, or choking on unpopped kernels. They’re dried to a jerky-like consistency so you can keep them in your hand or pocket. And they maintain 99% of the nutrition from the healthy and natural ingredients. Plus, you get more popcorn to yourself.