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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Is It Safe for Movie Night?

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Mary Nielsen

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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn

Nothing beats a relaxing night at home than watching a movie while snacking on a comfy couch. The best snacks for a movie night? Popcorn. But can dogs eat popcorn?

Popcorn is a yummy and fairly healthy snack for us humans. It’s perfect for movie nights as it is easy to prepare and only takes a few minutes of air-popping in a microwave. Part of the popcorn-eating experience, however, is unavoidably dropping a few pieces!

You know that it’s not unusual for dogs to want to have some of anything you are munching on. Grab some food, and they will be next to you in a heartbeat, giving you that puppy dog eyes expression that’s hard to resist.

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Those popcorn kernels you accidentally drop on the couch or floor while grabbing a handful after another? We bet your dog is more than excited and waiting to gobble everything up!

However, as pet owners, we want our dogs to stay safe and healthy at all times. Their well-being is always one of our top priorities. So, we make sure that what they eat won’t cause them any harm – and that includes popcorn.

Thus, it raises the question, can doggos eat popcorn? We’ve arranged this informative guide to let you know whether popcorn products are safe for dogs to eat or not. Read on below to find out the answer to your questions.

When is microwave popcorn bad for dogs?

Popcorn itself is considered safe for our pet dogs. Flavored popcorn, however, is not.

If you’re thinking of giving your dog popcorn, you should probably stick with plain air-popped popcorn. Plain, unseasoned popcorn is safe and, in fact, a healthy food option for your pooch.

It contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and fiber.

But what about flavored popcorn? 

Well, it’s a different story.

We know how that buttery, caramel, cheesy, and salty flavors make these popping corn kernels more tasty and delish, but those added flavors aren’t exactly the type of food you’d want to give your dogs.

Like coffee and other beverages with caffeine and macadamia nuts, flavored popcorn is a kind of human food that can be harmful to dogs. 

Unfortunately, butter, salt, xylitol, and other additives commonly used to flavor this snack may cause digestive system issues for your pooch. The fats in oil and butter likewise contribute to obesity-related health issues and other health problems.

can dogs eat popcorn

Can dogs eat popcorn? Is it safe?

Can our four-legged companions eat popcorn? The answer is both yes and no. But is popcorn safe for a dog to eat? 

Yes, feeding popcorn to your dog is generally safe but only when done in small quantities. If you like your dog to enjoy this food with you and others, give it plain or unflavored, air-popped popcorn.

Flavored, butter popcorn is not safe for dogs to eat regularly, but gobbling a few pieces here and there won’t probably hurt.

Moderation is key

However, keep in mind that as with any treat, it’s not good for dogs to have plenty of popcorn – flavored or not. In fact, a handful of these “human foods” is already more than enough for a medium to large dog.

It’s best to only use popcorn as a treat or snack and not part of your dog’s daily diet. Keep dog treats down to 10% of the dog’s daily caloric intake to keep its health conditions top-notch.

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How should I feed my dog popcorn?

Stick with feeding your dog air-popped popcorn as it is considered safe and healthy for our furry friends. Preparing this “people food” is easy. You just need to air-pop it using a popcorn machine, microwave, or your trusty stove.

The safest way to give dogs popcorn

Once the corn kernels have finished popping, make sure to remove the partially popped ones and only offer your dogs a few pieces as they pose a choking hazard. Do not feed your dog with flavored types of popcorn with added toppings. 

You can still flavor your popcorn, though. Just set aside to separate a portion for your dogs before adding your preferred additives or toppings.

can dogs eat popcorn

What are the possible hazards and side effects?

As mentioned earlier, eating more than enough treats or “human foods,” including seasoned popcorn kernels, is bad for dogs.

Feeding your dog popcorn with a lot of salt and butter or unhealthy additives may negatively affect its overall health. Yet, there are other possible hazards and side effects that come with these things.

1. It possesses health risks.

A bowl of seasoned popcorn may upset your dog’s digestive system, which can lead to diarrhea. Too much salt is also not good since it may cause dehydration.

Worse, if consumed regularly in high amounts, salty popcorn kernels as a snack could lead to possible kidney damage.

On the other hand, high-fat popcorn varieties may cause obesity in the long run, especially if eaten regularly. Popcorn has high fiber content, which is good for your pet.

However, it is also rich in carbohydrates, which may spike blood sugar if your dog is diabetic.

2. It can become a choking hazard.

You should also note that partially cooked or un-popped popcorn kernels can become a choking hazard for a dog. It’s also common for popcorn kernels to get stuck between your dog’s teeth, so keep this in mind every time your dog eats popcorn.

The stuck kernels between the teeth are not only uncomfortable, but these things may also lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

3. It may cause food allergies.

Corn is a common cause of food allergies in dogs. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian if your dog has a sensitivity to corn before allowing your pet to eat popcorn or include the food in the menu.

Else, your dog may suffer from allergic reactions on-site such as diarrhea, gas, vomiting, and something else that may require services from dog care professionals or a veterinarian.

can dogs eat popcorn

Bottom Line

Now that you know the answer to your question, “can doggos eat popcorn?” you can enjoy a peaceful movie night with your pets while munching on popcorn products. Just make sure to feed your dog salt-free, plain, and air-popped popcorn but in moderation.

While this snack is safe to include in a dog diet and, in fact, healthy like peanut butter, the kernels are the kind of stuff that gets stuck in between the teeth and can pose a choking hazard.

Tasty Pup-corn Recipes

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Is It Safe for Movie Night? 1

Peanut Butter Poppers

Pawsh Magazine


  • 1 cup Peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup  Natural stovetop popcorn
  • 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp All natural honey (optional)


  • Pop popcorn in oil on stovetop and combine ingredients until popcorn is fully coated.
  • Use a tablespoon to gently ball into small little clusters on wax paper. Don’t worry if the kernels get crushed. Add a touch of honey if your peanut butter isn’t sticky enough to hold everything together.
  • Allow to set and serve (after good doggie behavior, of course!)
Popcorn for Dogs Recipe

Dog-Friendly Popcorn Recipe


  • 1/2 cup Peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup All-natural stovetop popcorn
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp All-natural honey


  • Pop the kernels in oil.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients until the popcorn is fully coated.
  • Use a tablespoon to ball the popcorn together and set on some wax paper. ( Add more honey as an adhesive, if needed. )
  •  Allow your popcorn balls to set for a while.
  • Serve when ready!


Now you have a snack that is special for your pet while you have yours all to yourself. 
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Is It Safe for Movie Night? 2

Pupcorn Recipe

Rockstar Doggy Momma


  • 3/4 cup Popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup Grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp Mixed dried herbs (rosemary parsley, thyme, and oregano)


  • Take a stock pot and evenly disperse the popcorn kernels, cover them in the grapeseed oil and shake. Cover the stockpot with the lid and turn the gas on high. Leave covered until you do not hear any kernels popping.
  • Transfer the popcorn to a bowl and sprinkle the herb mixture and nutritional yeast. Toss until it is evenly divided.
  •  Mommas may add a sprinkle of salt over their servings. But do not give salt to doggos!

Can popcorn cause diarrhea in dogs?

Possible side effects and hazards. If you do feed your dog popcorn with unhealthy toppings or additives, it could have some side effects for your poor pooch. Some of the things that could be caused by excessive salt and butter or unhealthy cooking preservatives include: Digestive issues that can lead to diarrhea.

Why does my dog like popcorn so much?

Dogs love popcorn because it crunches and tastes great. When treating him with popcorn, keep in mind his overall calories for the day and make sure the snack does not become a meal. Avoid giving him access to un-popped kernels and check his teeth and gums for left over kernels to avoid infection or discomfort.

Can dogs have kettle corn popcorn?

The answer to whether you can give your dog kettle corn to eat is no. Kettle corn can give your dog abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you have to give your dog a treat every now and then in the form of popcorn, it should be the air popped type with no butter, sugar or oils in it – just a small treat.

Can popcorn kill your dog?

Popcorn sold in the market are often cooked with various flavoring agents. These agents are dangerous to dogs as well as human beings. For dogs, high levels of fat and sodium, typically found in popcorn can lead to dehydration in the short term, and obesity in the long term.

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