Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Safely? A Vet Weighs In

Read this before giving your dog popcorn 🍿

If you love having popcorn on movie night, you might be wondering if you can share some with your pup.

The Dodo reached out to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian at Paramount Pet Health, to find the answer to the question: Can dogs eat popcorn?

Is popcorn safe for dogs?

When it comes to whether or not your dog can snag some popcorn, it’s more of a maybe than a definite yes or no.

The reason being that some popcorn is safe for your pup, while others should be avoided.

The best kind of popcorn for your dog to enjoy? You guessed it: the plain kind.

“Unflavored, air-popped popcorn is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

Can dogs eat flavored popcorn?

When it comes to flavored popcorns being safe for your pup, that’s a whole other story.

“I do not recommend dogs eating flavored popcorn, buttered popcorn or popcorn with other toppings,” Dr. Burch said.

Flavored popcorn, like caramel popcorn, has a high salt content, and if your dog consumes it in excess, she may develop salt toxicity.

Salt toxicity can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizure

Buttered popcorn, on the other hand, is high in fat, which can cause gastrointestinal problems and increase the risk of developing pancreatitis.

With that said, if your dog accidentally grabs a little bit of your flavored or buttered popcorn, you don’t need to worry. “If one or two pieces fall on the floor and your dog eats them, it will be OK,” Dr. Burch said.

Can dogs eat popcorn kernels?

When it comes to popcorn kernels, these aren’t recommended to give to dogs either (but really, why would you anyway?).

“Popcorn kernels can become stuck in between the dog’s teeth,” Dr. Burch said. “If too many popcorn kernels are consumed at one time, they can cause intestinal blockage or constipation.”

How much popcorn can dogs eat?

Since popcorn’s probably something you’re only enjoying on occasional movie nights, you can be confident in knowing you won’t be overfeeding your dog if you only throw her a couple of unflavored pieces.

Dr. Burch recommends not feeding your dog more than 10 percent of her daily caloric intake with popcorn (or other healthy treats), so keep this in mind when giving your dog any type of treat, including popcorn.

So the next time you’re snuggling on the couch for some Netflix, you can toss a couple pieces of plain popcorn to your pup guilt-free.