Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Is Popcorn OK For Dogs?

bowl of popcorn

We know a lot of people eating popcorn on movie night wonder, “Can dogs eat popcorn?”

Can you believe this is among our most frequently asked questions? The answer is: Yes, they can eat plain popcorn. Not all kinds of popcorn are created equal, however.

As long as you skip the toppings and flavorings, a little amount of popcorn won’t hurt. Do not share popcorn kernels or salted or buttered popcorn that contains seasonings. Some types of popcorn contain xylitol, which is incredibly toxic to dogs.

Popcorn is a cooked corn kernel, a starch, and contributes approximately 3.5 kcal (calories) per gram. Thus, feeding your dog pieces of popcorn will add calories to your dog’s daily caloric intake allowance. Too much popcorn at one time can be bad and lead to weight gain. 

Furthermore, some kernels from microwave popcorn don’t ‘pop’. This can cause damage to your dog’s teeth, infections, dental disease, or an upset stomach. Unpopped kernels and partially popped kernels can also be a choking hazard if there’s a blockage in the throat.

So – like with any dog treat, only share a few pieces of air-popped popcorn. Everything must be in moderation to avoid health issues like obesity. Always be careful, monitor your dog’s health for any problems, and see your vet for regular examinations.

Is Popcorn Safe for Dogs? The Official Answer From a Vet.

In the video below, Dr. Laura Searle-Barnes, answers the question every pet parent asks, “can my dog eat popcorn?”

Human Food & Your Dog

A stray piece that falls out of the bowl of popcorn won’t harm your dog or disrupt your dog’s diet. Large amounts of popcorn aren’t healthy snacks, however, and could upset your pup’s digestive system.

Table scraps and similar people foods have become demonized over the last few decades by commercial kibble companies. They want you to believe that only their products (processed commercial pebbles of “meat” in a bag or can) are safe and offer heaps of nutritional value. Recent scientific research shows that this is simply not true.

In fact, some processed, commercial dog foods with preservatives and additives have been linked to recalls and toxins (see our videos below). While there are a few human foods that are off-limits for dogs, most are actually nutritious and safe. This is why we choose to make healthy, fresh pet food using only USDA-certified ingredients fit for humans – the same food you would eat.

For more information on what you can’t feed your pooch and the possible toxins in commercial kibble, watch these videos featuring Dr. John Tegzes, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and professor at Western University.

Video: Top Ten Toxins for Dogs

Video: Use of Preservatives In Dog Food

Video: What Foods Are Toxic For Dogs?

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your veterinarian about any questions or concerns.


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