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Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

A small dog lying in popcorn

Let’s get popping! If you’re curious if it’s safe for your dog to eat popcorn the answer is simple: yes! Your dog can indulge in your favourite snack in moderation if it isn’t a specialty popcorn with chocolate drizzle or sugar alcohol. While that covers the basics, there is a lot more to consider when it comes to popcorn and your pup. Dive into our guide to learn all the questions dog owners ask about this fun treat!

Is It Really Safe for Dogs to Eat Popcorn?

Overall, it is safe for your dog to consume some popcorn. However, you will want to keep it limited to less than 10% of your dog’s overall diet, if it’s unseasoned. You will want to limit your dog’s popcorn intake if the variety you’re making is heavily buttered, caramel corn, or kettle corn. While it’s rare for dogs to get cavities, it is becoming more common as dog owners share sugary foods like kettle corn with their dogs [1].

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may want to treat your dog to just a few kernels.

Is Popcorn Healthy for Dogs?

Plain popcorn is a healthy, fun snack for dogs. While it is high in fibre, the kernels used for popping aren’t considered nutritionally rich–couple that with the topping that make us love popcorn so much, and the nutritional quality of popcorn quickly declines. While a few nibbles of popcorn won’t harm your dog, it won’t provide them with a well-balanced diet.

What Vitamins and Minerals Will You Find in Popcorn?

It may surprise you to learn that popcorn contains minerals like zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. It even has a minute amount of vitamins. This means that unbuttered, unsweetened popcorn is a relatively healthy snack for you and your dog. However, these minerals and vitamins aren’t enough to sustain your dog’s health.

Some healthier alternatives that are fun to snack on with your dog include:

      • Carrots
      • Celery with unsweetened peanut butter 
      • Blueberries

What Else Should Dog Owners Know About Popcorn?

Popcorn kernel shells can get stuck in your dog’s throat or teeth. These are necessarily dangerous, but they can make your dog cough and hack.

Unpopped corn kernels can be a choking hazard, though. For senior dogs, unpopped kernels can crack or break your dog’s teeth.

One of the most common issues that arises from dogs eating popcorn is an upset stomach. This reaction can be the result of a corn allergy. 

A Fun Popcorn Recipe for Dogs 

Popcorn ball

When making pupcorn, always use air-popped, plain popcorn. This is the safest and healthiest option for your dog. You will also want to opt for a healthy oil for popping your popcorn. Some healthy oils include:

      • Olive oil
      • Grapeseed oil
      • Flaxseed oil
      • Coconut oil

Peanut Butter Pupcorn Balls

These tasty pupcorn balls are the ideal choice for parties with dog guests! They’re also a fun snack that the kids can also enjoy!

      • ½ cup of popcorn kernel (stovetop)
      • 1 cup of plain peanut butter
      • 1 tsp of oil
      • 1 Tbsp of honey


      1. Pop your popcorn on the stovetop according to the instructions.
      2. Add the peanut butter into the pot and stir until well-mixed.
      3. Spoon balls onto wax paper and let cool until solid.
      4. If your pupcorn balls don’t set up as solidly as you would like, place them in the fridge or freezer.

Extra Pawty Fun!

Turn your pupcorn balls into a fun pawty treat with a toppings bar. This is fun way for dog owners to customize their pupcorn balls for their doggos! Here are some fun recommendations for toppings:

      • Shelled sunflower seeds
      • Shredded carrots
      • Herbs
      • Corn
      • Diced bacon

Is Your Dog Drooling Over Your Popcorn? Share Some!

A dog owner feeding his dog some popcorn

There are few scents as appetizing to a dog than freshly popped popcorn. So, if you’re making popcorn, keep some plain and feel free to share some with your dog. They’ll love munching on the tasty snack–and you will love being able to bond with your dog over a good movie or as you toss them one piece at a time!