Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Plain, Salted, or Flavored?

It is hard sometimes to resist the urge to share our meals with our furry friends. While watching a movie on the weekend, having a big bowl of popcorn, a question may come to mind. Can dogs eat popcorn? Before you give some popcorn to your dog, let’s make sure it is safe.

Can Dogs Eat Salted Popcorn

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Yes, you can share your popcorn with your dog, but only if you are eating it plain. The popcorn should be air-popped, unbuttered, and unsalted.

Most microwave popcorn products contain high amounts of butter and salt, which should be avoiding if you plan on giving some to your dog.

Now, if a piece or two drops on the floor by accident and your dog immediately sucks it up, it won’t be a bit deal but don’t deliberately give your dog a huge handful of salted and buttered popcorn.

So, when giving your dog plain popcorn, make sure it is in small amounts.

Is Popcorn Healthy for Dogs?

Popcorn is a healthy treat because popcorn kernels contain a good number of minerals ranging from phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and not to mention fiber. Popcorn kernels also contain small amounts of vitamins.

Popcorn is high in fiber, cholesterol free, and fat-free, which means it is safe if it is eaten plain. Also, popcorn is an excellent source of antioxidants.

  • Magnesium, calcium, and manganese as well phosphorous, help in a puppy’s bone development.
  • Zinc and potassium help in your dog’s general body functions.
  • Copper, also found in popcorn, helps your dog to absorb iron properly.
  • Iron helps to prevent anemia in your dog.

Side Effects of Popcorn for Dogs

Unfortunately, not all of us would want to eat plain air-popped popcorn. What we usually go for is popcorn loaded with salt and butter.

Butter, oils, and large amounts of salt are not good for us, and neither is this combination right for our dogs.

This combination is capable of causing stomach upsets in your dog. The fats and any other oil in the popcorn can lead to obesity and diabetes in the long run.

Some other side effects of giving your dog popcorn with toppings include:

  • Stomach Upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration from the Salt
  • Obesity / overweight dog
  • Kidney Issues
  • Choking Hazard

Therefore, the safest option is to give plain air-popped popcorn to your dog and make sure you have completely popped the popcorn since the partially popped kernels can get stuck in your dog’s teeth.

The kernels can also pose as a choking hazard for your dog. It is important that you remove the un-popped kernels from the bag before giving some to your dog.

Also, remove the ones that are only half popped and still somewhat hard. Smaller breed dogs may have a harder time trying to eat popcorn than a larger dog breed.

You may even want to break the popcorn up into smaller pieces for smaller breed dogs. This is just sometime to watch out for to make sure your dog doesn’t choke.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn

Can Dogs Eat Buttered Popcorn?

No, Buttered popcorn is not suitable for your dog because it can cause stomach upsets. This is because it is hard to digest, and in the long term, it is capable of causing obesity and diabetes.

However, one or two pieces in a blue moon will not cause any serious problems. It is still highly recommended that you do not feed your dog buttered popcorn.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn with Cheese?

No dogs cannot eat popcorn with cheese. Cheese contains large amounts of sodium, which is not healthy for your dog whether your dog is lactose intolerant or not.

In most cases, the cheese in popcorns might not even be cheese; it could be cheese powder. Cheese powder is made by pulverizing cheese and then mixing it with sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and whey. These are fattening additives.

Other types of cheese might have garlic and onion, which are not good for your pooch because they are toxic to dogs. Therefore, just avoid cheesed popcorn for your dog to be on the safe side.

Can Dogs Have Salted Popcorn?

No dogs cannot have salted popcorn. Dogs get enough salt in whatever meal they take. Feeding them an extra amount of salt in popcorns will result in too much salt in their body.

We all know too much salt leads to dehydration and later too much water consumption, which is not good for your pooch.

If your dog does not take enough water after it has consumed salted popcorn, it might start vomiting, muscle tremors, having seizures caused by salt toxicity.

Can Dogs Eat Kettle Corn?

No, even though kettle corn isn’t covered in butter, it is still not a good option for your dog, Kettle corn is made by cooking the kernel in a special way, and then it is usually dusted with some sugar and salt that is why it has a sweeter taste.

Your dog could develop some of those concerning side effects if it eats kettle corn. So, it’s best if you keep the kettle corn away from your furry friend.

Can Dogs Eat Kettle Corn

Can Dogs Eat Caramel Popcorn?

No, dogs cannot eat caramel popcorn. Carmel popcorn has become increasingly popular the past few years, and this is simply making the popcorn very sweet instead of a savory snack.

You probably can already infer that caramel popcorn will not be something you can give your dog. Due to the high amount of sugar and butter used to make caramels can make your dog sick.

This can also lead to your dog becoming overweight over time due if you continue to feed your dog caramel popcorn due to the increased amount of sugar.

Even sugar free varieties of caramel popcorn are not suitable for dogs. Sugar free products usually contain fake sugar or sugar replacements to keep the product sweet. These sugar replacements are usually made from toxic chemicals for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Kernels?

No popcorn kernels are hard and not a treat that you will want to give your dog. This can potentially choke your dog from the kernel and even cause tooth issues. The hardness of the kernel can damage your dog’s teeth.

When giving your dog plain popcorn, make sure the kernels are fully popped and take out the ones that aren’t.

Alternatives to Popcorn

Most owners and people do not want to eat completely plain popcorn, so you may want to find an alternative snack to feed your dog instead. That way, you can still enjoy the buttery popcorn without feeling guilty about your dog not getting any.

Here are some foods that are great snacks for dogs:

Cooked Chicken – If you happen to have some plain chicken in your house, this will make an excellent snack for your dog. Many people make their own dog food which includes a combination of chicken, rice, and vegetables.

Various Fruits – Fruits are another great snack that you can give your dog in small amounts. Dogs can only have certain fruits, and sometimes you will actually have to either peel or core the fruit before giving it to your dog.

Sunflower Seeds – Shelled sunflower seeds that are just plain without salt are another fantastic treat for your dog. Sunflower seeds can give your dog great health benefits, and you can give your dog a small handful or even add it to your dog’s food.

Cheerios – Another snack that most people have in their homes is cheerios. While cheerios don’t really give your dog any nutritional benefits, it does serve the purpose as a snack or even a training treat.


So, can dogs eat popcorn? Feed your dog popcorn only if it is air and plain popped; that is, minus salt and any other additives. Make sure the popcorn is fully popped because the un-popped kernels can cause problems to your dog.

Please do not feed your dog on cheese or buttered popcorn because they are not healthy. Also, let popcorn be treated as a treat and not as a regular diet. Does your dog enjoy the taste of popcorn? Let us know in our comment section below.

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