Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Popcorn is the kind of human treat you should avoid feeding to your dogs no matter how much they stare at you pleadingly with their puppy eyes. Plain popcorn may not necessarily be toxic to dogs but there are other health concerns that should give you enough reasons to keep popcorn well away from your dog’s reach.

Why Popcorn is Bad for Your Dog

Popcorns come in a variety of flavors and ingredient mixes, some of which are more unsafe than others. When it comes to plain popcorn, one reason to not feed it to your dog is due to the large amount of fat and sodium it typically contains. Both can contribute to longer-term health problems, such as excessive weight gain and pancreatitis, especially if you were to let the dogs eat popcorn as a regular treat.

You then have popcorn that comes with additional condiments like butter. This only makes the fat and calorie intake a lot more excessive. As a general rule of thumb, human foods and treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake. You don’t want your dog to not eat his regular dog food because he feels too full from eating treats like popcorns.

Popcorn surprisingly isn’t considered “empty” calories. Popcorns do contain nutrients like iron and vitamin B6 but the amount of nutrients is no substitute to the balanced mix of nutrients they would get from wet or dry dog food.

You also have flavored popcorn like chocolate or caramel popcorn. As some of you may know, ingredients like chocolate is toxic to dogs so these popcorns are an absolute no-go for pets.

What to do if your dog ate popcorn

In most cases, a dog that ate a few plain popcorn will be fine and won’t require a trip to the vet. However, dogs that eat an excessive amount of popcorn (relative to their body weight) or popcorn that contains toxic ingredient may require a visit. We would recommend calling your vet so they can make a decision based on the dog’s circumstances.

Whatever you do, make sure you stay calm. Dogs can get stressed out when the family members around them display some form of stress and anxiety. Watch over your dog carefully for the next couple of days in case the dog shows any concerning symptoms from eating a lot of popcorn. Make sure your dog has access to fresh drinking water as salty snacks like popcorn can cause dehydration.

Want to know what other human foods and snacks are good or bad for pets? Our human food list has it covered with 100+ human foods that may or may not be safe for pets.


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