Is Popcorn Bad for Dogs?

Our question this week was:

I have been told by numerous dog lovers that popcorn was bad for my dog. In your newsletter today, popcorn was mentioned as a healthy snack. Can my dog eat popcorn without repercussions?

Linda Douglas


Hi Linda – thanks for your email. Any human food or dog treat in excess can be bad for dogs. Nutritionally, there is nothing in popcorn that a dog needs.

The most common way that popcorn is used in dogs is fed as low-calorie "treats" to feed obese dogs. Air-popped popcorn with no salt or butter added is very low in calories. Most dogs love it. It is a great treat for obese dogs to be used in place of a higher calorie snack.

A few kernels of popcorn can be fed without repercussions.

An article that might be helpful to you is Dangerous Foods: Are They Harmful to Your Dog?.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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