Yes, dogs can eat plain popcorn in moderation, and barring any existing health conditions.
So as long as it’s plain, popcorn is an okay treat now and again, especially the air-popped variety. It’s high in fiber, which is good for your pup’s digestion, however it’s very high in carbohydrates, which can spike blood sugar if your dog is diabetic. The movie-friendly treat contains minerals like magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and zinc, along with trace amounts of vitamins.
The popcorn that is on the “no” list, however, is any with salt, heavy oils, butter, additional seasonings, or even the microwavable kind (too many chemicals to pass on to the pooch!). These can lead to intestinal upset, contribute to obesity, or cause problems to existing health conditions.
Remember that kernels can get stuck in dogs’ teeth and pose a choking hazard, so it is probably a good idea to keep whole or only partially popped kernels away from curious dogs. Also, keep dogs away from the bag to avoid suffocation, even if you throw it in the trash! It takes only 5 minutes for a pet whose head is stuck in a plastic or coated paper bag to asphyxiate.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.