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My Dog Ate Popcorn Kernels – What To Do

by Lucy

Dogs have a habit of getting into food that they really shouldn’t, and most of the time this is harmless, but if they get into the wrong food, it might be dangerous for them.

If you are munching away at a bag of popcorn and your dog steals a piece or two, it isn’t a big deal. But if Fido got into the popcorn kernels, you may be worried about what to do about it.

If your dog eats popcorn kernels, what should you do? There is not much you can do if your dog eats popcorn kernels. If your dog hasn’t swallowed the kernels yet, you can try to get them out of his mouth. Popcorn kernels are not ideal for dogs and can cause some pain and discomfort.

It is best to avoid feeding popcorn to your dogs, as they might get a popcorn kernel here and there, and the discomfort and pain they could cause just is not worth it.

Pooch safety is important. The following is a quick guide to everything you need to know if your dog happens to eat popcorn kernels.

Can Unpopped Popcorn (Kernels) Hurt A Dog?

Yes, unfortunately unpopped popcorn kernels can hurt your dog. The small little nuggets are incredibly hard, and are difficult to chew, even for humans.

If your dog does get into some popcorn kernels, it could cause them some pain and even gastrointestinal obstruction.

From getting stuck in your dog’s teeth to causing gastrointestinal blockages, popcorn kernels can cause both short term and lasting effects.

Even one small popcorn kernel can cause pain and discomfort, getting lodged or stuck in your dog’s teeth. So while it might be safe to feed your dog some popped popcorn, it is best not to, as there might be a popcorn kernel hiding in there that could cause harm.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Popcorn Kernels?

Firstly, the popcorn kernels might become stuck in their teeth, which is not only uncomfortable for them, but it could prevent them from eating as well.

If these popcorn kernels remain lodged in your dog’s teeth, and in their gum line, it could lead to tooth decay or gum disease, which will also have an impact on how well your dog will be able to eat. 

Dogs don’t have the luxury of flossing as we do – and it can be so difficult and irritating for them to get these kernels out! You will probably have to go to your veterinarian for help if you notice a kernel is stuck in your poor pooch’s mouth.

Sometimes when dogs eat, they tend to inhale food, and if they inhale popcorn kernels, it might pose a choking hazard

If your dog does not chew the popcorn kernels and instead swallows them whole, this could lead to gastrointestinal obstruction and constipation, especially if they managed to eat a large number of popcorn kernels.

You might not even notice that your dog has suffered from gastrointestinal blockages from popcorn kernels until it is too late, or until it has reached a dangerous stage.

Keep popcorn kernels packed high and far away from where your dog can get to them!

Can Dogs Digest Popcorn Kernels?

Popcorn kernels are not easily digested by your dog’s digestive system and could cause havoc. As these kernels are not easily digested, they could build up if many are eaten, and this is what could cause blockages, which could be life-threatening.

Realistically, if your dog only eats a few popcorn kernels, it is likely that nothing serious will happen. Still, watch to be sure that none of the kernels gets stuck in their teeth.

If there is any seasoning on the popcorn kernels, it might cause an upset stomach for your dog. Spices and seasonings can be quite strong and are not suitable for a dog’s digestive system. However, tiny little quantities should not have a big impact.

If your pooch sneaks some kernels when you’re not looking, you can probably get away with just waiting to see how your dog feels.

Do check their teeth for any kernels that may be stuck and watch their behavior for any signs of distress, although that’s unlikely if they didn’t eat too many. You can also watch their stool to be sure the kernels have passed.

If you’re worried, or if your dog may have eaten a lot, it’s never a bad idea to call or visit your veterinarian just to be on the safe side.

Related Questions

Is it OK to Feed Popcorn to Dogs?

Popcorn is not toxic or dangerous for dogs, but the flavoring that is added to popcorn can be a hazard to them. If you really want to feed the occasional piece of popcorn to your dog, plain is best, but the chances of you eating popcorn plain without salt or butter aren’t great.

As always, we recommend checking with a vet whenever it comes to feeding dogs “people food.” But if you’re just worried about your dog sneaking a couple pieces, don’t worry. Your pooch should be fine.

Should I Feed My Dog Popcorn?

While plain popcorn will not necessarily harm your dog, it is best to just avoid feeding them any. The risk of butter, spices, or oils harming your dog is always present, and they might get a popcorn kernel or two in the batch that could get stuck in their teeth.

Review – Can Your Dog Eat Popcorn Kernels?

Popcorn kernels can harm your dog. The kernels can get stuck in their teeth, and if they eat too many, it might cause gastrointestinal blockages or constipation – which could lead to long term health problems!

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