It’s a fine Sunday afternoon, and you’re having a small barbeque party in your backyard. There is a grilling basket full of sausages, cheese, salad, chicken wings, and corn lying around the corner. While you are busy enjoying your savory dishes, your dog steals a mouthful from your food. You immediately notice her munching on some grilled corn and wonder if corn is safe for dogs.
Just like any new food, there are risks involved with giving your pet anything outside their normal diet. Yet with corn specifically, it’s a different story than many other “new” food items.
If you’re asking yourself, “Can Dogs Eat Corn?” then you’ve landed on the right page. Yes! Dogs can eat corn.
Here is everything you need to know about feeding corn to your dog.
Is It Safe for My Dog to Have Corn?
Yes. Corn is safe for your dog, as long as you feed them in a moderate amount.
Corn/maize is one of the most important cereal crops in the world. In fact, it is the third most important food crop after rice and wheat. Corn is a potential source of nutrition that is good for you as well as your pooch—the phytochemical compounds such as carotenoids and phenolic found in a corn kernel help prevent chronic health conditions like heart disease and cancer. These compounds also help to boost the immune system. Therefore, feeding corn to your dog is absolutely not a problem; the crop can actually be a part of your dog’s healthy and well-balanced diet.
How Is Corn Good for Dogs?
The corn kernel is the edible part of the plant, which is composed of various nutrients. According to a research study, 100 grams of the edible portion of corn contains 71.88 g of carbohydrates, 8.84 g of protein, 4.57 g of fat, 2.15 g of fiber, 15.19 mg of sodium, 286 mg of potassium, 1.5 g of minerals, 10 mg of calcium, and 2.3 mg of iron. Corn is also rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E, selenium, and folic and linoleic acids, which help to build your pup’s immune system.
Similarly, the high range of carbohydrates in corn help with the absorption of protein. The protein further maintains healthy muscle and promotes gut health in dogs. Corn is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids like linoleic which assists in your pup’s healthy skin and coat.
Can Dogs Eat Corn on the Cob?
Unfortunately, dogs cannot eat corn on the cob or corn cobs. Why? Because it is a choking hazard. If your four-legged best friend ingests the cob, there is a high risk of intestinal blockage. Alarming signs that your dog has gulped down the cob are vomiting, lethargy, reduced activity, dehydration, whimpering, and loss of appetite, among others.
Warning: Never attempt to induce vomiting (in case of cob ingestion) without first consulting your vet.
No matter how lovingly your pooch wags her tail with that pitiful grin, do not hesitate to hide your corn cobs far off their reach.
My Dog Ate a Corn Cob! What Do I Do?
If this happens, you should take the dog to the vet immediately. Ingesting a corn cob may cause a serious or even fatal blockage in your dog’s digestive tract. The problem is that when your dog eats a corn cob, they do not know it is undigestible so they continue to eat the cob until it expands and causes a blockage in their intestine.
Once you take your injured dog to a dog clinic, the vet will likely conduct a physical examination and also perform x-rays. Further treatment relies on the cob’s location and size.
At first, the examiner might instruct you to let the cob pass naturally. However, if there are any obstructions, they might recommend surgery. Sometimes, it is also possible to pull the corn cob out using special equipment through the dog’s mouth or rectum.
How Can I Feed Corn to My Dog?
You should always feed well-cooked corn to your dog. Corn kernels (removed from the cob) served in a bowl/plate is the safest way. Also, make sure that the platter is free from any additives like butter or salt.
Unsalted or plain popcorn can also be an occasional treat for your pooch.
When Is Corn Unsafe for My Dog?
Food allergies are a common problem in dogs, with corn being one of the most common allergens. Corn can be dangerous for your dog if they are allergic to it. However, many nutritionists claim that corns are the least allergic grains in dog food.
Cailin R Heinze, an assistant professor of nutrition at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, says that true food allergies are relatively uncommon in dogs, and corn can be a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
The main problem is not an allergy to the corn itself, but rather unrevealed and hidden contaminants within the corn kernel. Sometimes insects like flat grain beetles, red flour beetles, and mealworms remain hidden inside corn. Providing your dog with such infested grains can cause allergies and infections.
Similarly, another essential thing to consider for the health safety of your dog is in what ways you feed the corn. For instance, if you want to give your little friend a plate of popcorn, make sure it doesn’t have any added flavor. Since popcorn contains high sodium and fat level, it is always better to provide your pup with unsalted and unbuttered popcorn. Also, make sure that you pop your popcorns correctly to avoid indigestion that could result in gastrointestinal upset.
Here are some FAQs about feeding corn to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Corn?
Yes, dogs can eat sweet corn. This is a healthy option for your pup if they are looking for something sweet. But dogs who are gulpers might also end up with a case of bloat from eating too much sweet corn too fast.
This is because once eaten, sweet corn expands inside the stomach and could cause distress to the stomach lining. The general rule for feeding your dog vegetables and fruits is to introduce them slowly and in small amounts. This will allow your pet’s digestive system to adjust appropriately.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Corn?
Canned corns consist of corn kernels that are safe for dogs. However, they are loaded with salt, preservatives, and other chemicals that may upset your dog’s stomach. Eating too much-canned corn can actually be a risk factor for salt poisoning and dehydration in your dog.
Can Eating Corn Kill a Dog?
There is no evidence that suggests feeding corn could kill your dog. However, as mentioned above, giving your dog an ear or cob can be dangerous. The biggest risk of eating corn in dogs is from the cob, which can cause intestinal blockage. The kernels are the least dangerous part of the corn plant. The other risks that might come with eating corn include choking or digestion issues if your dog eats too much too fast.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Chips/Tortillas?
No. Dogs cannot eat corn chips or tortillas. While a small amount might not show any harm, both corn chips and tortillas can be detrimental to your pup’s health in the long term, since they contain high sodium, calories, and fat.
Dogs can eat corns without any harm as long as you feed them in the right way. If they are fed too much, corns can cause serious digestive problems which be detrimental to your pup’s overall health. Avoid giving corn cobs or corn with any other additives like butter and salt to your dog. Whatever it is that you’re feeding your dog – whether a vegetable, fruit, or grain – make sure it is what they need nutritionally and have not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals that might upset their stomach.
To explore more, check out our other corn-related dog articles that you might be interested in.
Have you ever shared some kernels of corn with your dog? What was their reaction after eating? We would love to hear from you. Please share with us by leaving a comment below.