Corn cob dog eating

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Ohio sweet corn is hitting the farm stands right now and I couldn’t be more excited to get my hands on a few dozen ears of corn.

If you’ve never had Ohio sweet corn you are truly missing out on a delicious side dish for your cookouts.

It’s the sweetest, crunchiest most scrumptious corn and it’s only around for a few short months.

My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!

However, having corn on the cob has always made me a little nervous with dogs around, especially Leroy who has been known to eat things like rocks and other items that don’t digest.

The fear of dogs and corn cobs was put into me several years ago when I worked at the vet clinic and one of the receptionists brought her dog in that was very ill.

After being examined by the veterinarian and having x-rays done it was determined that the dog had an obstruction in his stomach.

Off to surgery they went and within 30 minutes a 2-inch corn cob was removed from the dog’s stomach.

They weren’t sure exactly how long it had been in there but the lining of the stomach had begun to rot.

Thankfully after months of setbacks, loads of medications and several rechecks the dog made a full recovery.

This wasn’t the last corn cob I would see be pulled from a dog’s stomach, for some reason that summer they just kept coming.

Can Dogs Eat Corn On The Cob?

Corn alone is a carbohydrate and contains several vitamins and minerals depending on the type of corn.

It’s low in fat and calories but whole corn isn’t as easy for dogs to digest as other carbohydrates.

Most dogs can eat plain corn in moderation but the core of the corn should not be given to dogs.

The core is not digestible and if swallowed in big pieces it can be a choking hazard or it can become lodged in the intestines creating an obstruction.

Dogs can get ahold of a corn cob and consume it fast so if you’re going to give your dog some corn off of the cob you should remove the corn and feed it plain without butter and salt since this can cause pancreatitis in some dogs.

Signs Of a Cob Corn Obstruction

When your dog eats, it usually takes between 10-24 hours for the food to move through the entire digestive tract.

Some bigger objects, like corn cobs, can take much longer.

Signs of a corn cob obstruction can be vomiting, straining to defecate, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy and stomach pain or tenderness in the abdomen.

How Long Can A Corn Cob Stay In A Dog’s Stomach?

If a corn cob is not stuck in the intestines but resting in the dog’s stomach it will be there until it’s surgically removed.

This can be weeks or even months if a dog isn’t displaying signs of being sick and if their owner doesn’t know that they ate the cob.

The longer the corn cob sits in a dog’s stomach the more serious the situation can become.

How To Help A Dog That Ate Corn On The Cob

If you know that your dog ate a piece of the corn cob, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Since a corn cob can be a choking hazard for dogs, it is not recommended to induce vomiting unless instructed by your vet.

Tips On Disposing Corn Cobs So Your Dog Can’t Get Them

If you have a dumpster diver (garbage can diver) it’s best to dispose of the corn cob in another trash bin that your dog doesn’t have access too and that has a locking lid.

Sherman and Leroy don’t try to get in the trash anymore but just to be safe we place our eaten corn cobs in a small bag and then place them in a sealed garbage can in the garage.

I try not to place them in outside trash bins where raccoons may be able to get them because then there’s a chance that we.” encounter that somewhere down the road on our walk.

Watch out for falling corn cobs.

Don’t leave corn on the cob for the birds or squirrels. There’s a chance they could grab the cob and drop it in your yard.

We don’t have a bird feeder in our yard but our neighbor does. One day I realized that they were leaving corn on the cob out in their feeder and I politely asked if they would mind not doing that.

They had no problem with my request and didn’t realize that it could be a hazard for dogs.

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Two years ago, while visiting my sister in Tennessee, I got a call from my boyfriend Evan back home in Pennsylvania. He was pet-sitting my new dog Milo, an incredibly cute black Lab mix that was mostly well behaved, although quietly mischievous — as I’d soon find out.

“Hi, Steph. Uh, don’t worry, everything’s okay now, but…”

Which is when I knew I should probably worry.

Evan went on to tell me how, when he was in the shower, Milo jumped onto the kitchen counter top and ate “a couple of corn cobs.” Evan thought, no big deal, but Googled it just to be sure. Turns out, corn cobs + dogs = big freakin’ deal!

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This seemingly harmless cookout leftover (that would honestly seem like the perfect chew toy if you didn’t know any better) can wreak havoc on your dog’s GI tract. Because of their cylindrical shape and the fact that they’re indigestible, corn cobs can easily cause an intestinal obstruction. Untreated, these obstructions can become fatal, explains Gary Richter, veterinarian and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.

In fact, a woman’s social media post about her 2-year-old dog that ate a corn cob and died days later recently went viral. Initially, the owners assumed the dog was poisoned since she was vomiting violently. But an autopsy and toxicology report later revealed that it was a corn cob. The core was so hard that it cut through her intestines, causing internal bleeding and ultimately her death. Horrifying, right?

Milo was lucky, though. Evan acted quickly, called the vet, and — at the vet’s direction — gave Milo a dose of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Then all of the corn cob bits came up. Thankfully he had chewed them into smaller pieces.

So, what exactly should you do if your dog eats a corn cob?

Turns out, inducing vomiting isn’t always advisable unless your vet specifically recommends it. “Inducing vomiting at home is potentially dangerous,” says Richter. “If a dog attempts to vomit up something like a corn cob, it might become lodged in their esophagus which is even more problematic than if it is in the stomach or intestines.”

If you know (or suspect) your dog has eaten a corn cob, your first step should be to call your veterinarian immediately, advises Richter. If it’s after-hours or on the weekend, call a 24-hour animal hospital in your area.

Watch for signs of an intestinal obstruction.

Of course, dogs won’t always eat corn cobs or other indigestible objects when you’re around — so recognizing potential signs of an obstruction is key to your dog’s survival.

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“Dogs with an intestinal obstruction will often vomit food and/or just fluid, and may show signs of abdominal pain or lethargy,” says Richter. “It’s important to note that dogs with an intestinal obstruction can pass normal stools for a couple of days, though, so normal bowel movements are not an indication there is no problem.”

Because there’s no way for an owner to differentiate between vomiting caused by normal GI upset or from ingesting something dangerous, it’s important to contact your vet at the first sign of trouble. For a fee, you can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you’re unsure exactly what your dog ate.

Stephanie Eckelkamp Stephanie Eckelkamp is a freelance writer, health coach, and former associate editor for Prevention covering health, food, and nutrition.

Help! My Dog Ate A Corn Cob!

Of all the strange things dogs eat, a few strike me as somewhat understandable. And believe it or not, I think that corn cobs actually fall into this category.

After all, there are usually plenty of corn bits left on your standard issue corn cob, they’re usually soaked with salt and butter, and they have a spongey-yet-rigid texture that dogs probably find intriguing.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?

In short – no!

Unfortunately, corn cobs can be very dangerous for dogs due to their absorbency, abrasiveness (which hurts your dog’s insides), and how indigestible they are (which can result in blockages).

Below we’ll explain in more detail some of the potential problems that can occur if your dog gets her muzzle on one and what you’ll need to do in response.

Corn Cobs: Surprisingly Dangerous For Dogs

At first glance, corn cobs don’t seem particularly dangerous.

Few people would consider eating them (and for the record, you shouldn’t), but they certainly don’t seem like something that could threaten your dog’s life.

It’s true that there’s nothing toxic about corn cobs.

They’re mostly made of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin – the primary substances found in the cell walls of plants. Your dog eats these substances all the time, as they’re some of the constituents of dietary fiber.

But these substances are also (largely) indigestible. This isn’t a problem when they’re eaten in small to moderate amounts – they actually help keep everything moving smoothly through your dog’s intestines. But too much – such as the amount found in a corn cob — can overwhelm your dog’s digestive tract and cause an obstruction.

Corn cobs are also remarkably absorbent. In fact, ground corn cob is so absorbent that it is used in a variety of industrial applications, including the cleanup of oil spills. It’s even used as an environmentally friendly rat poison – it doesn’t poison the rats, it causes them to die of acute dehydration, as it sucks the moisture right out of their digestive tracts.

This can also cause problems for your pooch, and it can make blockages more likely.

Corn cob is also a very abrasive material — some industrial cleansers used to clean the sides of buildings are even made with it.

This all means that corn cobs can block your dog’s intestines, dehydrate her, and scrape up her insides in the process.

What Do You Do If Your Dog Eats a Corn Cob?

As you can see, corn cobs can be very dangerous for your pup. So, if you determine that your dog has helped herself to one (or even a portion of one), you need to contact your vet immediately.

Your vet will likely instruct you to bring your pup into the office. He or she will perform a physical examination, ask about your dog’s behavior and any symptoms she’s exhibited since eating the corn cob, and probably order X rays.

Treatment will depend on the location of the cob and the amount contained in her gut.

In some cases, your vet may instruct you to try to let the chewed-up cob pass through your dog’s intestines naturally. But if an obstruction is present, it’ll usually be necessary to go in and pull it out.

This will often require surgery, but it may sometimes be possible to remove it with special instruments inserted into your dog’s mouth or rectum.

In some cases, your vet may not feel it is necessary that you bring your dog in. He or she may simply tell you to watch your dog for signs of obstruction.

Some of the most common signs of intestinal obstruction include:

  • Vomiting – particularly recurrent vomiting accompanied by strong abdominal contractions.
  • Obvious signs of pain or discomfort
  • Inability to get comfortable
  • Panic or anxiety
  • Weakness, lethargy, or depression
  • Diarrhea

If you note any of these problems, put the pup in the car and head to the vet.

If for some reason you can’t get in touch with your regular vet, a service like JustAnswer can put you in direct contact with a vet via a live online chat. You can even share images or video of your dog to help the online veterinarian better diagnose your dog.

Preventing the Problem: Dispose of Corn Cobs Carefully

Dogs eat corn cobs in one of two basic scenarios:

  • Their owner deliberately gives it to them.
  • They get into the trash and help themselves to a few cobs.

You probably realize by now that it is clearly a very bad idea to give your dog a corn cob, so we’ll focus on the second scenario for a minute.

It is always irritating when your dog gets into the trash, but it can also be dangerous – especially if you have corn cobs lurking around in there. Accordingly, you’ll want to make sure that you dispose of corn cobs (or any other potentially dangerous items you put in your trash can) in a safe manner.

If your dog isn’t usually interested in investigating the trash can, you can probably avoid most accidents by simply putting the corn cobs in a plastic bag before you put them in the trash. This will help contain most of their smell, which will reduce your dog’s curiosity.

On the other hand, if you have a confirmed garbage can bandit, you’ll likely want to use a dog-proof trash can with a locking lid to completely prevent your dog from accessing the cobs.

For that matter, the best solution is to simply toss the cobs in the trash can and go ahead and take the bag out to the dumpster or the curb right away.

There are a number of surprisingly dangerous things that dogs sometimes eat (we’ve also covered what to do when your dog eats a crayon, ingests tinfoil, or even devours a diaper), and corn cobs definitely belong on that list of odd foods dogs sometimes go after.

I’ve never had an issue with any of my dogs eating corn cobs, but I have seen it cause fatal impactions in a number of lizards and other exotic pets, as ground corn cob is often marketed as an animal bedding (although it isn’t terribly common anymore because of the danger it presents).

So be sure to take corn cob ingestion seriously and contact your vet if you suspect your pup has eaten some – her life may depend on it.

Has your dog ever gone after a corn cob? What ended up happening? Share your story in the comments!

In Can Dogs Eat Corn Tom Mattinson investigates the nutritional content and safety of corn for dogs. Find out which types of corn are safe for your pet and which are best avoided.

We all love food, and most of us love to share food with people we care about. We often end up extending this to our pets, especially around the holidays when we have extra food lying around. No matter the food, someone’s probably tried giving it to their dog!

Nowadays, most of us know this isn’t always a great idea.

Unfortunately, some of our healthiest staple ingredients can do real harm to our furry friends. This isn’t always made clear to us, so it’s good to research before adding something new to our pooch’s diets.

Today, we’re taking a look at corn. Can dogs eat corn?

This food comes in many different forms, some of which may be safe and some of which may not. We’ll also look at the role of corn in dog food and what effects that may have.

Where Does Corn Come From?

We often think of corn as a vegetable, but it is actually a staple cereal crop in many parts of the world. Also known as maize, this cereal grows and ripens best in warmer climates and is tolerant of dry weather. In a favorable climate, corn stems can reach heights of up to ten feet!

All the cereals including wheat, rice, and barley, are related to grasses and the part we eat is the seed head. Cereals have been selectively bred over many years to produce larger and more nutrient dense “seeds.” And corn has the fattest, sweetest, and most distinctive head of any cereal.

According to Bayer Global, corn production has soared in recent decades to over a billion tons a year, with 35% of that volume coming from the USA.

Corn is a high carbohydrate food and is generally considered to be a poorer source of nutrients than other cereals.

So, can dogs eat corn? Is corn good for dogs? Or, is it something to steer clear of? Let’s answer these questions!

Different Types of Corn

As humans we eat corn in a variety of forms: corn on the cob, canned corn, popcorn, and corn starch (as an ingredient in many foods).

We’ve cultivated this food over many years to have a high energy content. Although fairly rich in antioxidants and fiber, it offers little else otherwise.

Due to the insoluble fiber content, corn tends to pass through the gut pretty much intact. This can be useful for moving food along in humans, but is not something dogs need.

Can Dogs Eat Corn?

Dogs guts have evolved to subsist on meat alone without the help of dietary fiber. So, in evolutionary terms, dogs and corn don’t have much of a history. The idea of giving dogs fruit and veg is a fairly recent one.

As is often the case with a food available in so many forms, whether your dog can eat corn depends on the form it’s served in. In fact, there’s a good chance your dog eats corn in some form already.

However, whether your dog should eat corn at all is a different matter entirely.

Corn starch is a common ingredient in lots of dog foods, although the role it plays is not really nutritional. This corn product is mainly used to bind ingredients together in dog food. The starch helps to thicken the food so it’s easier to serve, and feels more substantial. It’s also useful in cheaper dog foods to make more expensive ingredients go further and increase mass.

Corn in dog food shouldn’t have adverse effects as compared with other starchy fillers. In your pup’s dinner, however, corn can become an issue if your dog has an allergy or intolerance.

If you feed your dog quite a lot of table scraps, or like to share your own meals with your dog, you’ll be feeding your dog corn in various forms. So let’s take a look at how those different types of corn might affect them.

We’ll start out by looking at one of the most popular forms of corn with people. Corn on the cob is a popular barbecue side dish, but can dogs have corn on the cob?

Can Dogs Eat Corn on the Cob?

Corn on the cob is not safe for dogs. The danger in this case comes not from the corn kernels, but from the cob in the center.

When we eat corn on the cob, we simply eat the corn and throw away the rest. Dogs don’t necessarily do that. It is unlikely that a dog chowing down on corn on the cob would think twice about eating the cob.

This large indigestible part of the corn has the potential to cause a serious blockage in your dog’s gut. Bowel obstructions can lead to numerous medical complications, and quite quickly to death. So it is important to talk to a vet immediately if your dog swallows corn on the cob.

This isn’t just an issue at home. It’s something we need to be vigilant about outdoors, especially if you walk your dogs near farmland. Dogs sometimes pick up cobs that are left behind after harvesting.

You can bypass this issue by removing the corn from the cob before giving it to the dogs. Also, be sure to keep your dog away from fields of standing or freshly cut corn.

If the cob is out of the picture, does corn, say the sweet corn variety, for example, become a viable snack for dogs? Can dogs have corn at all and should we give canned sweet corn to our dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Canned Corn?

If the cob is the dangerous part, can dogs eat corn from a can?

The answer is yes, dogs can eat sweet corn. But they really don’t need to. This incredibly starchy food is difficult to digest and often passes straight through the gut completely intact. You may have noticed this in humans too!

Fortunately, sweet corn is completely non-toxic. As long as your pup doesn’t have any allergies or intolerances, it is unlikely to do any harm as an occasional snack.

The issue comes if any amount of their food is replaced by sweet corn regularly. Dogs, like their ancestors the wolves, thrive best on food with the highest meat content they can get.

Can dogs eat corn is not the only question we need to answer. We need to decide whether feeding corn to our dogs has any benefits. Let’s tackle that next.

Is Corn Good for Dogs?

When dogs eat sweet corn, all they’re going to get is carbohydrates. For an animal evolved to survive almost exclusively on protein and fat, this can lead to a nutritional deficit.

Sweet corn is also, as the name suggests, quite high in sugar. This high sugar content can increase the risk of weight gain, dental problems, and subsequent health issues.

In short, corn is not particularly good for dogs. There are certainly worse things your pup could be eating, but corn falls short of providing any real benefits.

So can off-the-cob corn cause any harm to dogs?

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Is Corn Bad for Dogs?

Feeding your dog an optimal diet is all about maintaining the right balance of nutrients.

While non-cob corn isn’t immediately dangerous to dogs if it makes up a large share of their food it has the potential to harm in the long term.

High sugar and carbohydrate concentrations are not great components of good dog food. So it’s important to avoid sharing corn with your dogs in large amounts or very frequently.

As for corn starch, the levels used to pad out commercial dog foods generally aren’t enough to do any harm. The processing method used for corn starch also most likely makes it easier for your dog to break down. We’ll take a more in-depth look at corn as an additive in dog foods later.

The biggest health risk is still posed by corn on the cob. If the worst case scenario has happened—your dog ate a corn cob—what do you do?

My Dog Ate a Corn Cob – What Should I Do?

A swallowed corn cob or core should always be treated as an emergency.

There is a real risk of it causing a blockage in your dog’s intestines. If this isn’t enough of an issue, the sharp edges of the cob might tear the delicate lining of the dog’s intestine.

This is potentially a life threatening medical emergency

The sooner you seek help from your vet, the less of a chance there is of this happening. Don’t delay; make that call right away. Your vet may want you to bring the dog into his office straight away, so you’ll need to make arrangements to do that if necessary

What to Expect at the Vet

A dog who’s swallowed a corn cob may be vomiting, suffering diarrhea, or overall just sick. Still, your vet will likely want to do a scan or X-ray to confirm the presence of the cob. It also helps them know whether there’s a blockage and how to approach the care.

If the block is serious, your pup may need to have surgery to dislodge the cob. The process is essentially the same for any foreign body swallowed. That’s why it’s so important to be careful with dogs and corn cobs.

Let’s now look at the role of corn in manufactured dog chow now. Corn is found in a huge range of dog food. What does corn do in these dog foods, and what effects might it have?

Corn in Dog Food

Corn starch, which is processed corn, works as a kind of thickener to pad out cheaper dog foods. It is high in calories, so it bolsters the energy provided by the food. Still, it lacks the fat and protein that dogs need most.

Corn’s use as a filler doesn’t raise many immediate issues in dogs not allergic to it. We do, however, have to wonder if fillers in general detract from the nutritional value of the food we give our dogs. And what the long term effects may be.

Serving sizes on pet foods are based on calories. In dog food where more of the calories are taken up by the fillers, we will invariably be giving our dogs less meat. Less meat means less health bolstering fatty acids, less protein, and less fat.

Although some foods contain supplements to rectify this imbalance, it is still often left unaddressed.

In an ideal world, we’d all give our dogs foods with higher meat content. Unfortunately, meat is the expensive ingredient in dog food. Fillers help make dog food more affordable, so dog foods with large amounts of fillers remain popular.

Corn Fillers and Allergies

It is worth bearing in mind that some dogs become allergic to cereal fillers in dog food. And even though your dog may not be allergic to anything right now, allergies can appear later in life.

If your dog has recurring skin problems or tummy troubles, a food allergy could be the cause. It’s worth checking with your vet to find out.

Some other signs of an allergic reaction in dogs include:

  • Itching, especially itchy paws
  • Red eyes
  • Hair loss, which is often patchy
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing

So, if corn is present in some dog foods, and okay to feed dogs as an occasional treat, can we feed corn to puppies?

Is Corn Okay for Puppies?

It’s a good rule of thumb that anything that could be bad for dogs is, sadly, worse for puppies.

We’ve already established that corn should not make up any large part of an adult dog’s diet. It’s therefore definitely best to steer clear of corn until later in your pup’s life.

Puppies have very sensitive guts, so difficult-to-digest corn can upset them. When puppies get an upset stomach they can become dehydrated very quickly, so you should avoid anything that can cause this.

As they are growing rapidly, puppy nutrition is much more nuanced than adult dog nutrition. If fed a poorly balanced homemade diet, puppies can suffer serious health issues. Unfortunately, sometimes, the results may be fatal. When your pup is growing is not the best time to experiment with food.

If you do end up introducing new elements to their diet, do it gradually and make sure your pup is still getting all the necessary nutrients.

High Protein Alternatives

By now, you’ve hopefully gotten the answer to your question—can dogs eat corn? But since corn is out, you may wonder about alternatives. What are other high protein sources that your dog can benefit from?

For protein, these are the top sources:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Meat, including pork‎, beef, etc.
  • Commercial high protein dog food.

You can find more alternatives, including specific recommended brands in this post — Best High Protein Dog Food.

Can Dogs Eat Corn – Summary?

It’s natural to want to share our favorite foods with our dogs—we all do! But there are some foods our pooches are better without. While your dog can eat most forms of corn without danger it’s best to avoid feeding this cereal to your dog on a regular basis.

Cereal crops in their modern form are a human invention. They’re carefully selected to pack as much energy as we can into a smaller area. They work quite well for us, but they’re not really meant for dogs.

Although corn contains a little more protein and fat than some other cereal crops, there are better foods for your dog to get these from.

Provided you avoid corn on the cob, it’s okay to give corn to your dog for a very occasional treat, — nothing more. Even in this instance, there are healthier treats that your dog will probably love just as much.

We all want to give our dogs a varied diet. And feeding your dog new things can be exciting and fun! But it is always worth looking into the potential repercussions this could have on your dog’s health. The most important thing is always that our furry friends are healthy and happy.

Corn for dogs seems like a fun idea, but as is often the case, it’s really not necessary. A healthy and balanced diet is the best treat you can possibly give your loyal pooch.

References and Further Reading:

  • The use of sorghum and corn as alternatives to rice in dog foods L. N. Twomey, D. W. Pethick, J. B. Rowe, Mingan Choct, J. R. Pluske, W. Brown, M. C. Laviste.
  • Henry’s emergency, Vets-now. Dangers of corn on the cob to dogs and what to do if your dog eats one.
  • Corn, sweet, yellow, raw USDA Food Database.
  • Hutchinson DVM et al. Seizures and severe nutrient deficiencies in a puppy fed a homemade diet Journal of American Veterinary Association 2012.
  • Effects of dietary carbohydrate fat and protein on growth body composition and blood metabolite levels in the dog. D. R. Romos, P. S. Belo, M. R. Bennick, W. G. Bergen, G. A. Leveille.
  • Food hypersensitivity in 20 dogs with skin and gastrointestinal signs S. Paterson.

Can Dogs Eat Corn has been extensively revised for 2019.

Whether canines can or can’t eat corn safely is a topic of much controversy, especially when you go online and search for the topic.

It’s often said and advised that you avoid feeding your pooch any dog food that has a significant amount of corn in it because this degrades the quality of that food, while others have another opinion on this subject.

The Debate About Corn For Dogs

And, given the fact that corn is a grain that’s very commonly used in dog food products of many (and I mean MANY) companies, the controversy is nothing surprising.

How could it not be the subject of such huge controversy when corn is such an everyday ingredient for so many people around the world?

On one side of the debate, you have folks that consider corn to be just like any other human food out there that’s suitable for canines to eat, while on the other side of the debate you have folks that consider corn to be a “devil” that should never be given to dogs for consumption.

People who claim that corn is bad for dogs will tell you that these high profile companies are only trying to sell you on their food by saying that corn is good for canines.

On the other hand, people who claim that corn is good for dogs will tell you that the bashing of corn is way out of proportion and will claim that corn is actually very beneficial to your pooch in certain circumstances, such as when they’re constipated.

Which side of the story should you believe?

As always, there’s a bit of truth to the two tales, so this article is all you need to set the record straight and let you in on all the details you have to know before feeding your buddy any corn, or any dog food or treat that contains corn as part of its ingredients list.

Can Dogs Have Corn?

In general, YES canines can eat corn safely. Even though there’s no real need or benefit to feed your pup any corn, you still technically can feed them corn without them becoming sick from it or poisoned because of it (i.e corn is not toxic to dogs).

Assuming your pet isn’t allergic to corn and you ideally have your veterinarian’s approval about their system’s ability to properly process and digest corn, you’re good to go.

Corn is present in a wide variety of dog food and many different brands use it, so chances are you are already feeding them some corn without you necessarily knowing about it.

So, corn in and of itself is in no way toxic or poisonous to canines.

However, you have to know about and watch out for some important stuff when it comes to feeding your dog corn, especially the cob which we will be talking about in just a few moments.

If it’s safe, is corn good for dogs? Are there any nutritional benefits?

As you’ll be seeing in this article as you read on, feeding your dog corn isn’t going to do them any good (but also won’t do them any specific harm as long as you feed it to them in controlled amounts).

This means that there are many other food choices out there for you to choose from that will actually do your pup good if what you’re looking for is feeding them corn as a treat or a reward.

How Can Dogs Eat Corn?

The best way to feed your dog corn is to boil some fresh kernels, not canned, and feed them to your furry friend, always un-buttered and un-salted.

It’s very important that you keep the quantity to a bare minimum (a few pieces at most), because if they eat too much corn all at once, they’re bound to get painful stomach aches.

You never want to feed your pooch corn that is contained within other foods, like tortillas or chips for example, because these will often contain dressings and toppings like garlic and onion, both of which can be deadly to dogs.

With all of that being said, our recommendation is that you don’t try to feed your dog corn by yourself, because they’re already getting enough of this grain from the commercial food formula you’re feeding them.

Unless you’re spending top dollar on some of the best dog food brands that go out of their way to include only the best of the best ingredients for your pooch (and charge you every extra penny for what they’re giving you, while at it), then chances are the brand you’re feeding your dog already has enough corn in it that’s being consumed by them.

Why Is Corn Bad For Dogs?

The crowd that says that corn is bad for canines mainly does so for many reasons, most important of which are:

Digestibility Issues

Corn can most of the times be very hard to digest.

Cheap Filler Calories

Corn is just that, cheap filler calories used in products by dog food manufacturers that want to save up on costs during the manufacturing process and increase their bottom line, and doesn’t provide any worthy nutrients or minerals of value to dogs that should be mentioned.

Many food manufacturing companies are able to sacrifice a little bit of protein content in their food (99% of the times in some form of expensive meat) and substitute it for corn, all for saving up on costs and without having sales being effected.

A dream come true for many business owners, wouldn’t you think so?

This is why we always advocate against dog food brands that make significant use of corn in their products on this website.

If you were to run a quick check on some very popular dog food products and read up on some customer reviews online, you’ll notice that any formula that contains significant amounts of corn in it always gets slammed in reviews because of this specific point.


According to the anti-corn for canines crowd, corn (and other similar “filler grains” found in commercial dog food nowadays) is widely responsible for a whole lot of food allergies that pets are increasingly suffering from.

Not Full Of Fiber

People who are all for feeding their animals corn tend to argue that one of the benefits of doing this is that their dogs get high amounts of dietary fiber from the corn they eat, which ultimately helps out any pup that’s suffering from constipation, big time.

That’s not really the case, because if you were to compare a portion that’s worth 100 calories from corn to a portion that’s worth 100 calories from the majority of other fruits or vegetables out there, practically all of the other fruits and vegetables will beat corn in a landslide as far as fiber is concerned.

Try comparing yourself with a simple search online, you’ll see this first hand.

And, as far as helping out constipated canines is concerned, remember that corn isn’t the easiest of foods for them to digest.

Your pooch’s body takes a significant amount of time to properly digest the corn they eat, something which is completely the opposite of what you want happening when your dog is constipated, which is them eating something that’s easy to digest and that can “get the ball rolling”.

When it comes to what dogs love to do, chewing on corn cobs could very possibly be one of the top items on their list.

But is it any good if they do so, especially with all the salt and butter that are present on the cobs? “Can dogs eat corn cobs?”, you ask.

The plain and simple answer to this question is NO, canines can’t eat corn cobs.

If you give your dog a corn cob to chew, there’s no guarantee that they won’t chew and swallow the cob in its entirety, and this could result in intestinal obstruction, which is a reason for many dog fatalities around the world.

Learn more about intestinal obstruction in this video:

So, you should dispose of all corn cobs and make sure they’re somewhere your pet can’t possible reach, because if you make it easy for them to find them while unsupervised, they will sniff around, find and eat them.

If you think or know that your dog has eaten a corn cob, you have to immediately tell your veterinarian about it so they tell you what immediate action you have to take on the spot.

The more time you take to react to this situation, the worse their chances of survival are.

Here are some common signs that canines show when they suffer from intestinal obstruction:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weakness and lethargy

Here Is The Michele Bachmann Corn Dog Picture Everyone Is Freaking Out About

Add the Telegraph to the list of media organizations snapping unnecessarily bad (inappropriate?) pictures of Michele Bachmann.

This one comes via Toby Harnden who filed a report on this weekend’s Iowa State Fair. Here’s the part that relates to Bachmann:

Michele Bachmann, Iowa born and the favorite to win the Straw Poll, arrived half an hour late for her slot and then spoke for just over two minutes, saying that Iowans were “going to send the signal” to the rest of America just as they had in 2008. “This is where Barack Obama got his start. This is where he’s going to come to his end, in Iowa.”

She beat a hasty retreat after being aggressively heckled by a young man who shouted that she believed homosexuals were “second-class citizens” and that she should not try to “pray away the gay”.

Driving away on a golf cart with her husband Marcus beside her, Mrs Bachmann stopped to buy a foot-long corn dog – a chicken and beef sausage in deep-fried batter. After applying mustard and allowing Mr Bachmann to take the first bite, she chomped into it with gusto.

And here’s the picture. Let’s just say her eyes are not the biggest problem here.

Of course, unlike the Newsweek cover Bachmann has been in this game long enough to know if she ate a foot-long corn dog in public someone was going to snap this picture.

The Short, Sad History of the Corn Dog

What’s the mustard hiding? Read on to find out.

When I was a little kid in Minnesota and went to the state fair, one of the main gastronomic attractions were corn dogs, and my brothers and I would beg to have one the minute we hit the fairgrounds on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. Except they weren’t called corn dogs then: They were “pronto pups.” The pronto pup was introduced in 1947, and lays claim to being the first corn dog in the U.S. — along with about 20 others that demand the same honor.

Later, when I lived in Texas, I enjoyed “corny dogs,” as they were called, at the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. Same treat, different name. The corny dog was introduced at the fair in 1938 (though some say 1942). The first drive-in to serve corn dogs, in 1946, was in Springfield, Missouri, and The New York Times remarked that there were corn-dog stands at the city’s beaches in 1947. You can still get a corn dog on the Coney Island boardwalk, but if the mayor and his real estate developers have their way, maybe not for long.

Corn dogs are really only wieners that have been thrust on a stick, dipped in a batter containing at least a little cornmeal (hence the name), and deep-fried to within an inch of their tubular lives. During the health-conscious final decades of the last century, corn dogs took a hit, since their greasiness, carbohydrate intensity, and shear hot-dogginess made them anathema to many diners. Yet they lived on at street fairs and Coney Island concessions — and in the supermarket freezer cases, though I don’t know anyone who’s ever bought them there. Eventually, “corn dog” became urban slang for a certain kind of louche sexual act, though no on can quite agree just what the act is.

The menu of the cart also includes funnel cakes, zeppole, and deep-fried Oreos.

Pronto pups for sale at the Minnesota State Fair.

I got mine at a late-fall street fair near Union Square on a blustery Saturday afternoon. The thing had already been cooked, but the guy picked it up and threw it into the laconically bubbling grease, which looked like it hadn’t been changed since the Dinkins administration, making the battered frank so sodden with grease that the coating began sloughing off. Which is why I had to artistically apply the mustard, as seen in the picture. Still, it made a tasty afternoon snack, even though the hot dog inside is of the most dodgy and inferior sort, so pale it’s hard to imagine it contained anything that a reasonable person would describe as meat. Look at it this way: It keeps the cornmeal crust from collapsing.

Eating corny dogs at the Texas State Fair.

Kansas State University

Aw, shucks: K-State vet says corn on the cob no treat for dogs

Friday, Aug. 30, 2019

This radiograph shows a corncob in the gastrointestinal tract of a dog brought in recently to the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University. Photo courtesy of David Biller, professor and section head of radiology, K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. |

MANHATTAN — Corn on the cob is a treat that many people enjoy each summer. But a Kansas State University veterinarian says don’t share that cob with your dog.

While eating kernels of corn generally does not pose a health risk for most dogs, the corncob can be a problem if the dog ingests it, said Susan Nelson, veterinarian and clinical professor at the Veterinary Health Center, a part of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. Nelson said the problem is one veterinarians most often see in the summer and fall when corn on the cob is most popular.
“Dogs are attracted to corncobs due to the good-tasting corn kernels and the cob itself,” Nelson said. “The cob is something they love to chew on, and while some dogs may chew it up into tiny pieces, others attempt to swallow it whole or swallow large pieces of the cob.”
Swallowing the cob or pieces of the cob often causes a life-threatening obstruction of a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, Nelson said, adding that the smaller the dog, the smaller the piece of cob that can cause this to happen. Corncobs also are not digestible, so if there is an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, abdominal surgery is usually needed to remove it.
“If smaller pieces of cob are in the stomach, they can sometimes be endoscopically removed,” Nelson said. “But if dogs do not have the cob or pieces of cob causing the obstruction removed, it is usually fatal. Dogs that are brought to a veterinarian after they have been showing symptoms will also sometimes not survive, even with surgery.”
Signs that your dog may have an obstruction caused by a piece of corncob or is experiencing other problems due to ingesting corn or corn on the cob include vomiting and/or dry heaves; diarrhea; straining to have a bowel movement; decreased or no appetite; a painful abdomen — or belly; lethargy or reluctance to play; or seeking seclusion. If you see any of these signs in your dog, Nelson said have it seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Nelson recommends keeping all corncobs safely away from dogs.
“Make sure the container in which you keep corncobs is in an area where dogs do not have access to or the cobs are in a secured container or locked cabinet,” Nelson said. “Remember, dogs can be very good at opening doors, lids, etc.”
If your dog does sneak a cob, take it away immediately, Nelson said. If the dog will not give up the cob or will try to bite you if you attempt to take it away, offer the dog an even more desirable treat or toy and then get the cob when the dog drops it to take the other offering.
While corncobs can be dangerous for dogs, corn itself is used as a protein source in many dog foods. Nelson said that contrary to popular belief, dogs can utilize nutrient sources that come from corn as their digestive tracts have evolved over the years to allow it because of their close association with humans and what we eat.
However, there are certain situations where corn can be problematic.
“If dogs have a corn allergy, which is not very common, then corn should be avoided,” she said “Corn that has added butter on it can put some dogs at risk for developing pancreatitis, which can be fatal in some circumstances. Corn with added salt can also be a problem for dogs with medical conditions such as congestive heart failure.”
Nelson suggests not feeding your dog corn.
“If they learn to like corn, they will be more persistent at trying to get to it,” she said. “But if you do decide to feed them corn, make sure to cut the kernels off the cob first, and only feed a small amount.”

Theses pieces of corncob were removed from a dog’s gastrointestinal tract during surgery recently at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University. Photo courtesy of Emily Klocke, small animal surgeon at the Veterinary Health Center. |

I’ve heard of vets having to remove sticks from dogs’ mouths, and all sorts of things from dogs’ stomaches. But I didn’t know that one of the most common foreign bodies that vets remove from dogs are corn cobs.

That’s because unlike most vegetables, corn on the cob can’t be digested in a dog’s stomach. Whereas corn is perfectly fine for a dog to eat, the cob is not. As result, corn cobs are one of the leading causes of fatal bowel obstructions in dogs. They can cause intestinal blockages that require expensive surgery to remove.

Sadly, Dozer’s family discovered this the hard way after he ate one, but thankfully he got to the vet in time. New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center shared the warning on Facebook and wrote:

“Unfortunately, Dozer & his family learned the hard way that corn cobs aren’t safe for dogs – EVER. Despite how much you think your dog may chew a corn cob, it’s NEVER okay to feed these to them. Their body isn’t able to break down the corn cob & they get trapped in the intestines, resulting in a very sad, sick pooch that will likely require surgery.” – The team at New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center

It should be noted that dogs will often root through the trash to grab a left-over corn on the cob or even steal them off of counters, so it’s a good idea for you to dispose of corn cobs safely, where your dog can’t get at them.

If you fear your dog has eaten corn on the cob you should contact your vet (or emergency vet) as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. If you get to the vet early enough, the vet may be able to induce vomiting or pump the stomach and have the corn cob come out that way. It is the safer and less expensive option when compared to emergency surgery.

Vets will likely take an x-ray for diagnosis and treatment. Image via YouTube

If you’re not sure if your dog has eaten a corn cob, they will likely begin to show symptoms of a blockage within a short time. These symptoms may include:

– vomiting
– lethargic, listlessness
– abdominal tenderness or pain
– lack of appetite (although it should be noted some dogs continue regularly eating)
– trouble defecating, constipation
– behavioral changes such as biting or growling when picked up

Despite these dangers, this shouldn’t mean your dog has to stop enjoying corn on the cob with you. It just means he or she should eat it while supervised. That way your dog can still enjoy the tasty snack and you can rest easy that he/she hasn’t eaten the cob!

Please pass on this tip to your friends and fellow dog owners and keep your dogs safe!

You’re having a backyard barbecue, grilling corn as a side dish, and your dog is giving you those irresistible, pleading puppy-dog eyes. Should you let her have some? Can dogs eat corn too?

Corn does have some nutritional value in the form of vitamins, minerals, and protein. It’s safe for dogs in moderation.

However, you should still be careful, as it can be very dangerous in certain forms. Can dogs eat corn cobs? The short answer is no, they should only eat the corn kernels that have been removed from the cob.

Is corn good for dogs? Is corn bad for dogs? Let’s explore all of this in more detail.

Some Fun Facts About Corn

  • The average ear of corn has sixteen rows and contains about 800 kernels.
  • It comes in a variety of colors including red, blue, yellow, green, and black.
  • Corn is also known as maize. It was originally domesticated in Southern Mexico 10, 000 years ago.
  • In the Taino language, it means “giver of life.”

Corn is considered a fruit, a vegetable, and a grain—all in one.

The corn kernel is the edible portion of the plant. It contains a number of essential vitamins and minerals. Some of these include vitamins B, C, E, and K, folic acid, and selenium. Corn is also an excellent source of both potassium and fiber.

It is a high-carbohydrate food, but it does contain some protein and a small amount of fat. The phytochemicals, like carotenoids, found in corn are also considered to have many health benefits that can help lower the risk of chronic illness.

Now that we know a little bit more about the contents of corn, is corn safe for dogs?

Corn products are often used in dog foods for a number of reasons. One reason is because of how inexpensive it is.

In general, corn is relatively safe for dogs to eat in moderate quantities. Just don’t give dogs corn on the cob!

Although corn is not a common allergy in canines, some dogs may be allergic. So you should be cautious when introducing this food.

Take note that dogs can also develop allergies later on in life. So even if your dog has been fine with corn, that may not always be the case.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs can include recurring skin problems or stomach problems resulting in diarrhea or loose stools.

Is Corn Bad For Dogs?

For the most part, a little bit of corn is fine to include in your dog’s diet.

However, you should feed corn in moderation and not allow such a treat to exceed 10% of your dog’s diet, as with all human foods added to a dog’s diet.

Too much human food may make your dog’s diet inadequate to their nutritional needs and can contribute to unhealthy extra weight gain.

Make sure the corn isn’t covered with butter, salt, or other fat

ty flavor enhancers. A little fat is good, but too much fat and salt is bad for dogs and can lead to obesity or stomach issues, as with humans.

The cob of the corn is never safe for dogs to consume or even chew on. It is an inedible part of the plant and even a small piece can cause an obstruction in a dog’s digestive tract.

Dogs should not be permitted to eat corn off of the cob or to chew on the cob. Many owners believe that the cob is too tough for their dog to gnaw through. Unfortunately, it is not. Dogs have been known to swallow a portion of or even the entire cob.

Any ingestion of the cob is considered a medical emergency. It can result in choking or an intestinal blockage. It can even cut up your dog’s digestive tract. If you think your dog may have ingested a part of the cob, contact your veterinarian right away.

Make sure you take a look at this article to find out what to do if your dog eats plastic.

Is Corn Good For Dogs?

Studies show that corn is easily digestible and provides above-average nutrient levels for canine diets when processed for dog food.

This research says that corn is a good second choice behind rice for the primary cereal grain in foods designed for dogs.

Corn can be a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and linoleic acids.

Carbohydrates make up most of the nutritional value of a kernel of corn followed by protein. Corn can be a good source of their dietary fiber under certain conditions.

Corn’s main limitation as a source of nutrition is the limited amounts of vital animal acids that it contains. Lysine and tryptophan are among the amino acids that corn lacks in abundance.

So yes, corn does have some nutritional value. And corn for dogs can provide some protein and certain vitamins and minerals.
But this is not a natural food for dogs. They won’t get as much out of it as the foods they are evolved to easily ingest

Can Dogs Eat Corn Kernels?

Yes, kernels are one type of corn that dogs can eat. They are small, and there is no choking hazard.

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Salt, butter, mayonnaise, and other common toppings offer nothing good for your dog.

Make sure the corn kernels are plain and feed only in moderation if you decide to feed your dog corn kernels.

Canned corn mostly consists of kernels of corn taken off the cob. Thus, it’s safe for dogs to eat. Just remember not to give them too much.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Unseasoned, air-popped popcorn is a perfectly acceptable little treat. It contains riboflavin, thiamine, and small amounts of protein and iron.

A few plain pieces of popcorn every now and then are fine as long as your dog doesn’t get any of the un-popped kernels. The unpopped kernels can be a choking or dental hazard.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Corn?

Sweetcorn is a variety of corn that has high sugar content. It’s picked at a more immature stage than regular corn. It’s the type we eat fresh, canned, or frozen.

Dogs can eat sweet corn as long as they eat the corn without the cob.

But this corn is starchy and hard to digest. If you’ve ever eaten corn and had it come out the other side completely intact, you know what we mean. However, it’s not dangerous at all to dogs.

Sweet corn as a sometimes-snack is fine as long as your dog isn’t showing allergy symptoms.

My Dog Ate Corn On The Cob: What Should I Do?

So can dogs eat corn on the cob? No, you should treat this situation as an emergency.

Eating corn on the cob can be a life-threatening medical issue. Dogs cannot eat the cob portion of the plant as it can cause serious problems in their digestive tract.

Signs of intestinal distress can include lethargy, lack of appetite, pain, and lack of a bowel movement.

You need to seek help immediately If you see vomiting, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Call your vet or an after-hours vet facility immediately.

Your dog may not seem to have an initial problem, but the sooner you get advice from a medical professional, the better.
Be ready to take your dog in as soon as you can. Basically, this situation is treated as one in which a foreign object has been ingested.

Your vet may want to induce vomiting. If it’s more serious, and the cob remains in the stomach, endoscopic surgery may be indicated.

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Can Corn Treat Any Problems In Dogs?

Corn is not known to treat any canine conditions although there is some nutritional value to corn.

It can be found in some dog food brands as a source of cheap and filling nutrition. But it is not a remedy of any kind.

How to Give a Dog Corn

Cooked corn kernels that have been removed from the cob and are free from additives, like salt or butter, are the safest and best form of corn to give your dog.

Use these little golden morsels as occasional treats and not as the main component of their diet.

The infrequent bite of plain, air-popped popcorn is also an acceptable treat. Just be careful your dog doesn’t end up with any of the un-popped kernels from the bottom of the bowl.

Alternatives to Corn for Dogs

  • Cheese: It can be a tasty treat for dogs, assuming they are not lactose intolerant. Low-fat varieties of cheese are the better choice for your furry friend’s health.
  • Coconut: The white, meaty part of the coconut is another healthy human food that your dog can enjoy too. Coconut meat is not just a delicious snack, it actually has some potential health benefits for your dog. It can help improve their immune system, fight bad breath, and promote healing from skin conditions related to hot spots and fleas.
  • Green Beans

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Corn?

Yes, it’s okay for dogs to indulge in corn once in a while if your four-legged friend has a panache for it. Corn does have some nutrients that are beneficial to dogs.

However, there are certain conditions when giving corn to your dog:

  • Can dogs eat corn cobs? No. A dog eating corn on the cob is a medical emergency waiting to happen.
  • Let your dog have only the corn kernels that have been removed from the cob.
  • Also, avoid salt and other toppings that add fat and chemicals to the corn.

Ultimately, it’s important to make sure your dog has all the nutrition they need. And corn can fill them up so that they don’t actually eat the foods that they really need.

Use corn as an occasional treat and just ensure your dog doesn’t eat too much.

In conclusion, corn kernels in moderation are safe snacks for dogs.

References and Further Reading

  • American Kennel Club. 2019. “Human foods dogs can and can’t eat, can dogs eat wheat and other grains?”
  • Shah, T. R. et. al. 2016. “Maize—A potential source of human nutrition and health: A review.” Cogent Food & Agriculture.
  • Twomey, L. N. 2002. “The use of sorghum and corn as alternatives to rice in dog foods.” The Journal of Nutrition.
  • United States Department of Agriculture. 2019. “Corn & Other Feed Grains.”
  • Yuill, C. “Nutrition—General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs.” VCA Animal Hospitals.
  • Yongfeng, A. and Jane, J. 2016. “Macronutrients in corn and human nutrition.” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

This article has been extensively revised and updated for 2019.

Why to Never Let Your Dog Eat Corn Cobs (Dog Food Dangers)

One of the big questions I get asked, especially in BBQ season is can dogs eat corn cobs, or corn on the cob? No, don’t do it. Do not feed your dog corn cobs. Now I’m not going to talk about the nutritional value of corn, it’s the corn cob that I’m talking about today.

After a BBQ, the corn cob will still likely be covered in butter or some other tasty sauce and your dog will be all too happy to eat it. This might be after you actually feed it to them (please don’t!), or if could be that they raid it from the rubbish bin. Corn cobs are dense and fibrous. Your dog likely wont chew them into pieces, and they are just the right size for a medium or large breed dog to swallow whole.

What happens next is that the corn cob will sit in the stomach. It wont get broken down and will then work its way into the small intestine.

Now some dogs may be lucky, and from here the corn cob will slowly squeeze its way out the other end. For a lot of dogs though, if they eat a corn cob it will pass into the small intestines where it will get stuck and cause a total blockage or obstruction. If a blockage does occur then emergency surgery will be needed or else eating a corn cob will be fatal for your dog.

Signs of an obstruction in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, going off their food, through to complete collapse and if untreated, as I’ve said, an obstruction will kill your dog.

To make matters worse when it comes to corn cobs is the fact that they do not show up very clearly on xrays. In fact it can be really challenging to see a corn cob in the intestines of a dog, especially in the early stages of a problem. The result of this is that your dog may be more unwell before the decision to go to surgery is made.

So don’t feed your dog corn cobs and make sure you put them in a bin that your dog can’t break into. The same goes for the next 2 BBQ dangers for pets I’ve got for you. Next up we have kebab skewers.