Can Dogs Eat Corn? Is Corn Safe For Dogs To Eat?


can dogs eat corn

As Summer approaches, so does the grilling season, and chances are foods such as corn both on and off the cob are going to be staples. And there’s also a good chance that your dog is going to want to share these foods with you. However, some of these popular summer foods may or may not be unsafe for your dog. So the question is, can dogs eat corn? Is it safe?

The answer is corn is not unsafe or bad for your dog. A small amount won’t do any harm, but just ensure that you serve it to dogs in moderation. Depending on the type of corn, the food may contain several beneficial vitamins and minerals for Fido. 

corn with peal

Can Dogs Eat Corn? What about Food Allergies?

Over the years, consumers have somehow been under the impression that corn is not a good ingredient and is a major contributor to food allergies in dogs. The truth, however, is that food allergies are not common in dogs, and corn is basically not a problem. On the contrary, it can be a part of a balanced diet for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Corn on the Cob?

Well, you’re probably not the first pet owner to ask this question. Allowing Fido to chew on a cob to keep him busy, may seem like a good idea at first; however, this can be bad news if he ingests the chunks of cob. This is because dogs are at risk of choking on a corn cob, and it can also cause blockage on the intestines.

Small and medium-sized dogs, especially at a bigger risk for obstruction, while larger dogs may have the corn cob pass uneventfully. However, this may not always be the case. If you think your dog ate up a cob or pieces of it, then watch for signs of distress such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, straining during defecation, vomiting, and restlessness as well. 

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, don’t delay and get in contact with your vet immediately.

How to Keep Corn Cobs Away from your Pooch?

As a pet owner, you already know that your dog will go to any lengths to get his teeth on some tasty treats, even if it means digging in the trash can. So when throwing out your cobs, don’t leave them in the trash or anywhere that your dog can have access to them. It’s best to put them in a compost bin that they cannot reach.

Alternatively, you can store them in a bag and keep them in your freezer for trash day. When having family and friends over, ensure that they all know and understand that corn cobs are off-limits to your dog. In fact, kindly ask your guests to stop feeding any kind of table scraps to Fido.

Can Dogs Eat Corn off your Plate?

Lots of people don’t know this but corn is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fats, vitamins as well as antioxidants and linoleic acids. So ultimately, it is more than just a filler. So can dogs enjoy corn just like humans do? Well, if you want to share corn off your plate, you can do so freely, as long as the corn is free of any type of unhealthy seasoning and spices such as oil, sodium, and butter.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Provided the popcorn is in its unsalted and unbuttered form; it can be an occasional nice treat for your furry friend. Air-popped popcorn, which is high in fiber and contains carbohydrates, provides extra energy for your pooch. 

If you’re making the popcorn on your own, ensure that all the kernels you’re feeding your dog are popped. However, there are going to be a few pieces that don’t completely pop in most batches of popcorn. For your dog, those pieces are not digestible and can actually cause gastrointestinal upset.

Another thing that can be a big problem is corn that ends up stuck between your dog’s teeth and can eventually lead to gum disease and tooth decay. So avoid feeding your dog the pre-packed and flavored popcorns. These also contain lots of oils, sodium, and artificial flavorings that can be stressful on your dog’s digestive system.

Is Corn Good for Dogs?

There is no doubt that lots of dogs enjoy the taste of corn. Plain corn is safe for dogs to eat in moderation as long as your dog is not allergic to it. Corn can be used as a treat, or you can use it as a creative topping when it is removed from the cob. 

Simply cut it off the cob with a knife after cooking and offer it to your dog. Avoid any type of fat, butter, salt, or seasonings at all costs. Dog treats should also never be more than 10% of your dog’s diet, and this includes corn. So while it is a safe snack, it doesn’t have too many health benefits. So giving too many snacks is not a good idea if your dog is not getting their complete and balanced meals as it can lead to issues such as malnutrition.

dog in grass eats corn

How is Corn Good for Dogs?

So we have established that corn is good for dogs and does contain some nutritional value. However, how exactly does it benefit your dog? Corn in dog food meets several key requirements nutritionally for dogs, including:

Antioxidants: Corn contains vitamin E and beta-carotene, which all antioxidants which support a healthy immune system.

Protein: Corn gluten meal functions as an important source of amino acids and proteins which are priceless for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and muscles in your pooch.

Carbohydrates: An essential energy source for your dog is the whole corn and cornmeal, which are easily digestible carbohydrates in your dog’s food.

Fiber: Corn promotes good health as well as motility as it is fibrous.

Linoleic acid: Dogs cannot produce linoleic acid, which is an omega-six fatty acid. Fortunately, it is found in corn and is essential for assisting dogs in growing and maintaining healthy immune systems, skin, and coats.

Is Corn Bad for Dogs?

Corn in moderation is fine to include in your dog’s diet, for the most part. However, this snack should never exceed more than 10% of your dog’s diet, and this is a rule of thumb when it comes to all human foods you share with your dog. This is because dogs’ nutritional requirements differ from humans, and feeding too much human food in your dog’s diet can lead to inadequate nutrition and may contribute to unhealthy and extra wet weight gain. 

Also, ensure that the corn is not covered with butter, salt or any type of fat or flavoring. Although a little fat is good, too much fat and sodium can gently lead to obesity and stomach issues with your dogs as it is with humans. The cob of corn is also never safe for dogs to consume or even chew on. It’s inedible, and a small piece can cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract. 

So under no circumstances should your dog be allowed anywhere near corn cob. If you’ve been under the misconception that cob is too tough for your dog to gnaw at or bite off chunks, then, unfortunately, you’ve been sincerely wrong. Dogs have been known to swallow portions of cob and even the entire cob. 

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Corn?

Sweet corn is basically a variety of corn, which contains a lot of sugar. When compared to regular corn, it’s picked at a more immature stage. However, it’s the type we eat frozen, canned, or fresh. It is okay for dogs to have sweetcorn as long as they don’t eat the cob. 

This, however, can tend to be hard to digest since it is starchy, and if you have ever eaten corn and had it come out exactly the same way, then you know what we’re talking about. However, if you want to know if it’s dangerous to dogs, the good news is that it’s not. So sweetcorn, as an occasional snack served in small amounts, is fine as long as your dog is not showing allergy symptoms.

However, what you should be aware of as a pet owner is that any ingestion of the cob is considered a medical emergency. It can result in intestinal blockage and choking and can even cut your dog’s digestive tract. So if you suspect that your dog may have ingested a part of the cob, the best thing to do is to reach your vet immediately.

cooked corn wide image

The Bottom Line

So whether or not you choose to serve corn to your dog is entirely up to you and whether you feel it has enough health benefits for your pooch. The important thing to remember is that corn should be served in very small amounts in plain form and should never exceed more than 10% of your dog’s nutritional diet.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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