Corn: it's a classic ingredient that adds a sweet and satisfying crunch to our favorite dishes. But can your dog enjoy this golden delight too? The answer might surprise you.
We’ll walk you through some safety concerns, discuss different forms of corn that dogs can enjoy, and reveal some surprising benefits and risks associated with including corn in your dog's diet.
Let's start off by getting right to the point. So …
Can Dogs Eat Corn?
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat corn. It's a non-toxic and generally safe food for them to consume.
However, there are a few important things to keep in mind before feeding your dog corn.
First of all, we humans tend to add a lot of seasonings like butter and salt to corn. While some high quality grass-fed butter is fine, you still don’t want to go overboard on butter and salt if you’re going to share corn with your dog. It’s best to lightly butter any corn you share. You could also boil it, and skip out on the butter altogether.
But the biggest risk to keep in mind is corn cobs. If your dog eats one of these, it can pose a major choking hazard or even cause a bowel obstruction (keep reading for more about that). If you’re going to feed your dog corn, scrape it off the cob and immediately throw the cobs away into a dog-proof trash can.
What Kind Of Corn Is Safe For Dogs To Eat?
All corn isn’t equal … some kinds are safer and more nutritious than others.
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of corn to see what kind is best for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Corn?
Cooked corn, such as boiled or steamed kernels, can be offered to dogs in moderation. Cooking the corn helps break down its tough outer shell, making it easier for dogs to digest.
Before serving, make sure to let the corn cool down to an appropriate temperature to avoid any discomfort or burns. And remember not to add too many additional ingredients or too much salt.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Corn?
Canned corn is another option for dogs. However, choose canned corn without any added seasonings, salt, sugar or preservatives.
These additives can be harmful to dogs and may cause digestive issues or sodium imbalances.
Always check the label and opt for plain, unsalted canned corn if you decide to share it with your pup … and choose organic when possible.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Husks?
No, dogs should not eat corn husks.
While dogs can eat the kernels of corn, it's essential to avoid feeding them corn husks and cobs.
The husks are indigestible and could cause gastrointestinal blockages. Dogs should only eat corn kernels.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?
No, it's not safe for dogs to eat corn cobs.
Corn cobs pose a significant risk of obstruction in a dog's digestive tract. Swallowing large pieces of corn cob can lead to serious health complications and may even require surgical removal.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Corn?
No, raw corn is not recommended for dogs. It can be challenging for them to digest and may cause digestive upset or discomfort.
Additionally, raw corn kernels can present a choking hazard, especially for small or brachycephalic breeds.
Bottom Line: It's best to stick to cooked or canned corn, and ensure that it’s minimally seasoned, when sharing this food with your canine companion.
Corn Benefits For Dogs: A Nutritious Addition?
First of all, always buy organic corn to avoid pesticides and herbicides.
Here are some corn benefits for dogs as long as it’s fed as part of a balanced diet.
- Fiber Content: Corn contains dietary fiber, which plays a crucial role in promoting healthy digestion for dogs. Adequate fiber intake can support regular bowel movements and help prevent constipation in your dog.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Corn contains various vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial for your dog's health. For example, vitamin B complex supports metabolism and overall well-being, while minerals like magnesium and phosphorus are important for bone health.
- Antioxidants: Corn also contains antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health. These antioxidants help protect the eyes from oxidative stress and may contribute to supporting your pup’s vision.
- Carbohydrates: This is a small caution. Corn is quite high in carbohydrates and natural sugars, with 21g of carbohydrates and nearly 5g of sugar per 3.5 oz serving. Dogs don’t need carbs, so you should only feed it in small amounts as a treat, not as part of your dog's regular diet.
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The Biggest Corn Risks For Dogs: Choking & Bowel Obstruction
Now that you know the benefits of corn for dogs, you should also know the biggest risks: choking and bowel obstruction.
That’s why dogs should never eat corn cobs or corn husks. While these parts aren’t toxic to dogs, they can still be dangerous and even deadly.
This is because corn cobs and husks are indigestible … meaning they won’t break down in your dog’s stomach. So even if your dog doesn’t choke on these things, they can cause bowel obstruction, which can lead to:
- Death (in severe cases)
That’s why if you’re going to share corn with your dog, you need to know how to do so safely.
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How To Feed Your Dog Corn Safely
First, always buy organic corn if you can. Corn is a big genetically modified (GMO) crop … so that means corn is often grown using toxic herbicides and pesticides. By selecting organic corn, you minimize potential risks associated with GMO crops. Organic corn is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms.
Obviously, you want to remove corn kernels from the cob before giving them to your dog. To be as safe as possible, any cobs should then be discarded into a trash can with a secure lid. This is the best way to prevent choking hazards.
Finally, remember that corn should never be a primary source of nutrition for your dog. It’s a nutritious addition to your pup’s diet, but only in appropriate amounts. A few kernels as a healthy snack or mixed into your dog’s regular meals is plenty for most dogs.
Follow these tips and your dog should have no problem enjoying a little corn safely!