Can Dogs Eat Corn? Is It Safe?

Written by Austin S.
Updated: July 6, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Frankenvrij
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Corn is one of the most common summertime foods. It is relatively inexpensive and a common ingredient in many foods.

Food items such as corn, on and off the cob, are usually the summertime staples. And with a lot of varieties available for corn servings, there is a chance that your dog would be jonzing for a taste of the meal as well.

So, the question for most dog owners is— can dogs eat corn? Is it safe to feed my pooch corn? In this article, we will be sharing with you how to safely feed your dog corn, the benefits, and the risk involved.

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Think You Can?

Can Your Dog Eat Corn?

Yes, you can feed your dog corn (off the cob) in small or moderate quantities. Corn is one of the most popular cereal grains you can get for your dog.

Corn contains a reasonable amount of several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your dog. Many veterinarians recommend it. Corn can be added as part of a balanced diet in your dog’s meal.

However, it would be best if you only feed your dog corn in moderate quantities. Corn is high in carbs and, if given in excess, can make your dog prone to being overweight.

Also, you should confirm if your canine friend is not allergic to corn before feeding it. 

Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Corn

Corn as part of your dog meal isn’t just a filler. It has nutritional value for your dog. Corn contains the following nutrients:

High in Carbs and Fiber

Corn contains a high quantity of carbs which makes energy available for your dogs. It is also high in fibers which aid food digestion and help in weight loss.

However, do not feed your dog excess corn. The high fructose sugar found in corn carbs can cause obesity if present in excess quantities in your dog. Also, fibers aid digestion, but itself isn’t digested rapidly. Feeding your dog excess can predispose it to gastrointestinal upset.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Corn contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Corn is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your dog cells from free radicals that can cause inflammation in your dog.

Vitamin A as carotenoids are also present in high amounts, and this is good for your dog’s eyes. It also prevents lens damage. Corn also contains a smaller amount of other vitamins like Vitamin B, E, and K.

Minerals like potassium and magnesium are also present in moderate quantities in corn—these minerals aid proper metabolism and energy production for your dog.

Contains Protein and Amino Acids

Proteins and amino acids are available in moderate quantities in corn. They help in the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, muscle growth, and repair of tissues in your furry friend.

Linoleic Acid

Corn contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, and is considered an essential nutrient because canines cannot produce it on their own. Therefore, for canines to obtain this nutrient, they need to consume it in their diet. Linoleic acid helps in the maintenance of a healthy immune system, coat, and skin repairs.

Is Corn on the Cob Safe for Your Dogs?

Do not give your dog corn on the cob. There is a risk that your canine friend will choke on it while trying to get the corn for itself. And it can cause intestinal blockage if accidentally ingested.

It is not recommended to leave your dog to gnaw on corn cobs. It is dangerous to its health. You should ensure proper disposal of all corn cobs even after feeding your dog the corn.

dog looking at corncob
When feeding your dog corn, be careful not to let them eat the cob itself, which can cause choking and intestinal, blockage.

iStock.com/RobertoDavid

What About:

Popcorn?

Popcorn, if unsalted and unbuttered, is considered safe for your dogs. The plain, light and natural air-popped popcorn is a delicious treat for your dog. It is high in fiber, and the additional carbs give your pup extra energy.

However, a bucket of popcorn containing salt, butter, and other flavors is not safe for your dog to consume. The flavors and added ingredients can upset your dog’s stomach.

If you decide to feed your dog some plain popcorn, watch out for kernels that are not completely popped. Make sure all kernels you’re sharing with your pup are fully popped. 

Kernels that are not fully popped are not digestible, and they can cause gastrointestinal discomfort for your dog. After feeding your dog popcorn, always check their teeth to remove the pop stuck between them. These can cause tooth decay and gum disease if left in their teeth.

Sweet Corn?

Sweet corn has high sugar content. They are harvested at an earlier stage than the regular corn. Sweet corn is quite starchy because of the high carbohydrates present in it. It can be difficult to digest if eaten in excess. 

So, sweet corn is not dangerous to your dog, provided you feed it in small amounts and not regularly.

Cornflour?

You can safely add cornflour to your dog’s meal. Cornflour is gluten-free but doesn’t add much nutritional value to your dog’s meal. It is used as a thickener in the production of some dog foods. You can also use it if you are trying to prepare a treat for your dog.

Canned Corn?

In moderate quantities, canned corn is safe for your dog’s consumption. It consists of kernels already taken off the cob and preserved. It would be best if you didn’t feed your corn excess canned corn because of the preservatives.

Frozen Corn?

Yes, you can feed your dog frozen corn. Frozen corn, if appropriately prepared, tastes like fresh corn, and it contains fewer calories than canned and fresh corn. Frozen corn is small and bite-sized. Your dog shouldn’t have any problem munching on it.

However, monitor your dog to ensure it doesn’t choke when swallowing.

Corn Nuts?

Corn Nuts are not considered a healthy treat for your dog. It is a processed food that has been deep-fried and seasoned. The seasoning may contain onion powder and garlic salt, which is toxic to your dog’s health.

Corn Husks?

Similar to the skin of any fruit or known vegetables, corn husks can be pretty difficult to digest. Yes, dogs can eat corn husks if left without supervision. But it is not recommended to allow your canine friend to eat corn husks. Corn husks have no nutritional benefits and, if ingested, can cause bloating in your dog.

Corn Chips?

If you can get unseasoned corn chips, you can safely give your dog one or two bites. Please do not give your dog seasoned chips; they might contain garlic which is toxic to your dog’s health. Corn chips are usually full of fats and oils. It is not recommended.

Kettle Corn?

No, do not feed your dog kettle corn. Kettle corn is the hard and sweet popcorn kernels. It can cause stomach upset. Generally, added sugar is not considered healthy for your dog, and kettle corn contains some.

Corn Flakes?

Yes, you can go ahead and feed your dog some corn flakes. However, don’t make it a regular treat.

dog with popcorn
Dogs can eat popcorn, but stay away from the salted and buttered varieties.

iStock.com/rfranca

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests Corn Cob?

Corn cos is dangerous to the health of your dog if ingested. They can also get stuck during ingestion and cause blockage causing severe discomfort for your dog.

There are indicators that suggest that your dog might have ingested the cob without your knowledge.

These are:

  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea.

It would be best to take your dog to a veterinarian for assistance immediately after you notice any of these symptoms.

And if the cob is stuck in your dog’s throat, your vet will need to surgically remove the corn cob to save your dog’s life and ease the discomfort.

Conclusion

To answer the initial question— can dogs eat corn? Yes, dogs can safely eat corn. Off-the-cob corn and fully popped plain popcorn are the most recommended option if you want to feed your canine friend some corn. 

However, it is recommended that you consult your vet before feeding your dog any new treat.

In the interim, here is a list of a few “human foods” that can serve as treats and are considered safe for your dog’s consumption

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.