Can dogs eat sweetcorn? | Can Corn on The Cob Kill a Dog?

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Can dogs eat sweetcorn?

Many of us love a good, old, corn on the cob, especially when deliciously grilled on the BBQ. If you also own a dog, you may have noticed your pooch drooling at the smell of sweetcorn too and you are probably naturally wondering if it’s safe to give some corn to your four-legged friend. The answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. 

Technically, dogs can eat sweetcorn, however, they should never be allowed to eat the cob as it can be life-threatening. Read along to find out more information below. 

Dog carrying sweetcorn

Should dogs eat sweetcorn? 

Sweetcorn isn’t crucial to your dog’s diet, so your pooch won’t miss out on any health benefits if they don’t have sweetcorn. If you are feeding your four-legged buddy high-quality, nutritionally complete food, such as Bug Bakes, their dietary requirements will be covered by their main meals. We design a unique nutritional plan for every dog that eats our food to ensure that their dietary needs are fully met (10-day trials are available if you want to give it a try). 

That being said, the kernels of sweetcorn are delicious so your furry friend may actually enjoy it, in which case, it is safe to give them a handful of sweetcorn on a special occasion. However, remember that treats, such as sweetcorn, should be no more than 10% of your pup’s daily consumption. 

You may be tempted to feed your dog more corn if you see they particularly enjoy it but you shouldn’t as it can cause digestive problems. 

Is corn good for dogs?

Fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat are a good healthy treat option, as they are low in calories and rich in nutrients. The sweetcorn kernels can be too if given in very small quantities. Sweetcorn is a natural source of vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, and protein, and it can give your pooch a little energy boost for the day too. 

To be on the safe side, speak to your veterinarian about feeding your dog sweetcorn before you introduce it to their diet to make sure that your furry friend doesn't have any allergies or other health issues that would make eating sweetcorn dangerous for them. 

Can corn on the cob kill a dog?

Yes, while the kernel is perfectly safe to eat, ingesting the cob can be a serious life-threatening emergency. First, the cob is a choking hazard and if stuck in your dog’s throat it can cause suffocation. 

Second, once ingested, the cob does not break down in your dog’s digestive tract, so it can cause serious internal organ damage. If you suspect that your dog may have eaten a corn cob, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

If you spot any of those, call your doctor immediately and ask them for advice. 

corn on the cob - can dogs eat

What to do if your dog eats corn on the cob?

As we mentioned above, the first step is to always call your veterinarian and tell them what’s going on. Make a note of any symptoms and how long after eating sweetcorn they appeared. 

Your doctor will likely ask you to come to their clinic. The cob is considered a ‘foreign body’ and it may have to be removed surgically. Your dog will undergo a full physical examination potentially followed by a number of diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, blood tests or an ultrasound scan. 

As removing the cob may require an invasive surgical procedure, your dog may be put under general anaesthetic. If your dog’s intestine has sustained serious damage, a part of it may need to be removed. 

In less severe cases, if the cob isn’t found to be an immediate threat, your doctor may decide to try a non-invasive approach and wait for the cob to pass naturally. Your dog will also be given medication and your doctor will likely want to monitor them closely in case the situation changes and a surgical procedure is needed.

If the cob passes on its own, your dog will need some time to recover. This may include switching to a special doctor-ordered diet, staying hydrated and a lot of rest.

How to serve sweetcorn to your dog?

As you can imagine, the first rule is to always remove the cob. After that, it’s straightforward - you can offer the sweetcorn kernels however you like - on their own or as a tasty addition to a meal. 

Another thing to remember is to never add butter, salt or any other seasoning to the sweetcorn you give your pooch. For example, you can boil frozen sweetcorn until cooked the same way you would do for yourself but take away their portion before you season the veggies for yourself. 

sweetcorn - can dogs eat

Can dogs eat canned sweetcorn?

Canned sweetcorn isn’t recommended for dogs as it contains high levels of sugar so eating too much can make your pooch feel dehydrated and even cause sodium poisoning. Plus, canned corn doesn’t have the same nutritional value as fresh corn does, so it’s always best to stick to fresh. 

Can dogs eat popcorn?

Plain popcorn is not harmful to dogs but if you pop a bag of delicious butter-covered salty popcorn to enjoy in front of the telly, you should not share this with your four-legged buddy. Additional seasoning, whether it’s butter, salt, sugar or another flavour can upset your dog’s stomach and contribute to weight gain. 

Also, similarly to fresh corn, popcorn should only be fed to dogs in small quantities. Make sure that the kernel is fully popped otherwise it could stick to your pup’s teeth or throat posing a choking hazard. 

Can dogs eat BBQ-ed corn? 

Roasted, lightly charred corn is delicious and there is a good chance your pooch will enjoy the flavour too. However, you’ll have to take the time to scrape the kernels of the sweetcorn off the cob before giving them to your dog to avoid them swallowing the cob by mistake. 

To recap, yes, dogs can eat sweetcorn but corn on the cob is dangerous, so always remove the cob before feeding your dog sweetcorn. 
To learn more about the fruits and vegetable dogs can eat, check out our other Can dogs eat? articles below: 

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