Whether you are having a barbecue in the backyard and grilling corn as a side dish or getting ready to enjoy a buttery corn on the cob snack, your dog is, as usual, giving you those irresistible puppy-dog eyes. So what do you do? Normally, you give in and let him have a bite of that delicious treat. But have you ever wondered if corn is actually good for your pup? Let’s look at the reasons your dog is better off not eating corn and what alternatives you have in case he loves the flavor too much.
The Root of the Behavior
Is corn good for dogs? Many people consider this type of food to be completely harmless, but in reality, corn should never become a regular part of your dog's diet. First of all, corn is not an entirely natural ingredient although it is often found in dog foods… cheap dog foods. Cited as an excellent source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals, corn has easily made its way to becoming a pet food bag favorite, because it’s an inexpensive grain compared to meat and quality protein. Even if you feed your dog human foods, it probably has some kind of corn product in it. There are a lot of people who believe that the cause for many health problems in dogs is due to certain ingredients that can be found in store-bought products. While corn can be a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, and antioxidants, the conditions of growth and the way you cook it will also affect how nutritious it will be.
One of the most dangerous types of corn for your dog is corn-on-the-cob. The reason is that, unlike most vegetables, corn on the cob can’t be digested in a dog’s stomach. Which means that it can cause serious intestinal blockages or fatal bowel obstructions. Your pup’s body is not able to break down the corn cob, and as a result, it gets stuck in the intestines. If your dog has accidentally eaten a corn cob, they will likely begin to show symptoms of a blockage within a short period of time. Some of the symptoms include vomiting, listlessness, abdominal tenderness or pain, lack of appetite, trouble defecating, constipation, and behavioral changes such as biting or growling when picked up. Normally, corn is relatively safe in moderate amounts, however, you need to always be around to make sure he or she hasn’t eaten the cob.
Encouraging the Behavior
So what happens if your pup eats corn on the cob? You should treat the situation as an emergency. Whether he has swallowed the corn cob or the core, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. Apart from being able to cause a blockage in your dog’s stomach, the sharp edges of the cob might tear the delicate lining of the intestines. Once you arrive at the vet, they will most likely induce vomiting or pump the stomach in order to have the corn cob come out that way. And the sooner you get there, the better.
The idea is to not let your pup end up in such a dreadful situation, so pay attention to what and how much he’s eating. If you still want to give him some type of corn, consider sweet corn as a better alternative. Although it’s rather starchy and hard to digest, sweet corn is not dangerous at all. The same goes for canned corn and corn kernels. These are just some of the things you can do to keep your doggie safe and sound. Just remember that corn should not make up any large part of an adult dogs diet, much less that of a puppy.
Other Solutions and Considerations
An even better alternative to store-bought dog food that contain corn as part of their ingredients is to prepare your own home cooked dog food for your furry best friend. This way, you can include the proper amount of corn into his meal, while retaining all the necessary nutrients for his daily diet. Fresh vegetables are usually cheaper than canned or frozen ones, and they have more vitamins, so consider this option next time you’re in the mood for some good ol’ fashioned home cooking. Even if you don’t cook for your dog full-time, you can still do it on occasion and provide him with a healthy alternative to commercially-produced dog food.
It is natural that you want to share your favorite food with your pup, however, what might be good for us is not always the right choice for them. Such is the case with corn. While your pup can normally eat most forms of corn without danger, there are some types of corn you should definitely keep him away from. Most of all, make sure he receives a varied and balanced diet.