4 min read

Can Dogs Eat Corn?


By Tim Falk

Published: 07/14/2021, edited: 08/10/2021

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Published: 7/14/2021

Hands up if you love tucking into corn on the cob for a delicious summer snack! Even the mere mention of this sweet yellow treat is enough to get many a stomach rumbling. But if you want to share some corn with your canine pal, should you? Can dogs eat corn?

The answer is yes, dogs can eat corn when it’s off the cob. However, they should only ever be given corn in moderation, and should never be given corn on the cob due to the risk of it being a choking hazard or causing an intestinal blockage.

For more details, keep reading to find out how to let your dog eat corn safely.

The lowdown on corn: what you need to know

Corn, or maize, is one of those foods that refuses to be pigeonholed. While corn kernels are considered to be whole grains, corn can also be classed as a starchy vegetable. And if you look at things from a botanical point of view, corn can be classed as a fruit, too — which we can all agree is just plain confusing. 

Humans first cultivated corn as a food source in Mexico somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago. Today, this versatile ingredient is used in everything from cereals to popcorn, tortillas, chips, and oil.

Of course, the variety we’re most familiar with is sweet corn, but did you know that corn isn’t necessarily yellow? There are also red, blue, white, purple, and a range of other colors available in the corn family.

Corn is high in fiber, which helps to ensure healthy digestion, and is also a rich source of carbohydrates. B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and a number of antioxidants are also present in corn, so it offers a wide range of nutritional benefits as well as a delicious taste.

Can dogs eat corn?

OK, now that you know a little more about this famous vegetable/grain, it’s time to take a closer look at the question, "Is corn safe for dogs to eat?" Happily, corn is safe for dogs to eat.

Provided the corn is off the cob and you only ever give it to your dog in moderation, there’s no reason why your pooch can’t enjoy a snack of corn from time to time. Even better, many dogs love the taste of corn, so it’s perfect as an occasional treat and can be used as a topper too.

What health benefits does corn provide to dogs?

Corn may offer a range of nutritional benefits for us, but what about for our dogs? After all, some people criticize its use in dog food as a filler that doesn’t provide much in the way of nutritional value — so are they right?

The truth is that corn can provide some health benefits for our furry friends. It’s a good source of fiber, which promotes proper digestion and a healthy gut, and also provides protein, carbs, and antioxidants. It may not be an essential part of any dog’s diet, but it’s certainly far from the worst thing that dogs can eat.

Can dogs eat popcorn?

If you can feed your dog corn, you might be wondering whether it’s safe to let your pooch tuck into some popcorn. Once again the answer is yes, dogs can eat popcorn, but with a couple of caveats.

The popcorn must not be salted or buttered, and mustn’t feature any other added flavors or seasonings. Plain popcorn is the way to go, and provided your dog only eats pieces that have completely “popped”, it can be a tasty treat to let your dog eat from time to time.

Can dogs eat canned corn?

The answer to this question is once again yes, dogs can eat canned corn. But it’s also important to make sure that the can contains corn only, and no added salt or oils. Excess sodium poses health risks to our canine pals, so read the label closely before deciding whether it’s safe to give any canned corn to your pup.

Are there any risks of feeding corn to my dog?

Just because dogs can eat corn doesn’t mean it’s a completely safe food. There are a few risks you should be aware of before letting your pup chow down on some corn:

  • Choking hazard. If you’re thinking of giving your dog corn on the cob, think again. Your dog might be tempted to wolf the whole thing down in one go, and the cob could potentially be a choking hazard.

  • Could cause an intestinal blockage. Another reason why you should never give your dog corn on the cob is that it can cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed. This can be a serious problem, so seek urgent veterinary attention if your dog starts showing any symptoms of an intestinal obstruction.

  • Must be unsalted. If you like to add salt to corn when cooking, you won’t be able to share this delicious veggie with your pup. Too much salt can cause dehydration, illness, and even death for dogs, so it’s not recommended for your furry friend.

  • Make sure it hasn’t been seasoned. It’s also important that you never give your dog corn that has been cooked in any sort of seasoning or oil that may be unsafe for dogs to consume. So if you’re thinking of sharing any corn off your plate with your dog, make sure it hasn’t been prepared with anything that could be toxic to dogs.

  • Only in moderation. Corn should be considered a treat for dogs, so it should only ever be fed in small amounts. The general recommendation is that treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. 

But as long as you avoid giving your pooch corn on the cob, and always make sure the corn you feed has been prepared correctly, it’s fine for your dog to eat corn kernels as an occasional snack. A tasty summer snack that you and your dog can enjoy together — what’s not to love about that?

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