The Truth About Corn For Dogs

cooked corn kernels

Whether canines can or can’t eat corn safely is a topic of much controversy, especially when you go online and search for the topic.

It’s often said and advised that you avoid feeding your pooch any dog food that has a significant amount of corn in it because this degrades the quality of that food, while others have another opinion on this subject.

The Debate About Corn For Dogs

And, given the fact that corn is a grain that’s very commonly used in dog food products of many (and I mean MANY) companies, the controversy is nothing surprising.

How could it not be the subject of such huge controversy when corn is such an everyday ingredient for so many people around the world?

On one side of the debate, you have folks that consider corn to be just like any other human food out there that’s suitable for canines to eat, while on the other side of the debate you have folks that consider corn to be a “devil” that should never be given to dogs for consumption.

People who claim that corn is bad for dogs will tell you that these high profile companies are only trying to sell you on their food by saying that corn is good for canines.

On the other hand, people who claim that corn is good for dogs will tell you that the bashing of corn is way out of proportion and will claim that corn is actually very beneficial to your pooch in certain circumstances, such as when they’re constipated.

Which side of the story should you believe?

As always, there’s a bit of truth to the two tales, so this article is all you need to set the record straight and let you in on all the details you have to know before feeding your buddy any corn, or any dog food or treat that contains corn as part of its ingredients list.

Can Dogs Have Corn?

In general, YES canines can eat corn safely. Even though there’s no real need or benefit to feed your pup any corn, you still technically can feed them corn without them becoming sick from it or poisoned because of it (i.e corn is not toxic to dogs).

corn cob

Assuming your pet isn’t allergic to corn and you ideally have your veterinarian’s approval about their system’s ability to properly process and digest corn, you’re good to go.

Corn is present in a wide variety of dog food and many different brands use it, so chances are you are already feeding them some corn without you necessarily knowing about it.

So, corn in and of itself is in no way toxic or poisonous to canines.

However, you have to know about and watch out for some important stuff when it comes to feeding your dog corn, especially the cob which we will be talking about in just a few moments.

If it’s safe, is corn good for dogs? Are there any nutritional benefits?

As you’ll be seeing in this article as you read on, feeding your dog corn isn’t going to do them any good (but also won’t do them any specific harm as long as you feed it to them in controlled amounts).

This means that there are many other food choices out there for you to choose from that will actually do your pup good if what you’re looking for is feeding them corn as a treat or a reward.

How Can Dogs Eat Corn?

The best way to feed your dog corn is to boil some fresh kernels, not canned, and feed them to your furry friend, always un-buttered and un-salted.

It’s very important that you keep the quantity to a bare minimum (a few pieces at most), because if they eat too much corn all at once, they’re bound to get painful stomach aches.

You never want to feed your pooch corn that is contained within other foods, like tortillas or chips for example, because these will often contain dressings and toppings like garlic and onion, both of which can be deadly to dogs.

With all of that being said, our recommendation is that you don’t try to feed your dog corn by yourself, because they’re already getting enough of this grain from the commercial food formula you’re feeding them.

Unless you’re spending top dollar on some of the best dog food brands that go out of their way to include only the best of the best ingredients for your pooch (and charge you every extra penny for what they’re giving you, while at it), then chances are the brand you’re feeding your dog already has enough corn in it that’s being consumed by them.

Why Is Corn Bad For Dogs?

The crowd that says that corn is bad for canines mainly does so for many reasons, most important of which are:

Digestibility Issues

Corn can most of the times be very hard to digest.

Cheap Filler Calories

Corn is just that, cheap filler calories used in products by dog food manufacturers that want to save up on costs during the manufacturing process and increase their bottom line, and doesn’t provide any worthy nutrients or minerals of value to dogs that should be mentioned.

hungry dog with food

Many food manufacturing companies are able to sacrifice a little bit of protein content in their food (99% of the times in some form of expensive meat) and substitute it for corn, all for saving up on costs and without having sales being effected.

A dream come true for many business owners, wouldn’t you think so?

This is why we always advocate against dog food brands that make significant use of corn in their products on this website.

If you were to run a quick check on some very popular dog food products and read up on some customer reviews online, you’ll notice that any formula that contains significant amounts of corn in it always gets slammed in reviews because of this specific point.


According to the anti-corn for canines crowd, corn (and other similar “filler grains” found in commercial dog food nowadays) is widely responsible for a whole lot of food allergies that pets are increasingly suffering from.

Not Full Of Fiber

People who are all for feeding their animals corn tend to argue that one of the benefits of doing this is that their dogs get high amounts of dietary fiber from the corn they eat, which ultimately helps out any pup that’s suffering from constipation, big time.

That’s not really the case, because if you were to compare a portion that’s worth 100 calories from corn to a portion that’s worth 100 calories from the majority of other fruits or vegetables out there, practically all of the other fruits and vegetables will beat corn in a landslide as far as fiber is concerned.

Try comparing yourself with a simple search online, you’ll see this first hand.

And, as far as helping out constipated canines is concerned, remember that corn isn’t the easiest of foods for them to digest.

Your pooch’s body takes a significant amount of time to properly digest the corn they eat, something which is completely the opposite of what you want happening when your dog is constipated, which is them eating something that’s easy to digest and that can “get the ball rolling”.

Can Dogs Eat Corn On The Cob?

When it comes to what dogs love to do, chewing on corn cobs could very possibly be one of the top items on their list.

But is it any good if they do so, especially with all the salt and butter that are present on the cobs? “Can dogs eat corn cobs?”, you ask.

The plain and simple answer to this question is NO, canines can’t eat corn cobs.

If you give your dog a corn cob to chew, there’s no guarantee that they won’t chew and swallow the cob in its entirety, and this could result in intestinal obstruction, which is a reason for many dog fatalities around the world.

Learn more about intestinal obstruction in this video:

So, you should dispose of all corn cobs and make sure they’re somewhere your pet can’t possible reach, because if you make it easy for them to find them while unsupervised, they will sniff around, find and eat them.

If you think or know that your dog has eaten a corn cob, you have to immediately tell your veterinarian about it so they tell you what immediate action you have to take on the spot.

The more time you take to react to this situation, the worse their chances of survival are.

Here are some common signs that canines show when they suffer from intestinal obstruction:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weakness and lethargy


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