Tony Reeves

Medically Reviewed By

Piet Hellemans, DVM
Veterinarian & Veterinary Consultant

Have you ever thought about feeding your dog feeding cooked, barbecued, or popped corn? Are they safe? What nutritional value does it add to their diet? Let us explore.

What is the difference between corn and sweet corn?

Sweet corn or sugar corn contains high sugar hence the name, its light yellow in color and the kernels are plump. It is another variety of field corn that is harvested while immature.

On the other hand, field corn is dark yellow and is left to dry and mature where the sugar converts to starch. Hence more suitable for animal fodder, ethanol production, and more.

Is corn or sweet corn good for dogs?

Yes, corn and sweetcorn are good for dogs. Dogs can eat corn kernels as a treat, food topping, or can be mixed with other cooked vegetables and rice as long your dog is not allergic to corn.

Since sweet corn contains high sugar, it is good to keep a check on serving size and frequency of including corn in their diet.

Can dogs eat canned corn?

Canned corn may not be a good choice for dogs, as it could contain high levels of sodium. Dogs cannot tolerate sodium and could lead to salt toxicity or dehydrate them.

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Can dogs eat barbecued sweetcorn? 

Feeding barbecued corn on the cob is not good for dogs. It can be extremely dangerous as they will not be able to digest whole cobs or even chunks. 

However innocently your dog looks at you, never give barbecued corn to them. If they still insist, barbecue corn without adding salt or seasoning, gently remove the kernels from the cob, and feed your dog in moderate quantities. Corn kernels do not harm a dog’s digestive system.

Can dogs eat corn cobs?

Strictly no! Cobs don’t digest in a dog’s stomach. Feeding corn on the cob leads to gastrointestinal obstruction.

What to do if your dog ate a corn cob?

Take them to the vet immediately. A medical examination would be necessary to assess your dog’s intestinal health. 

Swallowing a corn cob could lead to intestinal blockage in dogs. In extreme cases, dogs might need surgery to get it removed and restore gut health.

Since corn cob tends to block or obstruct other food or liquid moving through your dog’s gut,  most dogs will show signs of vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea if they have swallowed corn cob.

Can dogs eat popcorn? 

Yes, it is perfectly safe for dogs to eat plain popcorn. Do not add fat, (butter, cheese), salt, or any other human seasoning. 

When you are popping corn for your pet at home, ensure that all the kernels get popped. Dogs cannot digest corn grain / unpopped corn and could develop an upset stomach and even dental issues when corn gets caught in their teeth.

Most importantly, keep control of quantity and frequency. Too much popcorn could make your dog gain more weight. In case your pet has any food allergies, it is always good to consult your vet before giving them popcorn.

Does corn have any nutritive value in dog nutrition?

A combination of home-cooked food, raw diets, and branded pet food including vegetables, fruits, and animal products ( meat, fish, eggs, dairy products), is necessary to provide them a complete balanced diet.

In this regard, the contribution of corn to your dog’s diet are:

  • Carbohydrates, Potassium, Protein, Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Fiber, and Thiamine. 
  • Its essential fatty acids help maintain healthy skin and coat.
  • Natural antioxidants like Betacarotene, vitamin E, and lutein prevent cancer risks, arthritis, and slows the aging process. 

study concludes that corn included in pet foods can help regular elimination and promotes palatability.

Is corn bad for dogs?

Most commercial dog foods contain corn and are therefore safe for dogs. The concern about the corn starch content in pet food is for dogs that are allergic to corn. Hence, pet owners must carefully check for ingredients in the label and avoid them if not suitable.

On the other hand, feeding too much dry food without including vegetables, fruits, meat or dairy products, home-cooked meals, etc is also not a good approach. Your dog might not be able to meet its daily nutritional requirement.

Since corn has high amounts of sugar and fatty acids, it is best recommended to include them in moderation. Corn promotes weight gain hence it affects old, inactive, or dogs with movement-related conditions.

How to safely feed corn to dogs?

You can feed both raw and cooked corn as a treat or topping in a meal.

  • You can feed raw corn after removing the kernels (sweet corn or field corn).
  • Feed boiled kernels without adding salt or any human-use seasoning.
  • Cook corn kernels along with rice and other vegetables in a home-cooked meal.

David is our expert for all things concerning CBD and your four-legged friends. Animals often need special attention and care and that's David’s specialty, but he’s also an expert in all CBD topics, so whatever your question, he's happy to help.

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