Can dogs eat corn? The answer to this question causes a bit of controversy due to the fact some people say yes, dogs can eat corn – in fact corn is mixed into many brands of dog food kibble. Therefore surely it must be safe?
However, Others say dogs should stay away from corn. The reason it is used as a dog food mix is due to the fact it is a cheap ingredient. It offers no health benefits and is only used to bulk up the kibble.
So which explanation is correct? Let’s take a look.
Can Dogs Eat Corn – The Apposing Views
One explanation for corn being labelled as bad for dogs, is the view that more expensive dog food brands, that do not use cheap and widely available corn as an ingredient, need a differentiation for their higher priced kibble.
In other words, by stating corn is unhealthy for dogs they are able to justify why their brand is the one to go for. They manufacture dog food with superior ingredients therefore caring, responsible owners should opt to buy that particular product.
Is there any science behind this however? Well the facts do support the higher priced brands to a degree – there is very little empirical evidence to support the view that corn is bad for dogs, however it is a lower quality ingredient.
The highly reputable website – Dog Food Advisor, explored the myths of corn for dogs in an interesting article that you can read here.
Can dogs eat Corn – Dog Food Kibble Mix
The findings of the research Dog Food Advisor carried out let, basically culminated in the following.
While corn within dog food does make it more inexpensive to produce, (by replacing the bulk of the kibble with a cheaper ingredients than say meats), this does not pose any significant health issues. To quote DFA:
“Kibble (containing corn) is simply inexpensive fast food for dogs. And that’s OK. Because corn doesn’t just save money for manufacturers. It also makes dog food more affordable for pet owners, too.”
Where the argument becomes problematic is when dog food brands try to advertise that corn is included for nutritional benefits, this “is misleading — and a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”
While it is okay for dog food to contain corn, health benefits should not be exaggerated.
Can Dogs Eat Corn – Separate from Kibble
So what if you are looking to offer a little bit of corn on the cob to your dog? We’re not talking about dog food mix here, but the kind of corn that would appear on your own plate.
The fact is, feeding a little bit of cooked corn to your dog is not going to cause them any harm. It would be best to give bits that are not covered in butter or salt, but scraping a few kernels into the bowl on occasion is fine.
Can Dogs Eat Corn – Precautions
For safety you shouldn’t give your dog the entire cob, as this could potentially cause a throat or intestinal obstruction. With the former, your dog could quite literally choke to death, an intestinal blockage on the other hand would cause a great deal of stomach pain, and even require surgery if the offending cob was to lodge itself further within your dog’s colon. Both outcomes should naturally be avoided at all costs.
Also, be wary when throwing away corn cobs in the bin. Most dog’s end up getting into the trash from time to time, you don’t want to come home to a kitchen full of litter, and a dog ill from eating corn cob, and whatever else he may have sniffed out while you were 5 minutes with your back turned.
Another precaution to bare in mind is that corn does contain high levels of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates develop to into fats if not burned through sufficient exercise, meaning your dog could become overweight if he eats too much corn with out the balanced healthy lifestyle to go with it.
So it seems that expensive dog food brands do have a valid point in differentiating themselves from other brands that choose to use cheaper, lower quality ingredients such as corn.
While corn does not pose any health risks to your dog, the lack of nutritional benefit, (when compared to other types of food you can choose to feed canines) means it is doing very little other than momentarily satisfying the appetite.
Corn from your plate is fine, but just make sure you get rid of that hard to swallow cob first.