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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat corn?

Yes, but only plain and in small amounts.

While you and your family feast, it’s easy to feel like you should share with your dog, but the type of corn you like may not be best for your pup.

Whether or not you feed your dog corn should depend on what type of corn it is, whether it’s fresh or canned and how it was prepared. You should also talk with your vet before introducing any new foods to your pup to make sure they’re safe for your individual pet.

Is corn safe for dogs?

Corn is an OK treat for dogs, but it must be served plain without seasonings, like onions, garlic or other added ingredients, and in small amounts. That means you should skip any salsas, salads or other dishes that may have corn in them.  

“There’s concern with the fact that corn is a starch,” Dr. Hannah Gawf, DVM, a veterinarian at Jones Animal Health Clinic in Missouri, says. “It's a complex carbohydrate that's broken down essentially into sugars, which can have adverse effects in large quantities. Although corn isn't one of those other foods with direct toxicity effects.”

Small quantities of corn is fine as a treat, but it shouldn’t be a large portion of your dog’s entire diet. Too much corn can lead to obesity or an upset stomach in dogs.

“The best way of putting it is that everyone wants to give their dog love by feeding them table scraps or what they’re eating. In reality, you should give love by taking care of your dog from a health standpoint and making sure they don't develop diabetes and obesity,” Dr. Gawf says. “Otherwise, corn is an ingredient in a lot of dog food and that's OK.”

RELATED: Can dogs eat carrots?

Can dogs eat corn on the cob?

Even though corn may be a good occasional treat, dogs should never eat corn directly off the cob because of the possibility of choking and intestinal blockage if the cob is swallowed. For the same reason, you shouldn’t give your dog a corn cob to chew on. 

Is there a better alternative to corn that you can give your dog?

When considering what types of food you can give your dog as a treat, it’s best to stick with plain-and-bland snacks to minimize any possibility of health issues. You should also consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.

“Low-sodium green beans are one thing that I like to recommend because they’re low in salt,” Dr. Gawf says. “You can even rinse them off to decrease any additional additives they may have in them or on them. You can keep a can in the fridge, and they're little bite-sized pieces that you can give them as a treat that are pretty harmless.”

Happy snacking

We’re confident that corn isn't the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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