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Is it OK to feed my dog corn on the cob?

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Corn Cobs - Photo credit: USDA

Corn Cobs

Photo credit: USDA (public domain)
Question: Is it OK to feed my dog corn on the cob?

Most people are aware of the dangers of pancreatitis when feeding pets a diet of table scraps that are high in fat (trimmings, gravy, etc.), especially pets who do not consume table scraps on a regular basis.

This FAQ addresses feeding pets corn on the cob, which may seem like a healthy alternative, but real dangers exist and this food item is not recommended for pets.

Answer: Many dogs love to chew on corn cobs - the taste of the salt, butter, and bits of corn, plus they are just fun to chew. Some dogs chew them up. Some dogs don't. Corn cobs can cause intestinal obstruction, a very serious (and potentially fatal) medical condition. Additionally, some dogs are sensitive to corn and can suffer intestinal effects from that as well as the physical obstruction.

It is wise to keep all cobs away from your dog, safely secured in the trash. Dogs can be very "creative" when they want something in the trash, so make sure that the garbage is emptied or otherwise access protected from your pet.

If you suspect your dog has eaten a cob (or any food or foreign material that they shouldn't have), please call your vet as soon as possible. The sooner, the better.

Signs seen with intestinal obstruction or partial obstruction may include:

  • vomiting or dry heaves
  • diarrhea (or straining)
  • not eating
  • painful abdomen
  • lethargy

Your vet will be able to advise you on the best course of action, be it watch-and-wait or be examined immediately.

Speak up: Do you have a summertime pet safety tip?

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