Is It OK to Feed My Dog Corn on the Cob?

Don't expose your pet to this obstruction risk

Dog climbing on picnic table with potato chips and corn on the cob
Tod Warnock/Photodisc/Getty Images

Most people are aware of the dangers of pancreatitis when feeding pets a diet of table scraps that are high in fat, especially pets who do not consume table scraps on a regular basis. Feeding pets corn on the cob may seem like a healthy low-fat alternative, but giving it to your dog is not recommended.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?

Many dogs love to chew on corn cobs—they taste of salt, butter and bits of corn, plus they are fun to chew.

Some dogs chew them up; some dogs don't. However, real dangers exist and corn cobs are not recommended for pets. Corn cobs can cause intestinal obstruction, a serious and potentially fatal medical condition. Additionally, some dogs are sensitive to corn and can suffer intestinal effects from their sensitivity in addition to the physical obstruction.

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

If you suspect your dog has eaten a cob or any other food or foreign material it shouldn't have, call your vet right away. The sooner, the better.

Signs of Intestinal or Partial Obstruction With Corn Cobs

If you aren't sure whether your dog has eaten a corn cob, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Dry heaves
  • Diarrhea (or straining)

If you see any of these symptoms, contact your vet, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action—be it to watch and wait or to schedule an immediate examination.