Some dogs love the taste of corn on the cob, but it’s a tasty treat that is not safe for a dog to eat. Many pet owners feel that it is okay for a dog too much on, but while corn itself isn’t dangerous for your pet, the cob can cause a lot of trouble to your furry friend.
Should a Dogs Eat Corn on the Cob?
Dogs also love the taste of corn and the salt and butter that remains on the cob. This is why they love to chew on a corn cob, but the truth is that it can actually lead to gastrointestinal obstructions. The highest risk is in small and medium-sized dogs.
It’s not uncommon for a dog to eat off large portions of the cob or even gulp down the whole cob. This can lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction or injury since a dog can’t fully break down the cob and the size of the cob is typically too big to pass through the rest of his gastrointestinal tract. With the risk of a gastrointestinal injury, you will see medium and small dogs affected the most although a large dog can also be affected.
It can also cause a choking hazard, and, if it does pass, it will come through almost intact along with his poop. Both blockages and choking are serious issues and could be life-threatening conditions. So, it’s important that dogs are not given corncobs to eat or chew on.
How Dangerous is it for a Dog to Eat a Corn Cob?
What makes a corn cob so dangerous and risky for a dog to eat? The actual corn cob is not toxic to a dog and neither is the corn. The cob is made of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin that are all substances you will find in the walls of a plant cell. Dogs eat plants all the time, which are actually an integral part of any healthy dietary fiber. However, they should be consumed in a moderate amount since they promote healthy digestion as well as adequate intestinal motility.
But hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin can be hard to digest particularly if they are consumed in a larger quantity. When they are eaten in large amounts, they can overwhelm the gastrointestinal tract leading to digestive upsets. And corn cobs contain a substantial amount of these same substances.
Corn cobs are also super absorbent. So much so that they have several industrial applications such as the cleanup of oil spills in water as well as environmentally friendly poison for a rat, where instead of being toxic the cob will trigger deadly dehydration.
This same principle that is used on rats will also apply to a dog. Mainly, when the cob is inside the dog’s intestines, it will absorb water and cause local dehydration. When you have intestines that are dehydrated, they will be more prone to becoming blocked, which is the other danger with a corn cob.
Finally, corn cob is super abrasive, which is another feature that has an industrial application. Used in the production of cleaners for industrial purposes, these cleaners are used for cleaning buildings, but if they are ingested, they can damage the gastrointestinal system. Overall, corn cob is dangerous for a dog because it is abrasive, indigestible, and absorbent.
When Do Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?
Typically, the reason a dog will be eating a corn cob is probably that he found one in the trash, on the table, or on the countertop. Since there is plenty of information available, especially online, regarding the dangers of feeding a corn cob to a dog, we hope that there aren’t many dog owners that would actually feed one to their dog. Remember that not every corn cob ingestion is the same, some are less concerning than others, but there are typically more cases that can be an issue to a dog’s health.
Dog Swallowing Corn Cobs Versus Chewing Corn Cobs
Whether your dog has swallowed or chewed a corn cob will determine if he is fine or if he needs to be taken to an urgent veterinary care facility. If he has only chewed the cob, the risk is minimized in comparison to those that can occur if he swallowed the cob, which can have a potentially life-threatening consequence. A swallowed corn cob will typically become stuck in his small intestines. Keep in mind that if he has stolen a cob out of the garage, you may not know if he has chewed or gulped the cob down, so seek medical attention immediately.
Should You Induce Vomiting?
There is no right answer to this complicated question since it can depend on many factors. If your dog has eaten a cob, it’s important to call your veterinarian for a consultation. Your vet will advise you on whether or not you should induce vomiting based on how large your dog is and when he at the cob.
It can be sometimes riskier to bringing an object back up than allowing it to pass. In comes cases, the benefits will outweigh the risks, but the decision should be made by a professional who can decide based on the individual factors of the case.
What are the Signs of a Blockage in a Dog?
A blockage can occur if your dog eats a cob and swallows large chunks of it. Signs and symptoms of a blockage can be any of the following:
- Lethargy and depression
- Pain and discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramping
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Recurrent vomiting
You should also look for these signs over a four-day period to see if anything develops. You shouldn’t always wait for a clinical manifestation to become obvious, and if you know that your dog at a cob, you should make sure to take him to the vet as quickly as possible.
What Happens at the Vet’s Office?
What will happen at the veterinarian’s office when you take in a dog that has eaten a corn cob? Typically, the vet will perform a thorough examination and ask about his physical wellbeing as well as his behavior since he at the corn cob. After that, the vet will usually order X-rays.
How the vet proceeds from here will depend on how much of the cob has been found and where it is located. If he has small pieces that are scattered throughout the digestive system, then the vet will recommend waiting for the pieces to travel naturally through the dog’s body and offer supportive care.
But, if he has a large piece that is likely to cause an obstruction, or if he already has an obstruction, then the vet will need to perform surgery to take the corn cob out.
Preventing Your Dog from Eating Cobs
Typically, dogs will eat corn cobs when they are raiding a trash can and looking for a delicious treat. While this may sound disgusting, dogs really like the idea of going through the trash, so it’s important that you make sure there isn’t anything dangerous, like a corn cob, for him to eat.
You may want to consider several safe ways to dispose of corn cobs to keep them out of your dog’s reach. Throw away corn cobs in a separate, outside trash can that is out of your dog’s reach. It will help to keep a dog that is known for going through the trash out of your plastic bags and anything that they can gobble down that could be dangerous.
- Dogs can be inventive and creative, so it can be the best and safest option to put the cobs in a plastic bag and then toss the bag into a dumpster that is dog-proof
- Dog-proofed trash cans that use a locking lid will prevent dogs that are overly curious from getting into the trash. You can also put the trash in a place that will be out of your dog’s reach, or you can use a baby gate to separate the trash can and your dog.
- Since dogs are quite creative and inventive, perhaps the safest option would be to put corn cobs in a plastic bag and toss the plastic bag into a dog-proofed dumpster right away.
Signs of injury or Gastrointestinal Obstruction
If your dog has a gastrointestinal injury or obstruction, you may not see the signs at first. When the signs appear, you may see a range of indications from mild to severe. If your dog has a GI obstruction, here are a few signs that will let you know:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Black stools
The indications of a GI obstruction may seem similar to other types of health issues, so it’s important not to panic or jump to conclusions. But it is important to contact the vet if your dog shows any signs of being ill, no matter what the cause.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Corn Cob
If you think your dog has possibly swallowed a cob, you will want to contact your vet immediately. While not every dog will have issues when they eat a corn cob, it is best to be prepared for issues just in case. Your veterinarian will let you know what to steps you need to take just in case.
Always, as a first step, contact your vet. While not all dogs may develop issues after they eat a cob, it’s important to be prepared. A dog with a sign of a serious illness needs to go to a vet as soon as possible. Remember that a gastrointestinal obstruction is an emergency.
Do not try to induce vomiting unless specifically advised to by your vet since it can lead to further damage to your dog’s esophagus and stomach.
How to Keep Corn Cobs Away from Dogs
It’s possible for a dog to go to great lengths in order to get a tasty treat, which can also mean raiding a trash can. When you dispose of corn cobs, try not to leave them in a trash can that your dog can get into. Alternatively, you can also leave the cog Some dogs will go tbs in your freezer and then throw them away on trash day. Also, make sure your family and friends know where to throw away cobs to make sure they aren’t left in any trash cans that your dog can access.
The best place to put cobs is in a compost bin or outside trash that is out of reach for your dog. And also make sure everyone is aware that they shouldn’t feed any type of table scraps to your dog.
What happens if a dog eats corn cob?
While corn by itself isn’t toxic for a dog, the cob can be very dangerous for a pup. When you feed the cob to a dog, it can lead to issues like gastrointestinal obstruction from eating the cob. Small and medium dogs have the highest risk of getting sick or dying from eating a cob.
Can a corn cob kill a dog?
Yes. If a dog eats a large piece of cob and can’t pass through the small intestines, then it can cause a blockage. When a dog has a blockage, then your dog’s body will begin to fight and shut down. Even a small piece of cob can have a hard time being broken down by a dog’s body.
A blockage can cause an emergency that will require immediate surgery. A blockage can cause a decrease of blood flowing to your dog’s bowels, prevent absorption of toxic contents, and cause deterioration. A foreign body can cause a dog’s intestines to bunch together like a telescope, so contact your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog has ingested anything that could potentially cause a blockage.
How long can a corn cob stay in a dog’s stomach?
When a corn cob isn’t stuck in your dog’s intestines but is resting in your dog’s stomach, it will probably be there until it is removed surgically. This can take weeks or possibly months, especially if your does is not displaying any signs of being sick and you weren’t aware that he at a corn cob.
Is corn harmful to dogs?
Corn by itself is fine, but corn on the cob can be fateful for a dog. There are no circumstances where corn on the cob is safe for a dog. The danger isn’t from the corn kernels, but from the cob itself, especially from its center. When a human eats corn, they throw away the cob. But when a dog eats corn, he will continue on from eating the corn to chowing down on the cob itself.