Dog Swallow A Corn Cob? Here’s When To See The Vet

corn cobs for dogs
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It may seem like a nice treat to let your dog gnaw on a corn cob but … it’s not something you should do.

Corn on the cob can be very dangerous for dogs.

While it isn’t toxic, it could become a choking hazard or worse …

Corn cobs are indigestible. They don’t break down in your dog’s stomach … and that means there’s a high risk of bowel obstruction.

And that can lead to dehydration, pain and even death.

So today I’ll talk about …

  • What exactly a bowel obstruction is
  • How to recognize it
  • What to do if your dog eats a corn cob
  • The safe way to share corn with your dog

Bowel Obstructions In Dogs

Bowel obstructions happen when something blocks the small or large intestines.

When this happens, solids and fluids can’t move through your dog’s digestive tract. The object that causes the obstruction can cause perforations along the digestive tract.

Obstructions can be a result of …

  • Toys
  • String
  • Bones
  • Rocks
  • Garbage
  • Coins
  • Food (like corn on the cob)

They’re a common problem that can lead to illness and even death.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Corn Cob

If your dog has eaten a cob of corn, contact your holistic vet immediately.

Depending on the situation, she may want to see your dog immediately. Or she may tell you to watch for signs of an obstruction …

Symptoms will vary depending on whether it’s a partial or complete blockage. Your dog will show more obvious and severe symptoms with a complete blockage.

If your dog shows any of these symptoms after he eats a corn cob, he may have an obstruction …

  • Dehydration (sticky gums)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy (tired, inactive, less responsive)
  • Abdominal pain (doesn’t want stomach touched)
  • Vomiting
  • Bloated or swollen stomach
  • Loss of appetite

While small partial obstructions may pass on their own without too much damage … large or complete obstructions could need surgery.

If your dog’s symptoms are severe (or they’re slowly worsening) … get to the vet immediately.

Prevention: Practice Garbage Safety

There are three main reasons your dog will end up with a corn cob …

  1. You give it to him (and now you know why you shouldn’t)
  2. You leave them out as a treat for the birds
  3. Your dog finds it in the trash

To make sure you dog doesn’t snatch a corn cob by accident … you need to dispose of it safely.

Your safest bet is to throw the cobs straight into a green bin or garbage can with a secure lid.

If you have a dog who has a habit of getting into the trash no matter how well sealed it is … you may want to take some extra precautions.

Here are some options …

  • Put the corn cobs in a bag and then bring them straight to your garage or dumpster.
  • Use a trash can with a locking lid.
  • Store your kitchen garbage under the sink or in a closet.
  • Put a child safety lock on the door.
  • Empty your garbage more often … this will prevent the smells that attract your dog.    
  • Put a weight (like a brick) in the bottom of the trash can so that it isn’t easy to knock over.

How To Share Corn With Your Dog

Corn can be a tasty treat for your dog and does offer some nutritional value.

Corn is a source of …

But now you know you shouldn’t leave your dog to his own devices with corn on the cob.

And while it may seem safe so long as you hold the cob for your dog to clean off the remaining corn … dogs can be fast.

It doesn’t take much time for a medium or large dog to grab hold of the cob and swallow it whole.

Not to mention that … by the time you share your corn, you’ve probably covered it in butter, salt and other seasonings … and your dog doesn’t need any of these in his diet.

If you want to share corn with your dog, cut it off the cob and give it to him as a treat. And make sure you haven’t buttered or seasoned it.

You also want to try and buy organic corn.

Corn is one of the many crops that are genetically modified. In fact, 88% of US corn crops are genetically modified.

And there are many health risks linked with GMO foods … because they contain the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup).

And those are only some of the problems ….

To avoid the risk of GMO corn, make sure you only share organic corn with your dog.

RELATED: Why Your Dog Is Probably Eating GMO Food – And Shouldn’t …

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?

Dogs can’t eat corn cobs.

Not only is there a risk of choking … it could cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract. And that can lead to sickness, surgery and even death.

If you’re going to share corn with your dog … scrape it off the cob, skip the toppings and go organic.

That way you can feel confident your dog is safe while he enjoys his snack.


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