Can Dogs Eat Corn? Effects of Corn for Dogs as a Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Corn? Effects of Corn for Dogs as a Dog Food

Yes, dogs can eat corn safely. Plain, cooked, off-cob corn is safe for dogs to consume as long as they aren’t allergic to it. However, it must be given in moderation to avoid health problems like obesity, diabetes, and pancreatitis.

Corn has many nutritional benefits to dogs. Besides being rich in carbohydrates, it is also a good source of proteins, vitamins, linoleic acids, and antioxidants. It also provides other essential nutrients, including fiber, fats fiber, potassium, and carotenoids.

Corn is, therefore, beneficial for energy provision, immune-boosting, muscle, skin, coat, and eye health in dogs. The dietary fiber in corn can help promote gut health and motility in dogs as well.

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What are the Benefits of Corn for Dogs? 

The benefits of Corn to dogs are listed below:

  • Improves energy: Corn is carbohydrate-rich and calorie-packed. With about 88 calories in a single medium-sized corn ear, it can give more energy to dogs. It also has a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, making it an excellent source of energy that keeps dogs active.
  • Maintains healthy muscles: Corn has many proteins and amino acids, which play a vital role in dogs’ bodies. Besides building and maintaining muscles, proteins also aid in tissue building, provide alternative energy sources, and serve as structural components of cell walls. An ear of corn contains about 3 grams of protein.
  • Boosts immune health: Corn is a rich source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, which support the immune system of dogs. Antioxidants help fight the free radicals that destroy body cells and help dogs fight diseases for optimal health. They also help in slowing down the aging process in senior dogs.
  • Improves skin and coat health: Corn contains linoleic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid that helps promote skin and coat health in dogs. It prevents flaky and itchy skin, thus improving the skin condition.
  • Promotes gut health: Corn is a good source of dietary fiber for dogs. Fiber is important for feeding the growth of good bacteria in the gut and helping improve the gut health of dogs. It also helps improve digestion and prevent constipation in dogs.
  • Great for kidney and heart health: Corn has many essential minerals, including potassium, good for a healthy heart and kidney functioning.

What are the Harms of Corn for Dogs? 

The following are some of the harms corn cause to dogs:

  • Choking:  Although corn is generally safe for dogs, the corn cob can be dangerous. Ingesting the corn cobs can cause serious blockage of the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. This is a serious condition that can even turn fatal if not well handled.
  • Unhealthy weight gain: Corn is high in carbs, fats, and sugars. Feeding too much corn can lead to canine obesity. This can cause a myriad of health problems to dogs, including pancreatitis and mobility problems.
  • Allergies: Some dogs may exhibit allergic reactions due to an overactive immune system to the products. Symptoms of corn allergies include itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, skin irritation, hives, etc.

What is Gastrointestinal Obstruction? 

Ingesting corn cobs can lead to gastrointestinal obstruction. This refers to the blockage of the gastrointestinal tract by swallowed items. Gastrointestinal obstruction occurs when dogs swallow big things or things that are hard for dogs to break down. 

The large corn cobs and the incapability of dogs to fully break them down put dogs at the risk of gastrointestinal blockage. Gastrointestinal obstruction is more prevalent in small and medium-size dogs, but large dogs can also be affected.

Dogs suffering from gastrointestinal obstruction can exhibit the following symptoms;

  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Heaving
  • Abdominal upset
  • Restlessness 
  • Tarry stool

If your dog shows these signs after ingesting a corn cob, you should immediately take them to a vet. Inducing vomiting is not advisable as it may cause further damage to the dog’s esophagus and stomach. The treatment for gastrointestinal obstruction may involve surgery which is an expensive procedure.

When Should a Dog Eat Corn? 

Dogs can eat corn at any time of the day, regardless of their breed. This is because corn is a great source of energy and vitality that dogs need to remain active. Corn also contains other important nutrients essential for the optimal health of dogs.

Giving corn to dogs before they sleep can help them sleep better. This is because corn has some amount of tryptophan which facilitates the production of serotonin in dogs. This component helps improve the sleep patterns in dogs.

A sick dog has low energy levels. Feeding corn to such a dog can provide the much-needed energy to make the dog feel better. With its beta-carotene and vitamin E, corn can also help boost the immune system of sick dogs and help them fight off diseases.

Dogs with skin and coat issues can also benefit from eating corn. This is because it has omega 6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid, which helps prevent dry, flaky, and itchy skin, thus improving the skin condition.

Whole corn is fiber-rich and can be helpful when given to dogs with indigestion issues such as constipation. This fiber aids in feeding the good gut bacteria, thus improving digestion.

How Much Corn can a Dog Eat per Day? 

Corn is high in starch and sugars. As such, it’s best to give it to dogs occasionally as a treat and in moderation. Feeding too much corn can have serious health impacts on dogs. Just like other treats, corn should never exceed 10% of the daily calorie amount for dogs. A medium-sized corn ear of about 100 g contains up to 90 calories. The average daily calorie need for dogs is approximately 25-30 calories per pound of weight.

Generally, the quantity of corn that a dog can safely eat is dependent on its breed, size, and weight. The larger the dog, the higher the amount of corn it can consume and vice versa. Thus a labrador weighing between 60-80 pounds can eat more corn than a pug whose weight is about 14-18 pounds.

The table below illustrates dogs’ average total daily calorie needs and calories treats should supply.

Average Daily Caloric Need for Dogs 




Average Total Daily Calories- including calories from treats

Allowed Daily Calories from treats

10 lbs 



20 lbs



30 lbs



50 lbs 



70 lbs



90 lbs



Dog owners can use the above table to ensure they feed their pets with the right treats that can add to their required daily calories.

It’s important to exercise caution when feeding corn for the first time and look for any adverse reactions.

Which Nutrition from Corn is Beneficial for Dogs’ Health? 

The beneficial nutritions from Corn for a dog are listed below:

  • Carbohydrates: Corn is packed with carbohydrates. These provide valuable sources of energy for dogs. Carbs also act as a source of dietary fiber, heat, and a base for other nutrients. Dogs require energy to remain active and for proper functioning. One ear of corn contains about 90 g of carbohydrates.
  • Proteins: Although not in high amounts, corn contains some bit of protein. Besides building strong muscles and healthy hair, proteins also help form and maintain ligaments, tendons, and cartilage in dogs.  Proteins also play an important role in blood formation.
  • Omega fatty acids: Corn contains omega 6 fatty acids. These provide a rich source of linoleic acid, which keeps dogs’ skin and coat healthy. It’s also crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system in dogs.
  • Antioxidants: Corn is packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin E. This helps minimize the effects of free radicals, fight off diseases, and improve the immune health of dogs. Antioxidants are also helpful in slowing down the aging process in dogs.
  • Carotenoids: Corn is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health in dogs. They help prevent damage to a dog’s lens hence preventing cataracts.
  • Fiber: Corn is an excellent source of dietary fiber for dogs. This helps in feeding the good bacteria in a dog’s gut, thereby improving digestion. One ear of corn contains 1 gram of fiber.
  • Potassium: A cup of corn contains about 318 mg of potassium, while dogs have a daily potassium requirement of 20 mg. This mineral aids muscle growth and strength, boosts metabolism, improves neural function, promotes bone health, and keeps organ functions in check.
  • Magnesium: This mineral is important for promoting regular muscle function and heart health in dogs. Additionally, it works in tandem with calcium to help develop strong bones.
  • B- vitamins: Corn boasts of B complex vitamins, including B1, B3, B6, and B9. These vitamins play important roles in a dog’s body, including maintaining a healthy nervous system, assisting in the release of energy from food, and forming hemoglobin in dogs.
  • Iron: Corn also has some serving of iron. 100 g of corn contains about 0.55 mg of iron. Iron aids in the formation of red blood cells that help transport oxygen throughout a dog’s body.
  • Selenium: This is essential for the optimal functioning of the immune system and enhancing thyroid gland health.

The nutrients of Corn such as Carbohydrates, Proteins, and many more, vegetables like corn are beneficial for dogs. To learn more about vegetable nutrients read the related article about what dogs can eat. 

The nutritional profile of 100 g of corn

  • Calories 90
  • Protein 3.4 g
  • Carbohydrates 21g
  • Sugar 4.5
  • Fiber 2.4g
  • Fat 1.5g
  • Vitamin C 3.6 mg

Which Nutrition from Corn is Harmful to Dogs’ Health? 

The following nutritions from corn can harm be harmful to dogs’ health:

  • Too many carbs: Corn is packed with carbohydrates. While these carbohydrates are important sources of energy, consuming too much can lead to serious health problems in dogs. It can lead to canine obesity, joint pains, or worse still, pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Toxicity: The method of preparation for some corn and corn products may pose some risk to dogs. Some corn varieties may have seasonings and other additives such as butter, salt, and garlic. These ingredients are toxic to dogs and can cause them health problems.
  • Allergens: Some dogs are sensitive to corn. As such, feeding it to such dogs can make them have allergic reactions such as itchy and irritated skin, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and paw licking. 
  • High sugar levels: Corn is too starchy. Consuming too much of it can lead to blood sugar in a dog’s body. This increased blood sugar level can cause diabetes in dogs.

Can Corn Affect a Dog’s Mood? 

Yes, corn has positive effects on a dog’s mood. The presence of tryptophan in corn aids the production of a hormone called serotonin. This hormone helps ease tension and anxiety and boosts happy feelings in dogs. This, in turn, improves the mood of dogs.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Corn? 

Yes, fully weaned baby dogs can safely eat corn without being negatively affected. Corn is a good source of energy that puppies need to remain active and fuel their growth. The proteins in corn can also help boost muscle growth in puppies. Corn contains other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber, necessary for puppies’ health.

Can Old Dogs Eat Corn? 

Yes, old dogs of all breeds can eat corn and enjoy some benefits for their health. Corn is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E. Besides improving the immunity of senior dogs, these antioxidants can help slow down the aging process in senior dogs. 

Old dogs will also benefit from the omega 6 fatty acids present in corn. It can help promote their skin and coat health. Corn has carotenoids that are especially beneficial for the eye health of aging dogs.

Since old dogs are particularly prone to indigestion issues, the fibrousness of corn can improve their digestion and ease their discomfort.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Corn with Different Amounts? 

Yes, different breeds of dogs can consume different amounts of corn-based on their body weight. Dogs have varying nutritional and calorie requirements that are dictated by their breed, size, and weight. Generally, large dog breeds can consume more corn than small breed dogs.

A large breed dog, such as a labrador with an average weight of between 60-80 pounds, can eat more pork than an average pug whose weight is between 14-18 pounds. Therefore, dogs’ daily calorie, vitamin, and mineral need greatly vary depending on their breeds.

  1. Akitas: An Akita with an average weight of between 100 pounds requires about 2200 calories daily. Corn can supply up to 220 calories to Akitas.
  2. Bernese Mountain Dogs: These dogs have an average weight of between 70-115 pounds and a daily calorie need of up to 1500-3000 calories. They can therefore obtain about 150-300 calories from corn. more about Bernese Mountain Dogs.
  3. Boxers: These dogs weigh between 55-70 pounds on average, with a daily calorie requirement of between 1100-2400. As such, corn should supply up to 240 calories. more about Boxers.

The dog Breeds below can eat less Corn than other dog Breeds daily.

  1. Chihuahuas: These small dogs weigh between 3-7 pounds and require a daily calorie intake of about 225 calories. Corn should supply 23 calories and never more.
  2. Pomeranians: Pomeranians have a weight of 10 pounds and require between 300-400 calories daily. The maximum number of calories from corn is 40 to Pomeranians.

Which Dog Breeds are Corn More Beneficial for? 

Corn is beneficial to all dogs regardless of their breed. It is packed with carbohydrates and thus an excellent source of energy for dogs. However, dogs with digestive issues can benefit more from the fiber that’s abundant in corn. The fiber can help feed the good bacteria in the dogs’ gut for improved gut health.

Which Dog Breeds are Corn Less Beneficial for? 

Corn is not less beneficial for any dog breed. It can only become less beneficial if moderation is not observed while feeding the dogs. Feeding too much can cause health problems to dogs. Additionally, feeding corn that contains harmful additives and seasonings such as salt and butter to dogs can be counteractive.

Which Corn Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs?

Corn is generally safe for dogs to consume. However, not all corn is the same, and some varieties may be unsafe for dogs.

The following is the list of the safe and unsafe corn for dogs:

1. Corn Cobs

Besides being big, corn cobs are not fully digestible. This makes it unsuitable for dogs’ consumption.

Dogs cannot and should not eat corn cobs. Due to their indigestibility, corn cobs pose the risk of choking and serious intestinal obstruction to dogs.

2. Cornbread

A basic cornbread made of wheat flour, eggs, cornmeal, milk, baking powder, salt, and a pinch of sugar is unlikely to endanger your dog’s health.

Dogs can eat cornbread in moderation without any negative impact on their health. However, it offers no nutritional value to dogs and may contain added sugars.

3. Corn Husks

Corn husks are the outside leaves on a cob of corn that’s usually removed and discarded.

Dogs cannot eat corn husks. Although these are not toxic to dogs, husks are not easily digestible and may cause dogs mild gas or severe digestive upset.

4. Corn Tortillas

These are flatbreads made from corn flour. These can make occasional good treats for dogs.

Dogs can eat dog tortillas as long as they have no corn allergies. However, these should be offered in limited amounts as they are of minimal nutritional value to dogs.

5. Corn Chips

Corn chips are dry, crispy snacks made from cornmeal fried in oil or baked. Seasonings such as salt and garlic are often included in corn chips to enhance flavor.

Dogs cannot eat corn chips safely. This is because they are high in fats, sodium, and calories which can cause dogs’ health problems.

6. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is made from the ground endosperm of corn kernels. It’s often used to thicken food, as a filler in baked foods, and as an anticaking agent.

Dogs can eat pure powdered cornstarch safely. When given in moderation, cornstarch is unlikely to harm dogs. However, it’s low in nutritional value, and it’s best offered as an occasional treat.

7. Cornflakes

Besides being nutritious, cornflakes are packed with carbohydrates. Plain cornflakes are an excellent source of energy for dogs.

Dogs can eat cornflakes safely but in moderation and provided they are not allergic to corn. These treats are rich in carbs which can cause unhealthy weight gain in dogs.

8. Canned Corn

Canned corn consists of kernels taken off the cob of sweet corn.

Dogs can safely eat canned corn that doesn’t contain salts or oils. However, it’s high in carbs and sugar; thus, it should be fed in moderation as an occasional treat.

9. Corn Nuts

Corn nuts are processed and often include seasonings and salt for flavoring.

Dogs should not eat corn nuts. This is because they are high in salts and contain seasonings and flavorings, harmful to dogs. They also don’t offer any nutritional value to dogs.

10. Corn Muffins

Corn muffins and cornbread are similar in terms of the ingredients used in making them.

Dogs can eat corn muffins safely. However, they should be given in moderation as they are high in sugar and can cause digestive upsets if consumed in large amounts.

11. Corn Kernels

Corn kernels are small and therefore unlikely to cause choking in dogs. They can provide good energy sources for dogs.

Dried corn kernels with no butter, salt, or other flavor enhancers are safe for dogs to consume. However, it should only be given in limited quantities.

12. Popcorn

Plain, air-popped popcorn is rich in fiber and carbs, which can aid digestion and provide energy for dogs.

Dogs can eat popcorn, provided they are unbuttered and unsalted. Popcorns containing a lot of artificial flavors, salt, and oils can harm dogs and should be avoided.

Which Dog Food Brands Do Use Corn within Dog Foods?

The following dog food brands include corn in their recipes:

  • Diamond Naturals Dog Food

This dog food brand includes corn and other grains in their recipes as a source of energy for dogs and beef up their protein levels.

Its benefits include boosting energy levels with carbohydrate-rich corn, plus having balanced and complete nutrition for optimum canine health.

  • Farmina Dog Food

Farmina dog food is a premium brand that offers high-quality nutrition to canines of all ages. 

Its benefits include helping to build muscle with an ideal balance of protein, carbs, and fats. It also boosts the gut’s health with healthy sources of dietary fiber from corn

Which Dog Diseases Can Affect Dogs’ Corn Eating? 

The diseases below can affect dogs corn eating:

Diabetes: Corn is not recommended for dogs suffering from diabetes. This is because corn is high in sugars and can lead to a sugar spike in the dog’s blood. This can cause type 2 diabetes in dogs or exacerbate the existing condition.

Obesity: Corn contains high amounts of starch and fats. Consumption of too much corn can lead to unhealthy weight gain in dogs. This can cause health issues such as heart diseases, pancreatitis, and joint problems. Therefore, it’s best to limit the amount of corn or avoid giving corn altogether to dogs prone to obesity. Pancreatitis is a serious condition indicated by symptoms such as:

  •  Weakness 
  •  Lethargy 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Dehydration 
  • Fever 
  • Continuous vomiting 
  • Stomach upset 

Allergies: Corn should never be fed to dogs that have corn allergies to avoid adverse reactions. This is shown by excessive scratching, paw licking, ear and skin infection, vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. When feeding corn for the first time, you must introduce it in minimal amounts and watch how your dog reacts.

Can Dogs Eat Corn When Sick? 

Yes, sick dogs are allowed to eat corn. Besides giving them some energy boost, corn also has many other important nutrients to help dogs feel better. It should, however, be administered in moderation since too much can aggravate the condition. 

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Corn? 

Yes. corn can help an anemic dog because it includes iron, which aids in the development of red blood cells. These are in charge of delivering oxygen throughout the body of dogs.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Corn? 

Yes, dogs with kidney disease can eat corn. This is because corn contains minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which help promote kidney health in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Corn to Help With Diarrhea? 

Yes, dogs with diarrhea can eat corn to get relief. Corn is high in fiber and can aid digestion and help add volume to a dog’s stool to firm it.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Corn? 

Yes, corn is safe for nursing dogs as it contains potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which can aid in the development of strong bones in puppies. It also has other nutrients that are beneficial for growing puppies.

What Else Can Dogs Eat Together with Corn? 

Dogs can eat the following foods together with corn:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Green Beans
  3. Broccoli
  4. Squash

1. Potatoes

Dogs can eat cooked potatoes together with corn. They are nutrient-dense vegetables with healthy doses of vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients are great for the immune and nervous system health of dogs. However, these need to be given in moderation to avoid health problems. Raw potatoes and potato skin are toxic to dogs.

2. Green Beans

Green beans make a healthy addition to corn. They make excellent vitamins A and C sources, which help boost immune, reproductive, and eye health in dogs. They are also abundant manganese which promotes metabolism and wound healing in dogs. However, green beans should be given in moderation to avoid stomach upsets. Dogs can eat green beans safely.

3. Broccoli

Feeding small quantities of broccoli can be beneficial to dogs. Broccoli packs a punch of vitamins for dogs such as C, K, and healthy fiber as well as potassium, calcium, sodium, and folic acid. This helps promote the overall health of dogs. However, broccoli contains a harmful compound called isothiocyanate which can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea in dogs.

4. Squash

Squash is high in fiber, low in calories, and packs a lot of vitamins and other nutrients that can help boost dogs’ health. Eating squash can benefit dogs’ heart, eye, skin, immune, coat, and gut health. However, the squash should only be given as a treat and in moderation. Squash for dogs should also be plain without added ingredients.

What are the Corn Dog Food Recipes? 

The following are some corn dog food recipes you can try:

  • Peanut Butter Cornmeal Dog Biscuit

This easy-to-make dog treat requires eggs, peanut butter, oil, vanilla extract, flour, cornmeal, water, and oats. 

To make it, whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Then slowly mix them to form a ball of dough. Preheat the oven, dust a bit of cornmeal, roll out the dough and cut out the shapes. Turn off the oven, place the treats in the oven, and allow them to harden for 30 minutes.

  •  Cornbread Dog Bites

These bites will need cornmeal, unseasoned applesauce, and gluten-free oats. To make these, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, combine all ingredients and mix well. Then, roll into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and allow them to cool before serving.

  • Canine cornbread recipe

This super-nutritious treat will need cornmeal, flour, egg, corn oil, and baking powder. To make it, combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased square pan. Preheat the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. 

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.