Did your dog eat corn cobs? Or Are you thinking of serving them one? Here are all your answers to “can dogs eat corn cobs?”

In short, dogs should not and must not eat corn cobs. They are highly dangerous and cause nightmares for you and your dog. We have covered everything from the risky signs to precautions you should take.

Let’s get into it!

What to Do and What Not to Do if My Dog Ate a Corn Cob?

During such a stressful situation, deciding what to do and what not to do is hard. Here are the things that you should and should not do.

Should do:

1. Consult your veterinarian

The first and foremost thing you should do is to call your veterinarian. Instead of taking things into your hands, you should immediately seek medical assistance. A delay can worsen the condition.

2. Assess the situation mindfully

If you are ever in such an emergency, please analyze and asses the situation mindfully. You must observe your dog for any immediate signs of choking or gagging. There might also be difficulty in breathing. You must give all this information to the veterinarian.

Should not do-

1. Do not manually induce vomiting

You might have read about inducing vomiting in such cases, but please DO NOT DO IT alone. It can be hazardous for your dog as swallowing a corn cob disrupts the digestive tract. Unless your veterinarian approves and guides you in an emergency, do not manually induce vomiting in dogs.

2. Do not feed anything over the corn cob

Another WRONG popular opinion is that you should feed more food or water to gulp down the corn cob. You must only DO IT if your veterinarian advises you to. This can cause further complications. You must know even if your dog successfully passes the corn cob through their throat, it can obstruct their intestines. It should only be handled by a professional or a veterinarian.

3. Do not panic

Being calm in these situations is necessary. Your dog might already be anxious and in discomfort. It would help if you believe it is not a 100% deadly condition. Yes, it does cause a lot of pain to dogs, but consulting a veterinarian timely will be of great help.

Look Out For These Risky Signs!

1. Vomiting

Corn cobs will be hard to swallow, so your dog might vomit it out. It may not come in whole pieces, but some kernels or bits can be seen in the vomit. Please let your veterinarian know if they vomited. This can be a good sign and help your vet to assess the case better. 

2. Lethargy or weakness

Your dog can feel a sudden drop in energy. They might not move much and lie in one place due to a lack of power in the body. Please do not force your dog to do any activity; it will cause them pain.

3. Choking hazard

If your dog eats a big piece of corn cob, it can cause a choking hazard. This will block their food pipe digestive tract and even cause intestinal obstruction. You must observe your dog if they are having difficulty breathing. 

4. Loss of appetite

Due to a big piece of corn cob in their stomach that cannot be digested, your dog will lose their appetite. They may not feel hungry or need even to have their favorite snacks. You should refrain from forcing down the food as it can complicate the case even more. Only consult your veterinarian for such approvals.

5. Discomfort and abdominal pain

Lastly, your dog will experience intense abdominal pain. As their bodies try to break down the cellulose, it will induce pain. This will cause extreme discomfort to dogs. Until the veterinarian looks into it, you can rub their bellies if they feel comfortable.

Why Is It Hard To Digest The Corn?

To understand this, we might first examine what corn cobs consist of. Here is it:

  • Cellulose
  • Lignin

Now, the reasons why the corn cobs are hard to digest are:

1. High cellulose is hard to break down

Corn cobs are made of core cellulose and lignin. Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate that is non-edible for humans and dogs (article). We do not have a digestive system that can break down cellulose. It has insoluble fiber that does not react well with a dog’s digestive system. It requires certain enzymes that dogs lack, so it is hard to digest corn cob.

2. The dog’s teeth do not allow it

As you know, dogs have sharp canines. Their primary purpose is to tear apart meaty items (and bite your neighbor). Molars are required to chew on cellulose. Unfortunately, dogs lack molars. Hence, not being a herbivore makes it challenging for dogs to grind on the tough fiber or cellulose. 

a dog licking a corn cob

How to Prevent it in The Future?

Dogs do anything they want to, however, wherever they want. And more often than not, they land themselves in accidents. In this case- swallowing corn cobs. So, here are the ways to keep your dog safe from such hazardous situations:

1. Do not experiment

Corn cobs are dangerous for dogs. Even if you try to cook them, mix them with dog food, chop them. They are not edible and will not be digested in your dog’s body. Many dog parents often try to experiment with the food they give their dogs. When it comes to human foods, dogs may not digest them easily. Always give your dogs, especially when it has inedible stuff in them. Some foods have seeds or rings. 

2. Only serve the corn kernels

When feeding your dog corn, only feed them corn kernels. Corns on the cob are edible in moderation and provide health benefits. But corn cobs should be thrown off your dog’s sight. It would help if you do not feed them corn like humans eat it. Remove the corn kernels from the cob and toss them to your pup to keep it safe.

3. Do not leave your dog around corns

If you have a bunch of corn at home, you better keep them hidden. Dogs are the most imaginative beings when it comes to stealing treats. Little do those furry buddies know how harmful some treats can be to them. You should keep your dog under supervision if they try to sneak a few corns into their bed. This increases the chances of dogs accidentally ingesting the corn and cob.

4. Keep them away from the trash cans

Does your dog also have the nasty habit of putting their heads in the trash cans? This can be due to behavioral issues. You can always fix your dog’s unwanted behaviors with proper training. You can indulge them in activities and exercises that divert them from picking up a half-eaten corn cob and swallowing it. 

To prevent this, you must monitor them and use dog-proof trash bins.

5. Give them the alternatives

Has your dog developed destructive habits? Then you might catch it might chew on everything around the house (including the corn cobs). These issues can be handled by giving your dog better alternatives. If your dog has a habit of biting on corn cons, you can replace it with chew toys, bones, or other healthy snacks. 


Our final thought on “can dogs eat corn cobs?” is short and simple- No. They are not edible and should not be served to dogs at any cost. Corn cobs are hard to digest and can cause severe obstruction in the body. Your dog can suffer every nightmare, from abdominal pain to deadly situations. 

If your dog already ate corn cob, contact your veterinarian immediately. Moreover, please do not experiment with corn cobs. They hold no nutritional value and must be avoided at all costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat cooked corn cobs?

No. Dogs cannot eat corn cobs in any way, whether cooked or raw. They are full of cellulose, which cannot be digested. If you want to serve your dog something chewy, you should choose the alternatives. Cooking corn cobs will not make them softer or less dangerous for your dog.

What happens if my dog eats a corn cob?

The most dangerous thing that can happen is choking hazards. Corn cobs are very hard, so dogs can neither swallow nor puke them out. They can be stuck in their throat. Another thing that can happen is intestinal obstruction. This is a severe problem that can be fatal to dogs. This is why please consult your veterinarian immediately.

How can I help my dog pass a corn cob?

If your dog ate a corn cob, please do not take the control in your hands. It is an extremely sensitive situation that requires veterinary care and attention. It will help if you don’t induce vomiting unless your veterinarian guides you. While for the poop part, the veterinarian will give them the medicines or announce surgery.

What to do if my dog eats corn cobs?

It can be panicky for you and your dog if your dog eats a corn cob. In such cases, please keep calm and assess the situation wisely. Call your veterinarian immediately while keeping an eye on your dog. They might show symptoms of abdominal pain, vomiting, gnawing, or weakness. You must not try and experiment to cure it. You might accidentally worsen it.

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