can dogs eat corn cobs

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs and Do You Need to See the Vet?

Dogs eat a lot of things, some of which might be dangerous for their health and overall well-being. As a dog owner, you need to be aware of what your dog can eat and what it can’t to avoid serious accidents. One of the questions asked by dog owners is: Can dogs eat corn cobs and do you need to see a vet? We have the answers for you.

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs and Why?

Corn Cob

Since we all like to treat our canine friends with everything we eat, you might think that you’re doing your dog a favor by giving it a piece of your corn cob. However, corn cobs are very risky for dogs.

This doesn’t imply that they contain some toxic compounds that would kill your dog instantly. However, they can easily choke your dog or cause other more serious damages.

Therefore, you need to be aware of the involved risks before you throw that piece of corn cob into your dog’s bowl. Here are the most common dangers of feeding your dog with a corn cob.


If your dog tries to swallow a large piece of corn cob without chewing it, it might get stuck in its throat, blocking the airways. This is dangerous because the dog might get suffocated and die if there’s no one around to help it.

A choking dog will become distressed quickly and become very aggressive. It’s very difficult to assist a choking dog because it might bite you if you put your hand in its mouth when it’s distressed.

If the corn cob is large enough to block the airways completely, your dog will end up losing consciousness because of a lack of air. So, you must act quickly to clear your dog’s airway before the situation turns tragic.

Instead of putting your hand in the dog’s mouth, just lift it up and keep its head lower than its body and pat or thump it on the back of its chest to dislodge the corn cob. Repeat this severally until the obstruction is cleared.

If your dog is unconscious, you can do finger sweeping. This involves pulling the stuck corn cob out of its throat with your fingers. Just open the dog’s mouth and try to locate the obstruction.

Also, run your finger down its throat to locate the corn cob. Once you feel it, use your finger to sweep it across the throat and try to hook it. Then pull it out gently. Sometimes you might mistake the epiglottis for the corn cob.

So, open the dog’s mouth wide enough to physically see the obstruction before you attempt to pull it out. Don’t forcefully try to pull out anything that you’re not sure what it is because you might cause serious harm to your dog.

Once you’ve successfully removed the stuck corn cob, begin rescue breathing immediately. Close your dog’s mouth and blow into its lungs through the nose until the chest expands.

Let its lungs deflate and repeat the process until the dog starts to breathe again. It’s advisable to take the dog to a vet for further inspection and tests to ensure that its throat and airway didn’t suffer serious damage.

Bowel Obstruction

If the corn cob doesn’t get stuck in your dog’s throat, it might get stuck in its digestive tract thus obstructing free bowel movement. Corn cobs are very tough. Therefore, it’s likely to be passed down the dog’s digestive tract as is and end up blocking the canine’s small intestines.

This obstruction will cause pain in the stomach, dehydration, and eventually death. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to know that your dog has an obstructed bowel until it develops serious symptoms that require the intervention of a veterinarian.

By this time, the dog may have suffered serious damage like perforations of the digestive tract, which can be fatal. That’s why you should always observe your dog’s behavior to detect serious problems before they become tragic.

Also, keep corn cobs away from your dog to avoid such incidents. If you discover that your dog has ingested a corn cob by mistake, you should take it to the nearest vet immediately for assistance.

How to Detect These Complications


As noted above, you never know when your dog will grab one of the corn cobs lying around your house and ingest it. So, you have to watch out for the side effects discussed above to avoid a tragedy.

How do you know your dog is choking or has an obstructed digestive tract? There are several obvious signs that you can look for.

Coughing or Hacking

The first and most obvious sign of a choking dog is coughing. The same happens with human beings. If the corn cob isn’t too large, your dog might be able to cough it up without much struggle.

But you have to differentiate between this type of cough and a cough that results from an infection. A choking dog will pace aggressively while coughing because it’s frightened and distressed. The dog won’t stop pacing until the cob is removed.

Wheezing and Inability to Breathe Properly

If your dog is wheezing continuously or showing signs of inability to breathe in and out properly, it could be choking. This might happen along with coughing and pacing around abnormally.

Additionally, you’ll notice the dog’s sides racing as it tries to breathe. This indicates that something is preventing your dog from breathing freely. Under normal circumstances, your dog should be able to take deep breaths effortlessly.

So, if you notice that your canine is only taking short and shallow breaths, and it’s coughing and pacing, check its throat for foreign items like corn cobs.


When a corn cob blocks your dog’s digestive tract, it prevents food and fluids from going through the tract for digestion and absorption by the body. This will cause dehydration, which will leave the dog unable to regulate its body temperature.

Severe dehydration causes irregularities in electrolytes, resulting in low chloride, potassium, and sodium. Electrolytes help to transport nutrients into the body cells and enable the muscles to function properly.

They also facilitate nerve activities. That’s why you need to take your dog’s dehydration seriously. It can be life-threatening, especially if it’s not addressed immediately.

Other symptoms of an obstructed digestive tract in dogs include loss of appetite, bloating, whining, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and aggressiveness when you touch its stomach. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are often brushed off as mere stomach discomfort.

The best thing to do when your dog shows these signs is to take it to the vet for a thorough examination. Please note that you can feed your dog with corn. The only problematic thing in this case is the cob itself.

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