Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Corn? The Sweet and Savory Truth

corn kernels on strainer

As a mom of 3 rescued dogs, I know the struggle is real when it comes to sharing our favorite foods. Summer barbecues and cozy winter soups often have us eyeballing those pleading puppy eyes next to the corn. So, the question begs asking: Can dogs eat corn?

The answer is yes… with a little caution!

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about feeding your dog corn. We’ll explore the nutritional benefits (and potential risks), which parts of corn are safe to share, how much is okay, and the best ways to prepare it. Plus, I’ll share a couple extra tips to keep your pup happy and healthy. 

Let’s dive in!

RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

The Nutritional Benefits of Corn for Dogs

First things first: is corn actually good for dogs? The answer is a qualified yes. Corn can offer some valuable nutrients as long as it’s given in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the key benefits:


Whole grain corn is a fantastic source of insoluble fiber, which helps bulk up stools, prevent constipation, and keep your pup feeling full and satisfied. The fiber is concentrated in the outer bran layer of the kernels.

couple with their pet dogs

B Vitamins

Corn provides several crucial B vitamins like folate (B9), B6, and B12. These support your dog’s immune function, brain health, and help break down other nutrients.


Corn contains zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron – all essential minerals that support cell growth and function, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve activity, and immunity.  

yellow corn kernels in white ceramic bowl


The high starch content in corn means it’s full of carbohydrates that break down into energizing sugars. However, too many starches and sugars can cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain, so moderation is key.

The big takeaway? Corn can be a nutritious treat for your pup, especially in its whole-grain form. But it should only make up a small part of a complete and balanced canine diet. Veterinarians advise limiting treats and table scraps to at most 10% of your dog’s daily food intake. Any more, and your pooch may fill up on extras instead of their regular, nutrient-balanced dog food.

shallow focus photography of a golden retriever

Corn Dos and Don’ts: Which Parts Can Dogs Eat?

Not all parts of corn are created equal when it comes to your canine companion. Here’s a quick guide on what’s safe to share and what’s best to skip:

✅ Corn Kernels

The golden nuggets of corn are A-okay for your pup as long as they’re cooked. Cooking improves digestibility and reduces the risk of choking. Rule of thumb: paws off the raw corn! 

Unsalted, air-popped popcorn is okay if the pieces are fully popped (partially popped kernels can be a choking hazard). Avoid movie theater-style popcorn drenched in oil and salt.

smiling woman petting two beautiful dogs outdoors

🚫 Corn Husks

While the stringy outer layer of an ear of corn may seem harmless, it can actually cause some serious issues for your furry friend. If your dog swallows corn husks, they may experience choking, intestinal blockage, stomach upset, diarrhea, or constipation.

Additionally, the sharp edges of the husks can painfully cut or scrape your dog’s digestive tract as they pass through. This can lead to irritation and discomfort for your pup.

a person s hand holding a black serving tray with delicious fried corn

It’s also important to note that some dogs with skin allergies may have an allergic reaction to corn husks. Even if your dog isn’t allergic to corn itself, the husks can worsen symptoms in dogs with already irritated, damaged, or infected skin.

Similarly, dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, and general stomach upset when they consume corn husks.

The sharp edges can also painfully cut or scrape your dog’s digestive tract on the way down. Make sure to dispose of husks securely in a trash can your curious puppy can’t access.

white and black siberian husky puppy on brown grass field

🚫🚫🚫 Corn Cobs

Cobs are a huge no-no and one of the most common foreign objects veterinarians surgically remove from dogs’ intestines. They’re just the right size and texture for determined dogs to chew into chunks that can cause life-threatening bowel obstructions.

Even if the cob has been stripped of kernels, the smell and taste of any seasoning remnants may tempt your pup to fish it out of the garbage or on a walk. Keep a close eye on your dog at cookouts, and always make sure cobs are far out of reach – even once they’re in the trash!

cute labrador retriever in eyeglasses lying on bed with book

How Much Corn Can Dogs Eat?

As with any treat, portion control is crucial. Corn should never be your dog’s main meal – it’s just a “sometimes snack.”

To figure out your pup’s perfect portion, calculate 10% of their daily calories, then work backward to see how much corn fits. One cup of corn kernels contains around 125 calories. 

black and white short coated dogs

For example:

A 6-lb Chihuahua needs about 208 calories/day. 10% of that is 21 calories, or about 2 tablespoons of corn.

A 22-lb Pug needs around 600 calories/day. Their 60-calorie treat allowance equates to roughly half a cup of corn.

A 70-lb Labrador Retriever needs about 1500 calories/day. 150 treat calories allow for approximately 1 cup of corn.

Even if corn fits your dog’s calorie budget, avoid feeding it every day. Mix up treat time with other dog-friendly fruits and veggies like apples, bananas, carrots, green beans, or spinach to provide a wider range of nutrients.

portrait of a black and white boston terrier

How to Serve Corns to Your Dog Safely

Okay, so you’ve got the green light to share some corn with your furry friend. Here’s how to do it right:

1. Start with Fresh Corn

Start with the freshest corn possible. Look for ears with bright green, tightly wrapped husks and golden brown silk. Avoid any ears with discoloration, mold, or a sour smell. If you’re not using the corn right away, store unshucked ears in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

For longer storage, take the kernels off the cob and freeze them in an clean airtight container. They’ll keep well for up to six months.

sweetcorn and bell pepper

2. Keep it Plain

When preparing corn for your dog, resist the temptation to add any seasoning, butter, salt, or other toppings. These additives can be harmful to your pup’s health. Butter and oil can lead to digestive issues like pancreatitis, while salt can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Stick to plain, cooked corn kernels to keep your dog safe.

smiling female with dog near fence and plants

3. Cook the Corn Thoroughly

Never serve raw corn to your dog. Uncooked kernels are difficult for dogs to digest and can cause stomach upset or even blockages. Instead, steam or boil the corn until the kernels are tender. This breaks down the tough outer layers, making the nutrients more accessible and the kernels easier to chew and digest.

puppy on grass field

4. Get Creative with Combinations

While plain, cooked corn kernels are perfectly fine as a treat, you can also mix things up by combining them with other dog-safe ingredients. Try mixing cooked corn with diced carrots, green beans, pumpkin, zucchini, or small pieces of cooked chicken for a nutrient-packed, tasty snack. You can even use corn as a topper for your dog’s regular meals to add some variety and extra vitamins and minerals.

portrait of shiba inu dog

5. Supervise Treat Time Closely

Whenever you give your dog corn, make sure to keep a close eye on them. Ensure they don’t have access to any cobs, husks, or corn-shaped holders (which can smell like corn and be mistaken for a chew toy).

Final Words

So, can dogs have corn? Yes – in moderation, and prepared with care. Corn can be a tasty addition to your pup’s diet, offering fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Just remember, it’s not an everyday food.

adult brown and white pembroke welsh corgi near the body of water

Check out our collection of articles on which human foods are healthy for dogs and which ones to avoid. You might also enjoy reading “Can My Dog Eat Carrots?”


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.