- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
At a barbecue this past summer, my golden retriever Sugar Pie ran around the yard gleefully with the cob of corn she stole off my plate, husks rustling as she shook her head around like a timber wolf with some freshly caught prey. She was proud and delighted and we all laughed as she chomped down on the cob in sheer bliss.
After she had some fun with it, I traded the slightly mangled corn cob for another of her favorite treats, a chunk of hot dog. Seeing how much she enjoyed it, wondered if it’s ok for dogs to eat fresh corn.
Can Dogs Eat Corn?
Maybe. Dogs are omnivores, and they benefit from many different fruits and vegetables for the same reasons humans do: these foods are low in fat and sugar, and high in vitamins and fiber.
Corn, however, isn’t among the most ideal vegetables for dogs. It’s often used as a starchy filler in dry dog foods, but it doesn’t offer a lot of nutritional value. It’s sweet and high in carbs, making it a cheap but non-nutritious source of energy. So, while corn is not toxic, it doesn’t contribute to optimum health for your dog either.
Not only that, but a corncob can present a choking hazard if your dog gets a hold of one.
Is Corn Healthy for My Dog?
Let’s look at the nutritional content of fresh corn. One cup of freshly cooked corn contains:
- Calories: 177 calories
- Carbs: 41 grams (164 calories)
- Protein: 5.4 grams (22 calories)
- Fat: 2.1 grams (19 calories)
- Fiber: 4.6 grams
- Calcium: 6.32mg
- Iron: 0.695mg
- Magnesium: 3.95mg
- Potassium: 333mg
Corn is very starchy. Starch is a carbohydrate that your dog does not particularly need in his diet. The calcium, magnesium, and potassium levels in corn are pretty good, but your dog has to eat a lot of starch to gain the benefit of these essential nutrients.
Overall, there are better options for veggie treats for your pup. Celery and cucumber are great options, and carrots (although also high in sugar) are so packed with vitamins it’s worth the splurge.
If you find that your dog’s food contains corn, look for an alternative that uses whole grains instead. You can also switch to a higher protein or grain-free option.
Corn-y Recipes for Dogs
Since sharing a deep-fried corn dog with your pup isn’t the best idea, why not make some “corn dogs” using our Cheddar and Beef Dog Treats recipe? This kitchen magic lets you whip up corn-free pup tacos, corn dogs and, with some creativity, doggy nachos.
Homemade Cheddar and Beef Dog Treats
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: varies
- Category: Special Occasion
- 1 cup nonfat yogurt (if your dog is lactose intolerant, substitute pureed pumpkin)
- 2 no-sodium bouillon cubes
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp olive oil (leave this out if your dog can’t tolerate fat)
- 1 cup finely shredded low-fat cheese (if your dog is lactose intolerant, substitute ¼ cup nutritional yeast)
- 2 cups rolled oat flour (you can make this at home by pulverizing rolled oats in your food processor)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (you can substitute with any dog-friendly gluten-free flour like coconut or tapioca)
- 2 eggs
- Natural food coloring
- Sesame seeds for hamburger buns
- Sausage-style dog treats for mini corn dogs
- OPTIONAL: gloves to protect your hands from food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350º
In a stand mixer, set the yogurt, olive oil, bouillon cubes, and turmeric to stir.
Once everything is fully combined and the bouillon has fully dissolved, add the finely grated cheese and stir.
Add the flour a cup at a time and continue mixing, adding the eggs when the mixture starts to look dry (about halfway through the flour)
Once all the flour is well incorporated, divide the dough into three parts, one large and two smaller, into separate bowls.
Next, we will mix in the food coloring. You may want gloves at this point, the red is the most staining of the three colors.
The largest portion will be used for the buns, taco shells, and corndog coating so we will add yellow food coloring a bit at a time, working it in your hands until evenly incorporated.
The smaller two will be the green for lettuce and the red for the meat. The green will be easy to color and the red will take the most food coloring to get to the right shade. You may need to add a touch of the green or yellow to the red at some point to darken your shade of red and not wind up hot pink.
Keep all the doughs covered or pop into Ziploc bags to keep the dough from drying out. The covered dough can last up to a week in the fridge.
For the Tacos
You’re going to need two different cookie cutters for this shape – a circle and a fluted circle of the same size.
Use the circle cutter to make circles of your yellow dough to be the taco shell.
make 2 ropes of green dough and 1 rope of red dough and roll them out so that the edges of the fluted circle cutter feature the green dough and the center is red.
Place a fluted filling piece on top of a taco shell piece and gently fold in half. Squeeze the taco shell closed just enough to showcase the filling evenly.
You can glaze with an egg wash (equal parts egg and milk) for a shiny finish.
For the Hamburgers
You will need one small circle cutter to create these cute little sliders. You hamburgers will be a little tall at first, but you can gently squish the layers together to get the dimensions you want and to ensure they don’t fall apart.
For the buns, you will want two yellow circles, one thick for the fluffy top bun and one thinner for the bottom bun.
Make your red meaty layer on the thicker side. We mixed in a little flakey dehydrated dog treat to change up the texture a bit.
For the lettuce, you can pinch off and hand form a very thin layer of green dough.
Once you’ve sandwiched your layers together, gently squeeze and shape the hamburger until you’re happy with the shape.
Dab a little yogurt or egg wash onto the top bun then dip into a bowl of sesame seeds for a fancy sesame seed bun.
Paint with egg wash if you prefer a shiny finished product.
For the mini corn dogs
Roll yellow dough into thick strips.
Cut your sausage style dog treats into nice sections and cover in the dough, being careful to shape the ends so the sausage part is prominently featured. You can trim the ends with a sharp knife if you prefer.
Bake your finished treats on parchment paper for about 20 minutes or until just starting to get a little color on your buns and taco shells.
Cool and serve!
For More Information
From cucumbers to potatoes, there is a wide selection of information on vegetables available on our Can My Dog Eat? directory page.
Learn more about feeding your dog a wonderfully varied diet while learning the limitations of a dog’s sensitive digestive system. We offer a collection of articles on foods that are safe, dangerous or even toxic for dogs to eat, including vegetables, dairy, bread, and junk food.