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Corn Cobs - A Hidden Danger for Dogs

by You Lucky Dog (follow)
Pack leader to my tribe including dogs, cats, birds, fish and kids. Freelance writer and all around Lucky Dog
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I have a dog that loves to chew so I am always looking for new things to keep her entertained. At a recent family barbeque, I thought it was a great idea when one of the kids tossed her a corn cob to chew on.

corn cob, dog food, dangerous dog food
Ginger chewing corn cobs

She loved it. And I thought it was so cute, I even took pictures. Ginger seemed to enjoy chewing the corn cob almost more than her fresh bones. Maybe it was the slightly soft texture, or the combination of bits of roasted corn with butter still clinging to the cob. I thought I had found a new treat that would keep Ginger entertained and satisfy her chewing desire.

To be safe, I spoke with my vet about corn cobs and was shocked to find out that they pose a very serious danger to dogs. Corn cobs are not only a choking hazard, but they can also cause severe intestinal obstructions or blockages.

corn cob, dog food, dangerous dog food
STOP! Don't let your dog chew corn cobs!

The corn cob does not break down in the intestine and can be very difficult, if not impossible, for your dog to pass if they swallow any of it. You may think your dog cannot swallow a large corn cob, but they chew off pieces quite easily. These undigestible pieces of cob are what present the real danger.

corn cob, dog food, dangerous dog food
The corn cob I removed from Ginger, note the small piece she could have ingested- leading to a possbile intestinal blockage

Small pieces of corn cob can build up in the intestines causing an obstruction. If you think that your dog may have eaten a corn cob, it is best to take them to the vet to get checked out. My vet has also recommended these warning signs that may indicate an intestinal blockage or obstruction:

Loss of appetite
Distended abdomen
Diarrhea or difficulty in defecating
Muscle contractions

Not all of these symptoms may be present. In fact there are stories of dogs showing no symptoms until they were quite unwell.

Tips to help keep your pet safe:
Never feed your dog corn cobs or allow them to chew on corn cobs.
Corn husks are also dangerous and should be kept away from dogs.
Ensure that all food scraps are secured in a sealed bin that your pet cannot access.
When having friends or family over, monitor your dog to ensure that noone slips them a "treat" that could be harmful.

#Pet Care
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I'm glad to hear Ginger is alright and now banned from corn cob chewing. So many dangers out there for our darling fur-kids. Our little Bichon Frise X Millie loves bacon rind and I cut up a small amount finely for her because she just swallows it whole. I know she enjoys it because she licks her eyebrows :-)
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