I think it’s fair to say that dogs are not fussy eaters for the most part. Of course, every dog has their own preferences, likes, and dislikes, but on the whole, they’ll eat pretty much anything. And they eat ever so quickly too.
These are perhaps the main reasons why a dog will eat a corn on the cob, and chances are, it’s the reason you are here today.
But how do you respond?
Should you be concerned or proceed in any particular way?
And, what should you do if your dog ate corn on the cob? You should safely and carefully remove any corn pieces from your dog’s mouth and prevent them from eating any more. You should then contact a vet immediately for further assistance, advice, and the appropriate course of action to take. An examination followed by treatment will then likely be prescribed.
Having observed my dog wolf down a corn on the cob only recently, I was very much in the position you find yourself in now.
I spent some time researching exactly what to do and would like to relay that information here with you today.
But first and foremost.
Can Dogs Eat Corn On The Cob?
Most breeds of dogs will be able to physically swallow corn on the cob and will likely do so either whole or in half. Although dogs should not be allowed to do so – it can be particularly dangerous.
For this reason, you should never offer or share a corn on the cob with your dog after you have finished eating it.
Cooked or raw, the same recommendations apply.
This is not a food that a dog should ever gnaw or chew on.
Because dogs have quite the chewing and bite power.
Their teeth are sharp, and they will effortlessly break the cob into large chunks.
But they’ll stop chewing, and they’ll swallow large chunks long before the cob is in digestible pieces.
Besides, a cob is mostly fiber – providing no real nutrition or value.
They are also likely to swell up in size (when ingested), they are rough (which can cause internal damage), and they are mostly indigestible (unable to be broken down).
That’s why if you want your dog to have something to chew on, a bone, or toy, or a purposefully designed dental treat is advised.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Corn On The Cob?
While some dogs may be fortunate enough to swallow and safely pass the cob, most dogs (especially the smaller breeds) will encounter life-threatening issues. Firstly, it is likely that a piece will get stuck in the throats leading to choking. If large enough chunks are swallowed, a dog is likely to suffer from serious intestinal blockage(s).
Cob’s are mostly indigestible, and dogs do not have the digestive capacity to be able to break them down.
This means, if they are swallowed, they are going to sit in your dog’s stomach intact.
It also means they are likely to cause your dog a lot of pain.
As your dog naturally attempts to dispel the cob, chances are it will get stuck in the intestines.
In extreme cases, it can lead to perforation (or tearing) along the way.
Worrying signs and symptoms that a dog has ingested and swallowed a cob are:
- Loss of appetite,
- Reduced movement,
If you suspect your dog has swallowed a cob, or even a fragment of one, or is showing any of the symptoms – contact a vet at the earliest opportunity!
What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Corn Cob
If you know that your dog has eaten a cob, even partially, you will need to respond quickly and proactively.
To begin with, you should check your dog’s mouth and throat.
Gently and carefully attempt to remove any larger pieces that are yet to be swallowed or that you can safely remove without harming yourself or your dog.
Next, you must ensure that your dog cannot access any more cob.
Remove it from reach and put any that is remaining in a secure bin. Check the area, as you’ll be surprised.
Your dog may have hidden some for later – so check around the house too!
Then, contact a vet. Right away.
You should let them know clearly what your dog has eaten, how much, and when you think they did so.
They will likely ask you several questions about your dog – including their behavior and potential symptoms.
Follow their instructions, although you should be willing to bring your dog in for a full examination.
Once this has been done, you may have additional steps (or your vet may) regarding how the situation is to be resolved.
Should I Induce Vomiting If Dog Ate Corn Cob?
It is not advised to induce vomiting in your dog if you know they have eaten a corn cob. You can cause further complications by doing so. Instead, it is strongly advised to take your dog to a vet.
For the most part, this is not something you should ever undertake yourself.
And this includes giving laxatives too.
Besides, what is not to say that you do not move the cob onto somewhere more dangerous – such as to the dog’s throat (where it can get stuck) or to the intestines where it could get lodged.
By going promptly to a vet, they will be able to fully assess and proceed as required and in a way that is best for your dog.
How Do Vets Treat A Dog Who Has Swallowed A Corn Cob?
Taking your dog to a vet is the recommended approach following a cob ingestion, but how do they treat the issue?
Well, it all begins with a thorough examination.
The purpose here is to try and locate the cob and assess the chances of it becoming obstructed during any potential removal process.
Some vets may induce vomiting- via injection – particularly if the cob was swallowed very recently and to move it up from the stomach and away from the bowels.
Although this is not a feasible solution for all dogs and in all cases.
As we have mentioned above, there is always the risk of the cob getting lodged in the throat, which can be life-threatening. And there is no guarantee that the inducing vomiting will bring the cob up from the stomach.
So, a vet may resort to further imaging to explore other avenues.
This may be what they do, to begin with, especially if symptoms of obstruction are showing or if quite some time has passed since the cob was ingested.
X-rays may be performed.
At this point, and ascertaining how big the cob is (and in relation to the dog and their digestive system), a vet will make a decision as to what to do next.
As previously mentioned, in some (rarer cases), they may let the dog attempt to pass it naturally.
But for the most part, a vet will likely resort to surgical removal.
Depending on where the cob is will impact the type of procedure.
Abdominal surgery is likely,’ and a vet will often do this as a means of inspecting a dog internally to see if the cob has caused any issues, ruptures, or damage.
They’ll likely treat such areas if detected.
Thankfully, foreign object surgery is quite common for vets as dogs love to chew and swallow large objects routinely.
That is not to say the surgery does not come without risks.
This is why it is essential to discuss your options with your vet ahead of time – before any medication or surgery is undertaken.
That being said, surgery is often required.
A cob cannot generally be left – it must be removed before it becomes life-threatening (if not already).
The faster the operation takes place, typically the better for your dog – as the cob has less chance to do damage.
Following an operation, your dog will need to recover, and they will be in a bit of pain.
Staying at the vets is likely for several days or a few weeks, depending on the treatment and op given.
Can A Corn Cob Kill A Dog?
A corn cob can kill a dog, and there are several instances and reports of dogs who have unfortunately died as a result of doing so. The smaller the dog and the larger the piece ingested typically result in worse outcomes.
And death can occur several weeks after the cob is ingested; due to complications that arise in response to the digestive processes.
For instance, there is a particularly sad story of a dog that died from internal bleeding; the cob cut through her intestines and caused severe septicemia (blood poisoning).
While this dog was particularly unlucky, it was hypothesized that her size was a contributing factor to her death.
That being said, veterinarians clearly state that this vegetable is not suitable for any dog of any size.
This is why it is essential to remain vigilant at all times to ensure your dog never has access to a cob.
This means they are never offered, never left on the side, and they are disposed of promptly and appropriately.
If a cob was to be ingested, then the speed at which you act can have a profound effect on your dog’s chances of success.
While veterinarians may be able to operate, it’s an extremely dangerous operation and not one that always ends with a positive outcome.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Pass A Corn Cob?
A dog that is able to pass a cob or foreign object will likely do so within 72 hours of ingestion. If they do not by this time or otherwise show immediate negative symptoms following ingestion – it is strongly advised to contact a vet.
In fact, if you know for a fact that your dog has swallowed some cob – even in smaller pieces, contact your vet immediately is recommended.
Make them aware of the situation. They may be able to support you and your dog in the successful passing.
In some instances, such as is the case with a small corn on the cob and with larger breeds, your vet may advise that you monitor the dog without any particular intervention.
The idea here is that the cob will pass through the digestive system (intact) and out the other end without any damage.
Although it must be said, this recommendation appears to be the exception rather than the norm and does not come without its risks.
This is because the cob could get lodged or stuck anywhere through the process.
If it does get stuck, your dog will likely react adversely, and this is when intervention will be required. And promptly.
Corn on the cobs.
Who knew they could be so dangerous!
And what they can do to a dog is very upsetting for sure.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this article today is this:
If you suspect your dog has swallowed a cob – even partially – contact your vet immediately.
Discuss the situation with them and let them dictate the course of action.
Inducing vomiting or diarrhea is never advised.
Nor is leaving it and hoping all will end well.
Even if your vet recommends that you let the cob pass naturally.
Getting their expert opinion is essential here. It’s rare that this advice is given.
And be sure to watch your dog closely.
Look out for signs and symptoms of pain and suffering.
If in doubt, reach for the phone.
And last but by no means least. Learn from this.
Keep cobs away from your dog.
Don’t leave them or any other potentially dangerous objects in an easily accessible place.
And think ahead.
These things happen and happen fast.
Nobody is to blame here.
But just ensure it does not happen again.
It’s best for everyone that way!
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- Dog Ate Egg Shell [Is This A Cause For Concern?!]
- My Dog Ate A Peach Pit [What May Happen & What To Do]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.