Jeez, the things you learn on the InterWebs. For a couple of years now, since we’ve been growing our own corn, we’ve been giving the cobs to the dogs. We were under the impression these “corn bones” were wonderful natural chew toys. By chance, I posted a picture of Oscar with a cob hanging out of his mouth up on Flickr. And I immediately heard back from a reader from Down Under, MoonTed, who ordered me to pry that cob out of Oscar’s mouth. She knows whereof she speaks. She lost a beloved dog when a piece of cob got lodged in his small intestine, leading to three days of suffering and an unsuccessful operation.
A Google search on “corn cob dangerous to dogs” will bring up dozens of articles like this one and this one warning you that corn cobs are right up there with chocolate and chicken bones as things to keep away from dogs. We’re on high alert here now as the dogs have chewed on corn cobs two days in a row now. Oscar doesn’t really eat them. He just carries them around until he gets bored with them and leaves to bark at the water in Lake Charles. But Lucy chomps them down into tiny pieces and eats them all up. Luckily it seems that — how shall I put this delicately? — things have been moving through regularly. But we’re still watching for any signs of distress. And we’re overdue for the vet, so maybe we’ll go down there today for a pre-emptive check.
In the meantime, read this article and weep. This article advises you to get your dog to the vet if you’ve even suspected he or she has gotten hold of a corn cob. Or at least be alert to the signs of intestinal blockage:
Signs seen with intestinal obstruction may include: vomiting or dry heaves, diarrhea (or straining), anorexia, painful abdomen, lethargy. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best course of action, be it watch-and-wait or be examined immediately.
We’re considering ourselves duly warned!
Also grapes and sultanas so no more fruit& nut chocolate for the hounds.
No bones (cooked or raw) and no raw hide.
We knew about the bones and the grapes (quel ironie!) Rawhide and greenies we banned on our own after seeing the frighteningly large chunks Oscar tried to wolf down. Also be careful with stuffed toys that aren’t made to withstand pitbulls. A terrier can rip out the stuffing from a kid’s teddy bear and eat it in under a minute.
Yikes, I had no idea. Like you, I considered these a nice natural treat. No more!
Green beans are good!
Jeffro, these are English dogs. They don’t take to green veggies much.
Thanks Lisa. We’ve grown corn for a while now and have always given Teddy and Malie the cobs. <:(
Why now rawhides? The kids love them!
Yikes. Phoebe has loved corn cobs too! She also gets the big knuckle bones (beef) which she gnaws into tiny pieces and which keep her teeth sparkly white. No pork or chicken bones of course. I still don’t understand the grape thing.. what about “The Fox And The Grapes” fable. oh yeah, FABLE. Who’d a thunk?
What I’ve always heard about rawhide is that it depends on the dog. Some doggies just lick and nibble on them. Some dogs (like Oscar) break off huge chunks and swallow them. If you have a dog like Oscar, you want to keep them away from rawhide.
As for the fox and the grapes, my understanding is that, although foxes are on the same evolutionary chain as dogs, they are very distant cousins — almost proto-dogs. So a lot of things that happened to dogs as they developed did not happen to foxes who did not evolve as much. All I can say is: thank goodness foxes have short legs. We’ve got loads of them and, if they could reach our grapes, they’d strip the vines in no time.
We’ve always just given the corn bones to the chicken birds. The dogs don’t get real bones because Britta gets violent. Real meat just turns her into a slavering beast one step away from Cujo. It’s not a pretty sight. Poor Nutmeg was debarked by a laser process in her former life (I suppose having 14 SCFTs at once would make debarking a good idea), and rawhides are verboten at our house. She tends to rip them into pieces and then choke on the bits. We do give some stuffed toys, but keep a close eye on them, because both dogs destroy them pretty quickly. We did find one stuffed toy, roughly the shape and size of a gingerbread man, only in blue (?) camoflauge. It’s made of rip-stop cordura and had a label touting that it was the same stuff the US Marine Corps used for combat wear. There used to be a squeaker inside it. Britta killed the squeaker within two days. Little Man is still intact, but his noisemaker is long dead. So glad Lucy and Oscar are okay!
Wow, I didn’t know this! Yikes. It’s one more thing to keep Jack away from.
Fortunately, he seems content with dentasticks, in general.
I wish I would have come across this a few days ago. I just lost my 10 year old English Mastiff to a 3 inch corn cob yesterday. She was given stew a few days ago that had corn cobs in it. She was fine on Saturday, very playful and her typical self. I woke Sunday morning to find vomit on the hardwood floors in multiple locations. I let her outside and she just went and layed in the grass. I figured she just did not feel well. She was brought in a bit later and pasted the corn cob at 1:30 pm with some blood. She was put outside so we could clean up. By 2pm she died. There was no advance warning to this. At first she just seemed like she had an upset stomach. You could tell she did not feel good but by 1:30 I new all was not well.
I am glad you posted this and I hope others will find the information in time.
I just lost my dog yesthurday when I saw her laying on the floor and didnt want to stand up.
She wasnt feeling good at all. I call my vet and went for a check up to find out that her heart and kidney wasnt functioning normal and
There was nothing that could save her. I had to say goodbye to her, my kids are so sad.
She started feeling bad on thursday night. I remember giving her a corn cob on wednesday for dinner.
I couldnt believe that she got so sick so quick. I was wondering in my head what whent wrong.
As im reading this page and im devesteted . Never never would I have giving her a corn cob if I knew this.
I wrote my story cause I fell so terrible and want to inform others.
So sorry about your dog. When I gave my dogs corn cobs — before I knew how dangerous they were — I thought it was actually a really safe thing to do. It seemed as if a vegetable would digest quickly and it was a better alternative to rawhide or bones. Turns out the cob bit is so hard and full of cellulose that dogs can’t digest it, but the cob is soft enough that they can bite and swallow down huge chunks of it — as they couldn’t do with a bone.
Oh dear, i gave my puppy a corn cob at tea time tonight…didn’t think anything of it. I do usually sway from here normal dog diet but i allow the odd treat, i’m now really worried about leaving her downstairs tonight! I will not be doing this again and have done more research into what is harmful!
Yikes! I had no idea that it was so bad for them, but I’m glad that I know now. I like to know exactly what I can and can’t put into my dogs’ bodies to ensure that they are as healthy as possible. As any dog owner, I love them and want them to always be healthy! Very good post, thanks for sharing.
I know first hand the dire consequences from eating a corncob.
Luckily my boy survived.
Story here if anyone wants to read it: