With summer only a few months away, I’m sure there are plenty of us who are daydreaming about backyard barbeques and pool parties. They’re synonymous with the good weather of summer. And seated beside the grill will no doubt be your trusty pooch, just waiting for some handouts.
Most of us aren’t shy about treating our dogs to what we’re eating from the grill – but there is one thing that we definitely should avoid giving them because it poses a fatal hazard.
And that is corn on the cob.
Corn on the Cob Can Be Fatal
In fact, it turns out that corn cobs are one of the most common foreign bodies that vets have to remove from the stomachs of dogs.
The reason is because unlike most other vegetables, corn on the cob won’t get digested by a dog’s stomach. Of course, this doesn’t mean they can’t eat some corn. Once corn has been removed from the cob it is safe for dogs to eat. The cob itself, however, is not safe for dogs to ingest. As a result, corn cobs are one of the leading causes for fatal bowel obstructions in canines since the cob can cause major intestinal blockages that need to be removed via surgery.
Unfortunately, not a lot of dog owners know this fact about corn cobs. One dog named Dozer had a close call after eating a corn cob. His family didn’t know about the dangers, but thankfully, when they realized something was wrong, they got him to the vet before anything serious bad could happen.
As a result, New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center posted a warning to their Facebook, saying, “Unfortunately, Dozer & his family learned the hard way that corn cobs aren’t safe for dogs – EVER. Despite how much you think your dog may chew a corn cob, it’s NEVER okay to feed these to them. Their body isn’t able to break down the corn cob & they get trapped in the intestines, resulting in a very sad, sick pooch that will likely require surgery.”
Of course, sometimes people don’t intentionally feed the corn cob directly to their dog. Sometimes, your dog will be sneaky and go rifling through the garbage looking for a tasty treat. Or, they’ll swipe one off the table when they think no one is looking. That is why it is importance that you always dispose of your corn cobs in a place where your dog can’t access them. And, like any other food you may have spread out for a gathering, you should make sure it’s out of reach of your pet.
If you suspect that your dog may have ingested a corn cob, get them to the vet immediately as time is crucial. If you catch the problem early enough, the vet may be able to avoid surgery by either inducing vomiting or pumping their stomach.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your dog ate corn on the cob then these are the blockage symptoms to watch out for:
– lethargic, listlessness
– abdominal tenderness or pain
– lack of appetite (although it should be noted some dogs continue regularly eating)
– trouble defecating, constipation
– behavioral changes such as biting or growling when picked up
Naturally, this doesn’t mean that your dog can’t ever enjoy a tasty corn snack ever again. It just means that you have to either remove the corn from the cob for them or supervise them while they enjoy their snack. And make sure all cobs are properly disposed of afterward.