It’s fun to share our favorite snacks with our dogs. After all, eating together is a form of bonding for both dogs and humans. When we give our dogs a bit of our favorite snacks, it makes everyone feel good.
However, despite how great it feels, it’s not always great for your pooch. Some snacks are good for dogs, while others are dangerous. Others are not toxic ot them, but they aren’t good for them either. Where do corn nuts fall on the spectrum?
Can dogs eat corn nuts?
Technically, a dog can eat corn nuts. The real question is, should they eat corn nuts? The answer to this is no. Corn nuts offer no nutrition for your dog, and pose some risks to their health.
What are Corn Nuts?
Corn nuts are actually corn, with no nut involved. They get their name because they are made from corn. The way they are cooked gives them nutty flavor, hence the name corn nuts.
Corn nuts are made by deep frying or toasting corn kernels. This is what gives them their hard crunchy texture.
Just like humans, dogs require salt in their diet. However, too much salt can be toxic, or even fatal to your dog. The absolute maximum amount of salt a dog can have is 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
The truth is, this is a massive amount of salt. It’s difficult for dogs to eat enough salt to cause salt toxicity, but it does happen. Keep in mind that there’s salt in much of the food your dog eats, including their dog food.
Salt toxicity is rare, but even moderately high salt levels can put a strain on your dog’s system. If your pooch has kidney disease, they need a low sodium diet.
Corn nuts is high in salt, with 170 mg of salt per 1 ounce of corn nuts. Ths is one reason it’s not a good snack for your dog.
Another problem with corn nuts is that they provide no nutritional value for your dog. They are typically high in fat and carbohydrates. This makes them a high calorie snack, with no benefit to your pooch.
Another reason why you should avoid giving your pooch corn nuts is the risk of pancreatitis. This occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. The digestive enzymes from the pancreas are released, causing damage to the pancreas and surrounding organs.
A diet high in fat and carbs can trigger pancreatitis. Corn nuts are high in both carbs and fats.
Spices and Seasonings
Spices and seasonings are another concern with feeding your pooch corn nuts. They can contain ingredients that are harmful to your pooch.
Garlic and onion are popular seasonings in snacks, including corn nuts. They are great for us, but they are toxic to your dog. They contain thiosulfate.
This causes damage to your dog’s red blood cells, which leads to a type of anemia.
Spices like pepper can also cause problems for your pooch. Their digestive system is sensitive. When they eat spicy food, it can cause digestive upset.
Vomitting and diarrhea are common after a dog eats spicy food, including spicy corn nuts.
If your pooch has a corn allergy, chances are you are aware of it. Corn is an ingredient in most dog foods, so dogs with an allergy to it must have a special dog food.
The most common signs of a corn allergy include hives, skin irritation, and stomach upset.
Making Your Own Corn Nuts
If you really want to feed your pooch corn nuts, it’s best to make your own. This way you’ll avoid any spices that can be harmful to your pooch, and excess fat.
Of course, it’s still not the healthiest snack for your dog, but it’s better for them than the store bought variety.
First, you’ll need to get the right type of corn. When you think of corn, you may think of popping corn. To make corn nuts, you’ll need giant white corn.
It’s hard to find in American stores, but it’s common in Latin stores. It’s called Maize Mote Pelado in Spanish.
Soak the corn overnight. This is what gives you corn nuts, instead of popped corn.
Once they’ve been soaked, you can either fry them or roast them in your oven. If making them for your dog, avoid adding salt to them.
What happens if a dog eats corn nuts?
Symptoms of salt toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and respiratory distress. They will drink and urinate excessively in an attempt to rid their body of salt.
Neurological symptoms include tremors, seizures, confusion, and coma. Other symptoms include muscle spasms and stomach pain.
Over half of the dogs in the U.S. are obese or overweight. Empty calories, including corn nuts, are at the heart of obesity. Just like humans, dogs with obesity are at a higher risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
Pancreatitis occurs when a dog has too much fat or carbohydrates. Unfortunately, a diet in both fats and carbs increases the risk of pancreatitis the most.
The symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fever and lethargy are also common. Abdominal pain can become severe, causing the dog to take a praying position. They aren’t praying to a higher power. Instead, they place the front half of their body down and the rear half of their body up. This helps relieve the pain.
Spices and Seasonings
The two basic concerns with seasonings and spices in corn nuts are toxic seasonings and spicy seasonings that your pooch’s system can’t handle.
Toxic seasonings like onions or garlic will cause digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, typically within 24 hours after your dog eats them.
Symptoms of anemia can occur days later. These include difficulty breathing, lethargy, and an elevated heart rate. Their gums will become pale, yellow, or brown due to a lack of oxygen.
The symptoms of a corn allergy can include hives or skin irritation. Excessive licking or scratching are common as well. It can also cause stomach upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.
What to do if my dog eats corn nuts?
Your pooch finds your snack stash, and helps themselves to a bag of corn nuts. What do you do? Will they be ok?
The good news is that corn nuts are unlikely to cause your pooch serious harm. It is possible, but rare. In most cases, they don’t get enough of anything harmful to make them truly ill.
However, they may experience some digestive upset. Many symptoms can be treated at home, but there’s also a chance your pooch will need veterinary care.
Provide Plenty of Water
If your pooch eats corn nuts, you should be sure they have water. If they’ve eaten too much salt or a seasoning that is toxic to them, they will instinctively drink lots of water. This helps flush their system.
Treating Digestive Upset
If your pooch has stomach upset, it can usually be treated at home. There are a few ways to do this.
First, give them a bland diet. Boiled chicken and rice is a great way to do this. Give them two parts rice to 1 part chicken. If you give them 1 cup of food, you should give them 2/3 cup of rice and 1/3 a cup of chicken.
After a few days, you can transition them back to their regular diet. Begin with 1/4 regular food and 3/4 cup bland food. Each one to two days, increase the amount of regular food by 1/4.
There are also some human medication that you can give your dog. These include pepto bismol, famotide, and immodium.
Pepto bismol can calm your dog’s stomach. Give them 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. You can repeat the dosage every 6 to 8 hours.
Famotide is an antacid that can also be helpful for your dog’s digestive upset. Give them .5 mg per pound of body weight. You can repeat the dosage in 12 hours.
Immodium can be a good idea if your dog has dairreha. Give them 1 mg per 20 pounds of body weight. Repeat the dosage in 8-12 hours if necessary.
When to Call the Vet
If your pooch begins showing signs of illness beyond simple digestive upset, they will need to visit the vet. Again, it’s rare for corn nuts to cause serious health problems, but it is possible.
Pale or yellow gums, fever, seizures, or abdominal pain are signs of a serious health condition. If your pooch is not feeling well, or is lethargic, it’s a good idea to give your vet a call as well.
If your concerned about your pooch, err on the side of caution. If your dog doesnt’ seem right after eating corn nuts, give your vet a call.