It seems to be a pretty common misconception that anything a human eats can be fed to a dog without any risk of harm or repercussions. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.
Some table scraps are safe and even nutritious for your dog and can provide a wonderful and beneficial treat on occasion. However, others can pose serious health risks.
Dangers of Corn on the Cob
The main risk involved with allowing your dog to gnaw on a piece of corn on the cob is choking.
Generally, a dog has nice sharp teeth that can easily tear through and grind up many different foods to prepare them for a safe journey through to the stomach. However, with corn on the cob, can prove to be highly dangerous and possibly even fatal.
It is not uncommon that a corn cob is not thoroughly chewed up before your dog attempts to swallow it.
When pieces that are too large travel through the throat to the stomach, they can become lodged at any point causing your dog to choke or become asphyxiated. Even with an emergency trip to the vet and surgery, sometimes it can be too late for your beloved pet.
The danger of Table Scraps
There are quite a few dangers involved with feeding your pet leftovers from meals. Pieces of food or bone that cannot be ground into small enough pieces by your dog’s teeth can get caught in the throat, bowels or intestines.
This can lead to asphyxiation or blockages that can require emergency surgery to remove.
These can leave lacerations in your dog’s mouth, throat and intestines that can result in infection. They can also lodge themselves into any of those areas and require surgery to remove.
Aside from the risks of choking and obstruction in the bowels or intestines, there is the risk of illness like pancreatitis. Pancreatitis results when dogs are given table foods that are high in fat. This includes things like gravy, trimmings or butter and margarine.
In addition to the risks of foods high in fat, corn, in particular, can cause intestinal problems. Not all dogs are going to be able to eat corn without issues even if there are no worries about chocking and blockages. Some dogs have stomachs that are more sensitive and corn can trigger stomach issues.
For dogs that are used to be being fed table scraps on a regular basis and have become more accustomed to them, there might be a little bit less risk. However, it is generally not considered safe or healthy to feed your dog just anything from your leftovers.
Once you have determined which scraps should go straight to the trash, be sure that is kept out of reach from your dog. Some dogs have a knack for dumpster diving so take extra precautions when disposing of the scraps to make sure that your dog cannot access them.
Signs and Symptoms of Obstruction
There are some signs that can become apparent if your dog has an obstruction. Aside from obvious gagging or choking your dog can exhibit other symptoms such as straining when they attempt to eliminate or unusual diarrhea.
If your dog refuses to eat, starts to vomit or dry heave or becomes lethargic, these can also be signs that you need to make a trip to the vet to check for obstruction.
Additionally, a painful abdomen can indicate that they have swallowed something that is giving them problems.
If your dog shows any of these signs or if you have any suspicions that your dog might have eaten a foreign object or any food, like a cob, that they should not have eaten, contact our vet as soon as possible and arrange a checkup.
Your vet will be able to best advise you on whether you should bring your pet in immediately or watch and wait.
Be prepared to give a thorough history of symptoms as well as your suspicious regarding anything they might have consumed so that your vet can give you their best service possible.