Cornbread is easy to make bread and is “supaw” delicious. When you bake cornbread at home, you might see your dog drooling over the sweet aroma of this yummy treat. Yet, you must know everything about cornbread before serving it to your puppy. If you are thinking of giving cornbread to your dog, you might have wondered:
Can dogs eat cornbread? Whether it is safe for your canine or not? And lastly, if they can, are there any precautions attached?
Can Dogs Eat Cornbread?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat cornbread. However, cornbread falls in the middle of absolutely fine and altogether toxic dog foods. Cornbread is perfectly safe for your canine friend if fed occasionally but making it a part of your pup’s regular diet as a staple food is not a good idea. These humans’ best friends are delighted to eat their owners’ food. Spoiling your pup by offering him a small quantity of cornbread once in a while will not cause any trouble for him, but if it is fed more often, that won’t help them.
Despite being so mouthwatering, cornbread has many secrets lying underneath. Let us reveal those secrets for you. First, the benefits.
Health Benefits of Feeding Cornbread to Dogs
Cornbread is minimal in nutrition for dogs, but the primary ingredient of cornbread is “corn,” which is high in:
Fibers, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, iron folates, and a host of vitamins, including A, B-6, and B-12. Fibers help reduce blood sugar levels while absorbing cholesterol. It is also considered good for weight loss because fiber passes through the body without being digested; it fills us—and our dogs—up without adding calories to our daily intake.
Similarly, cells need phosphorous to function normally. It also helps the body make energy and form healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also essential for building strong bones and teeth. Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
Likewise, vitamins also make an essential part of dogs’ diet, taking up various roles, such as converting food and carbs into energy, breaking down proteins, improving vision, and improving cell function, to name a few.
The amino acids act as antioxidants to prevent cells from damage, help build protein in the body, and control different organs’ functions.
All of these nutrients found in cornbread are considered important for dogs. But it still cannot be an integral part of dogs’ staple diet as they are not found in the requisite quantities.
How to Feed Cornbread to a Dog?
Usually, homemade cornbread is the most preferred choice for your dog rather than store-bought boxed mixes.
The most significant benefit of homemade cornbread is that you can make it in a way that is more suitable for your dog. You can reduce sugar, flour, and salt in the cornbread or keep them out of it and make the healthier version for your puppy.
On the other hand, store-bought boxed cornbread is made in accordance with the human taste and not with the health considerations of dogs in mind. The manufacturers sometimes add extra sugar or other ingredients to sweeten the cornbread and may also include onion or garlic. All of these ingredients are dangerous for your pup.
Furthermore, the store-bought cornbread includes additives and preservatives. Preservatives like sulfur dioxide or potassium sulfite are highly toxic if fed in large quantities. It does not necessarily mean that store-bought cornbread is harmful to dogs, a small proportion won’t hurt your pooch, but it is better to be avoided.
However, if there is onion added, you must avoid feeding cornbread to dogs.
Things to Consider While Feeding Cornbread to Dogs
As discussed earlier, one or two small pieces of cornbread are enough for your doggy. But unfortunately, not all ingredients in cornbread are safe for dogs. Let’s dive into details to find out what is safe and what is unsafe for canines in cornbread.
Offer your furry buddy a basic cornbread to be on the safe side. Basic cornbread is made up of wheat flour (can be made without what as well), cornmeal, milk, eggs, baking powder, salt, and a touch of sugar. You can also add herbs like basil, parsley, sage, dill, or bacon and kernel corns in tiny amounts. Keep in mind, moderation is the key.
Avian vets advise dog owners to avoid using the following ingredients in cornbread:
- Crumbled sausage
- Spicy peppers
- Green chilis
- Bell peppers
- Extra sugar
Some of these ingredients—such as onions—are highly toxic to dogs. If the cornbread contains any of the above ingredients, find something else to treat your dog with.
Health Concerns of Feeding Cornbread to Dogs
Cornbread is not harmful if fed in a controlled amount and occasionally, but it contains high fat and sugar levels that can easily upset your pooch’s stomach if overfed. A standard cornbread contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar, equal to 20 grams of sugar. If you are feeding a small piece to your pup, the sugar level consumed by him will not be intolerable.
However, some dogs are allergic to wheat and grain that are present in cornbread. If your canine is suffering from diarrhea, itchy skin, or rash, it can result from such allergies.
Once you are aware that your pooch is allergic to wheat or grain, take him to the vet, and it is best to avoid feeding him cornbread in the future and get him some grain-free treats and food.
Is Cornbread Bad for Dogs?
Cornbread can be a bad choice for dogs with the following health issues:
- If they are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
- If they are on a weight management program due to being overweight.
- If they are sensitive or allergic to corn, wheat, or gluten.
- If they are lactose-intolerant.
It is advised to keep the cornbread far away from such dogs.
What To Do if Dog Becomes Unwell After Eating Cornbread
Dogs can overeat cornbread because they have no idea of moderation in their minds. You must keep an eye on your pup when he is eating cornbread. There can be situations when your pooch gets a lot of this aromatic treat without you noticing. If you suspect that he had consumed more than allowed, look for the possible symptoms like:
- Constant gulping
- Loss of appetite
If any of the above signs occur, rush to the vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Cornmeal?
Just like cornbread, dogs can eat cornmeal but better be avoided. Cornmeal has been a part of dog food as a filler utilized for mass-produced dog food, but it is not a dog’s natural diet. Many dogs face digestive issues after eating cornmeal. Dog parents should know that though this is commonly used in dog food, it doesn’t offer any nutritional value to dogs.
Another problem is that the cornmeal available in the markets these days are poorly manufactured with zero nutrients. It is falsely advertised as a good alternative protein source. It can only be used as a binding agent in canine food but cannot be treated as an addition to your pup’s balanced diet.
Normally, dogs do not have any instant reaction to cornmeal, but your pup can develop an allergy if you add it in homemade dog food and treats or feed him cornmeal frequently.
Dogs eating cornmeal frequently may develop some issues. Check for the following symptoms:
- Weight gain issues
- Coarse throat or cough
- Flaky or itchy skin
- Ear infections
These signs can also indicate grain allergy. Seek your vet’s advice if any signs show up and switch your pup to grain-free dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Muffins?
Corn muffins are made by pouring the cornbread batter into a muffin pan instead of a baking dish. Muffins are a tasty treat for your dog but as a ‘sometimes’ food.
The ingredients in a corn muffin are not toxic unless your pup has an allergy to any of them. Like cornbread, the only risk of corn muffins is wheat allergy. The commonly seen symptoms of wheat allergy are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset, and liver failure in the worst cases.
Alternative to Cornbread for Dogs
According to the vet’s suggestions, it is best to stop offering a portion of food to your dog if you are unsure about it. Still, there are many ways in which you can surprise your furry buddy with this tasty supper. Even if your doggy is allergic to some of its ingredients, you can still bake cornbread for him by simply replacing some of its ingredients.
For example, if your pooch is lactose intolerant, you can use soy milk or almond milk in place of regular milk. And for wheat allergy, you can use rice flour, oat flour, or potato flour.
Pumpkin muffins or oatmeal muffins can be a harmless substitute for corn muffins, and your puppy will appreciate its delectable sweet taste.
So, can dogs have cornbread? It is quite clear that they can but one or two bites once in a blue moon. A standard cornbread does not offer many nutrients, but at the same time, it is not harmful either. The corn in the cornbread has a variety of nutrients in it, but a tiny piece will not benefit your pooch much.
Although cornbread and cornmeal are frequently used food in dogs’ diets, they can develop allergies in dogs and better be avoided. Especially the store-bought cornbread boxes should not be used because the high level of sucrose can lead to weight gain or obesity, and additives and preservatives are dangerous for your hound’s health as well.