Next time you're at a family gathering and someone asks, "can dogs eat cornbread?" you'll know the answer is yes -- with some restrictions. Cornbread is safe for dogs, but it's not an ideal treat and should only be given in moderation to avoid adverse consequences. Discover how much is too much for your pup and which common ingredients can make them sick.
Cornbread is Safe for Dogs but Not Always Healthy
Cornbread is commonly eaten with holiday meals or as an accompaniment to comfort foods. Albeit delicious, this crumbly bread does not provide dogs with much nutritional value. The main ingredients, cornmeal (ground, dried corn) and flour, contain high levels of carbohydrates. Although dogs do need carbs are part of a well-balanced diet, it's better for them to obtain carbohydrates from more nutrient-rich foods like vegetables or fruits.
Traditional cornbread recipes typically call for heaps of butter. Fatty foods are not ideal for dogs because they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, and even pancreatitis. Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas organ, is an uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening condition.
The high sugar content of cornbread can also have dangerous consequences for dogs. Most of the sugar in cornbread (around 10 grams or more in a single piece) is added sugar. This substance can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, or diabetes.
How Much Cornbread Can Your Dog Have?
Treats should never make up a significant portion of your dog's diet. Try to stick with the 10 percent rule, which recommends that treats stay under 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric requirements. Depending on the recipe, cornbread can contain around 200 calories in a single piece. That means a 20-pound dog should have no more than ¼ piece to reach their 10 percent daily maximum.
It can be challenging to know exactly how many calories Grandma's homemade cornbread muffins contain, so err on the side of caution. This yummy bread should not be a regular treat for your dog; moderation is key.
What to Do if Your Dog Ate Cornbread
If your dog does get into a whole tray of cornbread or eats a plate of cornbread stuffing, there's a good chance it'll upset their stomach. Monitor them for signs of digestive upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, and low energy. If these symptoms persist or worsen, see your veterinarian. Should your dog eat cornbread containing any toxic ingredients, seek urgent veterinary care.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
Cornbread recipes can range from straightforward to unique with unusual ingredients. Avoid homemade or store-bought breads with these harmful additions.
- Xylitol (common in sugar-free or low carb recipes or packaged products)
- Excessive butter
- Excessive bacon
- Excessive cheese
Fortunately, your dog doesn't have to miss out on all the fun. If you'd like to make them a batch of their own dog-friendly bread, consider making cornbread bite dog treats. There are also numerous recipes that utilize cornmeal as a main ingredient.
Can Dogs Eat Cornbread?
Cornbread itself is not toxic to dogs, although it's important to be aware of any ingredients that could be. Practice moderation and save this buttery treat for special occasions.