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The popularity of corn chips puts this amazing snack in its own league. From movie theatres in small cities, family barbecues, to parties in big towns, corn chips are still a favorite snack for many people. If you are a fan of this classic snack, you definitely know that once you start munching away on the tasty, crispy snack, it can really be hard to stop. But can we share it with our canine companions? Well, let’s find out.
First Thing First, Can Dogs Eat Corn?
Yes, corn is safe for dogs. So, sharing some corn with your dog is not a bad idea. In fact, in moderate quantities, corn can be part of a well-balanced diet for your dog. If anything, you will find corn in most commercial dog foods today. Dog food manufacturers favor corn because it is not only inexpensive but also a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and linoleic acids. You should only ensure that your dog isn’t allergic to corn before giving it to him.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Chips?
The short answer is: No, it is not recommended. While eating a few corm chips won’t harm your dog immediately, it may be detrimental to your dog’s health in the long term or if he consumes large quantities in one sitting.
Why Corn Chips Are Not Recommended For Dogs
Although you might be tempted to allow your four-legged friend to munch away this mouth-watering snack, some aspects of corn chips leave a lot to be desired health-wise.
Corn chips, especially the flavored varieties have a lot of sodium, which can have negative effects on your dog’s health. Generally, your dog can tolerate the sodium in his food or treat, but too much salt can cause health issues such as increased blood pressure and risks of heart diseases. According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council’s division, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, a healthy dog weighing 33 pounds ought to consume no more than 100mg of salt a day. However, 1 Oz of corn chips contains approximately 170mg of salt (this may vary with the brand). So, if your dog chows down a bag of corn chips, he’s likely to suffer from serious health complications, including sodium poisoning.
Sodium poisoning in dogs results in signs of vomiting, excess thirst or urination, lethargy, and decreased appetite. In severe cases, it may lead to seizures, tremors, coma, and even death.
Eating corn chips may also expose your dog to excess calories. According to USDA, 1 ounce of corn chips contains about 10 calories. However, most dogs need between 25 and 30 calories per pound to maintain a healthy weight. Although the amount of calories in corn chips depends on the brand that you buy, giving him a lot of corn chips is going to leave him with a lot of calories, especially if he is not athletic or active.
Although corn is healthy and safe for dogs, especially if given in moderation, the chips are often fried in oils, whose fats and calorie contents may sometimes veer into the unhealthy side. For instance, the fats may contain high levels of saturated and trans fats, which are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases in dogs. According to Harvard Health Publication, trans fats are bad for the health of your dog because they increase bad cholesterol, lower the levels of good cholesterol, and may trigger inflammation.
Other Health Concerns
- Corn is a common allergen for many dogs, so by giving your dog corn chips, you may be feeding your canine companion something that will cause him discomfort down the road.
- Corn chips with onion or garlic flavorings can be toxic to your dog.
- Corn chips also have a high glycemic index, which implies that they can increase your dog’s glucose and insulin levels. So, sharing corn chips with your dog may increase the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and weight gain.
- Like other snacks, corn chips contain preservatives, additives, acidulants, and emulsifiers, which may be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Corn Chips Healthy Alternatives
The American Heart Association suggests substituting low-fat potato chips, preferably unsalted, for fried corn chips. So, if you want to share some chips with your Fido, then low-fat potato chips would be a good option. But where can you get low-fat potato chips? Bake some at home. If you bake potato chips at home, you won’t use fats and you could use less salt. This way, you will end up with a healthy snack for your dog. Without salts and fats, corn/potato/tortilla chips can make nutritious snacks for dogs—after all, they are great sources of proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
Unbuttered and unsalted popcorn is another great alternative. Plain air-popped popcorn is high in fiber and packs a lot of carbohydrates that can provide your dog with extra energy.
You can also get your pooch dog biscuits that are formulated to offer your dog a wide range of health benefits including joint pain relief, improved skin and coat health, improved dental hygiene, etc. Check this post for our best picks: 10 Best Dog Biscuits to Buy For Your Pup.
As a responsible dog parent, your main goal should be to feed your dog foods and snacks that are healthy and wholesome. Don’t give in to his begging behavior to an extent that you end up feeding him wrong or unhealthy foods. Corn chips offer minimal nutritional value for your pup, and as we have seen in this post, eating a lot of it can compromise his health in several ways. The only snacks that your dog can eat without worrying about his health are those you’ve prepared at home because you can control the amount of fat, sodium, and other ingredients in the recipe. Besides, homemade foods don’t contain preservatives and emulsifiers that are often added to commercial dog foods to boost shelf life. Always remember that by denying your dog a few snacks, you are not doing him injustice but giving him a gift of long life.