The following information is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Paws&Furs is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
*Can Dogs Eat Grits?*
Every now and then we love to feed our dogs other food that isn’t dry kibble. And this is for good reason because we care about our dogs.
However, most human food can turn out to be harmful to your pooch. This makes it necessary to research each new food you’re adding to your dog’s meal, or consult the vet.
So I guess you want to know how grit fits into your dog’s diet and how it’ll affect him.
Before we get to talking about grits and dogs, let’s take a peek at grit. This will give you insight into what this food is.
What Is Grit?
Grit is a staple food in South America, although it was originally eaten by the native Americans. It is commonly eaten as a breakfast delicacy.
They are made from ground corn. The variety of corn used is dent corn which is less sweet and starchy. It can be white or yellow dent corn.
Grit can be prepared in different ways and served with several dishes. This corn-derived meal tastes like corn, although they are sort of neutral and allow other flavors to blend in.
Now, grits can be prepared and served in multiple ways. A lot of people enjoy grits and shrimps, cheese grits, grit cakes, grits, eggs, etc.
As you can see, grit is something of staple food in some parts. So, can your dog eat it?
Can Dogs Eat Grits?
Yeah, dogs can eat grit. However, it is recommended you feed them grits in moderation. Grains like corns are not easily digested by dogs as humans do, therefore feeding your dog loads of grits can lead to stomach upset. That shouldn’t be the case if you stick to a small amount occasionally.
Grit is said to have empty calories. This is because it is high in carbohydrates while very lacking in protein. Therefore it offers your dog nothing other than calories (No nourishment).
This is not to say that grit is toxic or unsafe for your dog to eat, however, it shouldn’t be used as a major source of nutrients. Grit can only provide carbohydrates, and will only lead to problems when eaten in excess.
Do not attempt to give your dog grit if he has been established to have a corn allergy. It can get bad pretty fast. Therefore stay away from it by all means.
Are Grits Safe For Dogs?
A dog’s meal is a protein-driven one. As canines, their natural appetite tends toward meat, fish, and other proteins. On the other hand, grits are basically full of carbohydrates with little to no protein.
So are grits safe for your dog?
Yes, they are. Although, you’d have to play your part. As I’ve said moderation is very important when it comes to feeding grit to your pup.
Grits might not immediately cause harm to your dog, however, if eaten in excess over a long time, it can lead to devastating health conditions for your dog. And I’m certain you don’t wish that for your pooch.
More importantly, grit can only be unsafe if your pup is allergic to corn. As you already know, grits are made from corn. In that case, feeding grit to your dog can get bad pretty fast. You should therefore avoid it by all means.
The baseline is that you can feed grits to your pup in moderation. It will only lead to health problems when it becomes excess.
Health Benefits Of Grits
When all is said and done, do grits have any actual benefit to the health of your dog? Does it bring any additional nutrients into your dog’s meal?
Well, as a matter of fact, they do. Grits are high in carbs, fibers, and group B vitamins. While not a lot, these nutrients can add to your pup’s wellbeing.
Carbohydrates are necessary to provide enough energy for your dog. The right amount will give your dog the energy to run around and play all day. Without carbs, your dog is likely to be tired and docile.
Group B vitamins are essential for several enzymatic reactions in the body. When deficient, your pooch can down with different diseases including anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, and even seizures.
Fiber helps promote gut health. As is said, “the colon loves fiber”. It helps maintain normal bowel movement and increases the number of normal flora (good bacteria) in the gut.
Even though it doesn’t seem much, taking in these nutrients can do a lot of wonders for your pooch. Therefore feeding grits to your pup every now and then isn’t harmful and can add some health benefits as well.
Harmful Risks Associated With Dogs Eating Grits
As they say, too much of everything is bad. Feeding grits to your dog in excess can lead to several health problems that you didn’t account for.
The most sudden and life-threatening of them all is corn allergy. If your pup is known to have a corn allergy, then avoid feeding him grits by all means. This is because it can get bad pretty fast.
Corn allergy can lead to symptoms like;
- Skin irritation
- Biting of the paws
- Obsessive licking
- Abdominal cramping
In severe cases, your pooch can go into anaphylactic shock. Difficulty in breathing ensues and your dog might pass out. If any of these symptoms are noticed, make sure to visit your vet immediately.
Moreover, eating grit on a regular basis can lead to a host of health-related problems. Remember we said grits are mostly made of carbohydrates. Eating this continuously will lead to weight changes in your pup, especially if it’s a smaller dog.
While carbohydrates are good and necessary for energy production, it becomes bad when taken excessively. For a dog, it will easily lead to obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, heart diseases, etc.
Processed grit can also contain additional ingredients. These ingredients might be in excess or just plain toxic to your dog.
Therefore trying to please your dog by feeding him grot might do more harm than food. Moderation is a key factor if you decide to include this delicacy in your dog’s meal.
How Much Grit Can A Dog Eat?
At this point, we’ve already answered this question several times. Grit isn’t harmful to your dog, but it should only be given occasionally.
For the sake of clarity, it is best to feed grits to your dog at most once a week. And that once a week should just be a few spoonfuls.
Since grits don’t have many nutrients to offer except carbs, it’s best to avoid feeding them to your dog. However, if you have to, limit it to a few spoonfuls per week.
This way you can avoid all the health problems that come with loading your pup with carbs. Fewer grits, fewer problems.
What If Your Pup Accidentally Ate Grits?
With all the risks associated with grits, one might be worried about the fate of his/her dog. However, grit isn’t toxic to dogs. Therefore it would not cause any immediate harm to them.
Although, it’s a different ball game if your dog is allergic to corn. In this case, you would have to watch out for the symptoms listed above. If you notice any slight change in your pup, then visit the vet immediately.
Generally, grits won’t harm your dog after eating it just once. Although to be on the safe side, always keep them out of reach of your pooch. Moreover, you shouldn’t always be tempted to satisfy all your dog’s desires.
How To Prepare Grit For Dogs
If you insist on feeding grit to your dog, then there are some steps you have to follow.
First off, you might want to soak the grit overnight. This is to make sure it gets soft enough for your dog to eat.
Secondly, while cooking the grit, do not add any ingredients. In essence, cook it as plain as possible. Some ingredients can be toxic to your dog, therefore it is best to avoid them.
You should still remember that moderation is the key.
If Not Grits, What Else?
For us humans, grit is a very popular breakfast delicacy. It can be served with several side dishes like shrimp, cheese, eggs, etc.
However, it’s not the same for dogs. Feeding the just grits offer nothing but empty calories. Therefore you’re just predisposing your furry friend to obesity and other chronic health conditions.
So if you can’t feed grits to your pup, what other options do you have?
Well, there are quite a few healthy sources of carbohydrates and calories for your pup. They’re healthy and balanced. Balanced in the sense that they contain most classes of food, protein, and vitamins inclusive. They include;
- Boiled egg
- Sweet potatoes
Should Puppies Eat Grits?
The answer is no.
The nutritional requirements for puppies are different from that of adult dogs. Their stomach and gut are also more sensitive than the adult dog.
Therefore adding grits to a puppy’s diet can easily lead to gut irritation, stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is not good for a growing dog.
It is best to just stick to dog food specifically made for puppies. This way, your puppy gets all the necessary nutrients and grows up to be a strong and healthy dog.
Recap: Can Dogs Eat Grits?
Well, they can. Although the real question here is; should dogs eat grits?
Grit offers nothing but carbohydrates and sugar to your dog. Processed grits even contain additional ingredients like sodium in excess. All these are nutrients required by your pup alright but in moderate amounts.
Therefore it is risky if grit becomes a regular meal for your dog. It predisposes him to weight changes, obesity, heart and pancreas disorder, diabetes, etc. These are chronic conditions that can only be managed but not cured.
It is worthy to remember that grit is made from corn, therefore is not advised to be given to dogs with a corn allergy. If your pup comes down with mild allergy symptoms, they can go away without complications. However, that’s not always the case.
Corn allergies can also lead to a worst-case scenario where your dog is struggling to breathe and even pass out due to anaphylactic shock.
It’s not a new occurrence for our dogs to want to eat what we’re eating. And to achieve that they look at you with doughy eyes, hoping you fall for it. However, as a dog parent, you should know what is good and bad for your dog’s health.
This is because, at the end of the day, your furry friend really knows nothing about what’s wrong with him. Only you know, and you definitely won’t want to see your pup suffering from a condition you could have prevented.
Prevention is better than cure. Save your pup from the consequences of long-term consumption of grits. There are other foods that contain balanced nutrients that are good for your dog. Better still, stick to dog food and give your pup a treat every now and then.
For more information, check out;