Can Dogs Eat Cornbread?

Pieces of cornbread on a blue plate.

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Part of loving our dogs is loving to spoil them every once in a while, and sometimes that means sneaking them a little something special off the dinner table. And if cornbread is on the menu, you might be wondering whether it’s safe to share—and if so, whether there are any specific ingredients that you may have added to your cornbread that should be avoided.

The short answer: yes—and yes.

Basic cornbread, made of wheat flour, cornmeal, milk, eggs, baking powder, salt, and a touch of sugar, is safe to feed dogs in small amounts. Where things get not-so-safe is if there are added ingredients, such as butter, hot peppers, or scallions, all of which are best to avoid with your furry friend.

Below, we’re covering the basics of feeding dogs cornbread, including when you should skip it and stick to a more pet-friendly treat instead.

Feeding Dogs Cornbread: Moderation Is Key

There are many human foods that are perfectly safe for dogs to enjoy and that even offer some health benefits, such as peas, apples, and salmon. Then there are foods that should never be fed to dogs, including onions and chocolate.

Cornbread falls in the middle. It’s not unsafe for dogs to eat on occasion and in moderation, but it doesn’t offer them any health benefits, and it certainly shouldn’t become part of their regular diet.

Of course, not all cornbread recipes are the same, and there are certain added ingredients that put this human food in the solid “no” category. Here are some of the things you’ll want to stay away from.

Cornbread Mix-Ins: What's Safe for Dogs and What's Not?
  INGREDIENT SAFE? 
Bacon In small amounts
Crumbled sausage No 
Pepperoni No 
Corn kernels In small amounts 
Scallions No 
Onions No 
Garlic No 
Spicy peppers  No 
Green chilis No 
Bell peppers Yes 
Extra sugar No 
Butter   No
Herbs (basil, parsley, sage, dill) Yes 
Cheese In small amounts 

As well, be wary if you’re making your cornbread from a mix, instead of from scratch. Check the ingredient list carefully, and keep an eye on the sugar and salt content. In many cases, cornbread cooked from a mix will still be fine for your dog in moderation, but again, you’ll want to avoid harmful mix-ins and anything that you know will upset your dog’s stomach.

Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Cornbread

As long as you are only feeding your dog cornbread in small amounts, there are unlikely to be any side effects that you have to look out for.

However, if your dog vomits, has diarrhea, presents with itchy skin, or gets a rash, that’s a sign of a potential wheat allergy, or of a possible negative reaction to something else in the cornbread. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Is Cornbread Good for Dogs?

Cornbread isn’t necessarily good for dogs, as it doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits. That being said, when fed as an occasional snack and devoid of any toxic extra ingredients, it’s unlikely to be harmful either.

What’s important when feeding your dog cornbread—and most human foods, for that matter—is to limit the amount that you feed and to not make it a regular thing. A couple of bites of cornbread here and there is going to be just fine for most dogs, provided they don’t have any sensitivities or allergies to its ingredients, but be careful not to overdo it.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Cornbread

Dogs don’t usually have moderation on their minds when they get into a tasty human food like cornbread. So if your pup gets their paws on it and eats more than a small amount, you’ll want to monitor them for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, constant gulping, and/or loss of appetite. If any of these things occur after your dogs eat cornbread, a trip to the vet is in order.

If your dog eats a small snack’s worth of ingredient-safe cornbread that you provided to them, they should be just fine. Still, watch out for any negative reactions, and reach out to your vet if you notice they’re not acting like themselves.

The Final Verdict

Standard cornbread doesn’t offer any health benefits for your dog, but it shouldn’t be harmful either. To be safe, always avoid feeding your dog cornbread with any toxic mix-ins, and keep cornbread as a small and once-in-a-blue-moon treat.