Can Dogs Eat Grits? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat grits. Plain grits do not contain any toxic or poisonous ingredients. It is grits with seasonings that you should not give to your dog at all. However, keep in mind that the cons of consuming grit outweigh the pros. Dogs allergic to corn should not be given grits as they are mainly made of corn.

What Are Grits?

Grits are made from corn. The corn is usually processed to remove the outer layer or pericarp, and it is soaked in an alkaline solution to remove aflatoxins. They are regarded as porridge. They are usually served as breakfast or dinner.

Grits were originally a Native American foodstuff and are now widespread in the Southern U.S., stretching from Texas to Virginia, sometimes called the “grits belt.”

Grits high in carbohydrates and low in protein. The nutritional content in grits are:

  • Calories: 182
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 38 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams

Are Grits Safe for Dogs?

Yes, grits are safe for dogs. They do not contain any toxic or poisonous ingredients when served plain. However, grits with seasonings may contain harmful ingredients.

Why are Grits good for Dogs?

Folic Acid: Folic acid is necessary for normal metabolic functions such as DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for a dog.

Why are Grits bad for Dogs?

Vitamin B-6: This vitamin is responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, hormone regulation, immune response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation in your dog.

High in Carbohydrates: It does sound contradictory. But dogs do not need as many carbs as humans. It can also increase the blood sugar level in dogs.

High in Sodium: Grits are generally high in sodium. Excessive salt can even lead to sodium poisoning in dogs.

The following are the symptoms of sodium poisoning:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions or muscle tremors
  • Body weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased hunger and loss of appetite
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Death (in severe cases)

Difficult to Digest: Corn kernels or grits might block the digestive tract of your dog. They can choke its gut and digestive system.

Toxic Ingredients: Grits are often served with seasonings. More often than not, the condiments contain toxic ingredients like onion and garlic. The symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning are:

  • The smell of onions or garlic on the breath
  • Excessive salivation
  • Irritation of the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Panting (tachypnea)
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Collapse
  • Pale or bluish gums

Corn: Corn is one of the main ingredients in grits. Some dogs might be allergic to corn. The symptoms of corn allergy are as follows:

  • Skin irritation
  • Hives
  • Biting of the paws
  • Itching
  • Obsessive licking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping

How to Serve Grits to Your Dog?

The best way to serve grits to your dog is to serve them plain without any seasonings. Avoid adding butter, sugar, syrup, cheese, salt, pepper, crispy bacon, or other sugary or fatty ingredients. Instead, it is suggested to feed your dogs cooked and unseasoned grits.

Grits can also be served to your dog with eggs as they are a great source of protein for dogs.

How much of Grits should be fed to your Dog?

They can be fed a minimal amount as a rare treat. However, the drawbacks of feeding grits to your dog outweigh the benefits of feeding them to your dog.

What if my Dog ate Grits?

If your dog ate grits, keep observing him for sodium poisoning or onion and garlic poisoning symptoms. You could also watch your dog for signs of a corn allergy. Suppose your dog shows any of the symptoms mentioned above. In that case, rush him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Alternatives to Grits 

The following are alternatives to grits for your dog:

  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Boiled eggs
  • Bison
  • Kangaroo
  • Emu
  • Venison
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Grits Covered With Cheese and Butter?

Both cheese and butter are non-toxic to dogs. However, they are high in saturated fat. Some dogs might be lactose intolerant too. So, grits seasoned with cheese and butter should not be given to dogs. The following are the symptoms of lactose intolerance: 

  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Toileting accidents inside the house

Can Dogs Eat Fried Grits?

Dogs cannot eat fried grits. Fried foods, in general, should be kept away from dogs. They can lead to heart diseases and weight gain in dogs. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, dogs can be served grits as a rare treat in minimal amounts. The only safe way to do grits is without any seasonings. It would help if you also kept in mind that your dog is better off without grits being fed to it.

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