Grits can be fed to your dog as a filler in their dog food, but too many servings may cause your pet to develop a number of health issues. Continue reading to discover the link between grits and your dog's health.
What Are Grits?
Corn grits and hominy grits are both dishes made from ground yellow corn kernels or hominy (also known as maize). Ground corn grits have a smooth, mild texture and a bland flavor that holds up well to other seasonings. Depending on how sweet or savory the dish should be, cooks may add butter, cream, milk, salt, cheese, sugar, cinnamon, or other ingredients.
Grits are made by boiling ground corn in water or another liquid until it becomes thick. In the United States, yellow grits are a popular breakfast or appetizer in traditional Southern cuisine.
Can Dogs Eat Grits?
Grits' main ingredient is corn, which is a dog-friendly food. Plain grits are usually safe for dogs to eat in small amounts—no more than a tablespoon per day for a medium-sized dog.
The dish could be dangerous for your dog to consume depending on the exact ingredients you use and your specific pet. Because the simple carbohydrates and toppings in cheese grits, instant grits, and other popular types of grits are bad for dogs, make sure the food contains no extra seasonings or ingredients.
Avoid feeding high-risk grits recipes to your dog to avoid potential health risks such as poisoning or gastrointestinal upset. Human foods, regardless of nutritional value, should not account for more than 10% of your dog's daily diet to ensure balanced nutrition. Grits should never be used in place of your dog's regular dog food or kibble.
Health Benefits of Feeding Grits to Dogs
Small servings of grits may be beneficial to dogs. Consider the following grits health benefits:
1. Boosted immunity: When dogs eat hominy (corn), they consume folate and other B-complex vitamins, which may help your dog's body fight free radicals. This could slow the rate of cellular degeneration in adult dogs. Grits also contain leucine and arginine, two amino acids that may be beneficial to cellular health.
2. Improved circulatory system: Grits are high in iron, which your dog's body needs to produce red blood cells and keep his circulatory system healthy. The key to reaping these nutritional benefits is moderation, as adding large amounts of grits to a dog's diet can cause blood sugar levels to spike, resulting in negative health effects.
3. Supported eye health: Grits contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that may protect your pet's eyes from free radicals, allowing them to keep their vision as they age.
Health Risks of Feeding Grits to Dogs
Because corn is the primary ingredient in grits, not all grits are suitable for dogs. Dog owners who want to feed grits to their dog should think about the potential health problems this pet food supplement can cause. Negative consequences include:
1. Gastrointestinal upset: Unsafe seasonings on grits can cause digestive problems in dogs. Furthermore, your dog may have a corn allergy, which manifests as stomach upset. A lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea are all common symptoms of gastrointestinal upset.
2. Obesity: Eating too many carbs on a regular basis may cause your pet to gain weight quickly. Obesity can increase your dog's risk of developing potentially fatal conditions such as diabetes and pancreatitis.
3. Sodium-ion poisoning: Grits are typically a salty dish, and too much salt can be harmful to your pet. Feed your dog no more than a single small spoonful of plain grits per serving. After that, keep an eye out for unusual behavior. Salt poisoning symptoms include lethargy, frequent thirst and urination, and, in severe cases, tremors or seizures.