Can Dogs Eat Grits, Or Is It Bad For Their Health?


Grits are dried corn kernels with higher starch content. They are made using stone to grind the corn kernels. Stone-ground grits have more texture and flavor as compared to the processed grits. Grits are commonly grounded finely, cooked, and then dehydrated for further cooking preparation. Can dogs eat grits? Grits are often found as an addition or paired with various foods consumed by many individuals.

But, can dogs eat grits? If your dog is not allergic to grits, though, you can serve him a small portion from time to time, and it will not be an issue with their health.

But there are some things you need to know before serving your dog grits! So, let’s have a deeper look into it!

Can dogs eat grits?

Commonly boiled in water with some milk added to it or sometimes salt, sugar, or even syrup to enhance the taste. It needs cooking for at least 45 minutes to an hour to make it soft and chewable. It is healthy since it is rich in iron and Vitamin B but not when other ingredients are added.

Grits are usually served during breakfast with butter, sugar, cheese, syrup and paired with a side dish such as bacon, shrimp, or even fish. Grits are a hearty meal for many people cause it is versatile and you can add just about anything to make it more delicious, flavorful and savory.

But when it comes to the friendly pooch, can dogs eat grits?

So, can dogs eat grits? For most dogs, it is safe, especially if they are not allergic to corn. It is digestible by dogs but not when it is in big proportion. Also, grits don’t have many nutrients, so it will not be much of a benefit to your dogs if they eat it frequently.

Different Types of Grits

Grain Grits

Dogs may not handle whole grain as humans can. They may not digest it well, and they may even have stomach upset in the process. If it is well-ground, grain grits, dogs may digest it easily. But not in a substantial amount and not fed to them often.

Can dogs eat hominy grits

Also known as lime-treated corn and often found as the key ingredient in grits. Corn is treated with lime and is safe to eat without any alteration to its nutritional value.

Can dogs eat instant grits?

Some instant grits may have other ingredients that may not be safe for your dog. There are also grits with flavors. Before you feed instant grits to your dog, remember to read the list of ingredients and the nutrition label to be on the safe side.

Quick and regular grits

They differ in size because of granulation. Quick grits can be cooked in over 5 minutes, while regular ones can be cooked in over 10. Regular grits have a medium coarseness, and quick grits have a finer quality.

White Grits

This kind of grit has a coarse texture, the taste is sweeter, and it is gluten-free. If you feed your dogs with white grits, do it in moderation. White grits are not healthy for dogs, particularly if served to them frequently and in enormous quantities.

Can dogs eat yellow grits?

Yellow grits came from yellow corn and are considered empty calories. There is not much nutritional value that your dog will get from eating yellow grits, and it even leads to health issues, including diabetes, heart problems, and obesity.

Can dogs eat grits that are dried?

Dry grits should never be fed to your dogs cause they will have difficulty chewing and digesting this food. It is better if it is served with water.

Cooked Grits

It is not harmful to your dogs in small quantities and, if given plain, with no additives. There should be no salt, oil, or any other ingredients.

Can dogs eat fried grits?

Refrain from serving your dog fried grits. As with any other fried food, it will not benefit your dog if it is fried grits. There are health problems that your dog may face later on if he is fed with fried grits often.

Plain Grits

Grits that are cooked and served plain to your dog are better than any other serving of grit. Just the same, it is not given as regular feeding.

Grits with Butter

Butter, when added with plain cooked grits, is unhealthy to your pooch. It comprises saturated fat and has no health benefits. It could even cause health problems with your dog in the long run.

Can dogs eat grits and Egg

Eggs are a healthy food choice for your dog, and if added to the occasional serving of grit, it will be a wonderful treat for your adorable pet. Your dog will benefit from the essential amino acid that the egg will provide. Eggs are also rich in protein, and this will be an advantage for your dog.

Grits with Sugar

It should not be added to cooked grits when serving it to your dog. Sugar causes weight gain, and it can spike the blood sugar of your dog as well. It can even cause diabetes in the long run.

Grits with Cheese

Can dogs eat grits with cheese? Some dogs are lactose intolerant, and cheese is made of milk. It is even salty at times which won’t have any health benefit to your dog. It is also rich in saturated fats.

Grits and Bacon

Bacon may be a sumptuous treat for your dog, but remember it has a high-fat content, and it is salty as well. This may not be a great pairing for your dog, and they will not get any nutritional value with the added bacon on grits.

Can dogs eat grits with Milk?

Some dogs are sensitive to dairy and may have lactose intolerance. They cannot break down lactose fully as humans can. Milk should not be mixed with grits to make it more flavorful for your dog.

If you are sure your dog has no sensitivity to dairy and can tolerate a few sips of milk, you may add some to their grits. Otherwise, keep it off their grits.

What to remember when feeding grits to your dog?

Do not add sweet toppings or salt to make it interesting for your pooch

Some dog owners may think that adding sugar or syrup to their dog’s corn grit makes it more appetizing for their dog. They may even add salt or something extra to the grits before serving it to their dog, but in truth, it is better if you serve it plain.

Don’t give grits often

It should not be given to your dog daily. If you give grits to your dog, it must be just on occasion. Grits may be easy to prepare, and you have them ready in your fridge. It should not be a regular meal for your dog.

Do not make it as a substitute for dog food

Grits are only given to your dog once in a blue moon. It is not their meal for the entire day while you vary the flavor to make it more enticing. Dogs don’t have the same preference as humans. They may like some sweet treats once in a while, but they are better off with the food they are used to eating.

Grits are just empty calories or what you call fillers and have no nutritional benefit for your dogs

As fillers, it just makes your dog full or seems to feel full, but in reality, it does not give them any health benefits. It is like junk food to dogs that can lead to weight gain if given regularly.

Remember that grits are high in carbohydrates

It will lead to an increase in blood sugar levels in your dog. Carbohydrates do not do as much good to your dogs, especially from grains, corn, and wheat. Better if it is healthy carbohydrates, coming from fruit and vegetables. Your dog will also not need too many carbohydrates to live a healthy life.

Some grits may contain too much salt

Can dogs eat grits containing salt? If you are not the one who prepares the grits and has used the instant grits, the sodium content may be high, and you should remember that a dog should not have a salty diet.

Your dog may be allergic to grits

Corn is a common allergen to dogs, and they will show an allergic reaction after feeding. Be observant when you feed your dog some grit cause he may show symptoms within 24 to 48 hours. Seek the vet’s help once your dog shows symptoms such as face swelling, sneezing, excessive itching, hives, red skin, vomiting, and check his eye area for any swelling as well.

Grits can cause dog obesity

If you thought grits are a healthy treat for your dog and they can be a substitute as a dog meal, you are wrong.

Grits can make your dog slowly gain weight with the empty calories they get from eating grits. They may enjoy eating it, but that doesn’t mean they are getting the nutrition they require. It could lead to obesity eventually.

Grits that have additional seasoning are unhealthy

What can make grits dangerous for your dogs is the seasonings in their preparation. Onion, cheese, pepper, sugar mayonnaise, salt, syrup, butter, or oil. Before you share your serving of grits with your favorite pet, make sure that it does not have any harmful ingredients in it.

Grits may be a choking hazard

If you feed your dog dried grits and they attack it with gusto, make sure that there is ready water for them nearby. The viscosity of grits and if it is served dry to your dog can be a choking hazard, especially if your dog will eat the grits excitedly and not pace his chewing.

Can dogs eat instant grits?

Instant grits are prepared commercially and may have ingredients that are not ideal for consumption, even for your dogs. Always check the label and see what is there that should raise a red flag, such as

  • BHT or butylated hydroxytoluene – is a chemical added to food to serve as preservatives. Sometimes this ingredient causes allergic reactions in the skin and further indicates that it has a carcinogenic effect. It is used as a pesticide in previous years. Every time you feed your dog something new, always check the label.
  • Palm Oil – It is considered toxic to dogs because of its laxative effects. It can cause dehydration, diarrhea, stomach upset, and restlessness. It is also a common cause of intestinal blockage in dogs because of the oil’s semi-solid state.
  • Soy Products – Some instant grits may contain soy, and some are genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Not only is it included in grits, but other food products contain soy that is as risky for your dogs.
  • Sodium – As we all know, commercial food may contain sodium, and it is not different from instant grits. It is why you should not serve instant grits to your dogs cause there may be a lot of sodium content that is dangerous when fed to your dog.

Your dog may be one of those who find it hard to digest grits

Some dogs can’t digest corn as easily since the digestive system of dogs is not designed for it. It can also block their intestine, which means huge medical bills later on. Do not just give your dog grits without being vigilant. It is a good sign if your dog acts the usual after feeding on grits. Please do not give them more grits after.

If your dog has issues with gaining weight, do not give them grits

Since grits are high in carbohydrates, giving your dogs grits can further add to the problem of him gaining weight. The excessive carb will not be helpful to your dog, and excessive feeding of grits may lead to weight gain.

Can dogs eat grits, and how do you serve grits to dogs safely?

Since grits are popular and are not toxic to dogs, always follow the right way to feed them. There are ways you can do so and to which your dog will enjoy having it, and you will not worry about your dog consuming it.

Don’t feed your dog too much of the grits

It is comfort food for humans but dogs giving it to them once in a while is the ideal cause then it will not be habit-forming. There will also be no consequences you have to worry about since you are giving grits to your dog occasionally.

Don’t serve dry grits to your dog

Although dogs can eat dry grits, it is better with a bit watery consistency. That way, your dog can eat his grits without difficulty swallowing or will not find it hard to chew.

If you are to serve grits to your dog, add a bit of protein

You can add fish, a piece of cooked pork, or even a small slice of egg on top of their grits. It will serve as a treat for your dog, which you can give to him on rare occasions.

Be vigilant when you feed your dog grits

If you are trying to give grits to your dog, you must be observant after they finished their serving of grits. You must also give them a small portion at first to adjust to the taste and texture of the grits.

Remain vigilant and look out for symptoms of allergy in your dog. This way, you can ensure that there will be no grits for him next time, and you can give him the necessary first aid for his allergy immediately.

Add vegetables on top of the grits

For an occasional serving of grits to your pooch, adding vegetables as toppings will be highly beneficial to them. This way, they have something to chew on apart from eating the grits. Some vegetables like carrots, celery, green beans, Brussel sprouts, cucumber, or sweet potatoes will be good for your dog, and as long as you cook and cut them into small pieces, there is also no worry about your dog choking on them.

Fruits as toppings

Fresh fruit will be an advantage instead of adding syrup or sugar to your dog’s grits. It is healthier, and fruits are available for purchase, such as bananas, avocado, apples, oranges, cranberries, strawberries, kiwis, and cantaloupe. Remove the seeds for any fruit that has it before putting it on top of their serving of grits.

Add broth instead of milk

If you like to add flavorful taste to your dog’s grit, another substitute is broth instead of milk. It is safer for your dog, and have a wonderful time to experience eating grits.

Never feed them grits filled with seasonings

Cream cheese, mayonnaise, gravy, or even syrup should never be introduced to your pet cause it is harmful to them. They may enjoy eating the grits because of the added taste, but it is never right to feed your dog anything with seasoning.

What are alternatives to feed your dogs instead of grits?

  • Broccoli
  • Oatmeal
  • Pineapple
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Boiled Eggs

If you want your dog to experience eating grits, you should ask for the vet’s advice or his go-signal. That way, you can breathe easy knowing your dog has no allergy or other health issues you should be wary of.

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