Corn Pops are a breakfast cereal made by Kellogs and launched as far back as 1950.
Although they were called Corn Pops back then and are called Corn Pops now, this cereal has been known by various different names between then and now.
Including Sugar Corn Pops and Sugar Pops.
In 2006, Kellogs rebranded them as Pops but were forced to change the name back to Corn Pops after the rebranding led to a collapse in sales…
Having looked into the history of this cereal, in the next section I want to start to look at how suitable they are as dog food.
And I will start by looking at the ingredients.
What are the ingredients in Corn Pops?
There are three main ingredients in these cereals; milled corn, sugar and corn syrup.
Then there are five ingredients that are found in much smaller quantities.
And they are:
Salt, vegetable oil, mixed tocopherol, annatto extract colour.
And what I mean by smaller quantities is that none of these ingredients account for more than 2%.
On top of this, Corn Pops are fortified with a fairly long list of vitamins and minerals.
But I will dig into this list a bit later.
But for now, I want to look at the ingredients in more depth.
Milled corn is simply corn that has been ground into flour.
Corn won’t harm your dog in any way.
It is about 20% carbohydrate and so you need to bear that in mind but otherwise it is low in fat.
Sugar and Corn Syrup
The other two main ingredients in Corn Pops are much more unhealthy.
Although, to look on the bright side, they’re not toxic to your dog.
I have grouped sugar and corn syrup together because they are essentially two forms of sugar.
Corn syrup is made from the starch of corn and contains lots of sugar-up to 77% in fact.
And anything which is high in sugar is bound to have lots of calories.
As well as the high calories, sugar should also be considered unhealthy for our dogs because of the effect it has on their teeth.
A high sugar diet will mean that their teeth will decay faster.
In the next section I will look at the “smaller” ingredients that you will find in a pack of Corn Pops.
And the question is, will these be any healthier for your dog?
OK. First up, we have salt.
And so the answer to the question about whether these ingredients will be any healthier, seems to be “no”!
As with humans, if a dog’s diet contains too much salt then they are at risk of things like high blood pressure.
And dogs can suffer from something called salt poisoning- which is when a dog ingests a massive amount of salt in a very short space of time.
An example of this might be when a dog drinks lots of sea water whilst swimming in the sea if he was left unattended in the Corn Pop warehouse for a few days!
Although salt poisoning can be fatal, in practice this only happens when a dog has no fresh water to drink.
And to be serious, the amount of salt that is in this cereal is very small. As we have already said.
So you can cross salt poisoning off your list of things to worry about.
Vegetable oil isn’t toxic to your dog.
Although eating excessive amounts of vegetable oil might potentially lead to vomiting, diarrhea or even pancreatitis, the amount of vegetable oil that is used to make Corn Pops is minute.
Its biggest effect will be to add a few more calories to the mouthful of Corn Pops that they are chewing!
And our final two ingredients are foods that you might not have heard about before.
Mixed tocopherols are compounds that contain vitamin E.
I mean the science is a bit more complicated than that but if you see mixed tocopherols on a packet of ingredients, then it just means that the food contains vitamin E.
Of course, dogs aren’t toxic to vitamin E.
It helps to boost their immune system as well as helping to keep their heart and liver.
And most dogs don’t need to have extra vitamin E because it will have been added to most good quality commercial dog foods.
Oh and by the way, avocados and spinach are two foods which are naturally high in vitamin E.
Annatto Extract Colour
This ingredient just adds colouring to these delicious cereals.
It adds a dark orange or red colouring to any food that it is added to.
The colouring is derived from seeds from an achiote tree.
In Europe it has been added to various foods for over two hundred years.
And in America, it is the extract which gives Graham crackers and goldfish crackers their colour!
Annatto is safe for human consumption and dog consumption.
Our last real ingredient is wheat starch.
This is just the starch which is extracted from wheat when it is processed.
Starch is added to foods in order to thicken the mixture and to provide texture- pretty important when it comes to a food with such a unique shape as Corn Pops.
Anything that contains wheat will be a concern for dog owners whose dogs are gluten intolerant.
However, with so little wheat starch being used in this recipe, it will be unlikely to affect even the most sensitive of dogs.
Having examined all of the ingredients which are used to create Corn Pops, in the next section I want to focus on the vitamins that are added to each packet of Corn Pops and how these might affect your dog.
Added or fortified vitamins
Adding vitamins and minerals into foods is very common and stretches back to the 1920s in America- although it didn’t really take off until the 1980’s.
It was a way of making sure that as many people as possible consumed enough vitamins because these vitamins could stop a person from becoming ill.
Cereals are one of the most common foods to be fortified with added vitamins.
As far as Corn Pops, most of the added vitamins are B vitamins- B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12.
Now as I mentioned earlier, your dog probably won’t need this tiny boost of B vitamins because good quality dog food, whether it is wet or dry, is already fortified.
Dog food contains the right amount of vitamins and minerals that experts believe dogs need to live active and healthy lives.
And don’t worry.
Your dog won’t be harmed by eating a breakfast cereal that has been fortified with vitamins and minerals.
And so, having looked in some depth at all of the ingredients which are used to make Corn Pops, it helps us to answer the billion dollar question…
Can dogs eat Corn Pops?
And the answer is that yes, of course a dog can eat Corn Pops.
Because they contain so much sugar, you really should limit the number of Corn Pops that you share with your dog at the breakfast table.
But they don’t contain any ingredients which will poison your dog.
Although if your dog is left alone with a whole packet of these cereals then their stomach (and your floors) might suffer from a bit of diarrhea.
But any unfortunate episode such as that should resolve itself within a day!
¹ Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr