The primary therapeutic use for corn silk in dogs deals directly with the urinary tract.

Corn silk was first documented for use in treating urinary tract infections by the Incans in Central America, believe it or not, so this is an old and reliable remedy that has proven results in canines as well as humans.

Because corn silk contains proteins, carbs, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, it packs a wallop. It has the properties of many diuretics as well, plus there is evidence that it can aid in inflammation.

  • Dog with urinary incontinence have been effectively treated with both natural silk from an ear of corn as well as corn silk supplements.  There’s no guarantee it will work for your dog, but they’re both worth a try. If one doesn’t work, then try the other.  Products like Nature’s Way Corn Silk Capsules have been recommended for use in dogs with bladder or urinary infections due to its function as a mild diuretic. There are many stories of pet owners successfully using corn silk to treat dogs with leaky bladders, for instance.  It’s a cheap option to try and Nature’s Way gets pretty good reviews on Amazon.
  • Because corn silk has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s ideal when it comes to treating infections in the urinary tract. It will improve and increase the output of urine in your dog, but it will accomplish this without increasing or contributing to any irritation. It will aid in the existing inflammation, thus making it an ideal treatment for a very tricky condition.
  • There is evidence to suggest that corn silk has applications when it comes to diabetes as well, although results have mainly shown up in humans and lab mice. The results of a study involving mice do suggest that corn silk can help lower blood sugar levels, but there’s no evidence regarding this effect in dogs.

using cornsilk for incontinent dogsDosage

  • If using supplements, follow bottle instructions. However, use common sense and take your dog’s weight and size into consideration. Start at the low end and work up until you see the desired results.
  • If using fresh silk from ears of corn; there’s no real recipe here. Remove the silk from your fresh corn, place the silk from 1-2 ears of corn into a pan with 1-2 cups of boiling water. As a guide for fresh, use the silk from one ear of corn per one cup of boiling water. Cover and let the tea steep for roughly 20 minutes. Give 1/4 cup for every twenty pounds two times a day.
  • If using a cut and sifted or a powder form, I recommend adding one cup of boiling water to two teaspoons of the dried corn. Cover and steep for 5-8 minutes. Strain and give 1/4 cup for every twenty pounds 2 times daily.

The following video shows you how to make corn silk tea from fresh corn silk. Simple!

Preventative Measures

Corn silk is widely seen as a relatively safe product to use for dogs and humans alike, but there are some possible side effects and precautions. For one, corn silk should NOT be used in large doses in pregnant dogs because it can stimulate the uterus and subsequently lead to miscarriage.

Because of the potential effects on blood sugar in dogs, corn silk could also be problematic for dogs with diabetes. While its use in humans has been proven to have some positive effects, there are still reasons to be cautious when it comes to using corn silk in dogs. There isn’t enough information regarding its use as part of a diabetes regimen.

Another issue with corn silk has to do with the potential for decreasing potassium levels in the blood, which can lead to the appearances of rashes and itching.

Reasons to Use

Corn silk is a relatively safe option for dogs and is primarily helpful when it comes to treating urinary tract issues. Dogs with leaky bladders have experienced tremendous improvement with corn silk and its anti-inflammatory effects are certainly welcome. Other uses have shown encouraging but limited results, so some caution should be taken when using it.

Still, corn silk makes for an interesting natural treatment for dogs both because of its tremendous upside and because of the unique way corn silk can be found in the first place.

The next time you find yourself shucking corn, give that “silk” a second thought before you toss it away.  You can learn more about how people use it for themselves as a supplement here.

The History Behind Corn Silk

Corn silk, unsurprisingly, comes from the corn plant itself and is derived from the “silk” at the top of an ear of corn.

There are a number of different names for it including Indian corn to Maize Silk to even Purple Corn.  The interesting thing about this herb is that it’s so generally discarded.

When shucking an ear of corn, getting rid of the silk is a bit of a chore and can be pretty irritating. Most people don’t think of the potential healing properties of the silk and for good reason, but the truth is that corn silk is pretty darn useful when it comes to your dog.

Harvesting the corn silk is a matter of pulling the strands from the ears of corn and spreading them out on a paper towel or even a plate so that they can dry. Corn silk should only be harvested from homegrown or organic corn, as there are pesticides and other problems that can crop up from supermarket corn.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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Showing 31 comments
  • wendy
    Reply

    Very interesting, thank you. Often corn sellers have a bin where people can shuck their corn and toss it, corn silk and all. So, rather than having to buy a lot of cobs – or any, check it out.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hey Wendy. How are you? I hope well.

      That’s a great idea; just make sure that the corn is organically grown though. You want to make sure that the corn and silk are pesticide free before using the silk.

      I love the idea and thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Janie

  • Elle
    Reply

    Hello, I was wondering about the dosage of the corn silk capsules you recommend or how much organic corn silk from ears of corn to use (in her food?). And should the silk be boiled first or is it best raw? I have a large dog (80 lbs) with some incontinence issues. Any guidance is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Elle:

      I recommend capsules since they are more convenient than playing with the actual silk on ears of corn. Try one capsule in the am and 2 in the pm. You can sprinkle on her food or pill her directly. If the capsules don’t work, you can also try an herbal tea by adding one tablespoon of corn silk dried herb to two cups of boiling water. Feed 1 tsp per twenty pounds of body weight twice daily.

      If neither work, you can also try Herbasaurs Bed Wetting formula for kids. Here’s a link.

      Hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Denise
    Reply

    Can you give too much corn silk. I have a Rottie and she has been on it a while, but lately started wetting while sleeping. She is 103 lbs. I thought she made need a increase in dosage. She was getting 2 tabs in am and 2 tabs in pm.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Denise:

      Generally speaking, cornsilk is considered pretty safe, so you might try increasing the dosage, unless your dog is a diabetic or potassium levels are a known issue. Studies aren’t real clear as to how corn silk affects diabetic dogs.

      Only Natural Pet makes a product that others seem to like if want to read more about it. Here’s a link. The reviews are pretty good.

      Janie

  • Jode
    Reply

    I have a 5.5 lb male Yorkie with night time incontinence. I purchased a bulk bag of corn silk (cut and sifted) from my health food store but I am not sure how much to give him. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Jode

    PS I have done a urine test on him and it shows no signs of infection or any other concerns.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Jode:

      You’re welcome. The easiest thing to do is to make tea by adding 2 teaspoons of the dried corn to one cup of boiling water. Cover and allow it to sit for roughly 8 minutes. Strain and allow to COOL before giving to your dog. I would give 1/8 cup twice daily.

      Hope it works. Would love to know so that others can benefit Jobe.

      Janie

  • Jode
    Reply

    Thanks Janie. I will give that a try and let you know how it works.

    Jode

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Thanks Jobe. Keeping fingers and paws crossed!

      Janie

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I have a seven pound Yorkie. If I buy the corn silk capsules what dosage would I use. Because she is small would she still take the dosage on the bottle.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      I would give her a half capsule in the morning and a half in the evening before bed.

  • Pat
    Reply

    I recently took in an almost 12 yr old Boston Terrier (about 20 lbs) as a foster. She has bladder control issues especially when she sleeps. I purchased corn silk. She is on a raw diet, can I just mix the corn silk in with her food if so, how much? Or is the corn silk more effective as a tea? If so, what would be the dose? Thanks.

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Pat:

      Did you purchase a supplement, capsule, etc.?

      Janie

      • Pat
        Reply

        I bought a bag of loose corn silk. I have been giving her about a 1/2 teaspoon twice a day for about 2 weeks and it hasn’t helped at all with her problem.

        • yourolddog
          Reply

          Hi Pat:

          I’m sorry the fresh corn silk doesn’t seem to be working. It could be that it’s not enough, but quite honestly, there’s no real dosage that I know of for fresh silk. You can try giving a little more, or getting the capsules and see if they make a difference.

          Not sure if you seen this page or not for help with incontinence. Here’s a link.

          It’s great you took in the old girl. Hopefully one of the ideas here will help her. Would love to know if one of the ideas work so that we can let others know.

          Janie

          • Sue S.

            I’ve been doing the extra capsule for 3 days now, not noticing an improvement yet, but perhaps it takes a little more time…

          • yourolddog

            Unfortunately, I don’t think it works for every dog Sue. It’s no different with dogs than it is with us. What works for me, might not work for you.

            Did you try out any of the other options on this page for incontinence? I’m especially curious about using wheat germ on the belly. Jane said it worked really well for her dog.

            It might be worth looking into. If you try it an it works or doesn’t, will you let us know please, so that we can share with others here.

            Janie

  • Sue S.
    Reply

    Hi. I have a beagle, she’s a year & 2 months old (& spayed.) I noticed her dribbling a very small amount about a month ago, seemed only after she urinated. brought her to my vet, urinalysis ruled out any infection, though, she was still prescribed antibiotics, just in case. After a few weeks, the dribbling was still present. I tried Proin, but she got horribly sick from it, vomiting. I decided to go natural if possible. I’ve purchased the 400 mg capsules of corn silk, started last night. Still not completely sure how much to give her. She is 18 lbs. Any help you could offer would be very greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Sue:

      Let me start by saying how sorry I am for my late response. Some how your your comment got lost among many others. Anyway, I would give her two capsules daily and see how it goes.

      The daily dose on the bottle is 3 daily. I would opt for the two; one in the morning and one at night. If it doesn’t seem to do much, I would increase to 1 in the morning and two at night.

      Janie

  • Denise
    Reply

    Why is my dog peeing in the house 13 years old and poop also right in front of me drinking water increase no dribble eating ok schedule change different

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Denise:

      I’m sorry to hear about you’re old timer. Anything else going on with her/him? Arthritis, diarrhea, wandering the house at night, etc.?

      Did you say that your scheduled had changed?

      Janie

  • Sandi
    Reply

    70 lb dog w incontinence has been on Proin/PPA for a few months and we just found out about the corn silk so want to try this natural alternative. Do we stop Proin first? Can he take both? Proin helped a bit but not completely. Proin dose was slowly increased and now at 75mg 2x daily. Thanks!

  • gene
    Reply

    We have a 5 year old 95 pound Golden and he has recently been having incontinence issues and licking. We have had all the tests and no infection and while he is on medication there is no licking or peeing while he is asleep. As soon as we stop the medication 24 hours to 5 days later it starts again. Can anyone help. He is not spayed and we are not wanting to do so unless we have to….

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Gene:

      Have you looked at our page natural remedies for dogs who are incontinent? There’s some great options. I personally use the first option with the yogurt and vinegar. I’m very curious about the wheat germ on the belly though and plan on trying that to see how it works on my lab once the other runs out.

      It’s certainly worth a shot.

      Janie

  • Rodrick Helstrom
    Reply

    Well done. keep up the good job

    • janie
      Reply

      Thank you Rodrick!

      Janie

  • Krista S
    Reply

    I have an 11lb, 2.5 year old Shih Poo, who has been wetting her bed when she sleeps. This started a few months ago. We took her to the vet and ran tests, with urinary incontinence from spraying being the most likely culprit. The vet suggested Incurin, but I would rather give her something more natural. In my research I found Corn Silk for this issue. However I am not sure what dosage to give an 11 lb dog. Any suggestions?

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Krista:

      I include the dosage in the article for using Corn Silk. Here’s another article when other ideas for treating incontinence naturally: Natural Remedies for Incontinence in Dogs

      Hope this helps.

      Janie

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