Corn has been one of dog food’s most common carbohydrate sources for years. But in recent times, corn has taken a lot of scrutiny by critics. So, if you’re a person who’s always bought dog food that contains corn as a primary ingredient, you might wonder if you should continue to feed it to your dog.
We completely understand why you want to learn more about the subject. And we’re here to tell you that corn in dog food is not necessarily bad. We will explain here why corn is getting such a bad rap today and how you can ensure that recipes that contain corn are healthy for your dog.
Corn: A Vegetable Under Siege
For years, pet food companies turned to corn as an added carbohydrate for dry kibble dishes. It provided a solid energy source that was readily available.
In recent years, there has been a lot of marketing against corn. Lots of products will advertise their dog food by stating they contain no corn, wheat, or soy – concluding that somehow corn in dog food is a negative thing.
But just what about corn is bad for your dog? Let’s explore the use of corn and dog foods and crack some myths about this ingredient.
Common Myths About Corn
Corn Is a Filler
It’s often said that corn is a filler in dog food. Technically, corn is not a filler. Although, its nutrient levels are less than remarkable. Corn is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals and isn’t very digestible. However, it is also not nearly as harmful as it gets the reputation.
Corn Causes Allergies
It’s widely said that corn can be a trigger for allergies when it’s consumed in dog food. We might even hear professionals warn against the use of corn in dog foods due to the risks involved. But how true is this? It is actually unlikely that corn would be the source of any food allergy in dog food.
But that’s not to dismiss the claims. It’s absolutely possible that your dog can have a corn allergy. However, when compared to other dog food ingredients, it is far less likely to cause allergies than other ingredients like protein sources (chicken, beef, etc.) and dairy.
Corn Is a Highly Digestible Grain
There is a big reason why it’s common to see corn in your fecal matter. Corn is not a highly digestible grain. In fact, your dog’s body has trouble digesting it at all. Full of starches and less than nutritious perks, corn isn’t nearly as easily broken down and your dog system as other greens.
Corn Brings Health Benefits
It is rumored that corn contains antioxidants that could potentially reduce free radicals in the blood. It is also a highly digestible fiber that helps the body regulate digestion. However, corn is not nearly as digestible as some other soothing grains like oats or barley.
Wheat and soy can be other troubling ingredients linked to allergies or intestinal discomfort. If you worry that your dog has an allergy to corn, your vet might recommend diet trials with a novel protein or hydrolyzed protein diet to rule out this possibility.
Can Dogs Eat Corn Syrup
If you ask, can dogs eat corn syrup? The real question is, should humans even be consuming corn syrup? Corn syrup is a highly concentrated form of sugar. It is good only in moderation, and that’s it. In reality, corn syrup, along with many other sugars and artificial sweeteners, should be avoided in your dog’s daily diet.
Even if your dog eats something sweet, a little is probably fine. After all, corn syrup isn’t toxic. However, it should never become a habit, and you should never offer treats full of corn syrup.
You might see corn syrup as an ingredient in some dog food treats. In small, small quantities, this is acceptable, permitting your dog has no sensitivities.
However, it does have its upsides. For instance, you can use a small amount of corn syrup on your pet’s gums if they are suffering from low blood sugar from treatment of their diabetes.
Even though corn has a pretty bad reputation among dog food marketers, it’s not as bad as they say. Corn is a perfectly acceptable carbohydrate in most traditional diets. If your dog has an allergy to corn, you can avoid it in their diet altogether.
Featured Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock