Is Corn Bad in My Dog’s Diet?

Dogs, Nutrition

One common dog food ingredient that has been villainized by dog food advertising campaigns is corn. We are being told that corn, a food substance that is found in most average Americans’ daily diet, is not appropriate for our four legged friends.

Corn is Mostly Okay

Unless your dog has a very uncommon allergic response to corn, it is otherwise a perfectly acceptable source of energy. A combination of studies on canine food allergens that included 297 dogs showed that only 4% of those dogs have an adverse reaction to corn.

Corn is Safer than Most Meats

Wanna guess what scored highest in terms of canine food allergies?

If you chose beef, you were right. Thirty-four percent of the dogs had an adverse reaction. Next up was dairy (17%), then chicken (15%), wheat (13%), and lamb (14%). Corn was even safer than soy (6%)!

Corn and Nutrition

The reason corn is used in dog food is the same reason the ingredient finds its way into so much of our own food products. It is simply a cheap and efficient source of calories. The only scientifically-backed complaint that can be leveled at corn is that it’s not as energy-dense as other grains. This leads animals (and people) to eat more in order to fill their caloric needs, causing an inbalance in their diet.

However, focusing on this aspect is simply another marketing strategy used to take advantage of the consumers fearfulness. By simply stating that their food does not contain corn, they give the implication that corn is bad or harmful to their pets, thereby justifying the increased cost of the dog food.

If you have any questions about your pet’s diet, contact us today to set up an appointment.

Essex Middle River Veterinary Center provides medical and surgical care for cats and dogs at our animal hospital and veterinary clinic in Essex, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Our services include preventive wellness care exams, vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care. Our state-of-the-art veterinary offices are conveniently located near I-695 where we see pets from Towson, Honeygo, White Marsh, and other neighboring Baltimore areas.

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