With this feeling, it's not unusual that you want to give your pet the best, right from his resting place to the right kind of food. What you feed your pet has a dramatic impact on his attention span, energy level, and overall health. Hence, when it comes to his dietary requirements, I am sure no dog owner will compromise on it.
As you walk down any pet food aisle, in almost every store, you will come across hundreds of brands and varieties of dog foods that it becomes impossible to decide which is best for your pet. However, a healthy and balanced dog food is one which should be rich in carbohydrates, fat, proteins, minerals and nutrients.
Is Corn Harmful to Dogs?
Just like humans, even dogs can be allergic to certain food items causing adverse effects on their health. Corn is one such food item which is commonly found in many dog foods like Alpo, Beneful, Iams, and Kibbles 'n Bits.
Cornmeal or any variation of corn is primarily used as a filler ingredient to add volume and weight to the dog food. Many dogs find it difficult to digest it, hence giving your pet food with corn will actually give him no nutritional benefits, rather your pet would get filled up with the stuff that he/she can't even digest.
Since corn is high in carbohydrates, it can assault the sugar-controlling functions of both the liver and the pancreas, hence leading to medical conditions like dog obesity, pancreatitis, diabetes, and liver disease in dogs.
Corn is also high in aflatoxin fungus, which is not only deadly to humans, but dogs, too. It primarily attacks the liver and can even cause death, hence pet owners should avoid giving their dogs food with corn.
Many dogs develop skin allergies after eating corn for a long period of time. Frequent head shaking, skin irritation, hair loss, hyperthyroidism, butt biting, endless scratching, tumors, moles, warts, blindness, deafness, bloating, ear infections, inflamed kidneys, inflamed liver, heart diseases, etc., can be seen in dogs having corn allergies.
Why Is Corn Difficult to Digest for Dogs?
Corn is considered by many plant-eating animals (herbivores) as a part of their daily diet and till date it hasn't had any harmful effect. Then why is corn indigestible for dogs? The reason is in the presence of an enzyme called amylase.
The herbivores have salivary amylase which helps break down carbohydrates into simple sugar at the beginning of the digestive system itself. Hence, by the time the food reaches the intestines it can be easily digested.
Carnivorous animals (e.g. dogs) do not possess salivary amylase. The enzyme gets added into their system only when the food reaches the small intestine, and hence there isn't enough time for corn to get digested.
|.. Without Corn||.. With Corn|
|Chicken Soup for the Dog||Bil-Jac|
|Trader Joe's||Eagle Pack|
|Royal Canin||Nutro Max|
|Canidae Grain-free||Purina (all brands)|
|Wellness||Nutro Natural Choice High Energy|
|Nature's Variety||Ol' Roy|
Giving food with corn to your pet will not do good to his health, rather the pet may put on excessive weight, develop illnesses and may even have a short lifespan due to lack of nutrition. Hence, the next time you go buying dog food, first examine the label for the first three ingredients.
The first three ingredients will make up 75% of the contents of the food you will be giving your dog. However, before making any change in your dog's diet, do consult your veterinarian to avoid any additional health complications in your pet.