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Dog Running in Cornfield

Can Dogs Eat Corn?

With all the misleading information floating around about corn in dog food, it can be difficult to figure out what’s best for you and your dog. So we are here to bust the myths and bring you some facts on whether or not you should be buying dog food with corn as an ingredient.

Where It All Began

Many people ask if dogs are omnivores or carnivores. Although dogs descend from wolves, they have been domesticated for thousands of years and they process and digest food much differently than a wolf does. As a result, dogs are in fact omnivores, and can tolerate a diet with more grain than wolves. The first dog food was created in 1942, and contained corn. Before that, owners and handlers added corn mush to their dog’s food bowl as a source of fiber. They did not add corn kernels, because those are much harder to digest and process. Another misconception around corn is that having corn in a dog’s diet will make the dog hot when they run. As long as it’s a moderate amount, that’s not an issue. They will actually use that corn to burn energy while they run. It’s literally fueling them. 

Health Benefits

Corn can be a part of a well-balanced diet. Contrary to common misconception, it serves more purpose than just filler. Corn can be an excellent source of carbohydrates, linoleic acid, and antioxidants. Although carbs have a bad reputation, the carbohydrates in corn provide essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients are protein, fat, fiber, and vitamins. The fiber in corn helps assist in gut health and motility through the digestive system. The carbohydrates in corn are essential in a dog’s diet because it provides them with a nice, steady source of energy when they burn off the energy from the fat. There are other forms of carbs that only provide a quick burst of energy followed by a crash of exhaustion. For example, using potatoes as your dog food’s main source of carbohydrates will give them that burst of energy, followed by this crash. For competition dogs or working dogs, this is unacceptable. Another form that has issues are those that are difficult to digest, such as peas. While peas are a source of carbohydrates, they are also high in protein, which makes them hard to digest.

So can I just give them corn on the cob?

Although we can all be suckers for puppy dog eyes, it’s important not to give your dog a whole cob of corn. This can cause choking and serious intestinal blockage. Also, whole corn kernels can be much harder to digest compared to the processed corn in dog food.

The verdict? 

Corn is completely safe for a dog that does not have a food allergy to it, it is processed into their food, and it is fed in a moderate amount. It is no different than the other grains in your dog’s food. Don’t just take our word for it though, here’s Dr. Jackie Rapp VEM’s opinion from Susquehanna Valley Vet from Paxinos, PA: “Dog’s use corn to provide steady energy. Especially when under stress when working hard or being pregnant. Corn prevents them from breaking down valuable proteins to get their energy.” Looking for a well rounded dog food that has all the nutrients your four legged friend needs? Check out our Performance Line and browse our products to see what formula suits your dog.

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