Why is corn meal bad for dogs?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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♥Maze- l♥

Making the world- a better- place!!!
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 7:55pm PST 
I'm about to switch Mazel to Nutro from Pro Plan because people tell me pro plan's bad for having corn in it, but what's wrong with corn in dog food? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't corn good for dogs?
Woof~ Mazel's mom

How can I be- this cute?
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 8:15pm PST 
It depends on both the form of the corn and the amount.

The digestive systems of dogs (and cats) are made to digest meat better than anything else. Corn is used in dog food as a source of protein that's much cheaper than meat is. Some dogs have problems digesting corn, and even if they can digest it, it's usually not fully digested (which is often why dogs tend to have smaller poops on a corn-free food than when they ate food with corn in it). Also, corn is a common allergen for many dogs.

That said, if meat is the first ingredient in the food and corn is relatively far down on the ingredient list, then it's more likely that it's there for a little extra protein, as opposed to making it the sole protein source of the food. The problems happen when corn is the first ingredient, or there are a couple of different corn products in the list (called ingredient splitting: if meat is first and then three different types of corn are next, there's most likely more corn than meat in the food). Corn is considered a filler--something that bulks up the food for not much nutritional value, and little cost.

Protein from meat is much more bioavailable to dogs than protein from corn (or other grains), meaning they can use the protein more easily. So even if you get a food with (for example) 22% protein with corn as the main protein source, there's actually more usable protein in a food with 22% protein with meat as the main protein source.

There's lots of good sites with information on this, I'm sure someone will point them out.
Badger- Hunter's- Little- Smokie

Come closer!- Have U been dog- approved?
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 8:54pm PST 
Besides the BIG poopies factor of eating corn, a lot of food allergies in dogs are caused by corn. At least that's the thing we've heard that a vet will have you eliminate from your diet when trying to diagnose food allergies.

Smoke, doesn't like itchy-puppy

Lucky ~In- Loving- Memory~

What's going- on????
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 10:47pm PST 
Dogs on a diet with a lot of corn tend to have much bigger poops, and they can be itchy. One of my dogs is allergic to corn and had a huge hot spot on his back from it.
Corn is also pretty darn cheap, and I see a lot of the higher cost dog foods use ground corn (same thing as corn meal according to the AAFCO definitions) as a main ingredient and still charge top dollar for the food.

I like Nutro a lot, it's what all of my dogs, cats, and rats eat (11 animals total). And so far they've all been doing just exceptional on it. And it's really no more expensive than feeding the el cheapo stuff with a lot of corn in it, because I don't feed very much at all.

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 7:36am PST 
VERY simply put, corn has no place in dog food, because it is not a species-appropriate substance. Feeding a dog a food with corn as a significant ingredient makes about as much sense as you eating a bowl of fresh raw animals (perhaps teeming with bacteria) at every meal. Sure, you might be able to derive nutrients enough to sustain you, and it might not kill you right away, but your body isn't designed to eat that way, and eventually it's going to cause problems of one sort or another.

Also keep in mind that the corn found in most commercial dog foods is not the same as the fresh corn (or canned or frozen) kernels that you think of when you think of corn. In the case of corn "meal" and corn by-products of various sorts, the corn being used is the leftovers from processes used to derive products intended for humans. This pretty much voids the corn of any nutritional properties a dog may have been able to derive from it in the first place.

Beautiful- Bassador!
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 8:34am PST 
I also know a lot of dogs allergic to corn, Lucy being one of them. I would stick to perhaps a food like california natural lamb and rice or something along those lines.
Little Man

I wuv my momma!
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 11:12am PST 
I'm very allergic to corn. When Mom found me I had a terrible hot spot, the vet had never seen anything like it. Probably because my stupid owners just left it go. After eating corn free food (Nutro lamb and rice) for 3 weeks, my hot spot was completely gone and hair was growing back. Says a lot for what corn can do to a dog, huh? I'm also very allergic to corn pollen, which makes me miserable, living in the midwest! Mom thinks there's another kind of pollen that bothers me too, because I've been starting to itch a little since the weather has warmed up. Guess it's back on the Benedryl for me!

~Little Man

Barked: Mon May 29, '06 3:15pm PST 
I just want to clarify that while some dogs are allergic to corn, corn doesn't actually cause the allergy, it is already "there" (it doesn't just develop over time). If a dog isn't allergic to corn, it is a good source of carbohydrates, linoleic acid, and some amino acids when paired with more complete sources such as meats.
Dog Star- Sled Dogs

The dog is never- wrong!
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 3:41pm PST 
I dont think it is that bad really. My food has corn as #2, (and is cheap, $20/40 lbs) dogs are all heathy, poops are extremly small, (sometimes they dont even poop everyday), and coats are the softest they have ever been. Ranger, who his whole life had runny poop, even with "Sensitive" and "Better" qaulity food, is now "cured"! Poops are all normal with him. Dakota, who's always needed zinc, is down to nothing now, but come training, he will need some extra.
Plus I only need 7 cups to feed 6 dogs a day, that aint bad at all.
So just because corn is there doesnt mean its bad right away. All I can say is try it, you might be surprised.

Edited by author Mon May 29, '06 3:58pm PST

♥Maze- l♥

Making the world- a better- place!!!
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 5:58pm PST 
Dog Star~ What kind of food do you feed your dogs so that you only feed seven cups for six dogs? Also, if corn is the second ingredient for your food, and there's nothing bad about it, then there's no study showing corn can actually cause the allergic reactions, right?
Woof~ Mazel's mom
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