Corn and Myths

The Myth

Corn along with some other plant-based ingredients are “filler” that shouldn’t be included in a pet’s diet because it is poorly digested and can cause allergies.

The Facts – Corn is an excellent source of many nutrients

  • “Fillers” may be defined as ingredients with little or no nutritional value. Based on this description corn is not a filler
  • Corn provides a good source of carbohydrates, protein and essential fatty acids for dogs and cats
  • Corn is found in many forms, all of which can contribute to nutritious diets. Corn gluten meal contains 60-70% protein and is an excellent source of essential fatty acids. Whole corn or corn meal provides highly digestible carbohydrates as an energy source.
  • Corn is a good source of Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid required by both dogs and cats.
  • It also contains an abundant amount of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.

The Facts – Corn gluten meal is highly digestible

  • Corn gluten meal is easy to digest, making its nutrients readily available to your pet.
  • Corn gluten meal contains many essential amino acids, so when it is properly combined with other protein sources, it can contribute to highly digestible and nutritious diets.

The Facts – Corn is not a common allergen

  • Dogs and cats can develop allergies to any protein. It is estimated that only 10% of allergic skin conditions are caused by food, they are more often suspected to be caused by the environment.
  • Corn does not appear on the list of most common food allergies in dogs and cats.
  • The most common food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy, wheat, followed by lamb, egg, chicken and soy.
  • The most common food allergies in cats are beef, dairy and fish.

The Facts – Corn is a high-quality ingredient

  • The quality of corn in pet foods can vary greatly
  • There are five grades of corn quality according to the USDA; grades 1 and 2 are traditionally used in human food products.
  • For example; Purina’s standard for corn is grade 1 or 2

Nutrients vs. Ingredients

Remember it is not always about the ingredient it is about the nutrients that ingredient has to offer. Corn has a great amount of nutrient value and can be a great addition if a good grade has been used. Corn is valuable when paired with other nutrient-dense ingredients.