Saturday, May 25, 2013

Corn as an ingredient in dog food


Several minutes of internet research reveals that former presidents and rock singers consume at least some quantity of corn. So why do we make such an issue of it being in Dog Food?

Well, the real truth of the matter is that corn is used in the making of most of the more inexpensive kibble because it is a relatively cheap and very available source of carbohydrates.  A carbohydrate source appears to be essential in the manufacture of kibble.

Mike Sagman wrote an interesting article for Dog Food Advisor. Here is a link to it http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/dog-food-corn/. Here he claims to dispel many of the myths regarding the use of corn. I think he makes some pretty good points though it appears that he may have a bit of a bias against the use of corn in dog food.

As I stated in a previous post, I do not really see a major issue with the use of corn if the dog does not have an allergy to it. While arguably foods containing a large amount of corn may not be the most nutritionally balanced, if the dog is healthy and having no allergic reaction to the food I don't really feel the need to fix something that may not be broken here.

Purina actually does a really good job of explaining some of the health benefits of corn on its web site here: http://www.purina.com/meet-purina/nutrition/power-of-grain#/power-of-corn. Both Purina and Eukanuba state that corn provides antioxidants, carbohydrates and fiber. The fiber is important because it aids in digestion.

Blue Buffalo makes an interesting statement regarding corn on it's website. It reads, "And of course, BLUE never uses corn, wheat, or soy.  These are considered by many veterinary nutritionists to be lower quality ingredients used as fillers and are often associated with pet allergies." You can see this at : http://bluebuffalo.com/nutrition. I have a couple of issues with the statement Blue makes here:


  1. What exactly is a "filler"?  Well the dictionary definition of the word "filler" is : "filler  plural of fill·er (Noun)
Noun
A thing put in a space or container to fill it: "these plants are attractive gap-fillers".
A monetary unit of Hungary, equal to one hundredth of a forint.
Synonyms
stuffing - filling

Okay, I presume we are not discussing Hungarian money here so filler used in regard to corn would mean that it is simply used to fill the bag and has no other value. I think that is overstated. Obviously corn does provide some nutritional value. So, I don't understand where our friends at Blue Buffalo are coming from here.

2. Why did they not quote some percentage of dogs affected by these "pet allergies" to corn, wheat, and soy?

The quote simply says that corn is "often" associated with allergies. I have been around dogs for a long time. I don't think I have ever run into one that had a known allergy to corn. Based upon my experience I think Purina make a more believable statement when they put the percentage of dogs with corn allergies at about 1%.

 Our friends and Iams also have some good information about corn on their website. Find it here: http://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-article/corn-ingredients-and-their-use-in-our-foods.

Our friends and Hills (the makers of Science Diet) also have some interesting information on corn. They actually call it "An amazing grain". I think Hills may also be overstating here but read for yourself at : http://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/corn-an-amazing-grain-mature-adult-cat.html. I know it says cat in the link but they reference dog food too.

So, dear reader, you really sort of have to weigh all this stuff and decide for yourself. I have nothing against my friends at Blue Buffalo or some of the other high end food manufacturers who do not use corn. There is certainly nothing wrong with their product. In fact many of them are very good even if they are very expensive. Again, I simply do not feel the need to fix something that may not be broken in regard to corn.


If I may be of any help to you while selecting a food for your dog. Please do not hesitate contacting me.

Till next time

-William-

William Moore
William Moore Canine Training
fayettedogtrainer@gmail.com
678-702-4791