Owning a dog makes your life better. As it wags its tail when it sees you after a long day, you can feel the exhaustion seeping away. It lights up your life and proves to be the perfect companion for both your happy and dark days. However, owning a dog requires more work than just cuddling and playing with it. It is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is as healthy as possible. An essential part of such a responsibility is feeding it high-quality and nutritious food that will satisfy all its dietary needs.
One major controversy that has kept dog owners on their toes is whether dogs can eat corn or not. While corn serves to be a staple ingredient in the majority of dog food, people are still confused whether corn itself is healthy or harmful for their beloved pets.
Should you give your dogs corn to eat?
Let us tackle the question we first brought up. Can dogs eat corn? Yes, they can. However, should they? Maybe not. Vets do not recommend feeding corn to dogs. It is because corn merely acts as a filler food rather than something which would ensure the optimum health of your dog.
Such a food item lacks all the necessary dietary needs of a dog. It does not have minerals or vitamins and, apparently, does not satisfy the need of protein a dog has. Moreover, it is not the pioneer of enough energy source to make up for these disadvantages.
When you add possible allergies into the mix, the food gets even more undesirable. You should always ensure that your dog is not allergic to the food item before buying a dog food which includes it.
Since a vast range of dog food includes corn as an ingredient, it may prove to be difficult to avoid it altogether. It is believed that an insignificant amount of corn (i.e. when given in moderation) does not affect the health of your dog. However, try not to give your dog too much of it, especially in the form of corn on the cob.
Hazards of a corn cob
While giving your dog corn on the cob to nibble on from your plate seems like a fun thing to do, the cob itself can lead to intestinal blockages when accidently consumed. Although you may believe that such an incident is unlikely to occur, many pet owners will tell you not to underestimate the devouring skills of a dog. Besides, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If your dog has sneakily managed to eat a cob, it will start showing symptoms including vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, weakness and laziness. If your dog shows any such symptoms, it is highly advised that you take it to a vet as soon as possible.
Take some time to ensure that your dog never gets access to a corn cob to save it from the pain of being sick. Never give your dog a cob as a chew. There are various toys and dental chews available that will satisfy the need of your dog to gnaw on objects without putting its health in danger.
Why does dog food include corn?
As you peruse different products, the chances are that you will find more dog food with corn than ones without it. Now that we have established that dogs can eat corn, but it does not provide them any benefits, one may wonder, why do major dog food manufacturers include this ingredient in their products at all?
This element is added because, compared to meat, corn serves to be an inexpensive grain. It is merely a filler – an item added to lower the cost of the dog food while safely proclaiming that the concerned product has grain. Therefore, the reason behind the inclusion of corn in dog food is more economic-centric than health-centric.
Why is corn considered bad for your dog?
The corn debate has been and will always be a hot topic amongst pet owners. Those who proclaim corn to be bad for dogs do so for three primary reasons.
- Corn is known to cause digestibility issues in dogs. While an insignificant amount has no serious implications, daily feeding your dog corn leads to the incurrence of various digestive problems in your pet. Moreover, it is considered to be one of the culprits of food allergies in dogs. For this very reason, many products take pride in being “corn-free” and use such a statement as a distinctive feature to market their product.
- As discussed above, it is merely a cheap filler which causes an increase in the intake of calories without having any benefit whatsoever. All it does is enhance the quantity of the dog food in the cheapest way possible.
- Unlike popular belief, corn does not help tackle constipation in a dog. Those who prefer feeding a dog corn argue that the product provides their pets with the required fiber needs. However, all other fruits and vegetables, which also include the required vitamins and minerals, outstrip corn in this regard.
The lack of benefits coupled with the possible health-related disadvantages has led to the widespread notion that corn is bad for your dog.
All in all, it can be said that while dogs can eat corn, it is not preferred that they do. Since it is hard to avoid the ingredient altogether considering the number of dog foods that include it, it is advised that you mix such dog food with some healthier options.
If you can, always choose products which are devoid of this ingredient. Or if they do contain it, make sure it is in a moderate amount. Even if you believe that your dog isn’t allergic to corn, the ingredient still poses some health risks. Besides, what is the point of feeding your pet something you know wouldn’t benefit it in any way?
Rather than prioritizing your convenience and picking the first dog food you see, make sure you thoroughly read the ingredients.
Provide your dog with high-quality food. You owe it to your loyal friend.