Is corn good for dogs or bad? This is the debate that has been going on for ages now, but it has been put to rest by scientific research.
The primary concern in all these discussions was whether corn has enough nutritional value for the dogs and secondly whether dogs can digest corn.
The best way to to care for your dog is giving your dog not only dog foods, but also a balanced and nutritious ones.
However, there are many dog foods in the market today that include a variety of meats, fruits and vegetables such as - chicken, tuna, pork, nectarines, oranges, mushrooms, bananas and the list goes on!
Which ones will you choose for your pooch?
A guiding principle into choosing the right kind of dog food is to know the composition of the dog meal.
The best dog meal should contain nutrients like:
Just like human beings, dogs are allergic to some nutrients.
Hence, you should be careful with the kind of nutrients that are available in the dog meal.
Should corn form part of the ingredients of your dog food?
However, some dogs might develop allergic reactions towards corn, so it is up to you to find out whether your dog is allergic or not.
The best way to know whether your dog is allergic or not is to consult your dog's veterinarian.
You can feed your dog some corn, but not too much. If your dog eats a few grains of corn, it's not going to cause it any harm.
Corn is nutritious, and it can benefit your dog to get some of those essential nutrients and fiber (bran) to aid its digestion.
Some of the natural nutrients in maize are proteins (gluten), energy, fatty acids like linoleic acid, essential oils, co-enzymes and antioxidants.
All these nutrients are likely to better your dog's health.
The fiber in the corn has been found to be beneficial for probiotic bacteria growth in the gut of the dog.
When corn is supplemented with other foods, corn meals can form a balanced diet with a whole mixture of amino acids, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber.
Many dog food manufacturers include corn into the dog meal.
It is because maize is readily available and it is not expensive.
In many countries, this ingredient is available at subsidised cost to companies.
Hence, it is affordable which translates into better dog meal prices.
But the price is not the primary concern here.
Most veterinary dog nutritionists’ campaign corn should be part of the ingredients in the production of dog meals, for a balanced dog diet.
According to the recent scientific studies, the scientists have confirmed that dogs can digest corn without any difficulty.
The studies indicate that the maize kernel/cover plays a significant role in enhancing digestion.
Whole grains seeds contain a small percentage of non-digestible fiber.
However, this problem can be overcome by grounding the corn into fine particles.
Alternatively, the kernel can be separated into pure compounds, which are very digestible by the dogs.
Dogs can digest corn because they produce enough pancreatic amylase and brush border enzymes, which help break down carbohydrates present in it.
During digestion, most of the carbohydrates are digested in the first part of the small intestine.
The fiber that is available in the corn contains cellulose, which has well-profiled health benefits for dogs.
The digestive system of the dog closely resembles that of humans, according to research.
Therefore, don't be afraid giving your beloved dog some corn.
All you need to do is boil, roast or grind the maize to break the large carbohydrate molecules, so as to increase the chances of your dog reaping maximum nutritional benefits from the corn.
Maybe you have heard of the myth that dogs are allergic to maize. However, have you ever taken your time to find out the truth about this?
Research confirms that 99% of dogs are not allergic to corn. (source)
Hence, the myth that you have been hearing is not true.
Some dogs be allergic to maize, it does not mean that all are.
So, take your dog for an allergic test to find out.
As a matter of fact, scientists have discovered that most dogs are not allergic to their food.
The foods that have been found to be allergic to dogs include wheat, beef and dairy products; but corn – not very.
Common sense will indicate that a meal of just maize will not provide all the nutrients that your dog needs.
For maximum nutrients, maize can be added with other complementary foods that contain the missing elements, to form a balanced diet for your dog.
Finally, dogs can produce enough salivary amylase – an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates – just like their human counterparts.
Hence the age-long debate has been silenced by science.