In my continuing myths series check out part 3 of “What is THAT in my pet food?

pet nutrition

Corn and wheat contain essential nutrients and if provided by the proper sources are healthy for your pets

Myth: The problem with many of these foods is that the corn and/or wheat is used as a less expensive and inferior substitute for high quality animal protein. Dogs were meant to eat animal protein, not protein derived from corn and wheat. Another issue is that even dogs that don’t have a known sensitivity to corn and wheat can react to these products because they tend to be inflammatory. The inflammation caused can take years to manifest and then suddenly the dog has a gastrointestinal or skin issue that appears “out of nowhere.”  (http://petfooddiva.com/corn-controversy-is-corn-really-bad-for-your-pet/)

Fact: Grains such as corn and wheat that are used in pet foods contain many important nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.  They are not a cheap filler or an inferior component of pet food.  It is true that corn is an inexpensive ingredient of pet food but all this means is that the cost to you is lower.

Furthermore there is no scientific evidence that grains are in any way inflammatory to most pets.  Of course there are some individuals who develop an allergy to grains but it usually isn’t corn.  The most common food allergens for dogs are beef and dairy, and for cats it is beef, dairy and fish.  Corn is often unnecessarily vilified when there are so many more important issue to consider when choosing a pet food.

Ashley Gallagher, DVM

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