The Truth About Corn in Dog Food


Some insist corn is a nutritious dog food ingredient while others denounce it as a problematic cereal grain.

Dog Food CornSo, what should you believe? What’s the truth about corn in dog food?

Is it good — or is it bad?

Well, that depends on whom you ask.

In general, anxieties expressed over the use of corn in dog food seem to come from end users — pet owners, breeders and the like.

Yet the pro-corn crowd appears to be dominated by those who have a vested interest in products made with cereal grains.

Myths About Corn
Promoted by the Industry

Makers and sellers of corn-based foods insist the negative stories about corn are simply unsubstantiated myths and rumors spread around the Internet by uninformed consumers.

The truth is, most of the exaggerated claims extolling the virtues of corn actually originate within the pet food industry itself and are unwittingly propagated by naive and well-meaning pet owners.

Here are some of the most enduring myths about corn promoted by makers and sellers of corn-based dog foods.

Myth #1
Corn Has a Low Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a way of measuring the tendency of a specific food to raise the blood sugar level of an animal. The higher the index, the greater the risk of an unhealthy rise in blood sugar.

Here are the actual glycemic index figures1 for a few common dog food ingredients…2

  • Corn meal (69)
  • Brown rice (55)
  • Corn (53)
  • Oatmeal (49)
  • Wheat (41)
  • Barley (25)
  • Chicken (0)
  • Beef (0)

Compared to most other ingredients used in making dog food, corn does not have a lower glycemic index.

Myth #2
Corn Does Not Cause Allergies

Supporters of corn-based products like to point out that corn is one of the least allergenic ingredients in dog food.

And according to some studies, that is probably true.

One report3 found the incidence of corn allergy to be only 14% while another4 places corn at just 3% of all allergies.

Yet to be fair, other reports caution readers not to place excessive value on the accuracy of these studies due to the notable difficulty in confirming the precise incidence of food allergies in dogs.5

In any case, although it may not be a common food allergen, corn still cannot be completely excused as a potential cause.

While searching the Internet for these studies, it’s hard not to notice the thousands of legitimate reports by owners, breeders, forums and veterinary sites reporting corn and other cereal grains as a likely cause of their dogs’ allergies.

And then there’s the (very real) issue of cereal grain quality.

In many cases, problems aren’t so much a matter of allergies to the corn itself but rather to undetected contaminants within that grain.

It’s not unusual to find storage mites, their droppings and expired carcasses in bulk lots of feed grains6. And all of these are known to be notable canine allergens.

So, for these reasons, corn must still be considered a reasonable suspect when investigating the cause of any food-related canine allergy.

Myth #3
Corn Is Highly Digestible

As a whole grain, corn is not easily digestible.

That’s because unless the kernel is first refined into a meal or a flour and then cooked, corn would be very difficult for a dog to digest.

As a matter of fact, corn (and other grains) are only digestible to the extent to which they’re processed.

That’s why even though the grain may be listed as “whole” on a pet food label, it’s nearly always first ground before being cooked into kibble.

And the finer it’s ground, the more digestible corn will be. But also, the higher its glycemic index.

In any case, the industry’s claim that corn is “99% digestible” can be misleading. It’s easy for consumers to interpret that statement to mean corn has a high nutritional value, too.

Unfortunately, that is simply not the case.

Myth #4
Corn Has a High Biological Value

There’s certainly nothing unique enough about corn’s content that makes it a nutritional standout — nothing that can’t be found in — or converted from — some other ingredient.

Not even protein.

And to those who insist the protein content of a corn kernel has some important biological value we present the following table:7

Dog Food Ingredients and Their Biological Value

When it comes to its protein usability, corn has a measurably lower biological value.

Myth #5
Corn Is Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Fans of corn also like to claim the grain is high in anti-oxidants and minerals.

High in anti-oxidants and minerals? Compared to what?

Aside from its energy content, corn’s nutritional completeness is certainly not exceptional.

The Nutrient Balance Completeness Score is a measure of how complete a food is with respect to vitamin, mineral and dietary fiber content. The higher the score of a food, the more complete its nutrients.

According to information gathered by NutritionData.com8 from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the Completeness Score for corn and a number of other common ingredients are listed here in increasing nutritional value

  • Brown rice (33)
  • Corn (34)
  • Barley (36)
  • Oats (43)
  • Quinoa (45)
  • Wheat (48)
  • Potato (51)
  • Peas (53)
  • Sweet potato (55)
  • Spinach (91)

So, when it comes to judging its vitamin and mineral content, corn is mostly unremarkable.

Myth #6
Corn Is a Superior Source of Energy

Some pet food manufacturers like to point out that corn is a better source of energy – especially for working animals – than meat.

However, science proves this to be yet another myth.

Consumers shouldn’t favor a dog food because “protein” is the first ingredient. They should choose a dog food because meat is the first ingredient.

That’s because meat doesn’t just contain protein – it also contains fat.

Corn is mostly fat free. It’s a carbohydrate.

From a scientific standpoint — and not marketing hype — here’s the actual energy scorecard for each of the 3 macronutrients9 found in all food:

Nutrient Calories per Gram

The following caloric information is based upon the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and published by NutritionData.com10:

Dog Food Ingredient Calories per Gram

As you can see, ounce-for-ounce, science proves meat contains significantly more energy than corn.

The Truth About Corn

So, why is corn used so abundantly in the manufacture of today’s commercial dog foods?

Well, as you’ve just seen, surely not because it could be considered more nutritious.

Then, could corn be “more natural”?

When you study a dog’s natural ancestral history, you won’t find any mention of corn. That is, until the year 1956. For that was the year indelibly marked by the invention of kibble.

So, why did the introduction of kibble bring with it such a dramatic rise in the use of corn in making dog food?

What suddenly made carbohydrates — like corn, grains and potatoes — so popular with the pet food industry?

The truth is…

  • Carbohydrates are cheap
  • Carbohydrates are vital to the kibbling process

You won’t find corn in commercial dog food because it contributes some unique nutritional property. No, it’s there simply because it supplies cheap calories to the product.

And starchy carbohydrates play a critical role in a process known as gelatinization — a process which is absolutely crucial to the workings of kibble machinery.

Think about it.

How often do you find corn or other cereal grains in a raw or canned dog food?

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, corn makes any pet food you find it in less expensive to produce. And it does this by diluting a recipe’s more costly meat ingredients.

And that’s OK.

Because corn doesn’t just save money for manufacturers — it also makes dog food more affordable for pet owners, too.

However, to advertise that corn is included in commercial dog food mainly because of its nutritional benefits is misleading — and a gross misrepresentation of the facts.


  1. Based upon human studies, canine values unavailable
  2. Brand-Miller J et al, The Glycemic Index Foundation, “The New Glucose Revolution”, New York (2003), pp.291-296
  3. Fadok V (1994), “Diagnosing and Managing the Food Allergic Dog”, The Compendium 16:12, 1541-1544
  4. Roudebush P, “Ingredients associated with adverse food reactions in dogs and cats”, Adv Small Anim Med Surg 2002;15(9):1-3
  5. Chesney, C.J., 2001, “Systematic review of evidence for the prevalence of food sensitivity in dogs”, Veterinary Record, 148:445–448
  6. Extension Entomologists, North Central States, Federal Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  7. Palika, Liz, The Consumers Guide to Dog Food, New York, Howell Book House, 1996
  9. Per Modified Atwater Method
  • David Wilke

    I represent Nutro, and I thank you for supporting it

  • Nathaniel Humphreys

    I just want to point out that this article said corn CLEARLY has low “biological value” based on a table of foods listed by “biological value” without any explanation of how that is measured.

  • Nadia Hachem

    Here’s the thing. The only studies done on whether dogs and cats can eat corn is by the food producers themselves. Which is biased. And there hasn’t really been a proper study done on raw fed or meat fed pets versus grain fed that is unbiased. So the fact that one dog does better on a corn food doesn’t mean anything. It could do good on that brand and terrible on another. Once could use better meats. There is many factors that could play into whether your dog does well or not on a food. You can’t assume that something is bad because it reacted badly. Especially one with this many ingredients. Unless a double blind study is done with matched animals of a same breed and from the same genetic line is done you can’t really say one is better than the other. BUT I agree that they should not be eating things that their digestive system isn’t designed for. Looking at their ancestry and gut. You can clearly see that they need meat. They also want meat. There’s a reason. I try not to mess with nature too much. Canis lupus familiaris. The dog is still a wolf on the outside. Even if we have changed their looks and bred for puppylike traits over time. We haven’t bred for those that can handle grains and corn or have longer digestive tracts to change their diets.

  • Michael Burge

    Do me a favor, just so as not be a hypocrite, could you go back and post this same thing on everyone who says they switched to a corn free dog food and their “allergies” cleared up? Because I haven’t seen anyone call them out on their bs.

  • Lioness006

    My dog is definitely affected by corn. It makes her skin really itchy, she gets hot spots, her skin gets dandruff, and it causes her hair to fall out. When I switch to corn free dog food, her coat miraculously gets better and she’s not itchy anymore. She does really well on Skoki and pretty much any dog food that doesn’t have corn.

  • Briaunna

    I feed my dogs nutro. They’re doing pretty well on it.
    No soy, wheat, or corn and non gmo.
    First ingredient is protein. They have venison, duck, lamb, chicken, and salmon. So I can switch it up for my pups.

  • Briaunna

    My dog used to catch pigeons all the time in our backyard and eat them. Rather than eating her dog food. Used to gross me out. So I guess it just depends on the dog.

  • Tom Roberts

    Yes Coyotes will eat farmers corn in the summer

  • Wendy Cole

    as did the tumors, illnesses and cancers…

  • Wendy Cole

    i don’t feed my dog…DOG FOOD period…He eats what I eat…no DOG FOOD…Healthy, lean grass fed beef and chicken, brocolinin, peas, cultured butter, cheese and free range eggs….But he is only 7 lbs… It would be quite costly to feed the 5 standard poodles I used to have healthy HUMAN food…but I did serve them some raw beef, chicken and eggs and cheese. THEY WOULD GET EAR INFECTIONS AND YEAST INFECTIONS WITH ANY CORN>>>>CORN IS BAD PERIOD…for humans too!

  • Wendy Cole

    I know corn causes inflammation in humans…so people with joint issues like arthritis shouldn’t eat it..SO WHY IS IT IN HILLS DIGESTIVE AIDE? and WHY IS IT BEING PRESECRIBED BY A VET TO TO AN ARTHRITIC DOG??? I have been giving an elderly dog that eats the Hills kibble raw beef, broccolini, yogurt and sour cream. The dog was taking 2 tramadols a day an laying down…I cut back the tramadols and the 11 year old dog is running and playing like a puppy again…WHY IS IT THAT MOST OLDER VETS DO NOT BELIEVE IN NUTRITIONAL AID>>AND PRESCRIBE CORN BASED FOODS TO UNHEALTHY DOGS>>>>It breaks my heart….

  • Pete Modric

    Dogs eat meat. Everything else is “surviving food” for them.

  • Cael Collum

    Great page.

  • InkedMarie

    It’s great you feed raw but a dogs raw diet should be more red meat than white.

  • Thomas

    I have an 85 lb. Airedale. He is fed raw chicken thighs (skin, meat, and bone-yes bone, but only raw) with some beef heart and tripe or some type of fish (usually chub mackerel). For a treat he gets a raw pig foot. Cost: about $2/day. Healthy, happy, fit, and beautiful teeth.

    For $3+/day I could give him Blue Buffalo Wilderness. That has: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Turkey Meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Pea Protein, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg, Potatoes, Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Potato Starch, Dried Chicory Root, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Oil of Rosemary, L-Lysine, Parsley, Kelp, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Spinach, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Barley Grass, Turmeric, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Taurine, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Beta Carotene, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

    As a treat I could give him a Petco pig ear for $21/lb. Hmmm……….

  • Lyman Duggan

    Dogs WILL form a PACK. Temple dogs in Thailand get a pack mentality in the evenings if you drive your Honda on the temple grounds. Everyone knows that there and they will attack as a pack. These are basic street dogs that are fed basics at the temple for survival. During the day they are not normally a problem.

  • Aerotete

    I am reading a book about a bear hunter in Mississippi from the late 1800’s (Robert Bobo). He hunted with a pack of dogs, up to 40 or 50 at times when training younger dogs. It took a lot of food to keep that many dogs fed. They were constantly making something they called ‘dog bread’. As I understand it, they would cook down meat scraps and table scraps until the meat was falling apart. Sometime in the process cornmeal was added to the pot. It was cooked until it reached a consistency like cornbread batter, then poured into pans for oven baking into bread. Then it was cut into squares for feeding to the dogs.

    Apparently cornmeal has been used successfully for quite a long time. Those bear dogs had a very energetic life, though short.

  • Jason

    The fact that a dog did better with a less expensive dog food that contained corn and less quality meats does not mean that that corn is better for the dog, or that the quality meats aren’t as important to them. It could be a number of things. It could be be cause of some difference in the process used, or that the dog was sensitive, or allergic to something in the higher quality food. So, it CANT be concluded that the dog food with corn and less meats is better for dogs, at least not based on that criteria alone.

  • Jessica Curtis

    Even today, dogs are fed meat as a high value reward for training. When I entered my puppy into obedience classes, cooked meat was a recommended reward while there so the dog would focus. They also use cooked meat at dog shows to keep the dog’s attention.

    When I was in grade school, I had a project wherein I had to talk to my grandmother about something from her childhood. She was born in 1924, and my topic was about dogs. I asked her what they fed dogs before kibble was invented. She said they got table scraps (which didn’t contain much meat), and when there weren’t table scraps available, they gave the dogs milk, eggs, and bread. This was in addition to anything the dog found by itself. They also ate rotting animals, frogs, bugs, and vegetation.

    Dogs are like humans in that they have an amazing ability to survive on just about anything. That doesn’t mean they’ll thrive, of course, but they’ll do just fine. Even kibble with corn is better nutrition than what they used to live off of 100 years ago.

  • Jessica Curtis

    The raw diet is great, if you’re knowledgeable. Many people are inexperienced and don’t do it properly. They don’t know how to adjust the quantities of each ingredient when needed because they don’t know how to tell when the ratios are off by the stool appearance. So they find a recipe online, or even worse, wing it, and they keep feeding like that, not realizing something is wrong until the dog starts to display symptoms of poor health.

    My best advice for someone inexperienced is to either find a mentor or use the prepackaged raw diets available at pet stores. There are a few brands available, and they can be expensive, but if you’re feeding raw, it’s going to be more expensive no matter how you do it.

  • Jessica Curtis

    I was pleasantly surprised to read your comment, because I just had the same experience with my Siberian Husky the last few weeks. I’ve tried him on three different high quality kibble because I got on board the hype of feeding our dogs the best food we can afford. But my Husky wasn’t doing well. He was hyper all the time (which I just figured was his breed and being a puppy) and his stools weren’t firm. I didn’t attribute his hyperactivity to the kibble until I decided on a whim to just try a cheaper dog food that contains corn (a meat source is the first ingredient, though, as I won’t buy anything that lists corn first). Almost immediately, my puppy calmed down, his stools improved, and he’s not struggling to maintain his weight anymore. I’m even able to feed him less! A full cup less each day, in fact.

    So I guess the “feeding the best food possible” fad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  • tumultus101

    had to comment on what a terrible person you are cfbcfb. the smug wiki quoting like you are a teacher explaining something to a first grader. what a barrel scraping weasel.

  • bikerram

    i’m going to guess then that you don’t live out in the country, Dog’s once out on their own will revert back to wild and yes they will join wild packs and will kill even other dog, plus they don’t fear humans

  • GI Joe

    I have raised several Labs feeding them iams kibble that contains corn meal. Its main ingredient is Chicken. I recently adopted a 3 year old Lab from a family that had been feeding her Salmon and Peas kibble from Costco. The dog was very hyper and had a skin problem. The owners were “anti grain” people. I did not discuss it with them but spent my first week switching the dog over to the food I have used for years. My first observation was that her stool became healthier, she became calmer and then her coat showed improvement. She looks and acts healthier now more like labs I have had previously. I agree with this writer in that protein must be first and regardless of the filler it need to be from a quality source. In any case buying the cheapest on the market of almost anything will not get you best results.

  • Emileigh

    I know it’s been a while but to answer your question, every dog is different. Corn may not be the most nutritious thing out there but if that is the only food that doesn’t cause some sort of problem for her, then great! I’d say stick with it. Another option, and I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this, is the raw diet. Many vets will advise against it – I’ll tell you that now – but I can’t begin to describe how much this diet helped my shiba inu. She had such bad allergies i had to give her daily steroid injections in her neck and she couldn’t have chicken at all. Once I switched her to the Nature’s Variety raw diet she lost all her excess weight, her energy returned and I was able to stop the injections. She is even able to eat raw chicken! She is a completely different dog and I would recommend the raw diet for most people with dogs in your situation.

  • Pitlove

    best of luck! feel free to update us

  • alicia arol

    Yea, that’s the plan. (We will SOON we taking things over with a brand new vet.)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely correct C4C!

  • theBCnut

    Usually, not always, a UTI means struvites, but the vet should be able to tell from the urinalysis. UTIs can cause struvite crystals to form. If you catch it while they are still just crystals, not stones, then treating the UTI clears up the crystals. So if these are struvite stones, and the special diet dissolves them, then making sure she drinks plenty of water to keep the bladder flushed out and paying attention to any signs of urinary issues should keep her from getting them again.

  • theBCnut

    They should have tested the urine to determine what kind of stone it is. They can’t know which prescription food to give the dog if they don’t know what kind of stone it is. Different stones need different things.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m sorry, you are going to have to talk to the vet about diagnosis. That wasn’t an issue in my experience. Either way, again, water, water and more water!

  • alicia arol

    Without having access to an actual stone from Angel’s bladder there is no way for ANY VET to know 100% for sure what type of stones are inside Angel?

  • Crazy4cats

    In my opinion, if you feed a dog food designed to dissolve struvite crystals by making her system more acidic, but she really has oxalate, yes. Such as Hills c/d or s/d. You really need to work with a vet and figure out which type she has and a plan on how to not only rid her of them, but also how to stop them from forming anymore. Best wishes!

  • Crazy4cats

    No, I didn’t say there is no way for the vet to know. You said the vet didn’t know. My cat was diagnosed with struvite crystals after his urinalysis.

    Good luck. I hope you guys get Angel on an appropriate diet soon. Whether it be prescription or a home cooked meal. Please try and use as much wet food as possible!

  • Pitlove

    If you’re concerned about corn in the Purina urinary support food, I’m afraid Hill’s isn’t any better, as it’s the first ingredient-

    I would still feed the prescription food to disolve the stones and look to eventually wean her from it to a normal diet.

  • alicia arol

    {This way there will not be harm done if they are not struvite}=Would it cause SERIOUS HARM to Angel if she wound up having the OXALATE stones that are rarely found in female dogs? Is it BETTER to just take the chance & give her the diet designed to dissolve Struvite stones? What do you think?

  • alicia arol

    Yup-Major urine problems caused foster mom to bring Angel to the vets. We never imagined that poor Angel would wind up being diagnosed with this type of kidney disease on top of her long time, serious, allergy problem that we’re hoping the holistic vet might be able to help.

  • alicia arol

    No-Angel gets only dry food, but (again) the BRAND NEW plan is a dual course of action with Angel (who also suffers from horrible allergies & has been taking Apoquel & Benodryl for years) seeing BOTH a regular vet and a holistic vet.

  • alicia arol

    We will be starting fresh with a brand new vet who promotes HILL’S & not PURINA=I don’t know what’s going on here, really, but since even if Angel HOPEFULLY does not wind up needing surgery to remove the stones all of this is still gonna cost my mom a lot of money, all 3 of us (my mom, Angel’s foster mom, & me) will be present when the new vet (who already has Angel’s records) examines Angel for the first time. Perhaps the new vet will decide to do new/different tests on Angel-who knows? Angel’s foster mom just let me know that Angel’s former vet diagnosed Angel as having STRUVITE stones, but like you said there’s no way for that vet to know for sure? (I’m thinking that the new vet will put Angel on HILL’S since that’s the prescription food they promote at that veterinarian office & the old vet was FAIRLY CERTAIN that Angel’s stones were STRUVITE rather than OXALATE..)

    ***My mom has money & wants to do the best for her “baby”, so we will also be taking Angel to a holistic vet in order to learn about Angel’s problem from that viewpoint, as well.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I feel your frustration. I’m going to make a guess that the reason they are feeding the kidney formula is because it is low in protein, magnesium and phosphorous. Rather than feed a formula that can dissolve struvite stones (Hill’s c/d or s/d) because they don’t know which one the dog has. These make their pH more acidic to dissolve the stones, but would make oxalate worse. This way there will not be harm done if they are not struvite. Either way, please try to increase water in the diet to dilute the urine. You can add water and/or canned food to the kibble.

  • Crazy4cats
  • alicia arol

    Angel is an 8 year old Bichon poodle whose recent ultra sound revealed the presence of stones in her bladder. (She had a UTI that prompted her vet to suspect bladder stones & do an ultra sound.) The prescription food will IDEALLY dissolve the stones so that Angel will not have to undergo super expensive (approximately $2000) surgery twice per year to remove the stones, right? (This is EXACTLY what Angel’s former vet told my mother.)

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, they are a pain and can be very dangerous. So, let me get this straight, the vet is putting the dog on a special kidney diet to help rid of the stones? The dog does not have kidney disease, but the vet thinks this food will help with the stones? This could be true, I’m just trying to understand the situation due to you inquiring about a good diet for a dog with kidney issues to begin with. Getting as much moisture in the dogs diet with either type of stones is very important to help keep things moving. Do you feed any canned, raw or fresh foods to the pup?

  • Crazy4cats

    Did the vet do a urinalysis? Is she having a hard time urinating? What symptom brought you to the vet to begin with?

  • alicia arol

    Apparently, bladder stones are a huge pain in the a…=Angel’s former vet (as my mom who disliked the attitude of Angel’s former vet decided to get a second opinion elsewhere) provided my mom with info on both types of stones. I’m assuming that if you as a vet do not have the ability to test a stone that actually came from the animal’s body then you do various tests on the animal & make an educated guess as to what type of stones are inside of the animal? The Struvite stones are the least problematic of the 2 types since, according to the literature I carefully read, the Struvite stones can be dissolved with prescription food but the Oxalate stones cannot. I guess if Angel’s stones do not disappear after months on a “special diet” the vet will then consider the possibility that Angel’s bladder stones are of the oxalate variety that are rare but not unheard of in female dogs & that are OFTEN found in the Bichon Frise breed? Angel had an ultra sound that determined the presence of bladder stones, but only a costly and potentially life threatening operation will let the vet know for sure what type of bladder stones are inside of poor Angel? The interesting thing is that Bichon Frises are prone to get the oxalate stones, but the oxalate stones are rarely found in female dogs. There MUST be a valid reason why Angel’s former vet provided my mother with DETAILED info on both types of stones, right? The scariest thing to me is that each type of stone requires drastically different treatment & you could literally feed your pet prescription food for many months only to eventually find out that it was all for nothing & only served to aggravate your pet’s condition.

  • theBCnut

    LOL! Well, you go to your vet with the dog that is having seizures and your vet asks you if you know anyone who wants a JRT. When you show interest, you find out that the dog in question is the vet’s dog, but the significant other does not get along with terriers at all and 2 other possible homes had also failed. Then the vet tells you that you will never pay vet bill for her. It probably helps if the vet got her start right out of school at the practice that you worked at for years, so she knows how you care for your animals and all that. Do you think you can manage all that? LOL! My vet thinks Angel landed in doggy heaven.

  • Crazy4cats

    Where does one sign up for that arrangement? Lol!

  • theBCnut

    For myself, I would probably put my dog on the prescription food just long enough to do the research into better food choices, just to get the treatment started right away.

    And I also have a dog named Angel that someone else pays the bills for(well, some of them anyway). Isn’t that a strange coincidence.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Alicia-
    I’m not BCnut, but I have some experience with bladder stones in a pet. First of all, I’m confused about your posts. Does Angel have kidney disease, kidney stones, or bladder stones? I believe the Purina prescription food you are referring to is for dogs with kidney disease. It is not designed to dissolve or manage crystals. UR Purina is designed to help manage crystals. Do you know what type of crystals/stones the dog has? It makes a big difference on which food to feed. As mentioned previously, some are caused by a high pH and others caused by a low pH urine level.
    YES, feed the prescription food until you can figure out an appropriate diet formulated by a vet nutritionist. Your vet is correct, if it is stones, they can cause a blockage resulting in death! The prescription food does work. But, I do understand not wanting to feed for life. Good luck!

  • alicia arol

    Would you recommend we temporarily put Angel on the prescription crap to get rid of the stones but then switch her over to a really good dog food designed to make sure the stones do not return? How does prescription crap like Purina N/F dissolve the stones, anyway=I don’t understand?

    A really nice woman cares for Angel, but my mom pays all the bills (Please don’t even ask)=Under these circumstances a RAW diet is out of the question, but we would still like to (if possible) avoid putting Angel on any dog food that lists CORN as it’s very first ingredient like is the case with Purina N/F that Angel would be on right now had my mother not BRAVELY (I was so proud of her) argued with Angel’s former vet.!!!!

  • Shawna

    Different stones are formed from different minerals and under different situations (PH of urine too acidic or too alkaline as an example). The prescription stone resolution diets have lower amounts of those minerals etc which does help. Is it the best option, probably not. But they do work.

    You want to be careful with the stones as certain kinds can damage the kidneys further and speed progression of kidney disease.

    I agree with what BCnut suggested in her post. Go to and look at homemade diets specifically for the type of stone your mom’s dog has. Example – if the stones are calcium oxolate stones you would want to feed proteins and carbs that have less oxolates. The “Fuzzer food diet” is a good option.

    Here’s some info on struvite stones

    Whichever diet you go with, homemade or commercial, make sure to also factor in the needs of the kidneys. Darwins sells a prescription, higher protein raw diet that is suitable for many dogs in the early stages of kidney disease. You’ll have to check with them to see if it’s also suitable for the specific type of stones Angel has. I hope you can find the right diet for Angel. Good for you for being persistent on her behalf!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    That is one of the best sites! It helped me through CRF and my dog lasted much longer than he would have and ultimately we had to put him down for a different issue we had been aware of for several years, dengenerative myelopathy.

  • theBCnut

    I do not believe that there are any commercial diets other than prescription garbage that can claim that they dissolve urinary stones. Try going to Dogaware dot com to find recipes for good quality homemade food for this problem. You will have to know exactly what type of stone it is. Different stones require different things.

  • alicia arol

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my comment, Shawna. Most people would not be able to do for their dogs what you so lovingly did for your beloved dog. Despite what the vet who gave Angel the ultrasound yesterday vehemently declared to the contrary, I can’t help but to think there has to be some other better dog food out there that is designed to treat the bladder stones my mom’s vet recently found in my mom’s 9 year old, female, Bichon Poodle other than to put Angel on a prescription diet whose main ingredient is corn (Purina N/F that this particular vet pushes on his clients whose dogs are diagnosed with kidney disease) or whatever other dog food the vet insisted were the ONLY 2 dog foods in the universe that would help Angel, who, according to this vet, would otherwise have to undergo two expensive surgeries per year to rid her body of the stones.

  • Shawna

    The point of my post was not what I fed my K/D dog (she passed last January at 8 1/2 years old). However I’m happy to share with you what I fed. What I fed may not be suitable for other dogs with KD (especially if not doing everything I did).

    Audrey was fed a homemade as well as commercially made, very high protein raw diet right from weaning (I would never feed a dog with kidney disease a kibble diet).

    In addition to the diet I made sure she always had a supply of reverse osmosis filtered water. I gave lots of supplements that help the kidneys like Standard Process Renal Support, food grade activated charcoal, spirulina, burdock root, chlorella, turmeric, enzymes, probiotics and a prebiotic, ginger extract, peppermint essential oil, apple cider vinegar, chlorophyll etc.

    Audrey was exempt from the rabies vaccine for life (due to her illness), she only had her first and second set of puppy shots and never had a vaccination again past six months of age. She was never, even once, given heartworm or flea/tick chemicals. Although what you feed is very important, it is not the only factor that will help keep a dog or cat with kidney disease healthy longer.

    My source for my statement about prescription diets being too low in protein is this wonderful article written by Dr. Kenneth Bovee titled “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”

  • alicia arol

    You NEVER said what you actually feed your dog?

  • alicia arol

    {Vets study medicine not nutrition, and only know what the sellers of Science diet tell them} =or PURINA, or ROYAL CANIN, or IAMS, tell them, but you & I both know that corn (especially when listed as the VERY FIRST INGREDIENT) is nothing but an unnecessary filler put in certain dog foods because it’s CHEAP!!!

    {It is just so sad that the vets do not really care so much about the
    nutritional health of dogs, and only the selling of their commercial
    foods.}=I couldn’t agree more. Yesterday, my mother’s longtime vet (whom she’s NEVER going to again, btw) had the absolute NERVE to tell my mother that CORN dissolves bladder stones & that’s why it’s listed as the VERY FIRST INGREDIENT in the “oh so wonderful” Purina N/F that my mother better start giving to her dog whose ultrasound detected the presence of bladder stones or else suffer severe consequences for her FOOLISH BEHAVIOR!!!

  • alicia arol

    But does corn “NEED” to be the very first ingredient in a PRESCRIPTION ONLY FOOD (such as Purina N/F & other Purina prescription foods) that vets tout as being so great, & should a pet that has suffered from allergies of unknown origin for years & takes prescription medication for said allergies ever be put on a “special food” that lists CORN as it’s first ingredient? (I truly feel like these prescription foods that do not seem very high quality to me might genuinely treat a certain problem in one’s pet yet simultaneously cause one’s pet to have other serious problems down the line.)

  • alicia arol

    and it’s even abundant (very first ingredient in Purina N/F) in all those so called, not even remotely cheap, PRESCRIPTION ONLY, “special foods” MOST veterinarians push like crazy on clients whose pets have “special problems”!

  • alicia arol

    {SD K/D and likely most, if not all, of the prescription kidney diets are
    too low in protein for early stage kidney disease as well}.=Yet that is EXACTLY what my mother’s vet recommended for my mother’s dog who recently had an ultrasound that detected bladder stones (urolithiasis), Do these prescription dog foods actually rid the pet of already present stones? My mother’s 9 year Bichon Poodle is only in the first stage of kidney disease yet WAS (since per my urging my mother refused to comply with her ANGRY at being questioned at all vet) scheduled to be put on Purina N/F for the remainder of her days on this earth! I’m surprised that NOBODY out here has mentioned how Purina N/F not only has corn listed as the first ingredient & zero protein sources in the first 6 ingredients listed but also contains “Animal Digest” yet many veterinarians tout this food as being a really fantastic dog food to clients who don’t know any better & believe that their caring veterinarian has put their BELOVED PET on a really “special food”!!!

  • alicia arol

    I am absolutely SICKENED that prescription dog foods like Purina N/F (for kidney problems) use CORN as the first ingredient & contain the controversial “Animal Digest”. I’ve always considered Purina to be a SUB PAR dog food company, anyway, but I noticed that NONE of the veterinarian recommended prescription dog foods (Hill’s, Royal Canin, Iams, Purina) are the types of dog food I would want my dog to be on for the rest of his life, yet that’s exactly what veterinarians who prescribe prescription dog foods like Purina N/F for their clients’ beloved pets intend to have happen (the pet to eat this LOW QUALITY dog food for the rest of it’s life since if said pet stopped eating this “wonderful” food the stones would simply return). My mother’s Bichon poodle’s ultrasound detected urolithiasis, & (of course) my mother’s vet strongly urged (bullied) my mother into putting her dog on this “special food”. Prior to when my mother’s dog was scheduled for her ultrasound I had done my research: My mother faced her veterinarian armed with knowledge regarding corn being the first ingredient in this supposedly wonderful “special food” put out by Purina, there being zero protein sources in the first 6 ingredients listed on this “wonderful” dog food, & this “wonderful” dog food containing “Animal Digest” that loads of websites urge caring pet owners to avoid feeding to their pets at all costs!!!! When my mother had the NERVE to question her vet (something he’d likely never experienced before since sadly MOST PEOPLE, nowadays, bow down to doctors & veterinarians & take everything these “Gods” say as the gospel truth) he got mad at my mother, told her that if she didn’t put her dog on this “special food” her dog would have to have 2 costly operations every year to get rid of the stones, & when my mom refused to back down from her desire to not put her dog on this “wonderful” prescription food her vet angrily informed her that her dog WOULD DIE!!!! Basically my mom’s vet arrogantly behaved as if THERE WAS NO OTHER OPTION IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE TO SAVE MY MOTHER’S DOG BESIDES PUTTING HER DOG ON either Purina N/F or the only other dog food in existence (my mom forgot the name of this dog food) that would also treat my mom’s dog’s kidney problems. The veterinarian didn’t even know what was in Purina N/F, & when my mom expressed legitimate concern over corn being the first ingredient this MORON had the NERVE to reply back with, “Corn dissolves the stones”!!! NO IT DOESN’T=Corn is nothing but an unnecessary filler that crappy dog food companies put in dog food to save on costs!!!! I’m not saying that this Purina N/F or other similar to it “special” dog foods don’t do whatever it is they claim to do to help pets who have certain problems/diseases=What I’m saying is that my mother’s 9 year old dog has suffered from severe allergies for quite some time. The poor dog has been on Apoquel & children’s Benodryl for years, & now she has bladder stones (common in that breed of dog). Purina N/F is costly at nearly $80 a bag. My mother has money, so DESPITE HER BEYOND ARROGANT VETERINARIAN’S DECLARATION THAT THERE ARE ONLY 2, BASED ON THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS CRAPPY IN MY OPINION, DOG FOODS OUT THERE DESIGNED TO RID MY MOTHER’S DOG OF THESE BLADDER STONES I have to ask about the possible existence of equally priced or even slightly higher priced HIGH QUALITY DOG FOODS (similar to Blue) that contain pronounceable ingredients (such as various fruits & vegetables that are nutritionally beneficial for both dogs & humans) DO NOT contain potentially harmful for pets to consume CRAP of unknown origin “Animal Digest” (something I only recently learned about & have been studying extensively for 2 days) & are also good for dogs who have kidney problems?

  • Joanne Hamilton

    My dog was put on science diet-Hills ID. She is 1.5 years old. It’s the only one, I have tried everything, that agrees with her. What are your thoughts? Corn? Pls reply . Thanks

  • Chris Fink

    Answering Think About it..I have a small boston that suddenly had seizure and would not come out until intervention, she did it again four months later. The third time I noticed it was because I was late in feeding her. She also was allergic to something but any commercial dog food I tried wold always result in her biting her feet within minutes of eating it even if it took a week or two to react. So, I pulled her off of all dog food and started with cottage cheese and first rice…which she did react to, and now gluten free oats, and raw hamburger with the addition of dinovite. She is finally coming out of allergies and has had no seizures even when fed late. The high glycemic index of the peas, sweet potatoes or what ever other card that was substituted had the same reaction as corn, etc. This was over a year process of finding a solution.

  • txn64

    I don’t feed my dogs any dog food that has corn meal in it.

  • Bryan Bilicke

    I work with over 50 dogs every month. Every dog that is on cheap cereal grain based foods using by product meals and unnamed animal fats always display one or more of the following.
    Slowness-less active at ages as low as 2 years, Overweight, Smelly Coat(even after a bath), itching dry skin, hot spots, tumors, diabetes, etc.. I have also seen all of these conditions go away once these dogs changed over to foods that use all natural type ingredients with no cereal grains or by products. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Interesting reading. I think you could actually consider that dogs would also have to be considered GMO as they have been selectively bred/modified into all the vast breeds that exist today.

  • cfbcfb

    This is the second stupidest conversation I’ve ever had with anyone.

  • Think about it

    Ahhh…but you didn’t say the equivalent of a bad McDonald’s meal, compared to a good McDonald’s meal.
    What in the world is wrong with using leftovers(your “waste”) for pets? Originally, horse meat was used. If it’s proven to be unhealthy, that’s one thing….but most of you just think it is not as good as what you choose to feed, and that everyone should do as you do.

  • nmaet

    Please google Teosinte-corn’s direct ancestor. Corn did not always have a cob.
    Selective breeding is also considered genetic modification/engineering.

  • cfbcfb

    You can certainly get a decent balanced meal at McDonalds, but the majority of their customers don’t. What you’re feeding your dog is the equivalent of a soda, fries and a ‘burger’ that’s mostly bun. Carbs with little fat and proteins that they’re not made to digest. In the wild for 10,000 years, a dog ate a small animal, its bones, and whatever digest was in its stomach, frequently shredded/chewed vegetables, seeds and grasses.

    Corn has always had a ‘cob’ although its appearance has changed significantly over the last 7000 or so years. While its recently seen some genetic modification none of those created a ‘cob’ or were required for it to appear as it does. That was achieved through artificial selection rather than GM.

    “Dog food” is a recently invented product designed to use waste products from other industries and inexpensive grains.

    As a fun aside, my pets lived 50% longer than they were supposed to. Certainly the current published life spans you go by are derived from feeding crap to pets for decades. We mirror that experience by having eaten “healthy grains”, potatoes and corn out the wazzo…as demonstrated by climbing obesity and diabetes levels.

    If you keep this up, you’re going to have to give all the money back to the corn industry and pay them!

  • nmaet

    Who is paying who?
    By your own words then, you can’t really say “dog equivalent of McDonald’s” and assume it’s a bad thing.
    Plus…corn hadn’t been genetically modified in B.C., so there were no corn cobs

  • cfbcfb

    If they’re paying you, they’re going to be pretty mad about the response time.

    Its also quite possible to form a complete meal at McDonalds. Aside from burgers and fries, they also sell fruit, salads, yogurt and so forth. Those pesky darn facts! However your dog isn’t getting that sort of healthy eating, just empty carbs and proteins they can’t digest.

    But whatever helps you sleep at night…keep on feeding your pets cheap industrial waste products. Get back to your lithographs of wild dogs from 2000 BC knocking down and eating corn cobs!

  • Shawna

    “Some are abandoned pets; others were born on the streets. In order to survive, these social creatures form packs, scavenging garbage or killing livestock in teams.

    A survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in 1999 found that feral dogs were partly responsible for killing cows, sheep, and goats worth about U.S. 37 million dollars.”

    “Feral dogs survive and reproduce independently of human intervention or assistance. While it is true that some feral dogs use human garbage for food, others acquire their primary subsistence by hunting and scavenging like other wild canids.”

    They’ve recently discovered that senior dogs are not efficient at using carbs/glucose for brain health. Ketones from medium chain trigylcerides are better fuel. If seniors are better able to use ketones it makes sense, to me at least, that younger dogs would also more efficiently use ketones.–EVaH9O8GrogTEz4CQBg&ved=0CFsQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=senior%20dogs%20ketones%20brain%20fuel&f=false

  • Think about it

    Actually no, they wouldn’t form a pack. Dogs don’t. They also do not share food.
    Current science finds the dog and wolf split from a common ancestor, and the dog is not a descendant from the modern wolf.
    No, they haven’t “evolved to eat a highly processed, predominantly starch kibble “, and no one claimed that.

  • Shawna

    I would have to assume that scavaging had to supplement their diet not be the main source of nutrients. Back then humans, living around camp sites, lived off the land not out of the grocery store. Fruits, veggies and grains wouldn’t have been available much of the year in many climates.

  • Shawna

    They certainly have not evolved to eat a highly processed, predominantly starch kibble though.

    Yes, a dog turned out on the street would do what needed to be done to survive. Those dogs are usually the ones that come in malnourished and loaded with mites and fleas too.

    However, if allowed to form a natural pack, as they would in the wild, they hunt.

  • Think about it

    I am very familiar with that article.

  • Think about it

    You can find plenty of pre-kibble books showing barley meal /milk/broth or bread/water/fat to be preferred food for dogs, and meat was considered an indulgence.

  • Think about it

    Don’t flatter yourself. No one is paying me to disagree with you. ALL of my dogs had regular vet care-regular blood work. I am quite capable of noticing skin problems. The McDonald’s comparison is so old it is ridiculous. No one item at McDonald’s(not evan a meal) is formulated with all daily nutrients necessary.
    ALL my dogs lived past their life expectancies, and were healthy until the end, when age wore out their physical being.
    Healthy dogs digest processed corn/grains/carbs just fine.
    Do you get paid to bully here? Do you monitor the dates on comments? Is there a rule I missed about only commenting on certain dated posts?

  • theBCnut

    Stomach, head, lungs, intestines, lower legs, and several other body parts are and were tossed to the dogs. Also dogs are and were given sickly and found dead animals, as well as nuisance animals. Without refrigeration, meat could quickly go bad and dogs would get that too. Dogs also hunt small prey like rats and mice and ground birds.

    Yes, feral dogs survive on what is available to them, but nobody is saying that feral dogs are at optimum health. And they do have a preference for meat when they can catch, steal, or otherwise get it.

  • aquariangt

    Yep! I was just referring to a well over 100 year book showing that before kibble was available, these methods were used (not the conversation) but that they just used meat (more on topic) to reinforce, showing that before the world of commercial food-that’s what the well taken care of dogs ate

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Agt,
    As I know you’re aware, even today in any training, you really need high value treats (usually meat) to keep a dog focused. 😉

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree that dogs do scavenge, but I know plenty of well fed hunting & some non hunting dogs that caught and ate the unlucky bunny, bird, or chipmunk in the yard. My own lab has brought the bunnies to me and they go crazy trying to catch all of the above that stray into the yard. I know many rescues that have farm dogs that ate the chickens.
    Here’s an interesting read, kind of scary, on a theory of the beginning of domestication. It did start with hunter gatherers:

  • aquariangt

    I need to find it in my files, but I have this great article from the 1800s about Positive Training a hunting dog. It talks about counter conditioning your dog with his dinner (which they talk about using pieces of the meat, not the whole thing) to get used to gun shots and being in water. Every mention of the food fed, was pieces of meat

  • aquariangt

    2 things there. Scavenging dogs and domestic healthy dogs can hardly be compared. I believe everyone on this site will agree that dogs are scavengers who do what they need to do to survive. The other thing, is dogs will gladly eat the wasted part of meat that inevitably will be wasted

  • Think about it

    I disagree, since feral dogs tend to scavenge rather than hunt. Scavenging around our ancestors’ camp sites, there would have been fewer meat scraps than other. Since meat was harder to obtain, less likely to be wasted.

  • cfbcfb

    What part of the corn industry do YOU work for? 🙂

    Seems the corn also forces you to reply to two month old comments on old stories. I’m pretty sure I saw a study about that.

    But do go ahead and read the studies about how dogs can’t really digest corn, how it gives them stomach aches, gas and larger stools, and how rice forces their blood sugar to skyrocket, triggering an insulin reaction, insulin resistance, and eventually diabetes.

    Nice that your dogs didn’t have skin issues, or diabetes as far as you know, since it would take some veterinary testing to prove it unless it was severe.

    How exactly did you calculate how long they’d have lived if you didn’t feel them the dog equivalent of mcdonalds every day? Did they come with an expiration date?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Their “natural diet” probably really only changed about 85 years ago, in the 1930s when commercially available dog food really got it’s start. Before commercial dog food, they most often ate the scraps left over from dinners and meat scraps from butchering. The original dogs appeared to come into the picture when hunter/gatherers rather than agricultirists started. They probably got scraps from a hunt.
    Since they are considered scavengers, they would probably eat the rat and then attack the garbage, depending on the dog.

  • Think about it


  • Think about it

    Why do people ALWAYS accuse a dissenter of getting paid for their opinion??
    All of my dogs ate kibble…none had diabetes…none had skin issues…none were done in before their time.

  • Think about it

    Except their “natural diet” changed tens of thousands of years ago. Their bodies evolved to process starches into energy better than wolves. Still, I would not want to “overload”.
    If you turned a dog out in the street now…they would more likely attack a can of garbage before they would eat a rat.

  • DevilsAdvocate02

    It’s a good balanced article.

    One thing it does not cover is the controversy over macro ingredient ratios. Nutritional studies while valuable are almost always misrepresented (cause and effect vs correlation etc…). Or they are interpreted with an agenda in mind. Nutrition requires a bit of wisdom to make decisions since science hasn’t delivered all the facts yet.

    I have to question the larger than natural carbohydrate loads for dogs and cats both found in commercial foods. A whole rat/rodent/hare which would be dog or cats “natural diet” apparently contains about 12% carbohydrates so that seems to be a good baseline to start from when evaluating foods (commercial dog foods may be in excess of 50%). The jury is still out as to whether high carbohydrate loads are bad but this is where I think the wisdom comes in. The “safe zone” from a probabilistic sense certainly must be whatever ratio these animals had in their natural diet.

  • Crazy4cats

    I think a lot of pet store employees are under the impression that a customer picks a food and sticks with it forever. I believe if you are feeding a food that has corn in it in your rotation and not everyday forever, it will not cause any harm as long as your dog does not have an intolerance to it. If I remember correctly, you are constantly switching foods. So, your pup should be just fine!

  • sharron

    i’ve been told that if i continue to feed a dog food that contains corn my dog will eventually develop problems down the road, when i ask what problems will develop they’re not able to give specifics – does anyone know what they are talking about – these are people at pet stores – thanks

  • cfbcfb

    My pets were the same way. I’d put the cheapest food on earth outside for the strays and expensive food inside for them. They’d go outside and eat the cheap food.

    My kid will pass right by a salad to eat a McBurger and fries.

    I happen to like twice fried potatoes stuffed with bacon, cheese, and sour cream.

    Let me know when this catches on.

  • cfbcfb

    Frankly, most vets receive little to no training in nutrition other than advice on treating allergies and food as it relates to specific special conditions.

    One of my dogs turns into a pile of scratching and itching if she’s given a piece of bread, a corn or potato chip. Just fine on the grain free diet that costs me about $3 extra a month to feed her.

    Not to mention I watched an entire generation of dogs and cats develop diabetes when fed a high glycemic diet of finely milled grains, even though it was a high quality food. Oats and brown rice did them in before their time. My second generation fed a grain free diet have surpassed their ages and not developed diabetes.

    The kicker on that last part was that I was able to reverse the diabetes on both cats and 2 of the 3 dogs by ridding their diets of grains.

    So what part of the corn industry do you work for?

  • Shawna

    You are correct that food allergies are quite rare. Food “allergies” cause an immunoglobulin E (aka IgE) reaction in the body. Food sensitivities and intolerances (an IgA reaction) are actually quite common though. And grains are at the top of the list. Note — food sensitivities can cause “autoimmune diseases”.

    “While dietary lectins are known in the scientific and nutritional communities, most lay people and even many medical professionals don’t know about them.

    Lectins are involved in food allergies/sensitivities, inflammation and autoimmune disease, just to name a few.

    Whole grains, peanuts, kidney beans, and soybeans are high in lectins. Cow’s milk, nightshade vegetables (like potatoes and tomatoes) and some seafood also contain fairly high amounts of lectin. In fact, estimates are that about 30% of our foods contain lectins, and about 5% of the lectins we eat will enter our circulation.”

    The above is taken from an article discussing humans based on results from MANY on this site, lectins are damaging for dogs too.

  • theBCnut

    Allergies are, by definition, to proteins, but grains and almost every single food item has protein in it. And grains are more likely to be involved in food intolerances and food hypersensitivities, which are far more common that true allergies anyways, but are often lumped in with them for discussions sake.

  • Crazy4dogs

    There can be other reasons for allergies and some might not be affected by grains. However, my dog had ear infections when fed a grained food even though it was a high quality food. When I went to grain free, the ear infections disappeared. This was many years ago.
    My vet also said that many people don’t realize that even though you are feeding grain free, we live in an area where the corn & grain pollen can be blowing in the air causing allergies in spite of feeding grain free. I guess she doesn’t agree and grain free food did work for my dog.

  • SPC

    The statistics from all other than any of the food manufacturers is grains are the least likely to be the cause of allergies! Period – The most likely culprit will be the protein and only about 10% of dog allergies has anything to do with food. Ask your Vet and then research.

  • LabsRawesome

    Please don’t let your dogs eat corncobs. Dog have died doing that. Also just because your dogs like to eat corn that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. People like drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol too.

  • SkipperD

    My dogs LOVE corn. They like fresh corn and corn cobs. They will steal dried corn from bird food. I think if they were wild, they would steal ear corn in the field. They genuinely like corn. My only concern is toxic mold from improperly processed corn.

  • Nathan Lee

    So you guys are looking up peoples IP addresses? That’s good to know, so I can stay away from you idiots. This will be first and last post on this joke of a website you POS.

  • Connie Robinet Stillwell

    Why would I need a study about the dangers of corn, wheat, barley, rye, soy, processed foods, etc. when all I have to do is take notice of all the humans and pets suffering from cancers, tumors, obesity, etc.? My beagles will NEVER eat another bite of any kibble! Raw meat and soft bones, organs, garlic, pro-biotic, oils (olive and coconut), raw fish. Sometimes they will also get parsley water and other foods. All we can do as consumers is educate ourselves as best we can and buy/eat what we think is best for us and our pets. The consumers have the power to change the business, IF we choose to. It is all about money to them, so get them where it hurts and watch them change or go out of business. I would NEVER rely on govt to protect my pups anymore than I would rely on them to protect me! Now, to go and thaw out the dove for my pup’s dinner. 🙂

  • Ike

    Do dogs in the wild eat corn?

  • aimee

    Glad you enjoyed it! I’ve been listening to those podcasts of late and I’ve found the exchanges highly educational.

  • Jim

    Thanks for sharing that. I listened to it and found it extremely informative at least from the comments of the guest speaker. Once again though it leads us to the statement that no matter what he said he was not going to sway the host an inch in her opinion even though he obviously knew his subject matter. Thanks again I plan to save that link.

  • aimee

    Since you are on a Corn roll you might enjoy the podcast 11 12 2013 called “The Corn Show” in which a vet nutritionist is interviewed about corn.

  • Crazy4cats


  • Jim

    I have read every post in this blog. Through it all I am taking away one thing as a revision to an old saying. There are now three subjects in which you will never win in an argument (or debate), Politics, Religion and now Corn in dog food.

  • Alison

    There is a major difference between commercial grade vs. human grade corn. Commercial grade corn is not fit for human consumption so in turn may contain high levels of GMO’s, mold, and filth…Non-GMO verified organic corn has to be tested for contaminates before being allowed to enter the market.
    Also, no one seems to be concerned that conventional livestock is raised on commercial grains.
    Since, meat is the primary source of nutrition for dogs and cats, those concerned about GMO’s don’t seem to realize that the meat they are feeding to their pets contain GMO’s, unless it is 100% organic.
    Beef should be 100% organic, grass-fed, grass-finished, poultry should be fed only 100% organic grains.
    Yes, organic is more pricey but you cannot put a price on good health. I am a firm believer in only eating organically raised foods, its the best option to growing your own food.
    Increase demand for organic foods will slowly bring the price down. I live in NYC and found that Whole Foods and Costco have great prices on organic meat.

  • Kimi_Forever

    This is why i called Mehgan a quote, “piece of work”

  • Dogs4Life,

    Your use of multiple identities as evidenced by your recent comments posted here from the same computer IP address is a violation of Our Commenting Policy.

    This rule clearly states:

    “…the use of multiple identities or other deceptive tactics designed to mislead readers are strictly forbidden.”

    Because you have violated this policy, your comments have been removed.

  • theBCnut

    How many different identities does one need to make a point?

  • Dogs4Life

    If your dog just had a stone removed from his bladder I encourage you to stick to their recommendations. The c/d or s/o diet have been clinically proven to prevent crystal formation from returning. Take it from someone whose family member’s schnauzer had the same issue. Has done great on the s/o diet.

  • Dogs4Life

    I find this article very biased …. to say that “Whereas the “Corn is Great” crowd appears to include those who have something to gain from making or selling products made with this controversial grain.” I find this quite frankly to be insulting. Everyone has a right to an opinion, doesn’t mean they’re in it for the money. If that were the case I could turn that statement right back around on you and say you work for some “holistic” company. I do agree with Mike that it has been known to cause allergies in some dogs….but that doesn’t mean all dogs are allergic. I encourage people to do their own research and that doesn’t mean Google. Who is this Mike? …he is the creator of this site….aka a nobody like everybody else, who I think has a very one sided opinion. I’m not picking a side just making a point.

  • theBCnut

    Yes, but they still have the digestive system to eat like a wolf, and we would be healthier if we ate more like a chimpanzee too.

  • Tobias C

    dogs aren’t wolves anymore than you are a chimpanzee.

  • Tobias C

    True but corn is prone to aflatoxins.

  • Tracy Mckee

    lets face it its not the corn its the gmos in the corn.round up ready pesticides.Seeds produced by Monsanto.causeing these alery type syptoms and csyts in dogs ears. It causes sterilsation tumors and autiusm in humans. Coca cola,kellogs and nestles a few users of gmo corn.

  • Lindsey Masewicz

    Well it is thought to contribute to allergies and I have a dog who is specifically allergic to both wheat and corn.

  • Bradley

    I am not taking sides one way or the other on the corn debate. All that I can say is that we had two dogs, a full blooded golden retriever and a 3/4 lab that were fed cheap dog food all of their lives. In fact, probably 80% to 90% of their total diet over the years was Ol’ Roy. To just about everyone on this board, it would be considered one of the worst dog foods made. But the proof is in the pudding, the golden retriever lived to be right at 19 years old and the lab 15 years old. The only reason that the lab only lived 15 years is because he broke his hip coming out of the dog house at the same time as the golden retriever and got pinned in the dog way. We had to put him down because of his age. I seriously doubt that many bigger dogs live as long or any longer even when fed the best of dog foods. Plus, we never had to carry dogs to the vet for any problem related to foods, allergies, or infections. All that I am saying is that a lot of the corn debate may be made by the expensive dog food companies to try and convince you to buy their much more expensive product.

  • nwno

    Over 90 % of corn in U.S is gm, in part to the wonderful company of Monsatin(monsanto). So one should assume all dog food corn is gm unless otherwise noted. If its in human consumer products, it is gonna be in dog food.

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  • Kristine Johnston

    because corn doesnt have gluten

  • Lesleigh

    feed Raw food (raw meat diet) it will fix everything and the moister content will prevent your dog from getting stones ever again. i work at an all natural pet store, i highly recommend it. maybe do some research and decide for yourself but i even feed my cat raw meat and he usto have a urinary tract problem and now he is not on vet food or meds and he is full of energy and is like a kitten again.

  • Pattyvaughn

    But corn is GMO, and dogs were not made to eat corn and a lot of dogs have allergies to corn.

  • Leslie Goudy

    Corn is not like rice where there is a problem with arsenic nor is it like wheat where there is a problem with gluten and the dog not thriiving and having skin problems and hair falling out nor is it like soy where it causes renal failure and the enzymes will be unable to digest proteins properly and the minerals will be blocked. And estrogens are blocked causing inhibitions in reproduction

    According to research at Cornell University, slow cooking corn releases more nutrients and up to 900% more antioxidants. – See more at:

  • Wyowind

    Regarding the corn debate: how does one know whether the corn used id GM (genetically modified) or not? Since more and more humans avoid GM corn, and since many countries actually forbid its use, one might think more of this scary corn is being used n pet food. Proven to negatively affect reproduction in mice and rats, causes stomach and digestive problems in lab animals and now proven to wreck the stomachs of pigs and calves.. What about it, corn proponents?

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  • TJ

    Well, I’m with you on the raw diet thing as that’s what my pup gets. But do wolfs eat corn – sure they do, they eat anything that eats corn dead or alive, that corn would be in the animals gut. Wolfey eats gut = wolfey wolfs down corn.

  • Audishere

    If my dog needs to be on a gluten free diet, why did my vet suggest Hills Prescription diet canned food W/D? The third ingredient listed is whole grain corn. What IS the best food for a gluten-free diet AND low calcium diet? My dog just had stones removed from his bladder.

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  • Shawna

    Interesting theory!! I’m not sure I can agree with that though.. If Champion or others took on corn they would have agribusiness, Monsanto, large Pet food, corn growers industry, food industry and who knows who else gunning for them. That would be corporate suicide in my opinion. Food is politics and upsetting the status quo can have significant consequences. It’s been demonstrated over and over again in other industries.

    rBGH and GMO’s are two more examples. Big industry gets what they want for the most part.

    Example — different entities have been trying to get MSG etc out of the market for quite some time. Any that try is attacked and made to look a quack. They only one that hasn’t, to my knowledge, is Dr. Russell Blaylock. Industry just puts out more bogus studies to refute his work and MSG remains on the market. It may not be that way in New Zealand but I’m from the US and it is that way here (and Canada too).

    I am familiar with Dr. Lonsdale and have read some of his work. I also agree with him but don’t think his way is the only way — or in some cases, like my 16 year old 4 pound Chihuahua with only four teeth, is the best way. For some dogs it is, for others it isn’t.

  • Kenneth

    Thats not true. Dr Tom Lonsdale is a world famous vet advocating a dog diet of raw meaty bone, organs and table scraps whos got the balls and he confronts all those big commercial pet food comapanies fearlessly but he cant just fund studies like that. He isnt mega rich like those fibbing comnpanies to fund expensive long term studies. So my pint is that companies like Champion could take on the status quo and fund such studies but dont coz down the track they want the option to use corn when they may get in financnial trouble and when they have bed partners inside prctor and gamble and mars and the sort. Dr Lonsdale is the best!

  • Shawna

    I don’t see how that would “benefit” them aimee.. Their research could be buried, and if anything it would simply make them a target. Those that go against the grain are deemed quacks etc.. There has been ample data suggesting the pitfalls of GMO crops but look where that got the researchers. I’ve read that scientists at the FDA have even lost their jobs for going against the grain…

    Plus they would have to fork out lots of funds to prove something mother nature has been demonstrating for centuries. Consumer dollars can be a very effective influencer of change.. Something we’re seeing in the dog food industry right now.

  • aimee


    In regards to “What incentive would researchers have to do research against corn?”.

    Wouldn’t it benefit those companies that promote corn free diets? For example if Champion pet foods, a multinational company funded research that provided data that corn has detrimental effects on dogs/cats wouldn’t that benefit them?

    Why haven’t any companies either independently or jointly funded that research?

  • Kenneth

    Corn rhas nothing toi be gained from except fibre. Dogs have shorter digestive tracts and not enough proper enzymes to break em down. theres nothign good about corn for dogs. Your dogs would find it hard now to get accustomed to raw meatyu bones but could be eased into it. who to believe? Believe one Dr Tom Lonsdale. Thats all you need to believe. I love sticking it up to Aussies being from New Zealand but when it comes to the dog diet message. the aussie vet has my vote! Believe that dogs came from wolves. That’s a fact. Do wolves eat corn? If you say please tell me when and where? My dogs never looked better on raw meaty bones orgns and table scraps. Thanks you.

  • Shawna

    What incentive would researchers have to do research against corn? Research is VERY expensive to do.. Who’s going to fund the research that says corn isn’t healthful.. And if they do and don’t come up with the right conclusion they are silenced by the corporate entity, in some cases, that is funding the research.

    Example – In the book “Seeds of Deception” the author Jeffrey Smith discusses how the researcher was issued a gag order to prevent him from disclosing the research discovered (cause that research wouldn’t have suited industry).

    It’s often more about politics and money than it is about health. Take aspartame (the sweetener in soda) as an example. JD Searle, the company that first discovered aspartame, tried for 10 years to get the FDA to pass it.. Then Searle hired Donald Rumsfeld and miraculously the FDA had a change of heart.. Hmmm?? Then there’s fluoride and PFOA and and and…. Money talks.. If you don’t believe me read the book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins or any number of other insider books/accounts…

  • Frank J. Casella

    I like how you said that, I too have the same question. My dog’s have been on a food with no corn, wheat, or soy. Last two bags we had, one walked away from the bowl, the other barfed it up half way through the last bag. No they are on a food with corn and are doing better than ever. More active, white eyes, shinny coats, no bad breath or odors, and their droppings are more solid, to name a few. Below is an interesting link

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I frequently eat almond butter, pumpkin seed butter and sunflower seed butter myself and I’ve given my dogs sprouted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds in their meals so I’m sure these types of nut butters would be good alternatives for those who don’t want to feed their dogs peanut butter.

  • wantthebest4myk9

    Excellent warning by Dr. Becker we should all heed. I’ve just written about cooking for my mini-Aussie Shepherd with U-Stew; I do add organic, human-grade quinoa which dogs love (all of 2 tablespoons per meal). I never would give a dog peanut butter because of the aflatoxin contaminants, yet so many dog treats (even Kong fillers) say “peanut butter flavor” (I shudder to think what’s in them – corn syrup, I’m thinking?). I have read that Almond Butter is okay for dogs – anyone trying it???

  • Melissa Narvaez-Myers

    @ Mike Sagman,

    Excellent response. Extremely professional, it is no wonder why I rely on your website for information about pet nutrition.

  • Melissa Narvaez-Myers

    You can’t possibly be that stupid..can you?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Believe whoever you want. I can’t give you a study because one wasn’t done on my dog, but he does much better without corn. Many dogs can handle corn, many can’t. The biggest problem, as I see it, is that vets don’t recognize when an issue may be because of food and then fail to educate their clients. They just give steroid shot after steroid shot and shorten the life of the animal that they are treating instead of going after the root cause of the problem. If your dog doesn’t have a problem, lucky you. I hope the new one enjoys a long healthy life.

  • happy corn fed Brittany owner

    As a dog owner who fed his Brittany corn based dog foods for 15 years of healthy, active life, I have recently become interested in the corn debate since acquiring another Brittany. In researching this issue, I have noticed that those who argue against corn rely almost universally on popular literature for references or they give no references all. Those who argue for corn or are at least neutral toward it use peer reviewed journal articles as references. Who to believe?…now let me see…

  • Shawna

    Hi TX-K9,

    Quackwatch is not a place I would go for reliable information as anything alternative is targeted.

    By the way, my dad is a Naturopathic Doctor and Master Herbalist and my mom is trained in Iridology and Applied Kinesiology. I come from “quacks” :)..

    I also don’t “assume” when it comes to canine nutrition. I like data from veterinary nutritionists Monica Segal and Meg Smart to name just two. I also know, thanks to vets quoting Waltham etc, that dogs have NO nutritional requirement for carbohydrates… They surely don’t need corn for health reasons.

  • TX-K9

    As far as Dr. Osborne’s credentials go, you really need to look at them. doctor of chiropractic means nothing for Veterinary Nutrition. For a reasonably informed person it is of course a red flag.
    The founder, Palmer was a magnetic healer among other quackery he practised

    Next his board certified functional nutrition thing sounded sketchy. The board is ACBN
    From Quackwatch here is a list of credible nutrition certification organizations.

    Finally. Human nutrition is not canine nutrition. Many things are the similar. Many are different. Don’t assume.

    For Veterinary Medicine Info:
    American Veterinary Medicine Assoc.

    Top Veterinary Colleges:

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  • Guest

    Personally, I don’t think many readers would have read this far down. I think high cereal pet foods are just an ever losing battle now for your…I mean Hills company and Nestle etc etc.

    You…I mean they will just have to accept one day, that the common customer, is getting smarter, and you and your…I mean them and their scientists, are just going to have to advise your….I mean their corporate employers that we’re…I mean they will just start having to wind down your,,,I mean their businesses, much like cigarette companies will have to, too.

    I hope I made sense there. Some may get it, some may not.

  • Guest

    I would also like to add, Dr. Tom Lonsdale.

  • Sellustraps

    Vets spend very little time on dietary science while they are attending veterinary school. Science diet is a poor choice in feed. I would assume that “they” or you, may have sold yourself on a name when you went to choose a food, and if the vet did tell you that SciDie was the best food… I begin to think of them less a Veterinarian, but more close to a Pimp.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most of the 4 and 5 star foods are free of corn – just read the ingredients. Also, being that you have a senior I would recommend picking a food with at least 30% protein. The need for protein increases in senior dogs.

  • help with vitamins

    looking for a good dog food for my senior. allergic to corn

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  • Shawna

    Thanks for that info! Greatly appreciated!

  • beaglemom

    True that! Mike rocks. Btw Labs I love your avatar pic. What a sweet face! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    By Dr. Karen Becker

    In an article
    last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread
    aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food.
    Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S.
    corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.

    These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins.
    Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and
    humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth.
    Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead
    to tumor formation. How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food

    Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.

    To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.

    If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.

  • LabsRawesome

    We need more options when it comes to “voting” comments. There is only vote up or vote down. We need a HELL YEAH vote as well! 🙂

  • Red

    I would also like to add Dr. Meg Smart, who teaches veterinary nutrition at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Dr. C…

    I’m so sorry you feel the glycemic index figures mentioned in my article were “laughable”. However, if you had taken the time to read my footnotes, you would have noted my values were “based upon human studies, canine values unavailable”.

    Since you did not take the time to reveal the source of your own corrected figures, please be sure to share a link to your cited reference.

    Also, after reading your comment, it appears you mistakenly believe the purpose of my article was to compare corn with all the other grains. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Please note the real purpose of this article was to show the nutritional inferiority of all grains (not just corn) when they’re “honestly” compared to meat.

    Since you have now introduced linoleic and linolenic acids (both omega-6 fats) to this discussion, let’s compare the linoleic and linolenic content of corn with (say) chicken.

    According to the United States Department of Agriculture (as reported by, the dry matter omega-6 fatty acid content for these two raw ingredients is:

    Corn (frozen kernels) = 14 mg/gm
    Chicken (broilers, whole) = 133 mg/gm

    There may be more linoleic and linolenic acid in corn than in other cereal grains.

    However, there’s a whopping 9.5 times as much of these two omega-6 fatty acids in chicken as there are in corn!

    In your closing remarks, you said “with a little more honest research, you will soon change your mind about corn”.

    Actually, “Dr. C”, I kinda doubt that. In fact, the more research about cereal grains I do, the more I’m convinced of their nutritional inferiority (to meat) – when it comes to feeding dogs.

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  • Dr.C

    Corn is a superior grain in all regards period. However it is also twice as expensive as about every other grain listed here. Corn happens to be a rich source of the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic for which other grains are severely deficient.
    When balanced with soy, the result is a perfect combination of aminoacids and nutrients for pet food as researched by doctors and professors for over 50 Years at the Morris Foundation.

    The real truth is that only pet food companies whom can not afford it use corn in their formulations choose not to use it – and likewise try to give other less expensive grains a better name.

    Your glycemic values are laughable:
    Rice as used in pet food has a glycemic index of 91, brown rice up to 87.
    Corn as used in pet food has a glycemic index of 69.

    I could go on and on at correcting your “research” but suffice it to say that with a little more honest research, you will soon change your mind about corn…

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  • Plus most corn is genetically engineered. Do you really want to feed your pet an ingredient that has not been proven safe?

  • aimee

    That is really really interesting!! Thanks for sharing that!

  • Shawna

    I found this interesting —- a cholesterol drug caused gluten enteropathy in rats. I wonder if drugs aren’t part of the issue we are seeing in humans..

    “Treatment with triparanol induces sensitivity in rats to wheat, rye, barley, oats, and maize but not to rice or soybean. These cereals caused a similar response in niacin-deficient rats. Mucosal damage produced by methotrexate or cetrimide, however, did not sensitise the intestinal mucosa to dietary cereals. Gluten, zein, and pepsin/trypsin digests of gluten all induced the permeability defect in triparanol-treated rats. It is concluded that although gross disruption of the mucosal structure may not sensitise rats to cereals, various causes of mucosal cell damage can produce a susceptibility to gluten toxicity that resembles gluten-sensitivity in man.”

  • aimee

    It would have been more accurate for me to have said tryptophan in place of the word protein as in the paper you reported from pellagrins showed resolution with tryptophan.

    From NRC “casein would reverse pellagra in rats”

    So maybe a dose responsive condition?? I
    I haven’t teased out the particulars.

    “Pellagra is a systemic disturbance caused by a cellular deficiency of niacin, resulting from inadequate dietary nicotinic acid and/or its
    precursors, the essential amino-acid tryptophan.”

    From that it seems to me if you got enough dietary tryptophan from protein that you could be spared pellagra

  • Shawna

    We must have been reading different histories. I didn’t realize my link didn’t work. For anyone interested in reading the article I am quoting from — google “Pallegra in the United States: A Historical Perspective” and look for the Medscape link (it was the 5th down when I searched).

    “Goldberger and Tanner[30] speculated that pellagra was due to amino acid deficiency. They showed resolution of skin lesions in pellagrins treated with cysteine and tryptophan. However, supplementation of good-quality proteins such as soy and casein failed to cure pellagra; but a diet supplemented with dried yeast and poor in protein was dramatically effective in achieving cure.[31,32] They concluded that a dietary factor independent of protein was effective in prevention of pellagra.”

  • aimee

    I read a lot of it and went through and read the references he is using to support his argument. I don’t see how he is drawing the conclusions he does based on those references. For example the corn used in one of the studies when tested found to be contaminated with wheat.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,

    Wasn’t reading about the history of Pellagra interesting?!! I’m so glad you posted about it because I really enjoyed the history of the ailment and the solving of the medical mystery.

    I don’t know that I’d say corn caused it ( you could eat all the corn you wanted provided you had a source of niacin in your diet or enough protein to synthesize it) but yes it did contribute to the epidemic as did any plant based material. A high plant based low protein diet was the problem.

  • Shawna

    Did you get a chance to read the material from the Chiropractor/Dr of Nutrition I posted?

  • Shawna

    I concede defeat on the pellegra front.. 🙂 I was lead down the wrong path.. I read a really interesting and detailed article last night on the history of pallegra. However, I will say that you are wrong too based on the article.

    Pallegra was “caused” by corn but not because of villous atrophy but rather because of imporper processing. Much the way we imporoperly prepare grains today.

    “Corn had been the staple diet among the natives of Mexico and Central America for several centuries without causing pellagra. Why had corn suddenly become pellagragenic in United States and Europe? The answer to the problem lay in the methodology of corn processing, cooking, and milling.[36] The natives of Mexico and Central America had always soaked the corn in alkali before cooking. The alkali treatment liberates the bound niacin in corn, thereby enhancing the niacin content of the diet to the point of being protective against pellagra.”

  • aimee

    Actually, I read it through just fine the first time. Yes it does technically say corn causes pellagra. But…… remember the literature you are citing is 40-100 years old!!! Lots has been learned since then ; ). I’ll bet you won’t find that written in the current literature.

    I think you are interpreting these papers as corn caused villlous atrophy, which caused a niacin deficiency. But upon close reading you see this is not what happened, in fact the clues are printed right there in the papers you are citing.

    “Gillman and Gillman (9) reported that changes in the intestinal wall of adult pella-grins were usually minimal.”

    You see it is the niacin deficient diet that drives the intestinal changes not the other way around. NRC 2006 lists shortening and clubbing of villa as a result of a niacin deficient diet.

    I haven’t read Goldberger’s original work. He was the epidemiologist who was instrumental in solving the cause of pellegra. But Rajakumar 2000 reported it was Goldberger who determined “There was no association with consumption of corn or sanitary conditions to development of pellagra.”

  • aimee

    Sigh…No I am not saying that.

  • Shawna

    So you are saying that because science has reported Irish Setters have gluten enteropathy that it is impossible for other breeds to have it because there’s no documentation that you or I can find? That is very closed minded aimee..

    An awful lot of dogs have idiopathic autoimmune issues, IBD/IBS etc.. And an awful lot of them get better when eliminating certain foods. So, should we tell those owners that a food intolerance/allergy could simply not be the issue because we can’t find the science to validate their findings? I’ve NEVER heard of a dog being allergic to cow bone but my Audrey sure is… Sometimes things aren’t explained until they are.

    One final question, you are suggesting then that Dr. Symes, Dr. Cordain and others like them are fabricating their findings?

  • Shawna

    Might want to try re-reading all the material. They state that corn causes pallegra. Just like the casein I have an issue with caused pernicious anemia.

    Actually, some doctors think that inappropriate types of calcium in exess amounts causes bone fractures. I’m drawing a blank on the name of the doctor and book I’m trying to recall (I posted here once when commenting to KaliberKennel and another poster). I know you won’t accept this site but they discuss it here
    Maybe I’ll remember the doctor and book info here before long.

  • aimee

    Shawna I agree I do think it is very important to be cautious in how statements such as the one you made are worded

    Readers can come away thinking that this happens in all dogs that eat corn, or in a significant percentage of dogs who eat corn. In reality if it occurs it may be that it occurs at a frequency not that different from any other ingredient used in pet food.

    While there are published studies documenting villous atrophy in the very small percentage of Irish Setters with wheat gluten enteropathy, I can’t find any documentation that this occurs in dogs with corn protein. Apparently you can not find it either.

  • aimee


    Honestly I’m not sure what to say. Pellagra is due to a niacin deficiency. That wasn’t known in 1913 when the article you are quoting was written.

    Corn didn’t cause villous atrophy… a niacin deficient diet did. Similarly meat doesn’t cause bone fractures… a diet deficient in calcium does.

  • Shawna

    Had a few free minutes—you’ve said before that you accept books — page 28, paragragh about pallegra

    Corn may be “recommended” for celiacs but if you read a celiac forum many have issues with foods other than wheat/rye/barley. Foods high in lectins like dairy, corn, soy etc

    Cambridge Journal of Nutrition – written by Cordain whom has been sited here on DFA before.

    This quote was taken from the google link — once on the page the data here is not in the part that can be read
    “SMALL INTESTINAL DEFICIT IN PELLAGRA 547 Depending upon their staple food, maize or wheat, the subjects were classified into two groups of primary and secondary pellagra”

    “The Pathological Changes in Pellagra and the Production of the Disease in Lower Animals

    Probably the most neglected side of the disease is its morbid anatomy and histology; and the effects of feeding animals on preparations of maize are but scantily described.”
    There was quite a lot more but I don’t have time to look at each one and many that I looked at required a paid subscription..

  • Shawna

    You know full well that I agree that lectins are not problematic for all!! I should have worded that better but a simple correction is all that is needed.
    You also know that I lost all my research when my work PC had a mental breakdown.. However, you can go back through my posts and look for it if you’ld like — it’s there somewhere. You can also try looking using the terms maize or zea mays as I think that was my google search terms when I found it. And try enteropathy as well as villous atrophy.
    Dogtor J got it right with wheat and dairy (and I believe there is evidence for soy as well) so I have no reason to doubt him on corn. He lectures all over on this stuff — to other professionals.
    Lastly, I have mentioned over and over again that these foods can cause damage LONG before that damage is ever, if ever, diagnosed. As in my dairy issue causing malnutrtion (which in turn cause hypothyroid, pernicious anemia, iron anemia — those are just the ones diagnosed) before I saw the RIGHT doctor and was put on a food elimination diet. That over 15 years I lived with symptoms before a accurate diagnosis. Many dogs may not live long enough if the veterinary community is anything like the human medical community. Oh, my girlfriend had her colon removed but her symptoms persisted until she gave up wheat. Now she is on disability without a colon and that may not have been totally unnecessary if her barrage of doctors had considered food as a potential cause..??

  • LabsRawesome

    I think it is you that needs to get their facts straight….dogs eat what is put in their bowl. I don’t know what kind of dogs you have, but my dogs do not go out into the “wild” and kill and eat anything. They do lick kittens to death sometimes though. lol If you want to discuss wolves, then I would pretty much tell you the same thing HoundDogMom did. Great post HDM! 🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    What Shawna isn’t telling you is that dogs with kidney disease aren’t expected to live very long on those veterinary recommended diets, maybe a year to a year and a half, which maybe the best reason to stay away from them.

  • Shawna

    PS — I’m a raw feeder and have 8 dogs that have eaten raw for many years. Including the one in my avatar that was born with kidney disease and was weaned on to a high protein raw diet. She’ll be 7 years old the end of this coming June and is VERY healthy. She is not medicated. She has NEVER required or been given sub-q fluids. Her symptoms have not changed in 7 years etc etc etc..

    By the way, here is a list of vets and nutritionists that can be found online that are raw feeders.

    Lew Olsen
    Mary Straus
    Kymythy Schultz
    Dr. Martin Goldstein
    Dr. Karen Becker
    Dr. Ian Billinghurst
    Dr. Pitcairn
    Dr. Amy Nesselrodt
    Dr. Christina Chambreau
    Dr. Peter Dobias

    I could go on if you’ld like.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Jenessa –

    You’re the one that needs to get their facts straight.

    Wild candids do not typically eat the stomach contents of their prey (unless it is a very small animal that they consume whole). This is an excerpt from “The Wolf as a Carnivore”:

    “Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of
    large prey and…consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs,
    heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach
    chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]…is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal
    tract is of no interest to the wolves
    , but the stomach lining and
    intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about
    the kill site.”

    Also, even if a wild candid were to eat the stomach contents of a wild animal – why would you say they’re eating grains? Wild animals don’t typically eat grains. Where would they get grains? Do you think deer and rabbits are ravaging corn fields on a daily basis? Wild herbivores eat plant material. Grains aren’t part of a natural diet for any species – even herbivores.