The Truth About Corn in Dog Food

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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.

Footnotes

  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
  8. NutritionData.com
  9. Per Modified Atwater Method
  10. NutritionData.com
  • Shawna

    I know a TON of verterinarians that don’t recommend Hills or Royal Canin or any other foods of that nature. We have a few here on this site. I could link to dozens more. I could also link you to multiple animal nutritionists that think Hills is poor quality food.

    The protein in corn is very digestible but it has poor bioavailability (the part that really matters). The amino acids in corn are not well utilized by the body causing more BUN for the kidneys to have to deal with.

    Corn is also a food that is scientifically proven to cause the tiny hairs in the intestines that absorb nutrieints to die back (called villous atrophy). This, over time, leads to malnutrition and symptoms of malnutrition.

    The “lectin” proteins in corn can be quite problematic causing anything from IBD and colitis to things like autoimmune diseases. Most vets apparently do not know about lectins. At least any I have spoken with or read material from. However Dr. John Symes has a ton of information about these disease causing lectins on his website http://www.dogtorj.com

    Since most corn is genetically modified it is unlikely that Hills uses non GMO corn. Jeffrey Smith is the US leading expert on GMO issues. His book “Seeds of Deception” is a must read for those that think corn (GMO corn that is) is healthful!!!

    Some of the new foods definitley are nothing more than marketing and subsituting one problem food for another. But certainly not all of them..

    Wild animals don’t eat grains like we eat grains.. Wild animals wait for the appropriate time to eat grains — when they’ve germinated and the enzyme inhibitors have been deactivated and the anti-nutrients have been nutralized and the internal enzymes have been activated and the seed becomes a plant.. Not to mention that herbivores that eat grains like corn “ferment” them and any that would be consumed by the wolf or wild critter would be broken down.

    One final thought — cows that are fed grains have to be given antibiotics to counter the damage the corn (and soy) does to their guts. Cows were meant to eat grass NOT corn. There’s even a huge difference in the quality of the meat from a corn fed cow versus one that was grass finished. The corn fed cow has a considerably higher omega 6 to 3 ratio and has more overall saturated fat..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “High quality corn that is finely ground provides energy, protein (specifically, amino acids that are good for the skin and coat), omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid), vitamins (vitamin A and B-complex), minerals and antioxidants (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene).”

    Jenessa – Last time I checked, high quality meat has has many of these same benefits. Except high quality meat is 1) more species appropriate, 2) more bioavailable, 3) low glycemic, 4) doesn’t run the risk of being contaminated with mycotoxins, 5) isn’t genetically modified, 6) doesn’t contain lectins that damage the villi in the intestines causing them to atrophy….need I go on? The research done to create these “veterinary” recommended diets is research on how to create a balanced food out of the cheapest, lowest quality ingredients possible.

    You say grain-free diets are “new” and ask why one would want to run the risk of feeding a grain-free diet to their dog. I would argue that grain-inclusive diets are new – a lot newer than grain-free diets. Kibble is a relatively new concept, prior to the invention of kibble dogs were not eating corn and other grains.

  • High
    quality corn that is finely ground provides energy, protein (specifically,
    amino acids that are good for the skin and coat), omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic
    acid), vitamins (vitamin A and B-complex), minerals and antioxidants (lutein,
    zeaxanthin, beta-carotene). KEY WORD HIGH quality!!!!! Diets like beneful and kibbles and bit will have low grade corn . royal -canin , hills , sience diet have high quality diets and also have VETERINARIANS that specialize in nutrition . you think they went to school for over 7 years to make a diet that’s bad for your dog !!! like really people you are taking more of a risk with the grain free NEW diets and raw diets (that could potentially have a higher risk of transmitting zoonosis and not be balanced – we have changed the dog from what it used to be in the wild and they are nothing like what the wild dogs were. ) The new diets claiming to be grain free are mostly about marketing and can find ways to claim to have meat as the first ingredient . BUT if you want to risk feeding your dog a “new ” grain free diet …that has barley any research and or trials done on it that’s up to you!!! I’ll stick to my VETERINARY recommended diets!!!!

  • dog do eat grain !!! they eat the stomach of the animal in the wild , which contains grain !!! get ur facts straight people!!!

  • Well it does need to be said that most of the corn is gmo and that is the BIG problem

  • Pingback: You are what you eat. | Fetch for Me, Human()

  • Pingback: The Contreversy of Corn | The Doggy Aid()

  • superdog04

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! I’m doing a science fair research paper for school using the actual anaylsis of corn meal found in the dogs’ feces that can’t actually be absorbed, and this helped me SOO much 😀

  • LabsRawesome

     Hey doggone, drunk animals? lol. The monkeys are my fav. haha.  🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    Feel better quick!!  Take care of yourself, there is a vicious flu bug going around.

  • aimee

     Shawna,

    Not sure what you mean be ammo but you’re welcome!

  • aimee

     Doggonefedup,

    I’m pretty sure Hill’s facility is a cradle to grave research facility, so generational but when running a study the duration will vary. Here is one looking at cognitive development during growth .. so it lasted through the growth period.

    Evaluation of cognitive learning, memory, psychomotor, immunologic,
    and retinal functions in healthy puppies fed foods fortified with
    docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil from 8 to 52 weeks of age.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22916855

    Thanks for the kind words …my e mail is aimeemrtn at aol dot com

    But I’m sick : ( fever malaise sore throat lots of fun…. so not sure how much I’ll be on here. Especially with X mas coming up. Was going to call Abady today but my voice is pretty scratchy so will have to wait.  

     

  • aimee

     Shawna,

    I don’t see kidney management as cookbook. IMHO the onus lies on the veterinarian treating his/her patient to lay out goals choose products and then monitor effect.

    There are a variety of options. It is up to the clinician to use  products appropriately to meet the goal for the patient.

    I’d suppose if wanting an “early renal friendly diet” Hills makes G/D or if trying to avoid high phos levels use their mature OTC line.

    The vet can always advise mixing diets or adding egg white to boost protein but needs to keep phos down or even using a feline renal friendly diet.

    Just as I think it is  the Dr.’s duty to learn how to use any drug appropriately, the same with therapeutic diets.

    Not sure what you were asking in regards to the OTC line.

  • Shawna

    More ammo!!  Thanks aimee 🙂

  • aimee

    Hi Pattyvaughn,

    Here is a summary from the Hill’s site on the treatment of kidney insufficiency. Not really that big of secret… it is all there in black and white : )

     SUMMARY OF THERAPEUTIC
    RECOMMENDATIONS:
    1.There is good evidence to recommend kidney diets
    for dogs with stages 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease,
    regardless of proteinuria or blood pressure status
    (Evidence Grade 1).
    2. There is moderate evidence to recommend a
    therapeutic trial for dogs with proteinuric CKD (any
    stage) to establish if feeding a kidney diet can
    reduce the magnitude of proteinuria (Evidence
    Grade 3).
    3. There is insufficient evidence to make a
    recommendation for or against the use of diet therapy
    in dogs with non-proteinuric stages 1 and 2 CKD.

    http://www.hillsvet.com/pdf/confPro_TheRoleOfNutritionalManagementInDogsWithChronicKidneyDisease_en.pdf

  • Shawna

    Thanks for the first hand account Pattyvaughn!!!! 🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    The vet I worked for tries to put all KD dogs on K/D.  In all the luncheon seminars that Hills sponsered for us their rep NEVER said anything about waiting to put a dog on this diet.  The cans and bags certainly NEVER said anything about when it was inappropriate to use this food.  And the paperwork that we all read about when and why for each food never differentiated between stages of KD.  So unless that’s a new developement, it’s one of the best kept secrets at Hill’s.

  • Shawna

    For some reason I’m not able to log in today so posting as a guest.

    “Renal diets aren’t recommended for dogs until moderate to severe renal failure.”

    I have yet to read anything from Science Diet indicating their kd is for the later stages of the disease and most vets certainly don’t wait til the later stages. I know, from an earlier conversation, that you put this on the vets that prescribe but I think it is as much the responsibility of the company’s sales reps to make sure the vets and their staff understand proper use of their products.

    I also find it unfortunate, if you are correct, that Hills doesn’t offer any food for dogs and cats with early and moderate stage chronic renal failure?? Seems odd they wouldn’t want to tap into that market too…??

    Let’s take a look at their senior foods though. The Mature Adult Active Longevity has 19.5% protein. I looked at 3 of their adult foods and the lowest one was 22.3%.. It’s odd that they wouldn’t have researched this themselves don’t you think? Even if they haven’t done the research I would imagine they are fully aware of current findings..

  • doggonefedup

    aimee,
    Thank you for correcting me. I wasn’t too worried about being as they say “politically correct”. I think I did however make my point. somebody somewhere gathered up information in a way that made a leatherboot and some used motor oil appear to be part of a healthy diet for a dog.  As far as duration it isn’t worth arguing about here on DFA. If you want we could discuss it further if you give me an alternate way to contact you. You strike me as being a very intelligent person and I would enjoy conversing with you.

  • aimee

     doggonefedup,

    The motor oil and leather boots wasn’t a “study”. : ) It was a marketing piece put out by Hills to show why you couldn’t judge a food based on a guaranteed analysis.

    Yes some studies are of short duration. No need to run a  year long study when a couple weeks will get you the data you need.

  • aimee

     Shawna,

    Renal diets aren’t recommended for dogs until moderate to severe renal failure. Kind of a straw man’s argument to misapply the diet and then say it isn’t formulated correctly. : )

    The research is often incorporated into the foods, but the consumer may not realize it. 

  • doggonefedup

     Hey Labs,
    If you’re still there I think you’ll enjoy this clip
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5E5TjkDvU0

  • doggonefedup

     Shawna and Labs,
     I agree with both of you. The unfortunate truth is most of those studies only last a couple months and even less than a week in some cases. That isn’t long enough to prove or disprove anything. Inferior ingredients if processed enough and have enough “companion” ingredients can appear to be healthy. I vaguely remember a study that was done using leather boots and used motor oil just to prove how manufacturers could manipulate studies to achieve the results they wanted to present to consumers.

  • doggonefedup

     aimee,
    I did have a list of 19 independent companies that did nutritional research. unfortunately a few months ago my computer crashed and I lost all my data. I am still slowly trying to recover my data sector by by sector as I have time, it is a long tedious task. if and when I recover that information I will gladly provide you with that list. As far as Abady goes call them they can and will answer any questions you have about their company and products. I used Abady as an example because they are one of the two brands of commercial dog food I use along with Brothers and fresh organic grade meats and meat-by-products. Sorry I couldn’t provide you with that information at this time. It is all out there you just have to take the time to look.

  • Shawna

    I agree Labs!!! 🙂

    Research to see which inferior ingredients will sustain life is of NO use to me.  I do think they have some valuable research but often they don’t seem to put the research to use in the foods.?

  • Shawna

    Hi Keltic Pride,

    My dog, pictured to the left, was born with kidney disease (chronic).  Official diagnosis was at one year blood work and she was taken in every 3 months for the following year for additional blood work to see how diet changes etc affected her condition.

    I wouldn’t have put her on Science Diet kibble for ANYTHING IN THE WORLD..  At the time, it had ethoxyquin in it which is known to be hard on kidneys..  WHY would they put ethoxiquin in a kidney food?  I still wouldn’t use the food but about two or three years later they removed it from their foods?

    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..

    Science or no, I can’t put much faith in them when they can’t even get their prescription foods for chronic kidney disease right.

    BTW, my KD girl wll be 7 years old the end of June 2013 and she is in very good health — never requires meds or sub-Q fluids.  The only symptoms she has are the same as when she was 6 weeks old — polyuria and polydipsia.  I do give her nutraceuticals/herbs etc.

  • LabsRawesome

    Here’s my thoughts- nutrition isn’t rocket science! Feed your dog species appropriate foods and you will not have problems. Dogs need meat, not grains. In fact, dogs don’t require any carbohydrates whatsoever to sustain life. So why in the world would people want to feed mostly, or all grains?? I do not need “research” paid for by a company that wants to have the “research” support their claims. To me their studies are all a bunch of BS. They are just looking to make the cheapest food, (by not using meat) and sell it at the highest price possible.

  • aimee

     Hi Doggonefedup,

    I too would like to see a list of other companies active in nutritional research. Many companies do taste test trials or maybe test digestibility, but that isn’t the type of research that contributes to the knowledge base.

    If I search in Pub Med under Hills, Iams, Royal Canin or Purina I get “hits”.  I haven’t found anything from Abady on Pub med or Google scholar. Where can I go to read of the research done by Abady?

    You have mentioned Abady’s 20 year documented study done by an outside source before. Who documented it? I tried to track it down. From Abady’s website I found the reference to the guide dog group Fidelco as doing a 20 year study. I contacted Fidelco but reached a dead end because the person who replied said they didn’t have any diet studies.  

    So who did the 20 year study and where can I read it?

  • aimee

     Hi Keltic Pride,

    In addition to Purina, Medi-cal (Royal Canin) and Hill’s wouldn’t you include the Iams company? I know I’ve read research papers authored/coauthored from them.

    One of the criteria I have for choosing a company whose products I will feed is sound science. All companies have a bit of “spin” in their marketing materials/websites, but some have so much spin as to make one dizzy!

     I won’t support companies using that much spin. : )

  • HealthyDogs

    You are woefully misinformed. I own a holistic pet supply store in the US and our mark up is 25% overall for food, and that IS an industry standard, 25-30%. The larger bags the lower markup the smaller bags the higher. If your clinic is seeing nutritionally based illnesses, I suggest that you look at the #1-#5 foods sold, not the best, the biggest sellers: Pedigree, Ol Roy, Kibbles and Bits, Purina Dog Chow and Iams. What ingredients do they all have in common?

  • doggonefedup

    Keltic Pride,
     While it is true Medi-Cal has never been recalled, it is also true that ” Medi-Cal was one of the formulas cited in a class-action lawsuit by pet owners, due to the accusation that the marketing of the formulas was mis-represented, as was the quality of the ingredients.”  further more “Though many Medi-Cal dog food formulas contain a MEAT MEAL as their first ingredient, many of the formulas are fairly heavy in carbohydrate content. Some examples of the carbohydrate sources in Medi-Cal dog food include corn, wheat, corn gluten meal, rice and oat flour. Tomato pomace and powdered cellulose are also included in some formulas. Some of the Medi-Cal formulas also include added salt.” Some of the Medi-Cal dog food formulas do contain potential allergens, such as corn, corn gluten meal and wheat. Soy is also included in some Medi-Cal formulas, which means that these formulas are probably not best suited to dogs with allergies to these ingredients. Customer reviews of Medi-Cal dog food are mostly negative.
     Again I could go on but why bother?

  • doggonefedup

    Keltic Bride,
    I can give you a list but it may be better if you do your own research as your personal findings can’t be called “Biased”. I will give you a starting point for you to try to discredit what I am saying. There is a company that has been around for over forty years that has never had a recall. They have an ever going study on dog nutrition with a minimum study spanning three generations not just 90 days or 180 days like most other studies. That same company had a twenty year documented study on their “recommended diet” done by an outside organization. Their food is available Internationally including in Canada. There are no 3D or 4D animals used in their food. In fact ALL the meat used in their food is from “animals slaughtered for human consumption”. Detrimental plant based ingredients like glutens, lectins, saponins, etc have been elminated. ALL the nightshades like potato and tomato etc have been eliminated. They will even tell you to allow puppies to eat their fill on their food with no restrictions. What other company makes that statement?? Everybody that I know personally that has tried this food has been very happy with the results. The Name of that company???
    The Robert Abady Dog Food Company.
     Now go…try to prove me wrong….

  • Keltic Pride

    Actually on the veterinarian side of Purina pet foods, these diets are researched in depth, benefiting some of their other diets in the long run. Some people are sometimes very quick to dump on veterinary diets. Up here in Canada, a few years back, when there was a massive food recall, between melamine and mad cow, only one company was not affected. It was Medi-cal. People tend to diss the diets as too expensive and don’t work. This is incorrect. The mark up on vet diets are very low, so owners can afford to treat their pets when necessary. What I really find discouraging is the mark up of 200, 300 and 400% on diets found in many pet stores. In the long run, who is taking advantage of the consumer? Not the clinics that mark up only 25%. I wish we didn’t have to carry food. But due to do many really poor diets out there creating problems, we have to. Some diets are improving, but because of lack of transparentcy, consumers are being marketed into believing what is on the bag, and in the bag are the same thing, when in actuality they are not. I like the fact that in the States, pet food is regulated, unfortunately in Canada they are not, and this is very discouraging to say the least.

  • Keltic Pride

    What are the names of these companies?

  • Bob K

    Keltic – There are many companies, Universities and govt sponsored grants that evaluate, food, nutrition, food professing, etc…… What difference does it make who does the R&D?  Companies change food ingredients for a wide variety of reasons the #1 reason is profit.   Changing ingredients, formulas and processes often effect the bottom line of companies, its rarely done for the benefit of the dog or humans, better food for less cost.  If you look deep into Purina, you will find that they do a fraction of the R&D they used to do for pet product.   

    Why do you think Purina came out with Pro Plan Select and Purina One Beyond in the last few years?  Its because competitive formulas were taking away marketshare from Purina and consumers demanded a better formula.  Finally Purina woke up and developed a better food at a higher price to the consumer.  Its not rocket science to formulate a quality kibble. 

  • doggonefedup

    Keltic Pride,
    I hate to burst your bubble but I personally have visited a few other dog food manufacturers that also do long term testing on dogs and even allow the dogs to interact to produce unbiased results. They will tell you dog have ni biological need to consume plant material. Plant material that contains glutens and lectins should never be fed to a dog at all.

  • Keltic Pride

    It was supposed to be Nutro not Nutra ( my typo error)

  • Keltic Pride

    Some of you may laugh at the information posted on corn. Do you realize in North America there are only 3 companies that actually do their own research and continually update and change diets to benefit our pets? They also do not keep these pets in cages, they are I’m comfortable, first class living conditions. The companies are Medi-cal, Purina and Hills. Many other companies steal the information and say it is theirs, but it is not.
    Nutra diet should be going through a recall yet again because of the melamine that had been found in their diets. This ingredient isn’t listed on their labeling, but then many of these companies aren’t as transparent as they pretend to be. I have used the Medi-cal diet for over 20 years. And I am finding because the list everything, people are too quick to vilify them. But so many companies to not list ingredients that make them seem better than they actually are. Buyer Beware Bigtime!

  • aimee

    Wysong does as well:
     http://www.wysong.net/pet-health-and-nutrition/what-are-the-healthier-grains.php 

    and http://www.wysong.net/pet-health-and-nutrition/corn-and-soy.php

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Purina has something similar. They have a page called the “Power of Grain.” Their videos made me lol…literally. http://www.purina.com/meet-purina/nutrition/power-of-grain

  • Sorry if this has been posted, but has anyone seen this myth-busting page on the HILLS website?  It’s titled “The TRUTH about pet nutrition”.  Is corn just a filler?  It states “A filler is an ingredient providing no nutritional purpose. Corn is NOT a filler. Corn is a nutritionally superior grain compared with others used in pet food. It contains nutrients not found in other grains and includes….”  Copied from here: http://www.hillspet.ca/en-ca/healthy-advantage/pet-food-ingredients-myths.html

  • Pattyvaughn

    Nope, I was talking equine nutrition at the time and I’ve got a GOOD equine nutritionist that I’m real happy with.  I just wish other horse owners would take his advice.  Novel idea, huh.

  • doggonefedup

    Good morning Patty,
    Are you looking for a good nutritionist? I can point you to two different ones that have completely different thoughts on proper nutrition. Just give me the word….

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, I was the only person in microbiology who did not grow more bacteria on a palm print after washing, mine didn’t grow any, so I get that some people don’t know how to wash, but that would apply to all raw meat handling and several other types of food as well, even for the human diet.  Bad hygiene is bad hygiene and has nothing to do with what you feed your dog.  I agree don’t paint all diets with the same brush, but that includes ALL diets.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Keltic Pride –

    It’s strange that you mention testing shows that people don’t clean well enough after preparing raw meat. You are aware that there have not been any cases of salmonellosis in humans associated with feeding their pet a raw diet, aren’t you? Quoted from “Human Health Implications of Salmonella-Contaminated Natural Pet Treats and Raw Pet Food”  – “To date, raw pet foods have not been associated with salmonellosis in humans.” This article was actually cited in the AVMA’s recent warning against raw pet food, ironic huh? Is there a risk for a person to contract salmonella by feeding their dog raw meat, absolutely. However, due to the fact that, to date, it’s never happened the risk is quite obviously minimal.  Most people prepare raw meat regularly for themselves and you don’t hear of people getting warned to not buy raw meat and only buy pre-cooked, so to imply that while a person can properly handle raw meat when preparing a meal for themselves but not when preparing a meal for their pet is ridiculous. Also – as evidenced by the numerous recalls for salmonella contaminated kibble and treats – you cannot avoid salmonella merely by avoiding raw food.

    Can feeding raw bones cause intestinal perforation? Yes. But so can feeding cooked bones and so can many objects a dog might chew on their own (sticks, toys, rawhide, etc.). Just as you can’t eliminate the risk of salmonella by avoiding raw, you can’t eliminate the risk of intestinal perforation by avoiding raw. In the case of intestinal perforation that’s where it becomes critical for the owner to know their dog. If your dog doesn’t chew their RMBs thoroughly, don’t feed the dog RMBs – plain and simple. This also where the owner needs to learn to properly grind the food, if your dog can’t have RMBs you need to make sure your food is ground thoroughly or use boneless meat and supplement with appropriate levels of calcium. People against raw often claim intestinal perforations are common, however according to “Evaluation of Raw Food Diets for Dogs” JAVMA: “The actual incidence of complications resulting from the ingestion of raw bones is unknown.” If it was very common, I think there would be more known about it. It’s quite obvious there aren’t enough cases of intestinal perforations caused by raw bones for anyone to do enough study on it. In other words, your dog has just as much of a chance of perforating their intestine from a raw bone as it does from chewing on a stick in the yard.

    It’s all about weighing the risks against the benefits. Are there risks in feeding a raw diet? Definitely. But there are risks feeding kibble as well. And – imho – the benefits of feeding a dog a species-appropriate raw diet FAR outweighs the risks. I’ll take a healthy dog with a soft shiny coat and clean white teeth with a one in a million chance in it getting an intestinal perforation. Your dog probably has a better chance of eating tainted kibble (judging by kibble’s history of recalls) than getting salmonella or an intestinal perforation from raw. Just my opinion. 🙂

  • Keltic Pride

    Absolutely no denial here. It’s a very serious problem with many questionable diets. There are good diets out there, so all shouldn’t be painted with the same brush. My concerns with dog raw diets are the bone content not crushed properly. A good friend did an autopsy on a 6 month German Sheppard fed nothing but a raw diet. What was found, multiple impacted perforations of the bowel . Denial, not likely, but raw diets concern me for many reasons. This person said he knew his stuff and knew what he was doing. I’m sad for the dog and potentially others that will be in a similiar situation. As for washing properly, some may, but according to an independent study of 60 people that fed and prepared raw diets to their pets. They also felt they washed everything properly. But testing show very different results. But then I’m sure you realize some cleaners don’t clean as well as they claim?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Your right, you should form your opinions about raw feeding based on actual research not the biased opinions of the dog food companies that want you to continue to buy what they are selling. Talk about bias.  So I’m guessing that if you think raw feeding is a public health concern due to salmonella, that you never handle raw meat for yourself, because I know how to wash my hands, utensils, and surfaces since I regularly fix meat.  And I’m also guessing you’re in denial about how many salmonella recalls there have been in kibbled foods, and we know people have died from those.

  • Keltic Pride

    You are smart Patti. An educated pet nutritionist is the best way to customized a well balanced diet for your pet. Good luck in finding a good nutritionist.

  • Keltic Pride

    Food dog ninja makes many researched and educated points that are true and not Internet hearsay. There are only 3 food companies in North America that continually do research to improve pet foods. Their foods are continually improving in the best interest of our pets. Do your research before you jump on the corn and grain is bad for your pet bandwagon. They use high quality ingredients that include corn and grains. But I want you to do your own research. Let’s just say most raw diets are wrong and dangerous. Aside from public health problems (salmonella), and other health issues. I think about my friend who recently did an autopsy on a 6 month old German Sheppard puppy that was only fed Raw diet. The bones in that diet perforated that poor dogs intestines numerous times. Cause of death, multiple impacted bone perforation. Bottom line, if your pet food does not state where it is made or have an address on it, bypass it. There are a lot of crap diets on the market that do use cheap corn or grains, but do not paint all foods with the same brush. Educate yourself about quality ingredients and not formed biased opinions with no actual research to support them, and you and your pet will be much better for it!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I already get custom made horse feed with very little corn in it, but now I’m going to have to have the nutritionist reformulate it without corn.

  • I haven’t read Dr. Becker’s article yet, but just got the mail and my November issue of Whole Dog Journal just came today and had a similar article: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/15_11/features/Corn-Food-Aflotoxin-Risk_20639-1.html

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Dr. Becker just put this article up today, supposedly weather from this past summer is causing increased incidence of alfatoxin contamination. People feeding foods with corn or other grains might want to check this out.:

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/11/23/aflatoxin.aspx?e_cid=20121123_PetsNL_art_1

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  •  for real??? That is messed up! Seriously farmers can’t control the wind!

  • Thank you so much for writing this. All four of my dogs have developed severe allergies to point where medications are no longer working. One of my dogs is on her fourth allergy med and it worked for maybe two days. I started to suspect something was up when I switch my elder dog to Science Diet (for other reasons) and she has calmed down on the itching. After researching and finding this article, I am for sure this is what is going on. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Thanks L…, for sharing. Just a slight correction: GMO plants DO make germinating seed. The farmer has just signed an agreement to not use it, or pay the maker to do so. It’s patented by the maker (Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, etc…).

    In fact, pollen from GMO seed has drifted into non-GMO fields and the company that holds the patent has sued the farmer, for patent infringement, won, and taken their farms. Watch “Food Inc.” they have goon squads that go out and take samples from neighboring farms, test them and then harass and extort “payment” from the non-GMO farmers. …”He who controls the worlds food supply, controls the world.”

    Long term, independent GMO feeding trials in Europe have documented adverse neurological effects and cancer from consuming GMO foods. Support GMO Labeling.

  • L…

    Jemann….studies of GMO corn done in autopsies of cattle fed it, show the intestines shredded and bleeding.  GMO products are fed because they are cheap and seeds cannot be replaced without having to spend more money the next year for more (GMO plants do not make seeds that will germinate the next year). So companies like Monsanto make HUGE profits and animals suffer for it (people too)! No..we should not stop eating vegetables (corn is not a vegetable, but a grain) but maybe try more to grow our own?  Animals love fresh food as much as we do and within reason, if we share what we have with our friends (our pets) it truly makes for healthier, happier friends (pets)!

    With respect,
    L…

  • Lighthorseman54

     I live in the “wild” if you will and observe a considerable amount of fecal matter from coyotes and can tell you that at least a large part of their diet in the warmer months includes fruit (wild berries). Not the same as grain I know but there is a lot of assumption that wild dogs are carnivores only. Like bears I would suggest they are more omnivore and will eat anything that is eatable, including grasses, shoots and especially berries. We have wolves here locally as well, and cannot speak to their eating habits, except to say they are devastating our state elk populations. I will also say that of the gut piles I have seen eaten by coyotes, they often times leave the stomach, often in tack and don’t bother with the contents at all..eating everything else down to the dirt. Not uncommon to come on a recent gut pile and see nothing more than a bloated stomach. Bears on the other hand will eat everything. Coyotes will in fact in corn country eat corn, again pretty much anything eatable. I accept of course that wouldn’t be a part of their natural diet as much as it might be a part of Fido’s, but just because they are canines doesn’t mean they don’t eat other things as well. Just wanted to help dispel some broad based assumptions.

  • Jemann

    I agree wholeheartedly Bryan.  I was not in any way defending brands such as Pedigree.

  • Marie Williams

    I seems it makes no difference what the product is for (human or animal) consumtion it is the best according to the company that produces it.  They all lay a smoke screen and make it impossable for the average person to make an informed decision on the product the best suits their needs.

  • Vicshev

    Yes I am sure that corn is genetically modified because it is cheep.  My dog was male, not neutered. I will never feed food with corn. Adding picture of my dog with tumor. I expected him to live at least 13-15 years.

  • Vicshev

    Thanks

  • BryanV21

    Although I agree that blaming Pedigree for the death of a dog is a bit extreme, I have a hard time defending Pedigree since I believe their food is junk anyway. So the message remains the same… don’t feed a dog this food.

  • Jemann

    I’m sorry for the loss of your pet.  However, you’re assuming a lot of things here.  You’re assuming that the corn in the dog food was genetically modified, you’re assuming that one miniscule trial on ONE strain of GMO corn proves that it is carcinogenic, you’re assuming that’s what caused your tumour, and you’re assuming that the tumour was cancer.  My first question to you would be: was your pet male or female? spayed or neutered? where was the tumour

    Read the studies on an actual quality pet food and see how many times cancer occurred in those pets.  Beneful and Pedigree are not on that list, I might add. Good luck finding a vegetable used in our daily lives that are not modified in one way or another. Shall we stop eating vegetables now too?  We better assume that since corn is causing cancer, that all vegetables are also going to and we better cut them from our diet.

  • Wow.  So sorry for your loss.  Your graphic is shocking.  Maybe that will help get someone’s attention.  

  • Vicshev
  • Vicshev

    I feed my dog with pet food that includes corn. Pedigree and Beneful. After seven years my dog got tumor. I read that genetically modified corn that is inside the dog food is the main cause of tumor in rats. So these foods killed my dog. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005  read this. 

  • Guest

    -Here’s another inaccuracy of ‘meat’ first. Check out the AAFCO definition of chicken:     The clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
    -The key words here are ‘with or without accompanying bone’ and ‘parts or whole carcasses’. So it would be quite legal (and is often done) to have the main ingredient consist of chicken carcasses in which the meat has been sold for human consumption and the bones and nominal muscle and connective tissues that are left are ground and used as the first ingredient called ‘chicken’. This is obviously less nutritious than the internal organs, which no self respecting wolf or coyote would leave behind.

  • Jemann

    Meat, as a first ingredient, is also a misleading claim.  The first ingredient has nor correlation to the amount of that ingredient in the food.  It is actually based on weight.  When you see a meat product as the first ingredient, it just weighed more after they wet it down.  They do not have to indicate on the label what state the meat was in when it was added to the dog food.  There may be some meat in there, but once made into meal (or the moisture was added, same thing) it is then weighed and can then be labeled first.

    JE, RVT

  • Ladies

    I think when it comes to diabetes in dogs the main thing you can control is diet.  You can also limit steroid usage.
    So in preventing the onset of diabetes I think ones best choices are to cut carbs as much as you can and try to keep your dog on the slim side. Also limit drugs that can cause immune dysfunction. The more sugar in any form that a dog eats the harder the pancreas is going to have to work to secrete insulin. This and being overweight can only exacerbate any of the issues that may cause diabetes.

    In treating diabetes I think the best course of action is to severely limit carbs. Fats have no effect on blood glucose and protein has very little. I would try to control the blood sugar as much as I can to slow as much as possible the progression of this disease. I would test blood glucose up to 4 times a day to aid in determining proper insulin dosage and seeing how the different foods my dog eats affects his blood glucose.

  • aimee

    Oh  most definitely obesity leads to insulin resistence in both dogs and cats. The difference though is that while  cats develope type 2 DM dogs do not.

    DM is not attributed to any dietary cause in the dog. 

  • aimee

    Shawna,

    The concept of biologic value has limitations. This is because proteins are rarely fed from a single source. 

    Proteins from various sources have AA profiles that can complement each other such that sources, each with a low BV, when evaluated together have a high BV.

    Therefore it is incorrect to say that the AA from corn are not well utilized by the body as they are usually balanced with complimentary AA profiles from other proteins in the formulation of animal feed.and therefore can be used just as efficiently as AA coming from a meat source.

    But more importantly AA do not damage or harm  kidneys in any way shape or form!! Anyone who says differently is very very wrong! : )

    Of course not all AA are utilized by the body, this is especially true when feeding high protein diets to dogs.  Only so many AA are needed and since they can not be stored they are broken down and used for energy. This is why dogs on high protein diets have higher BUN’s than those eating a diet with a more modest protein level. There is a LOT of waste nitrogen which has to be eliminated from all the excess AA being fed! This elimination of nitrogen via the kidneys is a passive process that does them no harm.    

  • Shawna

    “Obesity also predisposes to insulin resistance in both dogs and cats. 
     
    The pathogenic mechanisms responsible for decreased insulin production and secretion are multiple, but usually they are related to destruction of islet cells, secondary to either immune destruction or severe pancreatitis (dogs)”  Merck Vet Manual
     
    I have read, and posted research here, that lectins in suseptible pets/people can cause pancreatic lesions that would become fibrotic.  An autoimmune reaction could be triggered with enough necrosis.
     
    Full disclosure, Merck also states that high fiber/complex carb diets are recommended for dogs.  However the vets and nutritionists I follow would NEVER feed a diabetic dog that way..  My first holistic vet, who also has 3 years of post graduate nutrition training, reversed diabetes in one dog by putting that don on a high protein low carb diet.
     
    I will also note that I am aware that high fat diets can trigger insulin resistance in dogs.  But so can fructose.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0895706195001189

  • aimee

    Hi Danib6

    I just wanted to say I agree that dogs are well suited for carbohydrate metabolism.

    Where we disagree is that carbs in any form contribute to diabetes ( diabetes in dogs is not diet based) or obesity( well except as excess calories).

  • LA

    Why can’t dogs and cats digest grains and starches?

    It’s time for a little biology 101 lesson. Dogs and
    cats need a lot of good
    quality protein. The kind of protein and food found in a raw fresh
    food diet without any
    chemicals or additives.

    So, it’s no surprise one of the main reasons is that
    dogs and cats can’t easily digest vegetables or grains unless they are partially
    digested first. As for the reason? They don’t have a long intestinal tract like
    humans. Since theirs is short, it doesn’t have the ability to digest vegetable
    matter.

    When starches are broken down, they must first be
    broken into sugars in order to be usable. Primary sources of carbohydrates in
    most diets are barley, brown rice, oats and rye, cooking of cereal grains is
    necessary for your animal to properly digest starches. Dogs and cats do not
    normally produce enzymes in their saliva to actually break-down carbohydrates
    and starches. Essentially, it’s a no-brainer: dogs and cats can’t digest grains
    and starches. Their pancreas is forced to produce large amounts of this enzyme
    to deal with the starches.

    Since dogs and cats are not efficient or successful
    at digesting and assimilating plant material as high quality protein, it’s
    apparent that feeding your pet as if they were humans is not a wise choice.
    Instead, the BARF
    diet or raw food
    diet should be administered as soon as possible. Instead of grains, ponder
    the possibilities: beef hearts, lamb hearts, chicken, pork, finely ground beef
    bones, beef liver, egg, cultured kefir, broccoli, celery, spinach, carrot,
    ground flax seed, bok choy, dried alfalfa meal, beef kidney, unbleached beef
    tripe, apple, pear, grapefruit, orange, dried kelp powder, cod liver oil,
    garlic, capsicum, Vitamin E supplement, Zinc oxide, Mangenous Oxide.

    Feeding your dog and cat pure ingredients which are
    easily digestible is the ultimate way to go for your pet’s overall
    nutrition.  

  • Shawna

    I didn’t realize you had a blog..  Can I find it by going to Toxeds Facebook page?

    PS — I’m not fond of posting from my phone (virtual qwerty only) :(…  I love my Razr but next phone is going to have a physical keyboard.  I actually have a full size bluetooth keyboard for my phone but the screen still bounces when posting and makes it hard to view.  I’m too long winded for that :)…

  • Dog Food Ninja

     Thanks Shawna.  I monitor the site, but my phone, which is my main way of using the internet when not home, has a busted screen, a messed up ribbon cable, and the physical keyboard only works sometimes, and I hate using the screen’s keyboard.  lol  I’ll try to make my visits more frequent.  Speech to text sort of works… plus, I have actually been writing my blog lately. 

  • Shawna

    Well hello there DFN!!  Haven’t heard anything from you for some time..  Wasn’t sure if you were monitoring the site or not!! 

    Hope all is well with you and the family!!

    Nice post 🙂

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Danib6, you post is expressly wrong in many ways, sir.  First, most corn found in pet food and in human food at this point is at the very least cross contaminated with genetically modified stock.  Secondly, dogs cannot utilize corn unless it is heavily processed for them.  Third, wild dogs have been observed actually dumping the stomach contents of larger prey animals before consuming the intestines.  In small prey animals, the dog would eat the stomach contents, but then we are talking about mice, rats, bunnies, etc, and the amount of plant matter they end up consuming is negligible.  And it’s not like any of those prey animals are running around eating grass seeds, anyways.  They eat leafy vegetables and tubers and such.  Corn (and other grains) is loaded with lectins that actually are part of the seed’s defense mechanism to avoid being eaten and digested.  Since grains are not part of any animal’s evolutionary diet, there is no internal process that is particularly efficient at using the carbohydrates in grains, hence why to be digestible, all grains must be processed in some way.  Hence why cows being fed corn are always getting sick and needing antibiotics.  Corn is not food.  As well as the lectins, there is also phytic acid and other antinutrients in corn and all other grains, plus they have a hugely imbalanced fatty acid profile that favors omega 6 to graphic excess.  Animals are meant to eat the plant, with the higher omega 3 ration… not the seed.  Which is why grain fed meat is not very good for you.  Furthermore, when grains are processed into something that is digestible, the glycemic index goes through the roof.  Every time you eat breads you spike your blood-sugar and your body is forced to produce insulin to store the excess sugar as fat.  Your body, as well as your dog’s body, actually works more efficiently when it is converting fat to energy.  That’s why dogs and people lose weight on diets high in animal fats and proteins and low in carbohydrates.  Concocted “foods” like corn and soy are ruining the health of everyone and everything that eats them, all the while keeping the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry rolling in cash.  We have not evolved to fit this western diet that we are now shoveling into our dog’s faces, and neither have they.  mDNA takes millions of generations being acted on heavily by natural selection to even make small changes to the energy transfer system.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Danib6 –

    Numerous observations have shown that the theory that wolves/dogs go for the stomach contents first is false. The only instance in which the stomach contents are consumed are in very small prey eaten whole – such as a rabbit.

    This is an excerpt taken from “Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation” – written by one of the world’s leading wolf biologists L. David Mech:

    “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.” (pg.123)

    This is an excerpt from Kerwood Wildlife Education Center’s Hunting and Meals manual:

    “The wolf’s diet consists mostly of muscle meat and fatty
    tissue from various animals. Heart, lung, liver, and other internal organs are eaten.
    Bones are crushed to get at the marrow, and bone fragments are eaten as well. Even hair
    and skin are sometimes consumed. The only part consistently ignored is the stomach and
    its contents.
    Although some vegetable matter is taken separately, particularly berries,
    Canis lupus doesn’t seem to digest them very well.”Also, the stomach contents of a wild animal would not contain corn.The distribution of nutrients in a wolves diet is generally recognized to be 56% protein, 30% fat, 14% carbohydrates. They obviously aren’t eating too many grains.

  • Shawna

    It is true that dogs eat some of the food their prey ate.  But there is a HUGH but —— that food is pre-digested by the prey animal making it easier for the dog/wolf to digest.  Not to mention, wolves (and dogs left on their own) would eat the tripe which is loaded with probiotics and enzymes which help further digest the foods eaten.

    Dogs (as well as humans and even herbivores) do not make the enzyme cellulase to break down the cellulose on the outer part of the veggie and grain.  That is why veggies and grains must be processed in order to make them digestible to the dog.

  • Shawna

    Corn is a highly subsidized crop —- making it CHEAP.. 

    The current drought will not affect food prices for some time.  And with government subsidization it may not affect food prices at all? 

  • Shawna

    You are right, food allergies are less common.  However, food intolerances are quite common and have similar and same symptoms as allergies. 

    Corn has a protein in it called a lectin (lots of foods do).  However the lectins in some foods (like corn, barley (and other grians) etc) are more problematic.  It is well known (and I have sited journal papers here on DFA stating such) that corn lectins can cause leaky gut (which leads of protein allergies) and can cause villous atrophy (which leads to malnutrition).

    Yes, processed corn is highly digestible but it is not very bioavailable.  Meaning the amino acids in it are not well utilized by the body and become waste for the kidneys to have to filter out.  Some vets and nutritionists feel that this excess work load on the kidneys helps to wear them out.  Not to mention that if lectins get through the gut wall they can cause autoimmune diseases of the kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas etc.  Gluten grains, like barley, can do the very same thing.

    Corn is also, last I read, the most genetically modified food.  Proteins in GM foods are beleived to be even more foreign to the body and if they penetrate the gut wall will like cause the immune system to go haywire.

    Corn doesn’t provide any nutrients (ANY) that couldn’t be found in more species appropriate foods.

  • doggonefedup

    My apology, it isn’t sweet corn. It is “commodity” grade corn also known as field corn and feed grade corn the strain used is “enlist” corn and is being referred to as “Agent Orange Corn”

  • Hi Danib6,

    Dogs are NOT designed to digest carbs. The two main enzymes deficient (not absent) in canine physiology are amylase and cellulase.

    Corn is a LOT cheaper than meat based protein. As I accurately point out in this article, this os one of the two main reasons cereal grains as well as potatoes are the main ingredients used to make today’s kibbles.

    Hope this answers your question.

  • Danib6

    sweet corn isn’t used in pet feed..which is what we are talking about.  Still waiting on that enzyme dogs lack to digest corn…

  • doggonefedup

    “A sweet corn was “genetically altered” just this year to produce a corn that is resistant to the effects of agent orange. It has been nicknamed “agent orange corn”.  google it.

  • Danib6

    I appreciate your feedback Hound Dog Mom.  But I am going to agree to disagree here.  I have very much educated myself with this.  I ask you, exactly which enzyme do they lack that prevents them from digesting corn?  I hear a lot of “they can’t digest” or “they are allergic” or “it has no nutritional value” but when I ask for a deeper explanation, I find I get no answer.  You mention dogs are carnivores.  True..they are carnivorous in nature, however, thousands of years ago before dogs and cats were domestic, which part of the prey did they go for first?  It was the abdomen, the small intestines..parts of the body that held carbohydrates because meat alone does not provide everything they need to survive.  I can go on and on about this as I have a ton of documented and proven facts if you are interested..I’d be happy to pass on.  I will agree on one part of your stance, there is some pet feed that contains corn that has not been processed correctly.  I do not stand by those.  They are not the same as high end pet food.  As far as genetically altered corn..that mainly stopped back in 2007 after the huge recall from China.  It is important to buy food made within the US.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Danib6 –

    Dr. Mike is educating the pet parents with the facts, I think you should educate yourself. Dogs don’t even produce the enzyme to digest carbohydrates due to the fact that they are carnivores. It is very stressful on a dog’s pancreas to digest carbohydrate laden foods. Corn in particular is the worst of all carbohydrates – often genetically modified, susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, and high glycemic. Dogs are not meant to eat grains. Corn is even unhealthy for herbivores like cows and horses so why should carnivorous dogs eat it?

  • Danib6

    Actually, corn is not cheap.  Especially now with the drought across the US…it’s one of the most expensive crops.  Check out the farming market before posting this.  “grain free” “corn free” diets are cheap now.

  • Danib6

    Sorry..this is incorrect. humans don’t
    digest corn properly. Take a
    look anytime after you eat corn… When it’s processed properly corn offers
    everything mammals (including us) need to live. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats,
    moisture, ESSENTIAL amino acids
    (B vitamins, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, folate..to name a few).. as far as a glycemic index, it is rated in the middle..not too high..not too low.  Perfect for pets that don’t have a weight problem or need extra energy (i.e. small dogs, outdoor cats, working dogs)..if a pet is overweight then they should choose a food specifically for weight loss with oats and barley.  What does have a high GI are things like tubers..things like potatoes and tapioca..things that are found in grain free diets.  So think twice before feeding grain free…long term..obesity..diabetes..you name it.  As far as corn allergies..only way to tell is by a food elimination trial.  Call any vet..guarantee most will say they haven’t actually seen a legit case of an allergy.  Majority of allergies is related to atopy.  As far as food allergies..majority is a meat protein.   A diet..with corn IN it..literally saved my dogs life.  It’s personal for me. This is not a site about pet nutrition.  It is a blog.  Educate with facts before blogging for friends. 

  • Dianazarko

    I live next to a feed corn field an my one year old Aussie.she goes in the field and takes corn off the stalk and shucks it and eats it just as a human would. Apparently some k-9 s enjoy corn on the cob but I think I should put a stop to this habit after examining her stool.

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  • Dave’s Hounds

    We have corn dogs so we can made bad choices and get fat – but they are good!

  • LabsRawesome

     Corn based dog foods exist because it is cheap & people that don’t know any better buy it. Or if you are actually asking why we have corn dogs, like the ones on a stick that people eat, then you need more help than I can give you.

  • Bob K

     ST – Psst – Humans are not dogs, our diets are different.  They also feed corn to fatten up livestock.  Have you heard of Corn Syrup?  Not exactly health food.   They sell lots of corned beef in the US near St. Pats day but it has nothing to do with corn but rather a brining/marinating process.  I have never seen dogs, coyotes or wolves hanging around corn fields looking for a meal.  I have seen them go after other animals and road kill and weaker animals in the food chain.

  • S T

    If corn is bad for your dog so does it to you

  • S T

    Have you try corn beef in Argentina?

  • S T

    Why do we have corn dog?

  • Jmoreno68

     Actually, corn is lousy for cattle as well.  By the time beef cattle go to slaughter, their health has declined dramatically and their GI system is highly ulcerated because corn is extremely difficult for them to process.  Cows naturally feed on grass, rarely grains of any kind.  But corn is way cheaper and fattens cows much more quickly, so they use corn.

  • I just looked at the photos on that site.  It looks like what I had before I ground it all up! 

  • Addie

    I just recently stumbled across it, haven’t posted anything yet, but it seems like a good forum. Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of drama there, which is nice. 

  • Addie

    Gotcha, I thought you had meant that without adding fruits/veggies the diet couldn’t be balanced. 

  • InkedMarie

    Addie, do you post there? That’s the place I hang out the most. I have the same name here as there! 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    doggone: I completely agree. “By-products” aren’t the enemy – low quality 4D and pento-tainted by-products/meats are. My dogs eat “by-products” on a daily basis – trachea, gullet, green tripe, chicken feet, rabbit heads, etc. but all my “by-products” are sourced from animals intended for human consumption and for the most part I only buy meat from grass-fed/cage-free animals without hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. I think that as long as the “by-products” are from quality sources and used in correct proportion with high quality muscle meat they can be very nutritious.

  • BryanV21

    Okay, that makes sense. I was simply saying feeding meat and bones only doesn’t, which is not what the “prey model” diet is… according to you and doggone.

  • Addie

    http://www.dogforums.com/dog-food-forum/112667-raw-feeding-picture-thread.html – has some cool prey feeder’s pics on it (some people might find it gross.) I think with the prey model there’s a lot of ways to go wrong, but the same applies to anyone feeding raw in general. The most stressed factor of the prey model is to always provide variety, both in the type of meat fed, and the cuts. You’ll see people on there mentioning feeding whole rabbit head, chicken head, whole duck, bison tripe, elk tripe, sheep organs, and pretty much anything they can get their hands on. Some supplement with fish oil to make up for what omegas are lacking in commercial fed meat, whereas others don’t find it necessary. I think both prey model and barf have great benefits if executed properly, but there’s room for error in both, which is why solely feeding raw isn’t for everyone. 

  • doggonefedup

    I am fortunate to live far enough outside the city that we have an abundance of rabbit, ground hog, etc  running out back that my boyz get to hunt for fresh game on a regular basis. It is amazing to watch. They “team hunt”. One will chase he prey (usually rabbit) right to the other who is waiting in the weeds to pounce. Some day I’m going to tape it.

  • doggonefedup

    Hound Dog Mom,
    You are one of the few people I know of that has actually got it figured out right! There is so much more to BARF than just chicken legs and ground beef. I’m no expert myself which is why I always suggest the KFC (kibble fresh canned) diet to anyone that wants to switch to RAW.  I especially love to watch people cringe when I start talking about beef or chicken “by-products” as being the most important part of the animal and the prey model diet. Then I have to explain how mans partnership with dogs has allowed both to survive. Dogs made the hunt successful and man would eat the muscle meats leaving all the guts for the dogs. organs, glands, bones etc. helping both species to flourish. That is why I have to shake my head when so many classify “high quality chicken and by-products meal”  with low quality “poultry meals”.  Personally I would love to see a raw chicken-by-products food and a raw beef or lamb by-products food added to he available list of barf.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There are two schools of raw feeders, barfers and prey model. I feed essentially a barf style diet, meat, organs, bones, fruits & veggies, whole foods supplements, etc. However, I do feel that that prey model is the most natural and would be ideal. The issue with prey model, why I don’t do it and why I don’t advise doing it, is because you need the right prey. If you’re just feeding your dog chicken quarters and chicken livers from the grocery store there are going to be some major deficiencies. However, if you went out every day and shot a fresh deer and threw it out in the lawn and caught wild rabbits, wild pheasant, etc. and just gave your dogs the whole animal this really would be the ideal way of feeding. The problem is it’s really not possible to provide fresh wild caught whole prey animals daily. Commercially raised meat is much lower in minerals than wild game and the fats are unbalanced – plus the dog isn’t getting the whole animal and is missing out on a lot of nutrients found in glands and organs that aren’t really available to buy and feed on a daily basis. For this reason I think it’s best to include fruits, veggies, whole foods supplements, and essential fatty acids as a means of making up for what commercially raised meat is lacking.

  • BryanV21

    I’ve never heard of “prey model”, but I wouldn’t recommend that. I mean, they do realize that wild dogs eat more than meat and bones, right? Organs, skin, stomach contents, hell… they even much on non-animal foods as well.

  • Addie

    Raw composed only of meat and bones is called prey model raw. Plenty of raw feeders do it, and some of them even consider the BARF diet to be unnatural. I’m not one of them by any means, but there are people who swear by that feeding method. 

  • BryanV21

    Although I agree that a raw diet is most ideal (more than just meat and bone though, as that isn’t complete),  there are plenty of good kibbles. It’s not all “corn stuff”.

  • Lucydog_jacktyler

    The raw meaty bones diet is the best out there every other junk packet pet food is crap and most of all the corn stuff. how can we all be so brain washed by these husge corperations who pretend they care about our pets. 

  • Supered1064

    corn basded dog food is crap, i use vets choice and it is great just look at how good my dopg looks healty coat and he looks very young eeven though he is going to be 7

  • BryanV21

    Don’t be so hard on vets. The people you should be upset with are those that run the vet schools, where nutrition is not taught nearly as much as it should be.

  • Kristi

    When will vets stop trying to justify corn in pet food, my gosh, you are here to help animals not make them sick.  Wake up DVM’s, corn is filler plain and simple and not a very good one at that.

  • corn is only grain that poor in
    Tryptophan,that is source of Niacin.so eating corn based food cause of skin problem,like 
    Pellagra.
    also Niacin is necessary for resolve Acetaldehyde.

  • Phonephreak

    Since switching my 2 dogs and 1 cat to corn and wheat free kibble, they all have much more energy, my 14 yr old Dachshund got rid of all her skin lesions that the vet had said were just age related. Their coat is also much better looking. I am a firm believer that corn and wheat do not belong in any dog or cat food

  • Phonephreak

     NOT great for cattle. Watch the movie Food INC. Corn is completely unnatural for cattle and causes outrageous e coli growth tht the industry fixes by rinsing the carcass with ammonia. Another instance where corn is super cheap and bad for the animal.

  • Gleelee

    What about GMO corn, which most is now in USA…
    GMO has been shown to cause sterility in future generations and harm vital organs in all animal tests done.

  • BryanV21

    There are different types of carnivores. Cats, for instance, are considered obligate carnivores, meaning they get pretty much all their nutrients from meat. Dogs, however, are faculative carnivores, meaning they consume non-animal food as well. Hence my note about dogs being able to consume and get nutrients from some non-animal foods.

    One can not be both a carnivore and an omnivore.

  • Andrea

    Actually, dogs are omnivores as well. Though humans are meant to eat vegetable matter as a primary and meat as a secondary, dogs are meant to eat meat as their primary and vegetable matter as their secondary. Grains are not noted here, but grains are a good source of fiber. So are most veggies.

    I have the privilege to observe wolves in the wild and see them forage for various fruits and vegetables like berries for example.

  • Stephanie L. Pyke

    Marty you have it backwards. Mixtlization is the way that ancient new world indigenous would treat the corn with wood ash and lime (the chemical) to make hominy, which is digestible. When maize was imported to Europe, especially notoriously Italy, the people developed pelagra because they weren’t getting the B vitamins that are locked in the corn. They hadn’t been told how to mixtlize the grain for human consumption.

  • Stephanie L. Pyke

    I wouldn’t mind corn in the dog food as long as it was ground hominy. Hominy releases all of those nutrients because it has been processed with lye. That’s how the native americans did it. Done that way, it was more than reasonable for the natives of Mexico to feed Chihuahuas tortillas. all the b vitamins freed up. All the nutrients of corn made accessable through just a simple, ancient process. then they can dry it and grind it and use it like corn meal. They sell it right next to corn meal as feed at the feed stores, so why not? Why insist on whole corn or corn meal when hominy meal is much better? Plus it’s a high pH food, so it would help pH balance a kibble, which tends to be highly, dangerously acidic.

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  • Vic

    Not sure which history books you read but Maize was not brought to the “New World” It was found in the new world. Corn is indigenous to the Americas. It was a staple in the diets of many tribes of indians long before we got here.
    Great job os diddeminating misinformation though.

  • Martymc58

    When corn (maize) was first brought to the new world and introduced to the “indians”, they were soon suffering from malnutrition because of the way corn can not be digested. Only after being treated with lime (predigestion) is there any available nutrition. Even then, not much. It’s a great filler with a lot of carbohydrates which is why it makes great whiskey. Both of my dogs have been eating from an on demand all you can eat type feeder. They got real fat when they had a corn based feed, and they got back to their proper weight when I got the corn out of their diet. Corn is filler. Great for cattle, good on the grill, but not for dogs.

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  • someone

    AWESOME!!  

  • doggonefedup

    hey someone,
    I replaced the carrots with pumkin in your liver cookies and the boys go absolutely nuts over them now. I guess tyeh just didn’t like the carrots.

  • someone

    okay, hope one of the DFA brainiacs is here and sees this,
    i’m looking for research on corn’s impact on a DOG’S glycemic index.   Or any research that indicates corn is NOT great to be in dog foods, if dog is not allergic to it.   
    I would love a link to show it does mess a dog’s glycemic index, but, can’t find a great source.
    I myself don’t think dogs should be fed corn, but another person wants to see evidence, as in peer reviewed journals, etc.Lol it’s been so long since i met anyone who thinks corn is fine and nutritious for dogs, i have no links for this today, never thought i’d meet someone who thought of corn as “nutritious”.
    for DOGS.THANKS FOR ANY HELP!!!

  • chiavrm

    Very informative

  • Markf964

    thanks i was starting to get worried , thats a relief

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Markf964,

    Your dogs will be fine. 🙂

    Corn isn’t “poisonous,” it just is a low quality ingredient that shouldn’t be in dog food.

  • Markf964

    can anyone tell me if canned corn is harmful to my dogs i just dropped a can on the floor and they both ate some , please reply

  • Shawna

    Bwa ha ha ha Doggonefedup!!!!!!!  SO true!!! 🙂   Corn in, corn out 🙂

  • Shawna

    LOL ~~ I do agree Marie!!!  Sweet corn is yummy — especially with lots of sweet cream butter and salt and pepper :)….  And truth be known, I indulge in a ear or two a few times per year and thoroughly enjoy it..  WOULDN’T eat it every day for every meal, or even often, but……….  🙂

  • Doggonefedup

    Labs,
     Dogs and humans don’t eat corn they just borrow it! ;-}

  • Marie

    Well then, Ms. Science, tell us why it tastes so good, huh?!*

    *try to use small words

    😉

  • Marie

    But it’s sooooo goooooood…..*drools*

  • neezerfan

    What???

  • LabsRawesome

    Dogs & humans should not eat corn. 

  • Shawna

    Per Nutrition data dot com corn is REALLY high in omega 6 – with a ratio of 32:1.  The nutrient completeness score is relatively low while the inflammation factor is really really high.
     
    Corn is one of only four foods that can cause villous atrophy and eventually malnutrition.
     
    Corn has problematic lectins.  Lectins are known to cause a whole host of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, plus.
     
    Corn is the most genetically modified crop in the US.  Many feel that GM foods are dangerous — myself included.
     
    Corn has a very low biological value making it a poor quality protein.
     
    Many feel corn is not an appropriate food for humans either.. 

  • Humans and dogs have very different nutritional needs. To put it simply… humans are omnivores while dogs are carnivores (although dogs can process carbs, just not so well). We get our nutrients differently than dogs do, as our digestive systems are not the same.

  • Chad

    Just a reply on meat first…makes no sense really.  That is before processing…ever seen a chicken breast on the grill?  The water comes out and you have a puny little think.  The first ingredient is the heaviest BEFORE processing or before the moisture is removed.  Often times it doesn’t make a hill of beans difference!

  • chado

    If you got your plate for dinner and 85% was meat leaving only 15% for anything else…do you think that would be a good diet?  Doubtful

  • christy

    I think this is an interesting article, however, I think it certainly bends the truty.  By taking corn and breaking it into various myths, it propogates the same myths.  Corn needs to be looked as a whole component.  It does offer all the things nutritionally you mentioned above.  It is the whole package.  the fatty acids and antioxidants from corn replacements is very difficult and ultimately rarely achieved in foods not using corn.  Rarely do the overall nutrient packages of these foods approach the nutrients afforded in foods containing corn.

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  • Tervuren3

    I hope a real lot of people are reading your findings about corn.  I feed my dog raw.  A carefully selected dog food mostly human grade meat.  It is called k9 natural.  It is 85% meat and the rest has3.5% apple and pear and Califlower Carrot, silver beet Spinach and egg. 

     I was so mad, and disappointed and disillusioned when I walked into my vets office and on the bulletin board it said   “Listen to the experts and not the ads, corn has vitamins and necessary antioxidants and is good for your dog”  It almost  made me want to stop going to this vets, and maybe I still will.  Vets study medicine not nutrition, and only know what the sellers of Science diet tell them.  It was so disheartening to see that.  I go to great measures to select the proper food for my dog, as I am sure you good dog owners do as well.  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.

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  • Jasintha mary r

    hai

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  • Nina

    Corn Gluten Meal.  Protein source of corn.  Allergies bond to proteins.  (Myth 2 held)

    BTW Google Corn Gluten Meal.  Spoiler Alert: your search comes back as an organic herbicide. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Melissa,
    It’s certainly evident that you are working hard for all your dogs, and that you love them very much and are trying to do the best for them. I think everyone of us finds our own way to do that same thing. 🙂

    I’m glad that you have chsen to make corn “not a staple” in their diets any more, and that you are so careful. I respect that very much. Your obviously very intelligent; have you looked at the corn lectin studies? I have gluten intolerance, derived from the chemical poisoning, and corn messes me up big time, along with the other gluten grains and high lectin legumes. Mostly it’s the hybridized/GM plants. I think there’s some serious validity to these concerns. Especially with all the vacs and pesticides people routinely use on and in their dogs. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, take a look at it and tell me what you think?

  • Toxed2loss

    I certainly couldn’t disagree that sled dogs are the hardest working dogs, not from my personal experience anyway. But then I’ve never had the opportunity to explore the daily lives and training regimes of the various working dogs out there.

    I’m glad you feed raw along with your kibble. Meat protein and fat are much more appropriate sources of nutrition/energy if a person can afford them. Some of the raw feeding sites and books give some excellent resource ideas for getting meat more cost effectively. I know Leerburg feeds his schutzhunds raw+ much cheaper than kibble. His feeding guide is available for free at Leerburg.com He says it doesn’t take that much longer.

    I feed raw & rotate in kibble, and it doesn’t really take that much time. My husband hunts and fishes, and we raise grass fed beef & lamb, so I have the meat. The thing that motivates me to feed raw the most is the increase in health. I have been feeding Great Life Grain Free Potato Free, and have ordered my first bag of Brothers Flax free fish (also grain & potato free). They are expensive, but based on all the accumulative research I’ve done, the dividends are worth it. Improved health and longevity for the dogs. 🙂

    In case you haven’t guessed, from my handle, I’m toxically injured. So injured that I can’t access conventional medicine. In fact, my regular doctors threw me out of their offices and refused to treat me. They left me to die. I’ve learned that through diet and nutrition, the body can heal itself from a lot of severe and life threatening conditions. So, if I want my dogs to live their healthiest to the maximum of their life span, 20-30 years, I need to feed the best nutrition that I can access and afford. So that’s why I’ll pay more for kibble with out grains and potatoes, etc. because I’ll pay less in medical bills, and enjoy my dogs for longer. 🙂

  • melissa

     Toxed-

    Thanks-I really do not have a problem with corn on an individual dog basis. IF it can be avoided, then I think it should be,but I do believe that some dogs, whether due to their individual make up, their activity levels etc, do better with it in their diets. Even then, I think tryng a food heavier in carbs(but corn free) is the place to start. Even when I do feed a food with corn, it must be a company that has never had a recall-and currently, the only one I do feed is Pro Pac-only to two dogs, and only as 50% of their daily food ration. My problem is not with corn, so much as it is with the risks of mold etc contamination.

    Since I own multiple dogs(and foster multiples at a time) I need the majority of dogs to be able to eat the same thing-Currently my mix is 1/3Acana Grainfree, 1/3 Blue Buffalo Wilderness. and 1/3 Dave’s Sensitive stomach to bring higher carbs and lower fat to the mix. My point being, while I do not have a problem with corn, its no longer a “staple” ingredient in the dogs menu.

  • birddogman

    Thanks for digging that up! I have heard of the Champaine diet but have not read the details. Sounds great and I wish I had the time and money to use it. I do feed raw every day to keep the protein up in the dogs diet. About 60/40 kibble to raw when they are working hard. I still maintain that sled dogs are the hardest working dogs of all.

  • Addie

    Taste of the Wild, Earthborn Grain Free, and Nutrisource Grain Free are all very affordable grain free dog foods. Some even come out cheaper than many grain inclusive foods. While they do use potatoes or peas as binders, which carry their own issues, I still think a higher protein diet is far more beneficial than a diet with moderate amounts of protein, which is the case with most corn inclusive foods. 

  • Toxed2loss

    I understand what your saying and respect you for speaking up for those that believe what you do, but are unwilling to risk commenting. I’ve noticed you are both courageous and opinionated, attributes I admire. 🙂

    I was intrigued by your post and decided to do exactly what you suggested. I began with Arleigh Reynold. I was not surprised to find he was a veterinarian working for Purina for 20 years. I was surprised by his 2010 article endorsing meat and fat as the premium feed for sled dogs. It was not what I expected. I’ve included part of the article, the ingredient lists of the products, and the link.

    “What Dr Arleigh Reynolds D.V.M. has to say about the Champaine meat.

    I first met Charlie Champaine in 1990 when he was at the pinnacle of his sled dog racing career. At that time he completely dominated the sprint racing arena. As an athlete, an exercise physiologist, and a nutritionist I was curious to learn how someone with a relatively small kennel was consistently able to stay on top of one of the most highly competitive fields in the sporting world. It quickly became apparent to me that Charlie excelled in one quality that led to his dominance on the trail – a meticulous attention to detail. 

    Nowhere was this trait more evident than in the level of care he provided to his dogs. Early in Charlie’s racing career he realized that the unique needs of these unparalleled athletes could not be met by any of the commercial diets available at the time. Rather than settle for what was available Charlie took it upon himself to develop a diet that would support the maximum efforts of his elite dog team. Starting with a diet based on his years of mushing experience, he constantly evaluated his dogs response and refined the formula until he achieved what is now called the “Champaine Race Diet.” 

    I have been studying the relationship between diet and performance in sled dogs for over 10 years in my laboratory and on the Alaskan sled dog trails. During that time I have learned a great deal about the role played by protein and fat in supporting maximal performance in working dogs. Briefly, we have found that high intakes of protein support maximal oxygen metabolism, blood volume, red blood cell mass, and may help prevent injuries. Enhanced fat intake also supports maximal oxygen utilization and provides the canine muscle with it’s most preferred fuel, thus promoting stamina. 

    When Charlie first asked me to evaluate his race diet I was amazed how closely his diet fit the parameters we had determined through our experiments. Through his experience and fine tuning he had reached exactly the same conclusions we had in our laboratory. As he became a force in the sled dog racing world his competitors and friends realized how much this diet contributed to his success and urged him to make it available to others. The legendary attention to detail which was unbeatable on the dog trail has proven to be an asset in the manufacturing of dog food as well. Champaine Race Diet has been the foundation of the diets fed to all of the most recent Champions of the Iditarod, Yukon Quest and Rocky Mountain Stage Stop Races.”

    So whats in the diet recommended by Arleigh 
    Reynolds DVM 2010?…

    “Products List

    CHAMPAINE RACE DIET (Blue bag)
    31% Beef, 31% Chicken, 21% Liver, 10% Egg, 3%Corn oil, 2% Wheat germ oil, 2% Steamed bone meal.
    Feed analysis:
    39% protein, 46% Fat, 2675 Cal/Lb. D.M.B. (Dry Matter Basis)
    We have been feeding the mixture in Champaine Race Diet to our dogs for the past fifteen years – we feel it is the best possible diet we can feed our canine athletes and it has definitely proven itself as a WINNER!
    Available in 50 # bags or 10# chubs.

    CHAMPAINE BEEF RACE DIET (Red bag)
    62% Beef, 21% Liver, 10% Egg, 3% Corn oil, 2% Wheat germ oil, 2% Steamed bone meal.
    Feed analysis:
    48% protein, 43% Fat, 2646 Cal/Lb. D.M.B. (Dry Matter Basis)
    Champaine Beef Race Diet was formulated to go with our regular race diet, without any concern of diet change problems. The ingredients are the same other than the chicken portion in the blue race diet being replaced with beef in the red bag race diet. A higher red meat content is preferred by some mushers, and it tends to be more palatable for dogs when they are racing under strenuous conditions.

    NORTH COUNTRY MEAT MIX
    60% Chicken, 10% Salmon, 10% Liver, 10% Beef, 10% Tripe.
    This is an economy/maintenance feed.

    Available in 50 # bags.

    BLT
    50% Beef, 20% Liver, 10% Tripe.
    Extremely palatable feed; Also ideal for water intake incentive.

    Available in 50 # bags.

    BEEF
    Feed analysis:
    19% protein, 12% fat.
    Boneless ground Beef. Available in 50 # bags or 10# chubs.

    CHICKEN
    Feed analysis:
    13.5% protein, 21.9% fat.
    Cleaned fryers, contain no feathers, feet or viscera. Double ground to assure fine, digestible bone – Excellent source of calcium.
    Available in 50 # bags or 10# chubs.

    BEEF LIVER
    Feed analysis:
    66.5% protein, 15% fat.
    Whole or ground beef liver.
    Available in 50 # bags.

    POULTRY SKINS
    Feed analysis:
    10.5% protein, 59% fat.
    Whole human grade.
    Available in 50 # bags.

    TRIPE
    Rich in good quality protein and very palatable.
    Available in 50 # bags.

    LAMB
    Hand deboned, packed in large pieces. Very palitable red meat chunks, which often a dog will eat when they won’t touch anything else.
    Available in 60 to 80# boxes.

    WHEAT GERM OIL
    Pure wheat germ oil, excellent source of vitamin E.
    Available in 1 or 6 gallon container.”

    http://www.champainefreezedry.com/endorsements.html

  • birddogman

    Just to be clear: I am not the only one that needs a high energy food for working dogs. I speak for the silent masses that need this type of food and I dont see many speaking up on this site. When I said I will show you fantastic dogs…..etc I was not referring to my dogs. There are a lot of them out there. Go check out any agility event, dock jumping contest or field trial or hunt test.  

    Sweet potatoe? Sure! Oats, Rice, lima beans whatever.  I don’t care as long as it works. Affordable? I don’t know, but it seems like the foods with such ingredients as sweet potatoe are not affordable for someone with multiple dogs. So to be real, corn is one good option. Ask Arleigh Reynolds.

  • Toxed2loss

    I’m so glad you’ve clarified that. Thank you. You have made a valid point: vets handle/examine more dogs than you and I see. Much of the research and articles that I’ve read come from vets that are saying that they are seeing adverse effects from corn (and other grains.) DogtorJ is a vet and has his own site that documents that very thing. So, there are vets on both sides of the aisle… The scientific research, like what Dr. Mike cited, goes further than skin deep. It looks inside the anatomy of the dog, at internal organ and cellular damage, that doesn’t necessarily show up, but can shorten the dogs lifespan and decrease the dogs health and vitality.

    I understand that you are a hands on kind of guy. You believe what you see infront of you. You see your own dogs that are high energy, working dogs and they have a greater need for massive amounts of energy. To be realistic, you need an affordable source of calories. Right? What if sweet potato supplied it better, with fewer adverse effects and cheaper? Would you be on board with that?

  • birddogman

    No I did not intend to imply that Mike’s opinion was not professional; I respect his opinion. I see lot of decisions made about corn by a lot of pet owners based on emotion, not professional opinion, studies or expereience. That is what I was eluding too. Show us more studies that document the ill effects of corn and corn by products. I will show you some fantastic dogs that look great and perform at very high levels and eat a diet that includes corn. Well I can’t really do that of course but look around, you will see them too. A Vet thoroughly examines dogs all day long.  More than most of us will ever get our hands on. They know how healthy or unhealthy these animals are. We can base our decisions on how unhealthy or risky we think these foods are but we do not really know.

  • Toxed2loss

    Nice thoughtful response Melissa,
    I am surprised that Birddogman would say, “Finally a professional opinion…” implying that all the professionals who wrote the research cited by Dr. Mike, weren’t… And I thought it less than professional for Drjude to start his comment with “crap.”

    I liked the fact that you, being a person that doesn’t have a problem with corn, acknowledged the short comings. Very commendable!!!

    I had never read this review before, so when Drjude responded so harshly, I read it. It’s a well cited, factual article. The things that I felt that were left out were the fact that feed corn is at least 86%, some studies cite 96% GMO. Dr. Huber of Purdue, one of the most respected professionals in the field, has a lot to say about the dangers and damage that GMO corn, and other GMO feedstuff has for livestock and humans; and lectins, which the immune system suppression and malabsorption of nutrients is well documented to be linked to grain lectins, including corn; and the documentation of the rising incidence of diabetes in dogs and cats being linked to corn and other grain based carbohydrates.

    But, I do realize that Dr. Mike has a full plate and it takes time to update everything. (I also perceived birddogman’s comments about “finally a professional…” as having a bit of an implication that he didn’t think Dr. Mike was… I certainly hope that he will clarify that, if that wasn’t his intention.)

    So, yes or no, Drjude… Do you intend to feed your family the new GMO sweet corn that’s coming out? Walmart and many other leading stores intend to carry/sell it without labeling it as GMO. If its o.k. for pets, it’s o.k. for you, your wife, children or parents, right?

  • DrJude518,

    I’m sorry you feel my article about corn is “crap”.

    If (to you) it’s energy that makes a dog food better, why would you or anyone ever choose corn?

    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.

    And meat doesn’t just contain protein – it also contains fat.

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

    Meat contains 2 macronutrients: protein and fat. Corn only contains one (carbohydrates).

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

    Protein = 3.5 calories per gram
    Fat = 8.5 calories per gram
    Carbs = 3.5 calories per gram

    So, why would pet food manufacturers and the less informed choose corn heavy products?

    For the same reason it’s used to make biofuel, corn is used for pet food because it’s a cheap source of energy (calories) – not because it’s better.

    It’s not my article that’s “crap” DrJude518 – it’s your endorsement of corn as a quality dog food ingredient.

  • melissa

     Drjude518-

    I am not one that has a problem with some corn in the diet, but I have to ask, isn’t there a potential source for energy other than corn, that does not have the risks of aflotoxin?? Let’s face it, the recalls involving aflotoxin have all involved CORN : ) I feed corn to my goats/horses in the winter, because you are correct-its a quick easy CHEAP source of energy to help them combat the frigid temps and keep them in good body weight-however, their main diet is and should be roughage via pasture/hay.

    So while I agree that its a great source of quick energy, I have to think that there are other, less “risky” sources of energy for our canine companions.

  • birddogman

    Thank You Drjude518!!!!!!! Finally a professional opinon on the benefits of corn in dog food. Well I suppose there have been others. Ok how about the latest profesional opinion!   Couch dogs might do well on a grain free diet (Atkins Diet for dogs…..) but active dogs can’t perform at a high level without an energy source.

  • Drjude518

    Crap.
    Corn is a very good source of energy. Just ask everybody in the Americas. Ask the people diverting it to the petrochemical industry. I, as a DVM rarely see dogs allergic to corn based on allergy testing done by Idexx labs. What do you, your backyard antelope, dog, bird, horse need more of? Energy! On a dry matter basis; you need about 10 times more energy daily than you need protein. Even good quality protein. Then why should the first ingredient in the so-called designer dog foods be protein?
    Myth 1 and 2 busted.

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  • Corky

    Thanks – very fact-based and useful information. Two puppies new to our home – looked at the number 1 ingredient in their food – corn. I can’t tolerate it – wondered whether they might have issues too.

  • Becca

    Shhh! Don’t let the FDA know you’ve found raw milk. They are closing down farms and businesses who are carrying it. Cannot have foods on the market that are healthy!

    Regarding corn, about 95 percent of the corn is genetically modified to either be a pesticide in the gut (immune system) of the animal or person who consumes it, or is heavily sprayed with insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Most, however, is genetically engineered with the Bacillius thringensis soil bacterium which nature and God did not intend to be a pesticide. It matters not what part of the corn plant is used. Every cell in its DNA now carries the Bt toxin. It also matters not how it is cooked, the foreign DNA is in every cell of the corn plant.

    Now, the USDA is permitting genetically modified sweet corn with the Bt pathogen for human consumption as well as consumption of other animals.

    Most Americans don’t want to eat genetically engineered (GE or GMO) food, and most animals, given a choice, won’t eat it. But, it still is in pet food. Now it’s going to be in our food as well. Despite the overwhelming opposition to this risky new food technology, the biotech giant Monsanto continues to impose its unlabeled GMO’s onto our dinner plates.

    The latest: Monsanto’s new GMO corn, intended for the frozen and/or canned corn market. This experimental corn will not be labeled, so consumers cannot know when they may be eating a GMO food that contains a toxic pesticide in every bite. Monsanto’s corn is a new GMO variety that has been genetically modified for three different traits, to resist two different insects and to withstand heavy spraying with Monsanto’s toxic Roundup herbicide. Because there are already untested varieties of other insect-resistant and Roundup-Ready varieties on the market, federal regulators are not requiring ANY approval process—which means NO public comment on its introduction into our food supply.

    Want to learn what science has uncovered about Roundup, the herbicide of which this corn is genetically modified to tolerate more?

    http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/glyphosate

    If it can happen to humans, you bet it is happening to pets. Pets often develop the same allergens as people, the same health damaging conditions, and the same cancers.

    Genetically modified corn with the Bt toxin has caused wildlife and livestock to become sterile. GM soy, also found in food for livestock, has actually killed both livestock and wildlife. It may also kill pets and people. GM cotton plants fed to livestock in India and New Zealand, killed livestock. Organic cotton plants have been eaten for generations without health damage.

    It’s time to consider how the food is grown that feeds both our pets and our families.

  • Shawna

    Huh!!!! The one comes right here to Omaha — Nice… I am allergic to dairy (including raw) but I want my grand children on raw. My parents live in Colorado still and Colorado folk can now purchase raw milk legally — here in Nebraska we still can’t (legally). My parents make home made raw milk yogurt that is sooooo yummy.. MUCH more sour then store bought. I’m also allergic to goat milk — which is okay cause I HATE the taste of it… I did just find sheep milk cheese at Whole Foods a few weeks back and seem to be okay with it.. Not sure if it’s raw though. Will have to ask next time there. Oddly we can purchase raw cheeses at the grocery stores here — just not raw milk.

    Thanks for all your help!!!

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Oh, and here’s the Real Milk info for Nebraska:
    http://realmilk.com/where3.html#ne

    It does seem like Florida has more organic, or organically-grown farms. Some of the grass-finished cattle farms even make dog food!

    We are considering purchasing a used freezer (many available cheap!) so that we can bulk order meats. Most of our co-op members are pet owners who don’t feed commercial kibble.

  • Shawna

    Decided to check Iowa (novel idea) — looks to be about the same though…

  • Shawna

    I’m in Omaha so it appears to, based on time to Sioux City and Lincoln, about an hour and half to two hours away.. 🙁

    We do shop at Wenninghoffs but last I knew they are not organic. We have some GREAT farmers markets too.. But, for obvious reasons (we get snow sometimes in Octover thru May) we don’t have them year round.

    Not sure if they are organic or not but Stratbucker looks promising too….

    Thanks for the links 🙂 Maybe I can convince hubby we need a LARGE freezer and can then buy in bulk.. I imagine if I tried harder I too would have better success.. Been doing this 20 years now and as mentioned, in a lazy (hopefully just a phase) now.. SOOOO much easier to swing by Trader Joes or Whole Foods. I admire your sticktoitedness and enthusiasm..

    When I first got in to organic and a healthier lifestyle — it seems, food was easier to get and products (like toothpaste and deoderant) were harder to get. Now, I can get lots of stuff that are paraben and pthalate free but can’t get best quality foods (year round).

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Shawna – Have you checked out these websites?
    http://www.eatwild.com/products/nebraska.html
    http://www.pickyourown.org/NE.htm

    I live in the middle of the most densely populated county in Florida, but yet I manage to get farm-fresh food, mostly organic, dairy, eggs, veges, fruit, grass-finished beef, etc. with minimal effort. It took awhile to find sources, but once you get going on this underground track, these contacts share their sources. Some farms deliver within a 10-minute drive from my home.
    I coordinate a raw dairy co-op, so the dairy farmer delivers to my home (garage refrigerators) for our co-op.

  • Shawna

    Shameless wrote “It’s bizarre how we’ve turned into supporting lesser inferior foods, rather than supporting the most superior foods.”

    To true, to true (to both your posts).. I have to be honest though — I’m just as much to blame as many others. I would LOVE to be idealistic and support ONLY orgainc produce, grass finished livestock etc but for two reasons I “do the best I can”.. 1. hubby is an electrician and the economy has been hard on construction 2. last time I checked – just to get a local source of cage free eggs I have to travel 30 minutes — an hour to get raw milk and an hour the other direction to get grass fed beef (and I’m in NEBRASKA for crying out loud). Our last co-op (open to joe blow public) closed about 2 years ago. I rely heavily on farmers markets from May(ish) thru September but the rest of the year it’s Trader Joes or Whole Foods / neither of which are ideal by any means (I miss Wild Oats :()… I know, I know — all excuses. I used to be much better but after 10 plus years I got lazy..

    I have a friend that lives 30 minutes form Polyface Farms and she doesn’t go there but maybe once a year. I curse her under my breath often 🙂

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    http://www.dherbs.com/articles/sick-pets-158.html

    “Cats and dogs are sick today because cats and dogs eat the same crap as human beings. Cat and dog food is just as processed as the so-called food humans eat. The strange thing is, cat and dog food manufacturers put more synthetic nutrients in cat and dog food than human food manufacturers put in so-called human food.”

    “The synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (coupled with meat by-products, and chemical additives and preservatives) being used in commercial brand pet products (food and nutrients) do not do justice to your animal’s health just as synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids sold to humans in health food stores do not do justice to human health. These vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in human and animal food are basically metals or oxides.”

    “As unconscious consumers who purchase products with non-Earth friendly ingredients from irresponsible corporations, we aid and abet corporations, big business, and government in destroying the planet and its environment, ecology, and wildlife. In destroying Nature we are destroying ourselves, as we are one with Nature.”#

    http://www.dherbs.com/articles/sick-pets-158.html

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Re inferior foods – It’s bizarre how we’ve turned into supporting lesser inferior foods, rather than supporting the most superior foods.
    But there is a huge dilemma – If even half of the human population decided today to eat clean nutrient-dense real food (as much as is possible on this polluted planet), there wouldn’t be enough to go around. So, millions, and their pets, would still be stuck eating inferior, processed food-like substances enriched/fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals. Most are unaware, and don’t realize the problem. Many are aware but continue on – some with no ‘noticeable’ ill effects, but most succumb to some level of sickness at some point. Just look around. Who do you know that isn’t on Rx meds for… you name it – blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, gastrointestinal issues, etc.
    KNOW YOUR FARMER, KNOW YOUR FOOD.

  • Gordon

    Oh before I go….as I just caught your last post Shawna. Yeah it is true that herbivores like cows eat grains. But I was referring to wild herbivores, and not ones in captivity and farming. Anyway, L8r

  • Gordon

    Yeah Shawna. Seems like a feasible opinion. Anyway, gots to go…L8R.

  • Shawna

    Gordon wrote “Dr. Bruce Syme nuts with regard to his info that herbivores eat grains as well”

    I’ve read a lot of material regarding cows eating a species inappropriate diet (of corn and soy — sorry Madman) and requiring antibiotics because of it..

    I think it goes much further then this however. ALL our food is no longer the same as it was pre-industrialization. Now all we see is orange carrots and no purple (unless going to farmers market) peppers. Garlic that we buy in the grocery store is 100 times the size (may be a bit of an exaggeration there) of wild garlic and not as potent (I have wild garlic growing in my back yard). Heirloom tomatos are not as common. We are down to only ?? (forget the number) species of potatos. Etc… Grains are larger, some having more gluten then wild counterparts etc..

    If many on the Internet are correct and our produce is less nutritious due to, being picked before ripe for shipping and a lack of crop rotation (be gentle Madman :)) etc… It’s a wonder any of us are truly healthy…

  • Gordon

    “Truth is truth. To the end of reckoning.” William Shakespeare

  • Shawna

    Shameless — THANKS for the almond info.. I think the Carpaccio looks yummy too.. Not sure if I could eat it if it was sitting in front of me though.. Took a long time to brave sushi. Now I kinda like fish roe but I still can’t think about what I’m eating… Hehe

    Madman — I like this better then newest… So will continue using until told otherwise 🙂 Regarding your post on field corn. Okay, now I feel a bit silly.. I’m not sure if it is my grand dad’s crops I’m thinking of or if crops I see driving through Nebraska, but I remember the field corn looking dehydrated. Now I realize, it didn’t always look that way. Guessing it just wasn’t harvested early enough.. I don’t know that, growing up amongst fields of corn, I’ve ever had “field” corn? We lived 7 miles from a CFO — just assumed all field corn ended up in CFO’s and other animal feed..

    Gordon — I’ve heard both (eat stomach content and doesn’t eat stomach content) from people that work with wild wolves. It came down to — what region they lived in, time of year and, if I remember correctly, status in the pack. I think this would hold true for human health too. I’m part Native American.. Meat would be a large part of my ancestral diet – probably raw too. Wouldn’t have had much access to salmon either. If ancesters came from the mediteranians however my native diet would be much different… I like Dr. Mercola’s premise on food for this reason — he feels it has to do more with, for those of us that can trace it, your ancestral diet.. JMO though 🙂

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise. ~Thomas Gray

  • Gordon

    Could be the same here as well Shameless. At any rate, when I find time, I am one of those stubborn truth seekers and I plan to find out more info through the CSIRO. I also read so many conflicting sources on variations to the wolf diet model, that I will be seeking actual groups or scientists or biologists or zoologists or who ever has actually spent time in the wild studying these magnificent animals, to get the actual info from the “horse’s mouth” re for example….do wild wolves actually eat the contents of the prey’s stomach, or do they actually shake most of same out before just eating the stomach’s wall, etc. Is Dr. Bruce Syme nuts with regard to his info that herbivores eat grains as well, and is Dr. Billinghurst right re wolves will eat stomach contents etc etc etc. Too much hearsay, misinformation, conflicting perspectives, corporate sponsored studies, similar info with variations etc etc etc.

    I just want the truth and am smart enough to eventually get it! But can I handle the truth, asks Jack Nicholson, lol.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gordon – In USA, most consumers never know that the ‘raw’ almonds they purchase have been pasteurized. They can still be labeled as ‘raw’. Maybe Australia is different?
    http://organicpastures.com/raw_almonds.html

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Unpasteurized raw almonds available in USA if you search for them. Look for a co-op that has access, or you can order them direct from this farm:
    http://organicpastures.com/products_almonds.html

    More info about almond pasteurization:
    http://organicpastures.com/raw-almond-expose.html

    Shawna – The carpaccio dish looks yummy to me!
    http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/?p=389

  • Shawna

    I’ve read that dogs, fed a high carbohydrate diet, WILL eventually start producing amylase in their mouth.. However, you still have to figure out how to get the majority of them to chew their food 🙂

    Amylase is produced by the pancreas too. However, many feel that the pancreas, in dogs and cats, does not make ample amylase to digest a “high” carbohydrate diet.

    This is a mute point in my opinion however because ANY dog eating kibble or canned foods NEEDS to be on a supplemental digestive enzyme (which all include amylase).

    I even give supplemental enzymes to my raw fed dogs. Dr. Karen Becker DMV and wildlife rehabilitator stated on her website that bunny poo, next to the guts of prey animals, is the most naturally concentrated source of digestive enzymes. Three of my, then, four dogs would make a game out of hunting and eating bunny poo. I started supplementing digestive enzymes to both daily meals (was already giving enzymes in am) and immediately the bunny poo eating stopped…

  • newest member

    Shawna, the field corn that you have seen raised can absolutely be eaten by humans. I actually don’t eat sweet corn, I pick field corn and prepare it just the same as sweet corn. I think it is much better tasting and way less toxic. Certain varieties taste way better also. I eat BT and some non bt corn.

    Gordon, I have seen research that shows that dogs don’t product amylase in their saliva, but that it does have amylase in its digestive system. I don’t know if the pet food industry uses it or not, but they make amylase corns that breaks the corn starch down into simple sugars. They even have starch fee corns, but I have no idea of the availability.

  • Shawna

    I wrote “I don’t think we have evolved (nor do many in the medical field) to eat a cooked meat diet”

    Not what I meant to say — should have read — not evolved (nor do many in the medical field) to eat an entirely cooked meat diet”

    Ground meat should obviously not be eaten raw unless ground fresh from uncontaminated meat.

    I have also read that cooking meats unlocks the protein making the amino acids better utilized — but others feel that because the natural enzymes are damaged and protein denaturization occurs eating meats raw or on the very rare side is the way to go… I think the latter group is right but as mentioned can’t stand to eat my own meats that way. I can’t even eat a raw egg unless hidden in a milkshake or something like that 🙂

  • Shawna

    Gordon,

    I took it in the manner you had intended 🙂 (not snide)

  • Shawna

    Gordon,

    Nuts have the same phytates that make grains problematic. Nuts also have lectins (which I mentioned in another post).

    Nuts DO supply nutrients and are healthful but many doctors and nutritionists (especially holistic nutritionists) feel that nuts (and seeds/legumes) should be “properly prepared” (by long soaking) just like grains.

    The Weston Price link that Shameless posted has info on nuts.

  • Gordon

    I wasn’t being snide above. I am serious in my intention that I’ll ask what the CSIRO’s take on it all is?

  • Shawna

    Jonathan,

    Laughing out loud 🙂

    I, too, do not always practice what I preach. AND I agree with you, for the most part, on your ideal diet recommendatons. I don’t think we have evolved (nor do many in the medical field) to eat a cooked meat diet but the thought of eating raw meat (minus a little sushi) makes me ill to my stomach.. In fact, I order most of my meat medium well.. I can’t even watch my hubby, an eater of rare meats, while eating… Sad but true – queasy stomach 🙂

    This is quoted from Nora Gedgaudas’ website. She is a human nutritionist and author of “Primal Body, Primal Mind”

    “For all you raw meat lovers out there…or soon to be.

    FYI–the photo is not mine but is an approximation of what the final dish will look like. This carpaccio can be used as a gourmet appetizer or as a simple raw food meal guaranteed to curl your toes with delight. Even if you have never had raw meat (or have been afraid to try it) you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to love. Raw meat is actually easier to digest and contains many enzymes, nutrients and hydrophylic colloids lacking in cooked meat. –Good stuff, Maynard.” http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/?p=389

  • Gordon

    Yeah Shawna – In Australia, almonds don’t have to be pasteurized prior to shelf arrival. At least not that I’m aware of, and not the raw almonds or nuts that I buy.

    My understanding is that here down under such raw nuts are seen as a super food, along with kidney beans, and eggs etc. All the nutritionists I’ve ever spoke with, have all highly supported the consumption of such raw nuts. I eat about 40 to 80 grams a day, and always feel a little lift afterwards. I haven’t has any ill effects what so ever.

    In fact, one nutritionist even strongly suggested I start eating around the above amount, especially in light of the fact that I was smoking at the time (I quit in April 2007). Such nuts have made me feel better. Am I or Australian nutritionists missing something? Perhaps I should ask the smartest entity of scientists in my country, the CSIRO.

  • Gordon

    Not at all Michelle! But surely you already know that I don’t? Dogs, lack amylase in their saliva unlike us, which helps with the beginning to the break down of such carbs, contrary to the dog, and not to mention that dogs have a much shorter digestive tract.

  • Shawna

    Gordon,

    Wish we could get “raw” almonds here in the States. ALL almonds are now pasteurized (unless new laws have passed in the last couple years).

    Like grains, all nuts/seeds and legumes have anti-nutrients that bind with minerals and prevent absorption. My M.D. who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist says ALL nuts (including raw) should be soaked overnight before consuming to neutralize the phytates..

    Dr. Joseph Mercola D.O. and others say the same thing as Weston Price “Phytic acid is present in the bran of all grains, the coating of nuts and seeds and inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/12/04/grains.aspx

  • Michelle

    Gordon, you like eating corn. But, do you feed it to your dogs?

  • Jonathan

    Shawna, I don’t eat meat raw, but there is significant evidence that we HAVE been lightly cooking meats and fibrous veggies long enough that we do require it to an extent. Something like 150,000-250,000 years. I always cook meats to the minimum internal temp. Red meat and tuna I eat very rare. I cook veggies ’cause I like them better that way. I don’t eat legumes or nut. I avoid milk and dairy. Now, that’s all true if I’m on the ball and not “cheating” but I do cheat (esp. with CHEESE!!!) and I drink beer more than twice a week sometimes. I know, I know, beer is made from grains and has a glycemic index higher than table sugar. I never said do as I do… lol 😉

    But really, I believe the perfect diet is leafy green veggies, some other colors of veggies and some root veggies for vitamins, GRASS FED meats and fresh caught fish, and occasionally in season fruits. I try to eat close to that, but the biggest obstacle is the price and availability of grass fed meats. So the bulk of my calories, unfortunately, comes from protein and fat from grain-fed animals. That’s not to say it hasn’t made me feel much better and lose 30 pounds… I know when I get into the grass-fed only meats, I’ll probably feel even better!

  • Gordon

    I’ve got no problem in myself eating corn off cooked corn cobbettes. They’re an excellent source of insoluble fibre, if not much else.

    I’ve got no problem in eating raw and unsalted almonds, brazil nuts and some others. They’re great source of most of the good fats as well as high in selenium which we know is great as an anti-cancer agent as are many other anti-oxidants.

    Shameless – Love your Lab pic. He’s a blacky. Cute!

  • Shawna

    Jonathan,

    Do you eat your meat raw? I do know there are many that do — (I eat raw meat in sushi and sashimi but, for me, that is where it ends). I was on a paleo forum poking around one day and saw a comment by one reader that said raw pig brains tastes similar to vanilla pudding… YUCK!!!!!

    How bout crucifers — they can aggrevate thyroid issues when eaten too often due to binding with iodine. As well as being in the “corn belt” I am in the “goiter belt” and thyroid issues, due to iodine deficiency, are not uncommon around here (for those that don’t eat ample or any iodized salt).

    You don’t eat nuts and seeds which have many the same issues as does grains.. Legumes require, at the very least, cooking too..

    Thanks for the link Shameless…..

  • Michelle

    Jonathan, grading corn is like grading a bullet that your about to get shot with. LOL, good one!

  • Jonathan

    The preparations you mention are all interesting… but, like Cathy says, that’s too much rocket science. I feel that if something can’t be eaten the way it naturally comes out of the ground, or off an animal, then it’s got no business on my plate! 🙂

  • Shawna

    Good analogy Jonathan 🙂

    I’m a Weston Price follower and as such, grains are okay but only if they are prepared properly. Sprouting — which like alfalfa sprouts makes them into a living food. Fermenting — which neutralizes anti-nutrients, amplifies the nutrients and loads them with good bacteria. Long soaking — usually in an acid medium. Per Weston Price, “traditional diets” used grains prepared this way.

    Weston Price website is having an issue right now so can’t link to but the article is titled something like “Be Kind to Your Grains….And Your Grains Will Be Kind to You” Nuts, seeds and legumes are also included in this article as foods that need to be “properly prepared” before eating.

  • Jonathan

    I still say grading corn is like grading a bullet you’re going to get shot with. Sure, there are better bullets to get shot with, say, a .22 fmj as opposed to an all lead .45 acp slug. But I still wouldn’t want to get shot with either. 🙂

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    madman – I found the link you posted on TOW, so I’ve copied it here:
    Here’s a link to grades of corn. http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/ay/ay-225.pdf

  • Shawna

    Madman,

    I too eat corn… I try to limit gluten grains as much as possible and even eat a pasta made from Quinoa and corn. I do feel that grains need to be properly prepared before eating however (Weston Price Foundation has a lot of info on this).

    Ironically (or maybe not) I live in the “corn belt” and specifically Nebraska (eastern), the “Cornhusker” State 🙂 My grandfather was also a farmer and cattle man — grew nothing but corn. However, we didn’t eat the corn from his fields. Rather, we ate the corn that he grew in our “truck patch”. Admittedly, I never talked with my grandpa about corn and now can’t as he passed Christmas day last year. What I believe though is that his corn and MUCH of the corn that grew around us (grew up in eastern Colorado) was not edible to humans and was specifically raised for cattle (and dog) feed..

    Do you know if my assumption is correct — that the corn used in dog food is corn used for human consumption or animal feed? And if animal feed, what the difference between the two is?

    Thanks for this interesting conversation!!

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Thanks newest member / madman –
    Can you try again to post that ‘grades of corn’ link?
    I have local farms (within 50 miles) that grow corn. I live in west central Florida and have previously attended the Zellwood Corn Festival (when Willy Nelson was there for Farm Aid). Their young sweet corn is melt-in-your-mouth, but I have never been able to get them to answer my questions about gmo. Do you know specifics about southern sweet corn?

  • newest member

    Shamelessrawfoodie,
    I am trying this post after removing the link.
    Here’s a link to grades of corn.

    You can see that 56 test weight corn is considered number 1 grade corn. Most irrigated corn around this area can be betweeen 62 lb to 66 lb test weight with special varieties. Grade of corn doesn’t cover what total digestable Nutrients or (TDN) in the corn. Special varieties have just recently become available with very high (TDN) and almost no toxicity what so ever. Keep in mind that normal TDN is 91. In my opinion the next most important thing in grade is damage to the kernal. Damage is one area where mold and toxins come into play during storage. Also, certain corn varieties can get mold and toxins in damp conditions so food grain hybrids are very important in this area.

    If you want the best grade of corn you would have to get it directly from the farmer if he grows these special corns. Once it is taken into the elevator, you will never get it back in such a special form. Elevators mix this great corn with crappy corn to average the corn out to number 2 grade corn. Human food and animal food companies around here try to contract with the farmer, but it is rare because they don’t want to pay the money and it is a big risk for the farmers to store the grain, and the farmer would rather get the crop to the elevator so they can get paid. If you know a farmer, you can get great grades of corn.

  • aimee

    Opps, in the Roudebush study I missed posting the number one allergen, Beef 34%.

    Mike, I can’t say I’ve ever seen it commonly claimed that corn isn’t allergenic (although I’m certain some individual may have said it at some point), only that it isn’t highly allergenic. It seems to me to be a “straw man” argument to report as myth that “corn does not cause allergies” only to knock it down. There is no food that is exempt from eliciting an allergic reaction. I do like the revision you made to the article.

    Reported allergens likely reflect how common the ingredient is included as a component in dog foods. While there may be potential thousands of ingredients used in dog food, in actuality, many less than this are commonly used. Corn is widely used which is why it makes the list. Yet in every ranking of allergens it comes in near the bottom, supporting the idea that it isn’t highly allergenic.

    In general there is a paucity of data regarding adverse food reactions in dogs. And as Mike pointed out they are poorly understood and characterized. Understandably, owners of dogs with confirmed food allergy may not want to go through the process of identifying the offending allergens.

    The wide variance in reported studies likely has to do with sample size. For example, take a bag of 100 marbles, 99 white and 1 black. The black marble reflects the corn allergic dog. If you draw 10 marbles there is a one in 10 chance you will draw the black one. And your reported frequency of corn allergy in that sample would be 1 in 10 or 10%. Yet taking in account all the marbles the true incidence is 1%. There were only 20 dogs in the study listing corn as 14%, where as the study reporting a 3% incidence complied data from 22 studies so had a much larger sample size. The Verlinden study was also a compilation of studies totaling 198 dogs. This study also had a lower corn allergy incidence rate.

    All these studies are older. Verlinden was published in 2006, yet the studies it drew data from were published from 1967 through 2002. I’m quite confident that in time, as alternative carb sources in food become more popular we will see these newer sources of potato, pea, etc being reported as allergens as well.

    As I said, I’m not supporting the use of corn in diets, only pointing out it isn’t as highly allergenic as it is sometimes made out to be.

  • Gordon

    Yeah that’s why instead of corn being the predominant makeup of the worst kibbles marketed, and therefore the most known in the public consumer arena, whilst still being available at over inflated prices, they should be replacing these with the starchy alternatives like potatoes and peas, despite their also high carb level, which whilst at least provide more nutrients and less of a digestion issue, can comfortably provide the kibble binding alternative. At least this would be a step in the right direction for both those who don’t understand the difference, and for some appeasement to those in the know, in relation to these culprits of the cheaper fillered, but more mainstream and known kibble brands.

    And so, really, whilst aimee’s usually more debatable side in favour of corn, at least, more so than most of us else commenting here, is still grossly unconvincing.

    However, as I hope this site’s forum continues to remain open, it is a good thing, that as long as ridiculous tit for tat hostile arguments are avoided, all sides of perspectives are civil and allowed to continue.

  • Jonathan

    Aimee, I think with corn, your argument is splitting hairs. Of the “5 myths” about corn that Dr. Sagman exposes, the allergy one should be the least of anyone’s concern. The other four downsides of corn noted effect any dog (and human!), with or without a healthy immune system. While your links do suggest that it’s not a “top” allergen, I would still argue that being on the list makes it a “top allergen”. I mean, potatoes and peas are not on the list, while there are extremely rare cases of allergies to them. So calling corn a “common” allergen still applies since potatoes, pea, tapioca, and sweet potatoes are all not even on the lists, and consequently, are better, albeit more expensive, dog food ingredients. Plus, I think that just seeing the wide disagreements between the studies of where corn fall (3% all the way to 14%) as a potential allergen indicates that these studies are somehow being done imperfectly, and results are apparently not repeatable. But even still, as I said before, the allergy part of why corn is no good as a food source is kinda negligible in the face of all the other negatives it carries.

  • Hi Aimee… Thanks for your comment. However, as I argue in my article, claims that corn does not cause allergies is a myth. Out of the literally thousands of potential dog food ingredients, corn still makes it onto even the lists reported in the articles you cite.

    For example, on the Roudebush article, even at just 3%, corn is the seventh item on the list.

    Peer-reviewed studies proving unequivocally that corn should not be considered an allergenic food are still (at least for this writer) rare. As a matter of fact, many of the articles researching food allergies caution readers regarding the difficulty in pinning down the precise incidence of food allergens in the first place.

    In 2001, Chesney et al warn readers in their Veterinary Record article, “Systematic review of evidence for the prevalence of food sensitivity in dogs”…

    “Twelve papers giving original data on canine food sensitivity in an acceptable form were reviewed, and the disorder was confirmed in 390 dogs. Most of the papers did not give either the criteria by which dogs were included in a trial, or information about dogs which had undergone a trial with a restricted diet but in which food sensitivity had not been observed. Only one author indicated how the degree of pruritus of the dogs in the study was assessed.”

    In the Verlinden article you cited, the authors also advise…

    “There are a lot of potential food allergens and because of the multiple ingredient content in commercial pet food, it is difficult to detect the specific causative food allergens.”

    In any case, I see your point. Yes, corn may not be one of the leading causes of food allergies in dogs. And I’m not claiming it is. However, for the reasons I discussed in this article, corn cannot be excused as a possible allergen when attempting to isolate the ingredient’s role in a specific animal’s diet.

    Please note that “for completeness”, I’ve modified my article to reflect the information contained in your remarks. What’s more, your documented and unedited comment here in this public forum stands as an official and historical record of your opinion. Thanks for your participation.

  • Gordon

    aimee – I just Googled the same kind of information and a lot does correlate with what you’re quoting. However, corn and other grains for all dogs, are nutritionally inferior to meats, fruits and veggies, and all things considered in a perfect world, a healthy dog will always do much better on the latter over grains.

    In reality, we all know that dogs, just like humans and every other organism on Earth, can become allergic to certain things in its environment, whether food, weather, or what ever the case maybe, and hence either die off or improvise, to overcome what ever allergen it has succumbed to. In these cases, animals in captivity, have the benefit of human intervention, therefore are more likely to survive, being given alternatives. However, why corn as an alternative, and also as a mainstream ingredient in the bigger marketed and well known dog food companies? I mean, when most of those inferior dog foods contain grains as the bulk of their makeup, as opposed to the dog’s natural ancestral diet, it doesn’t take Einstein to figure out it’s about the corporate dollars first and foremost, and the pet’s health last. We all know that corn and the like make excellent binders of kibble in addition to being a whole lot cheaper material-wise, than real meats, fruits and veggies. One puts two and two together, and the answer why corn is so controversial in pet food, isn’t all that hard to fathom after all.

    As Roger Prows stated, dogs do have much shorter intestinal tracts than us humans, and so it also doesn’t take Einstein to figure, in addition to the obvious evidence, that grains are much harder on the dogs digestive system than for us humans, because apart from a different pH level, it doesn’t have time to do the following as it does in humans. I quote….

    “The main function of fibre is to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning properly. Fibre aids and speeds up the excretion of waste and toxins from the body, preventing them from sitting in the intestine or bowel for too long, which could cause a build-up and lead to several diseases.”

    That’s why fibre for dogs, is better gotten from mashed fruits and veggies than it is from grains. Because dogs will digest mashed fruits and veggies better than grains (grains mashed or otherwise still leaves the same roughage intensity), and get the added benefit of nutrition that lacks in grains. Nature’s design. It makes so much sense!

    Fibre in humans from grains do make us feel fuller, and sure, they lack in nutrients but are recommended because of what I quoted above. I further quote…..

    “Fibre passes through the body virtually unchanged along with other digested food until it arrives at the large intestine. What happens next depends on which type of fibre is present.

    In the case of insoluble fibre, it promotes the growth of a certain friendly bacteria that ferments and makes the waste material soft and bulky, which in turn helps it to pass through the intestines quicker to the bowel and out of the body.

    Insoluble fibre prevents constipation, which consists of small, hard and dry faeces that are hard to pass, by adding bulk and liquid to aid movement, and promote regular bowel movements. A larger and softer stool is able to pass through the intestines and bowel more easily and fluidly and is easier to evacuate.

    As waste material passes through the body quickly and does not stay in the intestines or bowel for very long, toxins are not able to build up and accumulate. This is important in the prevention of distressing diseases such as bowel cancer or other cancers, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

    Soluble fibre absorbs water in the intestine, which softens the stool and helps the waste material move through the body more quickly.

    It is thought that soluble fibre may help to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. This is due to the fact that soluble fibre binds the cholesterol from food or from bile acids, which are made up of cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This is then eliminated as waste, as the fibre cannot be digested.

    Soluble fibre also slows down digestion and the sudden release of energy, especially from carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This means that blood sugar levels are more stable, which is good for people with diabetes, and energy or glucose is released slowly and steadily, preventing sudden feelings of tiredness, lack of energy or hunger pangs.”

    All this is not the same for dogs. Although fibre whilst not required by dogs, can have its benefits too, but not nearly as it is for humans.

    The bottom line is, dogs don’t need and shouldn’t be fed corn in any form. It really is only in dog food because it’s cheap and a great kibble binder.

    Whilst company dollars for the alternative holistic type dog food manufacturers, is also a number one priority, I’m sure that the pets’ health is number two instead of last, for these same companies.

  • aimee

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

    However, when asked to back those claims with a scientific study published in a peer-reviewed journal, supporters consistently come up empty handed.”

    I wouldn’t call myself a “cheerleader” or a “supporter”

    However, I wouldn’t say studies concluding corn to be a less common allergen are “elusive studies”. It took me less than a minute on line to find this one:
    Verlinden, A., Hesta, M., Millet, S. and Janssens, G. P. J. (2006)
    ‘Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats: A Review’, Critical Reviews in Food Science and
    Nutrition, 46:3, 259 – 273
    In which corn came out a minor player compared to other allergens. In fact it didn’t even get its own category!

    Corn was lumped into the “diverse” category along with 4 other allergen sources. The total for the 5 sources in that category was 10 %
    More common allergens were identified as Beef 36%, dairy 28%, wheat 15% egg 10% chicken 9.6%, soy 6 %

    Here’s another: Fadok,V (1994) Diagnosing and Managing the Food Allergic Dog, The Compendium 16:12, 1541-1544.

    Beef 70%, dairy 30%, wheat 30%, soy 25 %, chicken 25 %, eggs 15 % and lastly corn at 14%

    Here’s another: Roudebush P. Ingredients associated with adverse food reactions in dogs and cats. Adv Small Anim Med Surg 2002;15(9):1-3.

    Dairy – 20%
    Chicken – 20%
    Wheat – 16%
    Egg – 7%
    Lamb – 5%
    Soy – 5%
    Corn – 3%
    Pork – 2%
    Rice – 2%
    Fish – 1%

    I’m sure for completeness you’ll want to include this data in your article “The Truth About Corn in Dog Food”

  • Gordon

    Yeah Mike, that’s of great interest to me now. As for pasta, yeah that’s indisputably low in any nutrients and extremely high in carbs, and taste. E.g. Italian food. Thy lesson for humans is everything in moderation.

  • Gordon… You make a good point. Although carbs aren’t essential, some of the foods that contain them are. As Jonathan points out, fruits and veggies contain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). And of course, these are essential.

    That’s the nutritional message of these books (and many more like them). There are good carbs. And there are bad carbs. Cereal grains (especially when refined into bakery goods like breads, pastas, cakes and kibble) are of very low nutritional value to humans, dogs and especially cats. Fruits and vegetables are good carbs.

  • Gordon

    Ahhh In love Sunday wee mornings before the hangover turmoil occurs, lol

  • Gordon

    Ditto Roger Prows on our diversity in foods in greater than that of dogs. Grains are much easily digested by us than by dogs, but even better digested by parrot species than both we and dogs.

    There are always arguable points in 2 sides to experts perspectives. This is something I’ve always said and remember saying even on here a couple of months ago.

  • Roger Prows

    Another food for thought. The most vocal Corn lovers I’ve found are involved with Hill’s. If corn is so low allergy as they claim, then why is their z/d allergen diet corn free?

  • Roger Prows

    Another interjection: Dog’s systems are no where near as capable of breaking down these kinds of things as we are (and our ability is controversial anyways). They have significantly shorter digestive tracts and need much simpler nutrient.

  • Gordon

    Well I’m not going to argue a case for or against, unless I read enough of scientific studies and literature on what you’re saying. For all intents and purposes, the information you ascertained this from, might very well be true and I’m definitely open to find out more on this issue.

    I know one thing is for sure. Wholegrain meals did actually work well for me in feeling fuller and clearing my bowels and a host of other favourable things. I did eat fruits and veggies as well, and lots of water at the time when I was following this strict regime. So maybe it was the fruits and veggies and water only. At any rate I still eat all the mentioned in moderation, to so far, no problems.

    I’ll have a read of those articles or books from this Gary Taubes you mention.

  • Jonathan

    Fruits and veggies, in their natural state, are consumable and nutrient dense, and full of fiber. Grains must be processed in order to digest and contain large amount of calories at the expense of vitamins and minerals. Also, grains have a large imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3.

  • Gordon

    Yeah thanks for that. I’m happy to read those. I’ll see what they have to say about fibre from grains for humans. I already knew that carbohydrates doesn’t generally help with weight reduction, but that fibre for humans in proportion and moderation as with anything else is actually good for us humans, and to little of it, can cause constipation, Diverticulitis, heart disease and even some cancers, but that also an overdose in these fibre foods are also not good for us.

    I’m not going to read those references right now as its 2.43am where I am, but will definitely have a read of them.

    So would you say, that we don’t even require fruits and vegetables?

  • Gordon… Of the three macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) carbs are not essential to any human or pet diet. Read “Why We Get Fat” or “Good Calories Bad Calories“. Both books are written by Gary Taubes. After reading either one, you might not be so impressed with cereal grains (especially when eaten in their refined states).

    Unless and until one has read this material, it’s impossible to present an accurate case in favor of a carbohydrate based diet. These are not diet books but scientifically argued and fully documented nutrition classics.

  • Gordon

    I accidentally hit the Enter button and didn’t finish the story above………. I was then advised to add a good proportion of wholegrains by a dietitian for a better dietary fibre intake, which she said was to aid in better digestion, make me feel fuller, and help clear the bowels. It worked. Accompanied with exercise I returned to my ideal weight and reduced my junk food intake that I got addicted to from becoming depressed from my back injury. It was a terrible and vicious cycle at the time.

    Insoluble fibre is meant to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems such as haemorrhoids. Sources of this fibre are the skins of fruits and vegetables, dried beans, wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, and wholegrain foods.

    Soluble fibre is meant to lower blood cholesterol levels and also help with constipation. These type comes from oat bran, barley, seed husks, fruits, vegetables, lentils, peas, soymilk and soy products, and flaxseed.

    Wow, it just goes to show one how many different perspectives there are out there.

  • Gordon

    Hmmmm that’s interesting. Of course there’s a possibility that dieticians and GP’s could be selling us a sham.

    I know that wholegrain foods, make one more fuller for longer as it did for me when after I had a back injury and had extensive physiotherapy for about 3 years. Since I was 23 years of age when I had suffered a back injury, I guess my youth helped somewhat in my back being able to heal to a better degree faster. But in that time I couldn’t do activities I used and in turn, lost motivation and gained weight.

  • Jonathan

    “All grains – things like oatmeal, pasta, breads and cereals – have two things in common. They are calorically dense, and nutritionally meager. A small portion of grains packs a whopping amount of calories, almost all in the form of carbohydrates. All those calories, however, contain a miserly amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (also called phytochemicals)”

    http://vitiligocover.com/why-grains-may-effect-vitiligo/

  • Gordon

    That’s a URL of interest that I may have a look at Jonathan, but corn isn’t all too bad for us humans, and is a great source of insoluble fibre that we’re much better than dogs to cope with. Unless I’m missing something here. Not to mention that wholegrains and cereal fibres are excellent sources of dietary fibre, thiamin, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, zinc and protein, that in grain form, whilst great for us, are stressful and undesirable for the dog’s digestive system.

  • Lisa, vet tech

    If only every over weight and itchy pet’s owner would read this! Bravo….

  • Jonathan

    Hey everyone, here is some more info about the travesty that is corn.

    http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/corn__it_s_what_s_bad_for_you.htm

    There is some good info on this site. They make an all meat pet food, too. Too pricey for me, but I am convinced that grass fed meats are what we should be eating. All this taking about the evolution of dogs got me thinking about our own evolution. We evolved for millions of years eating grass-fed animals and green leafy plants. That’s it. No grains. Grains bad.

  • Steve

    Oh, I’d like to add….why do you think Alpo, Beneful, Ol’Roy, Most Purina products, Pedigree, Kibbles ‘n Bits, the list goes on…….. have corn as the #1 ingredient?

    They are the money makers for the big producers because they are cheaper to produce. Corn is much cheaper than quality, nutritional ingredients!

  • Steve

    Great article! Putting all the straight facts in one place sure makes it easier to understand. We have a Sheltie and an Aussie. Both about 1 1/2 years. Although their diet varies, it is one of these foods…..Blue Buffalo, B.B. Wilderness, Innova, Fromm’s., …… None of which contain corn.

    Corn is to dog food as McDonalds is to us. Empty calories with little diverse nutritional value and just fills an empty belly. Plain corn, whether field corn or sweet corn, really has few beneficial vitamins and minerals compared to more “colorful” vegetables. Dogs’ digestion, and absorption aren’t that different than humans. There needs are though. Empty carbs. aren’t high on either list.

  • Malanie

    I can’t believe no one mentioned about corn is the biggest crop that is genetically altered. That is a huge concern for me. I won’t buy corn for us (people) unless it’s organic. And dogs shouldn’t eat it. Good article.

  • Beth

    Just to clear this up, I know a little about corn. Bob, if what you say is true the leaves and stalks would actually be more nutritious for our pets. We are talking about field corn not sweet corn. The same as used with hfcs, ethanol and animal feeds. It is a very high carbohydrate and not appropriate for canines anymore than a bleached wheat flour. This is off topic but since it was brought up, processed refined sugars whether from corn or cane should be consumed in small quantities. Please do not believe that white can sugar is health food when it replacing corn sugar.

  • Bob

    I was told that the corn in dog food is not like ground up corn kernels, but contain the husk as well as the entire corn plant ground up with it. Real junk…

  • Excellent article. Thank you so much for writing and I will be sharing this on our website with my fellow English Bulldog Owners!

  • Excellent article! I have a well used soap box I like to bring out when the subject of corn in cat food comes up. Dogs can tolerate those carbs a lot better than cats can — cats are obligate carnivores, after all — and I don’t feed corn to my dogs, either. One is allergic to corn, so I put them both on a grain free diet — amazing! They are both in fabulous shape and the non-allergic one suddenly got rid of a “chronic” ear infection we had been fighting for over five years!

  • Brandi

    P.S. Amazing article Mike!

  • Brandi

    I have recently switched my dogs from Nature’s Logic (sorry Barbara – we all loved it, but I can’t find it anywhere in the new town that I’ve moved…) to a home prepared raw diet and I eliminated corn from my dog’s diet a long time ago.

    I would like to make a comment about the “corn isn’t a natural part of a dog’s diet.” As it’s domesticated, it’s not a natural part of a human’s diet either, but that doesn’t mean it’s harmful. The same argument for a natural diet would also eliminate all protein sources that they currently eat – not too many domesticated cattle or chickens being fed domesticated grains when dogs diverged from their wild ancestors.

    As stated by others, there are higher quality carbs that can be used and shame on the commercial companies for downright lying to consumers. But again they aren’t the only ones lying about corn. Corn syrup didn’t make it’s debut until around the same time as corn in commercial kibbles – the US govt had to figure out what to do with all that surplus. And now that consumers are complaining about the abundance of corn syrup in human foods, the corn industry has changed the name to corn sugar…

  • Well done! There are clearly better carbohydrate sources for dogs and cats…ones more like what they would find naturally in the wild, like millet. High protein from quality meat sources, and low carbs, from more natural sources, are best for pets. Great article.

  • Ray

    Hopefully a few folks who really care about what their pets eat will read this and find healthier alternatives not just for dogs but their cats as well.

  • Jonathan

    Outstanding essay, sir!

  • Sara

    No, it’s not okay for dog food to contain corn. It’s not part of a nautral diet for dogs.

  • Paula

    Great information. Thank you soooo much1

  • Brian T. Cottrell

    Very enlightening, thanks for the information.

  • Vicki Grantham

    Thank you for this outstanding article!