We’ve coated varied myths about grains as a gaggle previously, however because the summer season ends (candy corn!) and we shift into fall (cornbread, corn stalks, corn mazes, sweet corn!), it looks as if an applicable time to debate the frequent myths about pets and corn. Now, clearly sweet corn will not be possibility on your canine or cat, however what about actual corn?
Corn has an unearned status as being one thing that ought to be prevented for pets. Some pet meals particularly promote that they’ve “no corn” as if this can be a badge of honor and plenty of non-veterinary sources counsel that corn isn’t digestible and “goes straight via” a canine or cat or is a “low cost filler”. Let’s unpack a few of these myths and set the file straight.
- Can canine and cats digest corn?
Whereas entire candy corn kernels could make it intact via the intestines of each canine and cats (and people!) and be seen within the feces, particularly if not totally chewed, this doesn’t imply that corn isn’t a secure and nutritious meals. Like all grains, the digestibility of corn is vastly elevated by grinding and cooking – corn meal or floor corn are frequent pet meals elements which have been proven to be extremely digestible (the starch part is 90-99% digestible in research). One sort of corn that ought to by no means be fed to canine is corn that’s nonetheless on the cob. Canines fed corn on the cob, or who entry cobs from the compost or trash, typically swallow massive parts of the cob which regularly trigger gastrointestinal obstruction and require surgical procedure to resolve.
- Does corn trigger allergy symptoms in canine or cats?
Whereas grains and particularly corn are sometimes considered frequent allergens by pet homeowners, the scientific information doesn’t assist this notion. Total, food allergies are unusual in pets and the overwhelming majority of pets with meals allergy symptoms are allergic to animal proteins, to not plant proteins or grains. Corn is never confirmed to be the reason for allergy symptoms in canine or cats; in most conditions the place a pet’s household thinks that corn is the perpetrator, it seems to be a unique ingredient, sometimes an animal protein (or, extra generally, unrelated to meals allergy).
- Does corn trigger irritation?
Corn is a superb supply of the essential fatty acid, linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid and it’s required to be offered by the weight loss program in canine, cats, and people. Nevertheless, it ought to be balanced with different forms of fat like omega-3s – if a weight loss program has excessive quantities of omega-6s with little or no omega-3s, that may encourage the manufacturing of extra inflammatory compounds. Skilled pet meals formulators know what mixtures of elements to make use of to lead to a weight loss program with ample quantities of important fatty acids and a wholesome omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. The upper omega-6s from corn could also be offset by fish or fish oil, algal oil, flaxseed or flaxseed oil, and even chia seeds. So, whereas corn as the one supply of fatty acids in a pet meals isn’t ideally suited, most meals may have quite a few different elements offering different forms of fats to steadiness all of it out.
- Do canine and cats get any vitamins from corn?
Corn could be a good supply of power from each starch (carbohydrate) and from fat (as talked about above). Entire floor corn additionally comprises some corn bran, which is an insoluble fiber supply which might contribute to good fecal high quality. Corn can also be supply of a number of B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. It’s additionally a superb supply of carotenoids – compounds which are made by crops and suspected to have substantial well being advantages – like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene (a vitamin A precursor). We don’t understand how a lot of those compounds pets (or folks) ought to get from their weight loss program optimally, however they’re thought to contribute to why elevated consumption of vegetables and fruit is related to improved well being in most research in folks in addition to some in canine.
- Does corn include gluten?
Whereas the protein part of corn is named “gluten”, it’s fairly totally different from the protein present in wheat, rye, and associated grains that’s related to gluten-intolerance. Gluten intolerance is fairly uncommon in pets and has been confirmed solely in a couple of households of particular canine breeds. However, even when a pet got here from a breed with identified gluten-related points (equivalent to a border terrier or Irish setter), there ought to be no motive why the pet received’t tolerate corn or corn gluten.
- Is GMO corn dangerous for pets?
Nearly all of corn that’s used for human and animal feeding within the US is genetically-modified (GMO) to be immune to frequent herbicides. Whereas discussions of the “evils” of GMO meals are straightforward to seek out, precise information to assist any well being dangers to pets or individuals who eat GMO corn are scarce. Genetically-modified organisms require intensive security testing previous to FDA approval. GMO corn strains have been out there for greater than twenty years, but no adversarial well being results have been confirmed. Based mostly on present information, there aren’t any causes to keep away from GMO corn in pet diets.
The underside line is that corn is a secure and wholesome ingredient in pet meals. Keep away from giving your canine entry to corn on the cob or empty cobs, however in any other case, don’t be involved to see corn meal, corn gluten, or floor entire corn in your pet meals ingredient record. It’s additionally okay to present your canine unflavored popcorn, cooked recent corn that you just’ve lower off the cob, or cooked frozen corn kernels as a deal with – simply don’t freak out in case you see a few of the kernels within the feces if you’re cleansing the yard!
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