Corn starch is one of the most versatile food ingredients. It is used as an anti-cake agent, thickener in various food items, and as filler for baked stuff including dog treats.
Given the long-battled debate of corn starch as a component of a dog’s diet, it’s natural for you to get confused. While some say it’s a great source of protein and digestible fiber, others claim it’s a common allergen.
In this article, we help you know can dogs have corn starch and when it’s safe and when it’s not
What Is Corn Starch?
As the name suggests, corn starch is the starch obtained from the grains of corn kernels. Corn starch is extracted after processing corn kernels, stripping off their outer shells. Later on, it is grounded into a powdered form.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Corn Starch?
Although corn starch is quite rich in carbohydrates for dogs, it lacks some significant nutrients such as vitamins, fats, and minerals.
This is the reason why eating whole corn is more beneficial for dogs. Whole corns offer more minerals and antioxidant benefits to your dog, unlike corn starch.
Following is the chart depicting the nutritional value of corn starch (100 grams):
|Total Fat 0.1 g||0% of the Daily Value (DV)- based on a 2,000 calorie diet|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 9 mg||0%|
|Potassium 3 mg||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 91 g||30%|
|Dietary fiber 0.9 g||3%|
|Protein 0.3 g||0%|
What Are The Risks Of Corn Starch For Your Dog?
Although the powdered form of pure corn starch is non-toxic, still your dog might suffer from digestive issues. Moreover, your dog might also face some respiratory irritation after eating corn starch.
However, as veterinary research has proved, corn starch has a lesser allergenic effect than its contemporary corn flour. This is because the former has very minuscule protein content.
All in all, corn starch is not that harmful to your dog if given in moderation.
Nevertheless, we recommend taking him to a vet immediately after you witness the aforementioned symptoms.
What Are The Benefits Of Corn Starch For Your Dog?
Following a gluten-free diet has now become a trend all across the globe. A wide majority of dog owners are removing gluten-based grains from their pup’s diet. In such cases, corn starch comes to the rescue.
Corn starch is considered a pretty solid alternative for wheat, barley, or rye. Moreover, you can feel free to feed your four-legged friend corn starch in the form of dehydrated or baked dog treats. Such foods are a rich source of carbs.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Corn Starch In Dogs?
Although most dogs don’t develop side effects after consuming corn starch, vomiting and diarrhea might be observed in them. So, without a second thought, you must rush to your vet in cases of serious side effects.
Note: Overfeeding corn-based dog treats increases the risk of cancer, cardiac problems, and obesity issues in canines.
Are Dogs Allergic To Corn Starch?
There is a reason why people avoid feeding corn to their dogs. Along with dairy, soy, and yeast, corn-based items are considered common allergens for dogs.
Your dog is most likely to experience the following symptoms due to corn allergy after consuming corn starch:
- Abdominal pain
- Eye Irritation
- Obsessive self-licking
Can Dogs Consume Modified Corn Starch?
Modified corn starch is primarily used in dog food to improve its texture and consistency. It is not considered safe for pets as it is treated with various preservatives, enzymes, and acids.
Only properly processed and milled corn starch is safe for your dog’s consumption. It is relatively easy for your dog to absorb and digest it.
How To Feed Corn Starch To Your Dog?
You do not wish to irritate your dog’s respiratory tracts, right? While feeding corn starch to your dog, moderation is the key.
You must not feed corn starch to your doggo right out from the box like in the woman in this video:
Corn starch should be added as a supplement to your dog’s diet. Nothing can replace protein-rich foods and veggies as the staple diet for your pup.
What Is Healthier: Corn Starch Or Flour?
If a gluten-free diet is not your concern, then wheat flour is a more nutritious alternative to corn starch because it:
- Has fewer carbohydrates
- Higher Protein Content
- More dietary fiber
- More minerals and vitamins
Q. Are there any substitutes for Corn starch for dogs?
Yes, absolutely! Arrowroot, potato starch, rice flour, tapioca, psyllium husk, and ground flaxseeds are some of the substitutes for corn starch for dogs.
Q. Does Corn starch cause inflammation in dogs?
Excessive consumption of corn starch is known to cause inflammation in dogs.
Along with high-fructose corn syrup and corn oil, corn starch is quite cheap and abundant in the market. Such refined forms of corn spike blood sugar causing increased insulin and thus, inflammation in dogs.
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The dog-loving community might never reach a unanimous decision whether dogs can have corn starch or not. Still, the onus of your dog’s responsibility is upon you solely.
Keep in mind all the risks and benefits of corn starch we have mentioned in this article before feeding it to your dog. It is now only up to you to decide if corn starch is a safe ingredient for your pooch.
This decision relies upon various factors. Firstly, your dog’s diet; secondly, the quantity of corn starch you are thinking of feeding him; and lastly, your dog’s reaction after consuming it. The quality of the corn kernels used in the starch is directly related to whether or not your dog experiences allergies.
There are a bunch of different foods that are considered dangerous for dogs by medical experts. We sincerely hope that this article has helped you in reaching a rational and safe decision for your dog’s health.
Did you find the information mentioned in this article helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.