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Corn in dog food.

Species: Dog
Breed: Boxer
Age: Less than 3 mon
I have heard that corn is bad in dog food. Also that alfalfa, brewers yeast, and citric acid can lead to bloat? Should I avoid foods with said ingredients? What food do you recommend?



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Is corn bad for dogs?
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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, the everlasting corn debate!

It is so difficult these days to know what is a good dog food and what is not.

Personally, I don't have a problem with corn in dog food, but you will find many people who disagree with me.

I spent a lot of time researching your question to see if there was any scientific evidence for or against corn in dog food and all I could find were people's opinions.

So, here are some facts:

  • Dog food needs to be made with some kind of filler / binder. Corn is an inexpensive product to use and works well. However, if there is no corn in the food then there needs to be another type of binder such as starch or tapioca. Personally, I would prefer to eat corn.

  • There have been some cases of aflatoxin contamination associated with corn in dog food. This is definitely a serious problem...but fortunately not a common one.

  • Many people will blame corn for allergies in dogs. While it is possible for dogs to be allergic to corn, it is not common. It is much more likely for dogs to be allergic to beef, wheat, eggs, chicken or fish.



There is really no evidence that I can find to show that corn is bad in dog food.

Regarding bloat, we really don't know what causes it. Bloat occurs when the stomach fills with air and then twists. Any food that ferments in the stomach can contribute to this. Or, gulping air by eating too fast can be a factor. However, no one really knows what causes bloat. I have not heard or seen evidence that alfalfa, brewers yeast or citric acid cause bloat. However, there really is no reason to give any of these ingredients to dogs.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.