Is corn meal better for dogs than rice?

Rice is better than corn meal to feed dogs. In fact, many veterinarians recommend giving your dog a little boiled chicken and white rice when she has an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Corn is another story. For one, it’s a common allergen. Unfortunately, corn and corn byproducts are two of the most common ingredients in commercial dog food. In fact, some manufacturers engage in ingredient splitting, a practice where components of one food are split up so they appear far down on the ingredient list, looking like only small amounts are used—but add them up and it results in a whopping amount of one ingredient. Corn seems to be the most prevalent in this use.

Secondly, the corn designated for pet consumption has often been treated heavily with chemicals and, in addition to the corn itself, these chemicals can also cause allergic reactions in dogs. Finally, corn is highly susceptible to mold, which can also often cause allergic reactions in dogs.

Corn is seen in three different forms. Here is a step-by-step breakdown so you really understand it:

• Corn gluten meal: An inexpensive by-product of human food processing, corn gluten meal offers little nutritional value and serves mainly to bind food together. It’s a yellow powdery substance, derived from cornstarch and corn syrup added to foods as a source of protein, while both ground corn and corn meal are added as carbohydrate sources. The addition of corn gluten meal allows pet food manufacturers to increase their protein levels at a lower cost. Corn gluten meal contains nitrogen so it’s also used as a pesticide for lawn care.

• Ground corn: The entire corn kernel grounded or chopped up, so this is often thought of as the sweepings from the milling room floors. It is used mainly a source of carbohydrates which of which cats don’t need much.

• Corn meal: Similar to ground corn, this is sometimes replaced with cottonseed hulls. This is basically a harmful excess ingredient, which most reputable food companies will remove from their cat foods even though it is more costly.

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