Can dogs eat corn starch, and is it safe? More often than not, many common people’s food ingredients are not toxic to dogs but not beneficial either. Corn starch is a food preparation ingredient that falls into this category. Extracted from the corn kernel endosperm, corn starch features in many foods due to its pliable texture properties and indistinct taste.
But can dogs eat corn starch? Corn starch is not toxic to dogs, but it poses no health benefits for canines and can be unhealthy in large amounts. Small traces of corn starch feature in some dog treats. Therefore dogs can eat corn starch in moderation.
Are you currently deciding if corn starch is safe to give your dog? Perhaps you know corn starch is safe for dogs and wondering if it has any health benefits. This guide will tell you everything you need to know, no matter your concern. Read on to learn more about corn starch and your dog’s overall diet and food needs.
Before scrolling down this guide, “Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch,” check out these other similar dog questions from our team at We Love Doodles: Can Dogs Eat Nutella and Can Dogs Eat Orange Chicken?
Corn Starch Ingredients and Effects on Dogs
Corn starch, also known as corn maize, is a 100% pure carbohydrate shaped from the starchy endosperm of a corn kernel. Once ground into its final texture, corn starch has a silky, almost confectioner’s sugar-type quality, which helps it bind wet ingredients better. Dogs do not particularly respond to corn starch by itself, but many pet foods feature this starch. Let’s take a look at the role of corn starch in dog food and treats.
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Corn Starch and Dog Diets: The Good and the Bad
Corn starch is derived from corn, and its high carbohydrate quality makes it an excellent filler and thickening agent in dog food. Since dog food (primarily dry food) needs to have a viable shelf life to represent good value for money, corn starch can help keep dry food from clumping.
Additionally, corn starch can help to provide a more chewable texture to dog food to keep your puppy from becoming bored with the feed. In terms of taste, nutritional quality, and safety, corn starch is a bit of a complex dog food ingredient.
Is Corn Starch Toxic to Dogs?
Corn, as well as any other additional ingredients in corn starch, is not toxic to dogs. This is a relief since so many types of dog food feature this ingredient. Dogs generally like corn, but some canines can develop corn allergies. It is not generally understood exactly why some dogs develop corn allergies. But overconsumption of corn, likely through cron starch in dog food, may contribute to the ailment.
But it is known that cornflour causes more corn allergies in dogs than corn starch. Much of this has to do with the texture and production process of the flour itself. Corn allergies typically manifest in dogs through skin issues. Since cornflour uses much more corn kernel than corn starch, this provides a higher consumption of corn per meal.
With this in mind, it can be deduced that corn starch has a very low ratio of contributing to corn allergy in dogs. Apart from rare occurrences of a corn allergy, corn starch does not pose any life-threatening concerns to dogs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that corn starch provides any nutritional benefits for dogs.
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Does Corn Starch Have Any Dietary Benefits for Dogs?
Corn in corn starch does contain a great source of secondary protein for dogs. Furthermore, corn starch does not contain any gluten, which goes a long way in preventing obesity and bloating in dogs. Since dogs can be ravenous eaters at times, corn starch can help to make your dog feel more full after eating.
As previously mentioned, the added texture provided by corn starch will also keep your dog interested in their food. Apart from corn starch in food, pure corn starch can also be a common health remedy in dogs. Some dog breeds, such as boxers, have very sensitive stomachs throughout every stage of their lives.
Corn starch is light and airy instead of thick and fibrous like flour, so this aids dog breeds with digestive problems. Since corn starch has no gluten, this can also prevent your dog from quickly gaining weight. This can be most beneficial in a dog’s senior years when they become more inactive and burn fewer calories.
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How is Corn Starch Unhealthy For Dogs?
The most beneficial foods for dogs are lean protein and fiber. Carbohydrates play a small role in a dog’s nutritional needs, and corn starch is no different. The biggest unhealthy side effect of corn starch in your dog’s diet is digestive concerns. If you feed your dog food packed with too much corn starch, this can lead to potentially alarming stomach upset.
Vomiting, bowel issues, and bloating are all common symptoms of too many carbohydrates. If your dog has a corn allergy, an allergic reaction could occur even if only minuscule amounts of corn starch were digested. Allergic reactions can manifest in many different ways, but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Skin irritation such as itching and rashes
- Respiratory problems or distress
- Watery or bloodshot eyes; nasal drainage
- Excessive panting or whining
- Sneezing and coughing
If you observe any of these symptoms, you should consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your dog is afflicted with diabetes, carbs like corn starch should be avoided. Consider feeding your dog a raw or whole foods diet in this circumstance. In rare circumstances, corn starch causes respiratory problems in dogs.
This can come from a general allergic reaction to the corn starch or inhaling the starch from pure corn starch. Also, pure carbohydrates are not good in excess for dogs for many of the same reasons carbs are not good for people. Whole foods like meat and vegetables and small amounts of grains are always best.
Is Corn Starch Safe for Dogs in Moderation?
Corn starch is perfectly fine for dogs in moderation. With certain high-quality dog foods and treats, dogs are already receiving moderate amounts of corn starch each day. Dogs tend to like any food additive that makes food more filling or tasty, so there is no worry about your dog objecting to corn starch in their meals.
In certain circumstances, corn starch can be great for dogs in moderation. If your dog needs to put on weight, you can add a tablespoon of the starch to their food for additional calories, texture, and as a thickening agent. Keep in mind that the calories in corn starch are empty and only beneficial for weight gain if necessary.
For dog treats that contain corn starch, there are no modifications necessary to be aware of in terms of moderation. Granted, this is if your dog’s daily treats only constitute roughly 10% of their overall daily diet as they should be.
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Adding Corn Starch to Dog’s Diet
Corn starch is likely already in your dog’s daily food if you buy dry or wet dog foods from various brands. If not, you should prioritize dog foods containing corn starch instead of cornflour or any flour product. But due to some benefits, you can also add corn starch directly to your dog’s diet, and there are many ways to do this.
If you want to add some filling to your dog’s food or to help your dog gain weight, add one tablespoon of corn starch per 25 pounds of body weight. This is just enough to gain benefits without causing any side effects from the starch. We would recommend mixing corn starch into food instead of mixing it into the water–dogs typically do not like alterations to their drinking water.
You could also consider baking with corn starch if you prefer to bake your dog’s treats. For something like peanut butter cookies for dogs, you can replace the flour with corn starch. If you are feeding your dog a raw diet, you could also sprinkle corn starch over meat and knead the starch into the meat.
Since dogs generally do not mind the taste of corn starch, it is okay to add it to meat. Always make sure you use pure corn starch instead of something like modified corn starch. Try and ensure there are no additives to the corn starch since some corn starch varieties contain added sugars.
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Conclusion For “Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch”
In summary, corn starch is a food ingredient that is neither bad nor necessarily good for your dog. Corn starch can be used for texture and help your dog feel more full at mealtime and as an additional protein source.
The possible side effects are digestive discomfort, possible weight gain, and allergic reactions if your dog has a corn allergy. Corn starch is featured in many dog foods and is a better choice than cornflour. Just make sure your dog likes the taste of corn starch before feeding.
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Now you know the effects corn starch can have on your dog. You can learn what human food your dog can consume by watching “10 Human Foods Your Dog Can Eat” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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